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

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.

Publication of 2018-19 Research Report

18 November 2020

Publication of 2018-19 Research Report

Blog posts

Adding 1,277 East African maps to Georeferencer

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

I’m delighted that 1,277 maps from our War Office Archive have been added to the Georeferencer in the last few days. These military intelligence maps relate to Eastern Africa, particularly modern-day Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and...

Ranette Prime: Food and Identity in Britain

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

This is the fifth in a series of blogs coming out of the Eccles Centres’ Caribbean Foodways oral history project. Identifying connections between participants’ stories and collection items, each blog explores one of the nine oral history interviews that will...

Sandra Agard: An Ode to Ridley Road

Thursday, May 20, 2021

This is the fourth in a series of blogs coming out of the Eccles Centres’ Caribbean Foodways oral history project. Identifying connections between participants’ stories and collection items, each blog explores one of the nine oral history interviews that will...

Charlie Phillips: The Story Behind Smokey Joe's Diner

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

This is the third in a series of blogs coming out of the Eccles Centres’ Caribbean Foodways oral history project. Identifying connections between participants’ stories and collection items, each blog explores one of the nine oral history interviews that will...

More blog posts