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.


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.


Explore the world of Cartonera publishing at the British Library

13 May 2019

Learn about Cartonera, a grassroots publishing movement born from economic crisis in South America, at a free workshop at the British Library on 17 May.

New AHRC CDP PhD studentships available at the British Library

19 February 2019

The British Library is collaborating with university partners to award PhD funding for 4 new doctoral research projects starting in October 2019.


Proposing a new research collaboration with the British Library

How to propose a new research collaboration with the British Library.

Case studies

More Case studies
…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.

…I have particularly enjoyed developing new knowledge of the Library’s web archiving work.…

Exploring the challenges and opportunities of collecting interactive web-based works.

…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

Cartonera: Latin American Cardboard Books

Find out about editoriales cartoneras, or ‘cardboard publishers’

MA in Early Modern English Literature: Text & Transmission


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 Commercial Award Winner: 'The Library Collection'

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This guest blog post is by the team led by fashion designer, Nabil Nayal - winner of the BL Labs Commercial Award for 2018 - for his Spring/Summer 2019 collection, presented at the 2018 London Fashion Week. Nabil Nayal's SS19...

Staying Late at the Library ... to Algorave

Friday, March 29, 2019

Blog article by Algorave audio-visual artist Coral Manton. Coral is curating this British Library Lates Algorave in collaboration with British Library Events, BL Labs, Digital Scholarship and The Alan Turing Institute. On the 5th April British Library Lates will host...

Algorave till Late in the Imaginary City

Thursday, March 28, 2019

These are exciting and busy times for BL Labs and the digital scholarship team, and we have a few digital/art-themed events next week - book your tickets and come along! Friday 5th April sees the long-anticipated launch of the Imaginary...

BL Labs 2018 Commercial Award Runner Up: 'The Seder Oneg Shabbos Bentsher'

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

This guest blog was written by David Zvi Kalman on behalf of the team that received the runner up award in the 2018 BL Labs Commercial category. The bentsher is a strange book, both invisible and highly visible. It is...

More blog posts