Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions: 2019

Secondary ESOL

We offer a range of free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions to help you make the most of your time researching here.

Published date:

Unless otherwise stated, our Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions are aimed at Registered Readers and usually held within our Reading Rooms, which are only accessible with a valid Reader Pass. If you wish to attend you should register with us for a Reader Pass.

Note also that 1-2-1 sessions are offered subject to staff availability.

Discovery sessions

We offer a range of engaging and informative Discovery sessions so you’re sure to find something that matches your interest. They typically last one hour each and we can accommodate up to 12 people per session.

Introduction to ‘Explore the British Library’, the Library’s main catalogue and the Humanities Reading Room

26 March (15.00-16.00); 4 April (15.00-16.00); 26 April (11.00-12.00)

This session provides a general introduction to the Library’s main catalogue and explains how Readers can get the most from our printed and e-resources. The session will cover:

  • the different search scopes: ‘Main catalogue’, ‘Our Website’, ‘Explore Further’
  • how to log in/change your password
  • how to search, refine your searches and save your searches
  • use of ‘My workspace’, your ‘Basket’ and ‘My reading Room Requests’
  • how to order, reserve, copy scan and print collection items
  • digital sources and e-resources
  • information on resources and services in the Reading Room.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Humanities printed and electronic resources on Women’s and Gender Studies

28 March (16.00-17.00); 17 April (15.00-16.00)

This session is designed as an interdisciplinary session on women’s studies across disciplines in all areas of life. Coverage includes: the role of women and gender in history, literature, religion, society, science and culture on a global historical, geographical and religious scale. Also: equality, human rights, dignity and respect, religious diversity and women, suffrage, minority groups, race, class, power, femininity and masculinity, ethnicity, migration.

This is an introductory session aimed at readers who wish to improve their searching for print and non-print items.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Getting started with Rare Books and the British Library (c.1450-1800)

3 April (14.00-15.00); 29 May (14.00-15.00); 12 June (11.00-12.00)

This workshop is an introductory session for Readers who are new to to accessing the British Library’s collections of western early-printed books. The session will:

  • tell you about the resources and services that are available in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room
  • advise you of the main online and printed catalogues for identifying early printed books held at the British Library
  • show you how to search some of these catalogues and how to order books
  • advise you of some of the main electronic databases and reference sources that can help with researching early printed books.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Rare Books and Music Reference Desk.

Religious Studies, on-line and printed resources in Humanities

11 April (15.00-16.00); 2 May (15.00-16.00)

Are you researching Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion, beliefs or traditions of the world and new faiths? Are you interested in their origins, theological questions, sacred texts and their interpretation, taking into account different disciplines, such as history, sociology, philosophy, psychology? Then book your place for this interdisciplinary Discovery Session.

We’ll introduce you to the Library's collection of printed and online resources, e-databases, e-journals e-books, e-theses, images, sound archive material.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Introduction to family history sources in Asian & African Studies

16 April (12.00-13.30); 15 May (12.00-13.30); 19 June (12.00-13.30); 16 July (12.00-13.30)

If you are trying to trace details of the births/baptisms, marriages and/or burials of Europeans who were born, married or died in South Asia (= including Burma, but excluding Sri Lanka) before independence in 1947/48, then this session should be of interest. Previous knowledge of the topic is neither expected nor required. The session includes a brief overview of the historical background together with practical advice in how to access the genealogical data held in the collection. Participants do not have to be registered Readers.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk.

Beyond baptisms, marriages and burials: additional family history sources in Asian & African Studies

16 April (14.30-16.30); 15 May (14.30-16.30); 19 June (14.30-16.30); 16 July (14.30-16.30)

This session provides information about the wealth of printed, online and visual material available to family history researchers in forms such as wills, photographs, biographical compilations, newspapers and directories. It is useful, but not necessary, to have attended the introductory family history session. Military ancestry is not covered, being the subject of a separate session.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Desk.

Introduction to the Newsroom

17 April (14.00-15.00); 22 May;(14.00-15.00)

This session will provide an introduction to the Newsroom and the news collections as well as basic guidance for researchers using the Reading Room. The session will:

  • provide an overview of the scope and history of our news collections
  • explain what digital news sources are available
  • explain how to search for and order newspapers
  • provide information on resources and services in the Reading Room.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

News-related Electronic Resources

9 May (14.00-15.00)

This session will cover the range of news related electronic resources available at the Library and how to access this material.

The session will:

  • promote awareness of newspaper electronic resources and the importance of newspaper e-resources for contemporary research
  • highlight the various ways to access British Library news eresources
  • demonstrate key news eresources
  • showcase the variety of news databases including facsimile and text only e-resources, and various news related bibliographies and indexes available at the Library.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

Sound & Vision: finding and accessing recordings

17 May (14.00-15.00); 18 June (14.00-15.00); 17 July (14.00-15.00) 

Are you interested in non-print media? The Library has over 6 million sound and moving image recordings including all genres of music, wildlife, drama, literature, oral history and archived radio broadcasts. The recordings date from the late nineteenth century to the present day and can be accessed in our Reading Rrooms, either digitally or via our Listening & Viewing Service.

This is an introductory session aimed at Readers who wish to find out more about our audiovisual collections and how to access them.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk.

Modern newspapers

20 June (14.00-15.00)

This workshop will be presented by the Newspaper Curator and will cover:

  • the development of newspapers from the mid-19th century to the present day
  • modern newspaper collections at the British Library
  • British/Irish newspapers received on Legal Deposit
  • Overseas newspapers
  • searching for modern newspapers in the Library's main catalogue - Explore the British Library.

To find out more or to book a place, please email us at ReferenceServicesTraining@bl.uk or speak to a member of staff at the Newsroom Reference Desk.

1-2-1-sessions

Would you like to register for a free 30 minute one-to-one consultation session with one of our Reference Enquiry specialists? We can show you how to get the most from our catalogues and resources and can use our expertise to direct you towards useful and hard to find material based on your research interests.

To find out more or to book a session, please contact the appropriate team.

To book a place, please provide us with the following information:

  • your general or specific area of research interest
  • the level (personal interest, undergraduate, postgraduate, academic) of research you are undertaking and stage (planning, beginning, finishing) you have reached.

Note that these 1-2-1 sessions are for registered readers only.

Please also note that these sessions are to guide you in your research so we cannot answer very specific research queries or produce comprehensive bibliographies.

Collection guides

The King's Library

The collection of George III includes thousands of books and pamphlets

Thomason Tracts

A key source for the English Civil War in the mid-17th century

Burney collection

Largest single collection of 17th and 18th-century English newspapers available

Scandinavian printed collections

One of the richest collections of books from the Scandinavian countries

Garrick Collection of English Plays

David Garrick's collection of 16th and 17th-century printed plays

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin collection of books

Russian avant-garde collections

An extensive collection of avant-garde books of the early 20th century

Spanish printed collections

Includes 16,600 Spanish books published before 1801

French Revolutionary Tracts

50,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals printed in France between the 1780s and 1840s

French printed collections

Incunabula, books, journals, maps and music

Digitised printed books (18th-19th century)

Over 60,000 out-of-copyright digitised books from the 18th and 19th century available for viewing, search, download and digital research.

Modern Greek printed collections

One of the world's finest collections of Greek and Cyprus imprints

Portuguese printed collections

Contemporary and antiquarian material, including 225 books published in Portugal before 1601

Italian printed collections

Our Italian collections cover all periods and a wide variety of subjects

Dutch printed collections

Publications covering a wide range of subjects and periods from the Dutch-speaking territories