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 15-20 courses a year. Since its inception over 550 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 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:

What’s new?

We introduced 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:

We also host a Digital Scholarship Reading Group which discusses an article, conference or video related to digital scholarship each month. It's a great way to keep up with new ideas or reality check trends in digital scholarship (including the digital humanities). 

Finally,we have also joined the Library Carpentry community and are keen to contribute to the development of courses on the fundamentals of computing there for the benefit of British Library staff.

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.