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. Find out more about our current portfolio and how to propose a research collaboration with the British Library.

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

If you want to work with us or 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

Publication of Towards a National Collection Interim Reports

17 February 2021

British Library projects publish interim findings as part of the AHRC Towards a National Collection programme.

Publication of 2018-19 Research Report

18 November 2020

Publication of 2018-19 Research Report

Blog posts

Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Between April-June 2021 the British Library and Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, will co-host Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing: an online series of talks exploring publishing practices in Arabic as a site for unfolding intellectual networks, artistic practices...

British Library x British Fashion Council Student Fashion Awards

Monday, March 29, 2021

The British Library and the British Fashion Council held a Virtual Awards Ceremony on 22nd March to celebrate the results of the 2021 research inspired fashion design competition, part of an innovative collaboration between the British Library and the British...

Welcome to the British Library’s new Wikimedian in Residence

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hello, I’m Dr Lucy Hinnie and I’ve just joined the Digital Scholarship team as the new Wikimedian-in-Residence, in conjunction with Wikimedia UK and the Eccles Centre. My role is to work with the Library to develop and support colleagues with...

The game was ne'er so fair

Friday, March 19, 2021

The works and worlds created by Shakespeare have an enduring appeal, his writing emotionally resonates with audiences today, despite being written over four hundred year's ago. This week is Shakespeare Week, and today is also the first day of the...

More blog posts