Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions: 2021 - 2022

A view of the King's Library

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

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 family history sources in Asian & African Studies

18 January (12.00 - 13.30); 17 February (12.00 - 13.30); 16 March (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.

These sessions take place, here, at St. Pancras. To find out more or to book a place, please email us at 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

18 January (14.30 - 16.30); 17 February (14.30 - 16.30); 16 March (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 session. Military ancestry is not covered, being the subject of a separate session

These sessions take place, here, at St. Pancras. To find out more or to book a place, please email us at or speak to a member of staff at the Humanities Reference Desk. 

Beginners guide to using the British Library Catalogue

15 December (14.00 - 15.00)

Are you new to using the Library and struggling to navigate your way around our catalogue? Or maybe you have not used it for a while and would like a refresher? If so, this introduction session will help you; it is delivered online for your convenience.

This 30-minute free training session covers the basic skills you need to effectively search the catalogue. You will be able to find, access and order:

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • E-resources
  • Digital and online

The session also covers:

  • My workspace
  • Other British Library catalogues
  • Open access content

This webinar will be hosted on the Microsoft Team platform.

To find out more, or to book a place, please email us at

You will receive an email, confirming your registered place, with a link to the webinar. We recommend that you follow the instructions in the email to check system requirements ahead of the session.


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.