British Library/ AHRC Translator in Residence: Call for Applications

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The British Library’s Translator in Residence scheme, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), offers a translator the opportunity to become part of the British Library’s multilingual community of staff, readers and visitors for one year.

Published date:

Following Jen Calleja’s successful first residency from April 2017, we are now seeking applications for a second residency to begin in April/May 2018. 

This twelve month residency is supported by the British Library and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is an exciting opportunity for a translator to become part of the life of the British Library, to enjoy enhanced access to the Library’s collections and staff, to demonstrate how using these collections can inform the process of translation and to get involved in a range of areas of its public programmes (through events, exhibitions, schools programmes, online learning and community engagement) with a view to broadening audience engagement and participation.

He/She will play an important role in the Library’s mission to make its intellectual heritage accessible to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment and will have the opportunity to work with AHRC award holders on projects associated with its Translating Cultures theme, whose aims are to bring research to a wider audience.

The British Library is one of the world’s greatest research and cultural institutions. Our Living Knowledge Strategy 2015-2023 marks our 50th anniversary with some ambitious challenges in furthering our purposes of custodianship, research, business, culture, learning and international partnership.

The Library holds incomparable contemporary and historical collections in a vast range of languages, and has a dedicated multilingual staff and an international community of researchers, students and visitors. As such, the Library is a natural home for translation and translators. Our collections include the archives of literary translators, sound and oral history recordings, a vast array of print publications in most written languages of the world, historical dictionaries and other material relating to the history of language plus a wide range of other material which might be of interest from business patents to works on linguistics, sociology and anthropology.

We are particularly looking for someone who will engage imaginatively with the idea of “residency”: with the Library’s buildings and spaces as well as with the extensive and diverse community of languages represented by the Library’s staff and readers. 

Translation as a site of academic and cultural exchange has become an increasing focus for the Library in recent years. The Translator-in-Residence will work with staff and   readers at the Library to promote creative engagement with translation related collections and to encourage and advocate for wider understanding of the value of translation and multilingualism. This is a valuable opportunity for translators to develop their professional skills and to gain experience of working at a national cultural organisation.

The deadline for applications is 13.00 on 14 February 2018.

Interviews will be held at the British Library, St Pancras, probably in the w/b 12 March 2018.

How to apply

Before applying, please consult the 

If you have any questions that are not addressed in the FAQs, please send these to to TIRapplications@bl.uk.

To apply, please send the following three documents to TIRapplications@bl.uk

  • your CV
  • a covering letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a translator-in-residence at the British Library
  • a proposal (not more than 600 words) outlining what ideas and activities you would plan to pursue during your time as resident

Please send your application to arrive by 13.00 on 14 February 2018 preferably by email to to TIRapplications@bl.uk or in hard copy if necessary to:

Lorna Komenda, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB


British Library Translator in Residence

British Library Translator in Residence

A new residency scheme supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

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