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

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

Building the New Media Writing Prize Special Collection

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The New Media Writing Prize is awarded annually to interactive works that use technology and digital tools in exciting and innovative ways. Organised by Bournemouth University, the prize is now in its 12th year and open for entries until 26th...

Subjects Wanted for Soothing Sounds Psychology Studies

Friday, July 9, 2021

Can you help University of Reading researchers with their studies examining the potential therapeutic effects of looking at ‘soothing’ images and listening to natural sounds on mental health and wellbeing? Sound recordings for this research have been provided by Cheryl...

Euro 2020: What to Read (Part II)

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

With Euro 2020 in full swing, we've come up with a few football-related titles from the collections. Next up, France, Italy and Poland... “Sports and politics both thrive on hope, and both largely consist of disappointments”, wrote Laurent Dubois in...

Adding Data to Wikidata is Efficient with QuickStatements

Monday, June 14, 2021

Once I was set up on Wikipedia (see Triangulating Bermuda, Detroit and William Wallace), I got started with Wikidata. Wikidata is the part of the Wikimedia universe which deals with structured data, like dates of birth, shelf marks and more....

More blog posts