Training and events

British Library PhD symposium 2016

The Library organises a range of research training and events, from doctoral training initiatives to lectures by distinguished scholars.

We deliver a variety of training activities to support postgraduate and early career researchers, and courses for lifelong learners.

We host lots of events that inspire research interest in our collections and resources, or that promote research about collections at the Library.

Research training and events are run by departments across the Library. Please follow the links below for more information and contact details.


Doctoral research

We support postgraduate research in a variety of ways. Our annual series of Doctoral Open Days offer first-year PhD students a practical introduction to using the Library. Experts at the Library regularly supervise collaborative PhD studentships, and we are a partner in several doctoral training consortia. Find out more about our Doctoral Programmes

MA in Early Modern English Literature

The Library's Curatorial and Learning teams collaborate with King’s College London on an MA in Early Modern English Literature - a unique course that is taught at the British Library.

The programme offers the opportunity to study early modern literary culture in light of recent critical approaches and alongside the original printed books and manuscripts of the period (including the works of Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson and more).

The MA is ideal for students seeking to study early modern literature beyond undergraduate level, and as preparation for a research degree.

PG Cert in Applied Data Science

The British Library worked with Birkbeck, University of London and The National Archives to co-develop a trial of a one-year part-time postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), Computing for Cultural Heritage in 2019-2021.

Following on the successful completion of the trial in Spring 2020, from January 2021 Birkbeck now offers the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Data Science. This new course is broader in nature so as to provide the wider information professional community, whilst supporting individuals to apply the course content to their own contexts (such as cultural heritage) through the final work-based module.

Online courses

The Library works with FutureLearn and university partners to develop online courses based around our content and collections.


Seminars and talks

Research events are organised by departments across the Library and cover a wide range of topics.

The events listed below are annual events in the Library calendar. Follow the links to the individual event pages above for more information and contact details for the relevant Library teams.

BL Labs Symposium

The British Library Labs (BL Labs) Symposium is an annual event and awards ceremony showcasing innovative projects that use the British Library's digital collections and data. It provides a platform for highlighting and discussing issues around the use of the Library’s and other organisations' digital collections for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

Find out about past and future BL Labs Symposia.

Eccles Summer Scholars Seminar Series

Each summer the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library hosts a series of free lunchtime events where writers and scholars discuss their work and forthcoming publications in an informal setting. Drawing on current research in the collections, the sessions also offer an opportunity for the audience to learn more about the depth and breadth of the British Library's North American collections.

Visit the Eccles Centre webpages to find out more about the Summer Scholars Series and details of upcoming events.

Panizzi Lectures

The Panizzi Lectures are an annual series of talks at the British Library which present original research on the history of book. Each year, an eminent scholar is invited to deliver three lectures. The lectures are free to attend and normally take place in the winter.

Find out about the history of the series, recordings of past events, and details of future lectures on the Panizzi Lectures page.

More events at the Library

There are many events at the  Library throughout the year that involve research content.

Public events include exhibitions informed by research at the Library, talks from leading academics, and learning programmes.

Find out about the latest cultural events, and contact the Box Office with any questions.


Research training and events

Computing for Cultural Heritage

Trialing a new postgraduate certificate, Computing for Cultural Heritage, with The National Archives and Birkbeck University

The Panizzi Lectures

The Panizzi Lectures on bibliography

All projects