Research underpins all core purposes of the British Library. We play a key role in the UK research community and work with national and international partners to support and stimulate research of all kinds.

We lead and support research projects, supervise a range of collaborative PhDs, research placements and fellowships, and run a regular programme of training events. Our staff have extensive research expertise and we contribute actively to the development of research policy.

Our activities are summarised in the 2016-17 Research Report.


In addition to exploring these pages, you might find the following areas of the British Library’s website of interest:

Our Reference team can answer subject-specific research enquiries.

Find out how we contribute to Learning and higher education.

Read about our International collaborations.


How we collaborate

Doctoral research

We support postgraduate research through our Reading Rooms and online resources, through collaborative projects, and through research training events.

Projects and partnerships

We actively lead on and support research.

Research expertise

Our research, professional and methodological expertise covers all disciplines and spans traditional and digital scholarship in all its forms.

Training and events

We convene and support research events and training activities throughout the year.

Policy

As the national library of the United Kingdom, we are an integral part of the national research infrastructure and have an active approach to research and higher education policy.

News

Collaborative MA and PhD opportunity in Digital Humanities with Lancaster and Manchester Universities and the British Library

23 January 2019

ESRC funding is available to support this 1+3 CASE MA and PhD opportunity in Digital Humanities

British Library PhD Research Placements: Call for Applications

14 January 2019

Apply to undertake one of our forthcoming PhD research placements.

British Library publishes inaugural Research Report

24 September 2018

Find out about the British Library's diverse research activity.

Case studies

More Case studies
…I am incredibly lucky to be working within an institution that encourages self-reflection.…

Researching Hans Sloane’s books, one of the foundation collections of the British Library.

…You get to know how people work in an institution like this... it's something I would like to do as well.…

Exploring the working life of a twentieth-century scientist through the archive of John Maynard Smith.

…Working with the British Library has enabled me to get my research out there beyond academia.…

How smartphones are changing storytelling: Alastair Horne, PhD student.

…Data visualisation tools allowed me to present a new perspective on the EAP projects in Africa…

Data visualisation tools allowed me to present a new perspective on the EAP projects in Africa.

Research collaboration events

Doctoral Open Days 2018/19

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Practical and inspiring open days for first year PhD students.

MA in Early Modern English Literature: Text & Transmission

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The British Library is working in partnership with King’s College London to teach an MA in English literature, entitled Early Modern English Literature: Text and Transmission.

Blog posts

BL Labs 2018 Research Award Honourable Mention: 'HerStories: Sites of Suffragette Protest and Sabotage'

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

At our symposium in November 2018, BL Labs awarded two Honourable Mentions in the Research category for projects using the British Library's digital collections. This guest blog is by the recipients of one of these - a collaborative project by...

BL Labs 2018 Research Award Honourable Mention: 'Doctoral theses as alternative forms of knowledge: Surfacing "Southern" perspectives on student engagement with internationalisation'

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

This guest blog is by Professor Catherine Montgomery, recipient of one of two Honourable Mentions in the 2018 BL Labs Awards Research category for her work with the British Library's EThOS collection. ‘Contemporary universities are powerful institutions, interlinked on a...

Interactive Fiction in the UK

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Nick Montfort suggests interactive fiction stories are ‘computer programs that display text, accept textual responses and then display additional text in reaction [to those responses]’.[1] Since there’s no agreed definition of interactive fiction (IF), Montfort’s is as good a starting...

Reading 35,000 Books: The UCD Contagion Project and the British Library Digital Corpus - Workshop & Roundtable

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A guest post by Geradine Meany, Professor of Cultural Theory in the School of English, Drama and Film and Derek Greene, Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science, both at the University College Dublin who are organising a FREE...

More blog posts