PhD Webinars: Get Started with the British Library

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A series of webinars to introduce PhD students to the British Library collections.

Published date:

What’s the British Library? What’s in the collection? How can I find what I need? Join us for a series of online webinars to find out how to kick off your research.

Pick up the basics with our introductory webinar, and then choose from our range of modules, each introducing an area of the Collection so you can focus on what will be relevant to you. 

All the sessions take place on Wednesday afternoons between 13 January and 3 March 2021.

They’re all free and you can join as many as you like. In fact, we recommend you do, because you never know what you might find. Please book in advance, as places are limited.

What to expect

The webinars will be a mix of presentations from British Library experts and smaller breakout groups, with curatorial staff introducing you to collection areas and research methods to give you a flavour of what the Library can offer. You’ll also have the chance to chat directly with the Library’s curators and fellow researchers, and ask our specialist reference teams for advice on searching our catalogues.

Register now

Module 1: Getting Started: Researching at the British Library (13 January)

The perfect place to start. You’ll get an overview of the Library’s extensive collection, plus practical tips on how to use our catalogues and navigate our digital resources. Suitable for researchers of all disciplines and subject areas. 

When booking this webinar you will be able to choose which additional modules (see below) you would like to attend.

Module 2: The Americas & Oceania Collections (20 January)

Learn about the extraordinary scope of the Americas and Oceania collections, in manuscript, print, microform, recorded and digital formats.  Additional breakout sessions provide a closer look at the Oceania, Canada & the USA, Caribbean and Latin American collections.

Module 3: Asian & African Collections (27 January)

Covering hundreds of languages, you’ll learn more about the Asian & African collections at the Library. Breakout sessions provide a closer look at material from Africa, South East Asia, South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East & Central Asian.

Module 4: British and European Collections (3 February)

This module will appeal to all researchers undertaking PhDs with a particular focus on History, Literature, History of Art, Religious Studies and the History of Science and Medicine in the Western Heritage, British and European collections.

Module 5: Not Just Books… (10 February)

Web archives, metadata, media and more. Discover more about collection areas you might not have considered for your research. Join breakout sessions to find out more about handling conservation items, the Endangered Archive Programme and the many digital research methods and collections.

Module 6: Music Collections (17 February)

Several million items of printed music, original manuscripts, private papers and sound recordings in the collection span all genres from Purcell to Panufnik, from Punk and Pop. Learn more about how this collection can aid your research not just in music, but anthropology, history and culture.

Module 7:  Contemporary Society & Culture Collections (24 February)

How can you unlock the potential of millions of collection items? We’ll give you some tips. Learn how to navigate the manuscript, archival, digital and print sources for the study of 20th- and 21st- century Britain and Ireland, including resources that are unavailable elsewhere.

Module 8: Still Not Just Books… (3 March)

Whatever your research, maps, sounds, science and visual arts could play a part. We’ll introduce you to collections you might not be aware of, with breakout sessions also covering the India Office and everything you could find in our Sound & Vision archives.



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