Digital Scholarship Staff Training Programme

Curator looking at computer screen

The Digital Scholarship Training Programme creates opportunities for staff to develop necessary skills and knowledge to support emerging areas of modern scholarship.

Published date:

About

This internal and bespoke staff training programme is one of the cornerstones of the Digital Curator Team’s work at the British Library. Running since 2012, it provides colleagues with the space and opportunity to delve into and explore all that digital content and new technologies have to offer in the research domain today. The four-member Digital Curator team oversees the design and delivery of roughly 30-40 training events a year. Since its inception over 700 individual staff members have come through the programme, on average attending two or more courses each and the Library has seen a step change in its capacity to support innovative digital research. 

Objectives

  • Staff are familiar and conversant with the foundational concepts, methods and tools of digital scholarship.
  • Staff are empowered to innovate.
  • Collaborative digital initiatives flourish across subject areas within the Library as well as externally.
  • Our internal capacity for training and skill-sharing in digital scholarship are a shared responsibility across the Library.

The Programme

Courses

As digital research methods have changed overtime, so too have course topics and content. Today's full course catalogue reflects this through a diversity of topics from cleaning up data, digital storytelling, to command line programming and geo-referencing.

Courses range from half-days to full-day workshops for no more than 15 attendees at a time and are taught mainly by staff members but also external trainers where necessary. Example courses include:

Hack & Yacks

We host a monthly “Hack & Yack” to run alongside the more formal training programme. During these two-hour self-paced casual meet-ups, open to all staff, the group works through a variety of online tutorials on a particular digital topic. Example sessions include:

Digital Scholarship Reading Group

The Digital Scholarship Reading Group holds informal discussions from 2-3pm on the first Tuesday of each month. Each month we discuss an article, conference or video related to digital scholarship. It's a great way to keep up with new ideas or reality check trends in digital scholarship (including the digital humanities). We welcome people from any department in the Library, and take suggestions for topics that are particularly relevant to diverse teams or disciplines.

21st Century Librarian Staff Talk Series

The Digital Scholarship team hosts the 21st Century Curatorship Programme (C21st), a series of professional development talks and seminars, open to all staff, providing a forum for keeping up with new developments and emerging technologies in scholarship, libraries and cultural heritage.

What’s new?

In 2019, the British Library and partners Birkbeck University and The National Archives were awarded £222,420 in funding by the Institute of Coding (IoC) to co-develop a one-year part-time postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), Computing for Cultural Heritage, as part of a £4.8 million University skills drive. The new course aims to provide working professionals, particularly across the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), with an understanding of basic programming, analytic tools and computing environments to support them in their daily work. 

Further information

Please also see our two conference papers from Digital Humanities 2013 and Digital Humanities 2016 for more details. Any queries about this project can be directed to digitalresearch@bl.uk.