Research is central to our role as the national library of the United Kingdom. It helps us to share our collections and intellectual heritage with people across the globe. You can read about the role of research in our strategic vision, Living Knowledge.

We lead and collaborate with specialists from other cultural organisations and universities on research of all kinds. You can read about our research activities in our Research Reports.

 

What we do

Library staff have extensive research expertise, and their knowledge of our collections underpins many of the Library’s activities, including our exhibitions and learning programmes.

We work in partnership to deliver research projects supported by national and international funding bodies.

We work with a range of partners and funders to offer a variety of fellowship programmes for scholars to pursue their own research interests and develop professional expertise. Find out more about our fellowship opportunities.

We support postgraduate research through a range of programmes for doctoral students. Find out more about our collaborative doctoral studentships, PhD placement scheme and training events for doctoral students.

We play an active role in the national research landscape and contribute to the development of research policy in the UK. This expertise informs our own policy for good research practice at the Library. Find out more about our research policy work.

Get in touch

Find out how to propose a research collaboration with the British Library.

If have questions about research collaboration at the British Library, please contact the Research Development team.

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.

Proposing a new research collaboration with the British Library

An overview of the internal review process for new research collaboration proposals at the British Library.

Research expertise

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

Fellowships

We work with a range of partners and funders to offer a variety of fellowship programmes for projects based at the Library, and grants to support individual research using the Library’s collections.

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

Watch this space for our 2023 Doctoral Open Days!

23 November 2022

British Library Doctoral Open Days 2023

Publication of 2020-21 Research Report

4 October 2022

Publication of the British Library's 2020-21 Research Report.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership opportunities for academic partners

26 September 2022

Opportunities for academic partners to apply to Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme

Blog posts

Skills and Training Needs to Open Heritage Research Through Repositories: Scoping report and Repository Training Programme for cultural heritage professionals

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Do you think the repository landscape is mature enough in the heritage sector? Are the policies, infrastructure and skills in place to open up heritage research through digital repositories? Our brief analysis shows that research activity in GLAMs needs better...

My AHRC-RLUK Professional Practice Fellowship: Four months on

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

In August 2022 I started work on a project to investigate the legacies of curatorial voice in the descriptions of incunabula collections at the British Library and their future reuse. My research is funded by the collaborative AHRC-RLUK Professional Practice...

Call for PhD project partners: ‘Postcolonial Discourse in East European Studies and its Application to British Library Collections’

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The British Library is pleased to invite applications from HEI partners to co-supervise the AHRC PhD project ‘Postcolonial Discourse in East European Studies and its Application to British Library Collections’. Slavonic and Eastern European collections at the British Library are...

Learn more about Living with Machines at events this winter

Friday, October 28, 2022

Digital Curator, and Living with Machines Co-Investigator Dr Mia Ridge writes… The Living with Machines research project is a collaboration between the British Library, The Alan Turing Institute and various partner universities. Our free exhibition at Leeds City Museum, Living...

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