Digital scholarship blog

Enabling innovative research with British Library digital collections

2 posts from April 2023

19 April 2023

Repository Training Day in Cardiff: Research in GLAM and research repositories to facilitate open scholarship activities for cultural heritage organisations

If you work in the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) sector and want to learn more about research repositories, then register for a hybrid repository training day for cultural heritage professionals hosted by the National Museum Cardiff in Wales on 31 May 2023.  

The British Library’s Repository Training Programme for cultural heritage professionals is funded as part of AHRC’s iDAH programme to support GLAM organisations in establishing or expanding open scholarship activities and sharing their outputs through research repositories.  

Manuscript illustration of Cardiff from the 17th Century showing a river, fields, a church and other small buildings
Insert from John Speeds County maps of Wales first published in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain by George Humble (1610) made available by the National Library of Wales via Flickr Commons


The very first in-person event was in Edinburgh in January, with a follow-up online session in March and a second in-person event in York, hosted by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) at the University of York on 23 March.  

We had attendees from the British Museum, National Museums Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, Towards a National Collection (AHRC) and the ADS in various roles including scholarly communications librarian, digital archivist, project manager and senior researchers in their organisations.  

The full programme for this event is available in a previous blog post. During the event, conversations took place on a range of topics from policy development, embedding research culture in organisations to encouraging staff to be involved in research cycles, different types of workflows in different institutions. In the feedback we received from the audience, there is a need to explore more about research data management, scholarly publishing, challenges in smaller organisations, working with emerging formats and building communities of practice.  

Now looking forward, the last hybrid repository training event will be hosted by the National Museum Cardiff in Wales on Wednesday 31 May. You can see the details below and register here. We are looking forward to meeting everyone who is interested in learning more about research repositories from cultural heritage organisations.  


Who is this training for? 

We invite everyone who is working in a cultural heritage or a collection-holding organisation in roles where they are involved in managing digital collections, supporting research lifecycle from funding to dissemination, providing research infrastructure and developing policies. However, anyone interested in the given topics is welcome to attend. 


What will you learn? 

This one-day training session is designed as a starting point to a broader set of knowledge that will help you to: 


  • Understand the research landscape in cultural heritage organisations, benefits of openness for heritage research, basic concepts of open principles and influencing decision makers 
  • Lay foundations for repository services including stakeholder engagement, policy development, technical overview and project planning 
  • Adopt common principles and frameworks, technical standards and requirements in establishing repository services in a cultural heritage organisation 
  • Explore basics of the scholarly communications ecosystem in the context of cultural heritage practices. 



No previous knowledge of topics is required. However, an understanding of open access will maximise the benefit of the taught content for attendees.  



10:30 - Welcome and introductions

10:50 - iDAH Programme 

    Joanna Dunster, Head of (Research) Infrastructure, AHRC

11:05 - Session 1 Opening up heritage research 

This session covers the topics of understanding the research landscape in GLAM organisations, benefits of openness for heritage research, basic concepts of open principles and frameworks. 

    Ilkay Holt, Scholarly Communications Lead, BL

    Susan Miles, Scholarly Communications Speacialist, BL

11:45 - Q&A / Discussion

12:00 - Break  

12:15 - Session 2 Getting started with heritage GLAM repositories  

This session covers topics on the role of repository infrastructure in open access to heritage research and positioning research repositories in an organisation including policy and development. 

    Ilkay Holt, Scholarly Communications Lead, BL

    Susan Miles, Scholarly Communications Speacialist, BL

12:45 - Lunch

13:30 - Session continues 

13:55 - Q&A / Discussion

14:10 - Session 3: Realising and expanding the benefits 

This module covers technical overview and requirements for running a cultural heritage repository including an overview of BL’s Shared Research Repository, platforms and software, content administration, technical features.   

    Graham Jevon, Digital Services Specialist, BL

    Nora Ramsey, Assistant to Digital Services Specialist, BL

14:30 - Break

14:40 - Session continues

15:00 - Q&A / Discussion 

15:15-15:30 - Closing Remarks


Book your place 

In-person sessions are planned for a maximum of 35 people per event and registrants from cultural heritage institutions will be prioritised. Registration for the event is free. Please fill in this form to book your place.

Please note that registrations for in-person attendance will close at 4pm Friday 26th May and confirmation for in-person attendance will be sent to the registered email address.

Registrations for online attendance will close at 6pm on Tuesday 30th May. Zoom access link will be sent to the registered email address day prior to the event. 

Members of the Research Infrastructure Services Team at the British Library will be delivering the training programme. The team has over 25 years of broad experience and extensive knowledge in supporting open scholarship across the sector and with international partners. They also provide a Shared Research Repository Service for the cultural heritage organisations.  

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions or comments about this training programme.  

03 April 2023

Topics in contemporary Digital Scholarship via five years of our Reading Group

Since March 2016, the Digital Scholarship Reading Group at the British Library has discussed articles, videos, podcasts, blog posts and chapters that touch on digital scholarship in libraries. I've shared our readings up to May 2018 and taken a thematic look at our readings at the intersection of digital scholarship and anti-racism in July 2020.

As the Living with Machines project draws to an end this (northern) summer, I thought I'd give an updated list of our readings since June 2018. I started including more pieces on deep learning, machine learning, AI ('artificial intelligence'), big data, data science, digital history, digitised newspapers, and user experience design for digital collections when we began discussing what became Living with Machines in early 2017. This was partly a way for me to catch up with relevant topics, and partly to lay the groundwork for LwM across the organisation. You can see that reflected in our topics up to May 2018 and onward.

Of course, the group continued to cover other topics, and sessions were suggested and/or led by colleagues including Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert, Annabel Gallop, Graham Jevon, Jez Cope, Lucy Hinnie, Mary Stewart, Nora McGregor, Sarah Miles, Sarah Stewart and Stella Wisdom. Especial thanks to Rossitza Atanassova and Deirdre Sullivan who’ve been helping me run the group in recent years. In 2021 we started using the January session to invite colleagues across the Library to look around and pick topics for discussion in the year ahead.

So what did we discuss from June 2018 to the end of 2022?