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

British Library and National Trust doctoral fellowships

20 September 2021

British Library and National Trust research partnership and doctoral fellowships

Partnership renewed for Chevening Fellowships at the British Library

22 July 2021

Renewal of Chevening British Library partnership

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.

Blog posts

Investigating German colonialism in the British Library’s collections

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Content warning: This blog reproduces an image from a historical publication which is now considered racist Last week, the Zanzibari writer Abdulrazak Gurnah became the first black African author in 35 years to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Judges...

Open and Engaged 2021: Understanding the Impact of Open in the Arts and Humanities Beyond the University

Monday, October 4, 2021

As part of Open Access Week 2021, the British Library is delighted to host its annual Open and Engaged event online on 25 October. Please join us for Open and Engaged 2021: Understanding the Impact of Open in the Arts...

The travelling Bibles

Friday, October 1, 2021

What would a manuscript tell us if it could recount its travels and describe the places where it lived? The Locating a National Collection project, led by a team at the British Library, is exploring what place references can reveal...

Sailing Away To A Distant Land - Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs - final post

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, former Manager of British Library Labs or "BL Labs" for short [estimated reading time of around 15 minutes] This is is my last day working as manager of BL Labs, and also my final posting on...

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