British Library



The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It supports the UK’s research infrastructure, serving business and industry, researchers, academics and students, worldwide, as well as in the UK. The BL receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland via legal deposit. Its collection includes well over 150 million items, in most known languages and grows by approximately three million items a year. A major concern is the collection and preservation of born-digital material, including websites.


The British Library is passionate about providing both physical and digital access to world-class information where and when people need it. Over 16,000 people use the collections of the British Library each day (on site and online). In the course of a year six million searches are generated by the British Library online catalogue and nearly 400,000 people visit the Reading rooms. With these impressive figures and the experience gathered in the past, the British Library demonstrates capability for engaging with the social sciences research community and taking on responsibility for delivering the proof of concept in this area.


The British Library is committed to improving access to, reuse of and tracking impact of research datasets. It is a founding member of DataCite, which assigns persistent digital object identifiers (DOI names) to research datasets, and it is the UK DataCite registration agency. It works with over ninety of the leading data centres, research institutes, and research universities across the UK. These include The Cambridge Crystallographic Centre, Archaeology Data Services, and UK Data Archive; universities including Imperial, Oxford, Manchester, and Southampton; the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and the data centres of the Natural Environmental Research Council. We also work with charitable and government organisations from the Public Health Executive to the Marine Biological Association.