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  • 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 (2017-18 Report2016-17 Report).

    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.


    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.


    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.


    New AHRC call: Celebrating Classical Composers from Diverse Ethnic Backgrounds

    20 October 2020

    British Library support for AHRC call 'Celebrating Classical Composers from Diverse Ethnic Backgrounds'

    Towards a National Collection

    8 April 2020

    British Library involvement in AHRC Programme Towards a National Collection

    Blog posts

    World Digital Preservation Day 2020

    Thursday, November 5, 2020

    World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD) is held on the first Thursday of every November, providing an opportunity for the international digital preservation community to connect and celebrate the positive impact that digital preservation has. Follow #WDPD2020 for discussion throughout the...

    Curating culturally themed collections online: The Russia in the UK Collection, UK Web Archive

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020

    By Hannah Connell, Collaborative PhD Student, King’s College London; British Library I spoke about my position as a curator for the Russia in the UK curated collection as part of the recent Engaging with Web Archives conference (EWA), which was...

    Digital archaeology in the web of links: reconstructing a late-90s web sphere

    Monday, November 2, 2020

    By Dr. Peter Webster, Independent Scholar, Historian and Consultant The historian of the late 1990s has a problem. The vast bulk of content from the period is no longer on the live web; there are few, if any, indications of...

    Maps of Jamaica in the K.Top. Collection

    Monday, October 26, 2020

    A guest post by Chantelle Richardson, Librarian of the National Library of Jamaica and former Chevening British Library Fellow Throughout my year at the British Library, I was privy to seeing some amazing resources. One of my projects focused on...

    More blog posts