Meet the FREYA partners: The British Library

Author: Frances Madden (BL)

Many different organizations are involved in FREYA and in this blog post series we take a closer look at the partners and their work. This time you can read about The British Library.

What is the mission of your organisation?
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and is the largest
national library in the world in term of catalogue items. It is a legal deposit library so
receives a copy of every publication in the UK and Ireland, around 8000 per day. It is
also a major research library and holds a vast collection of materials in a wide variety of
formats including audio-visual material. The Library’s core mission is to make our
intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research inspiration and enjoyment.

 The storage void of the British Library National Newspaper Building at Boston Spa in West Yorkshire - Copyright The British Library Board

The storage void of the British Library National Newspaper Building at Boston Spa in West Yorkshire - Copyright The British Library Board

Why are PIDs important (for your organisation)?
PIDs are an important part of The British Library. It is a registration agency for DataCite
and manages memberships for 108 UK institutions, about 70% of which are UK Higher
Education Institutions. The British Library is also a founder member and registration
agency of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and a national centre for
International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSNs) which are assigned to periodicals and
journals. Improving and expanding the use of PIDs across the organisation is part of the
British Library’s strategic priorities in order to improve the discoverability and
accessibility of our collections.

What do you do in FREYA?
The British Library is working on building the PID Graph, interconnecting information, for
EThOS, the UK’s online registry of doctoral theses and a new pilot research repository
including materials from the library’s data collections, We are also involved in
researching and supporting emerging new types of persistent identifiers, particularly for
physical objects.
The British Library is also leading FREYA’s Ambassador programme. We now have 26
ambassadors from across the world who tell us about their work and in turn spread the
word about FREYA more widely than we could ever manage within the project itself. We
are happy to support the ambassadors with training events and run an annual
competition to fund a place at PIDapalooza to give a paper on a PID related topic on
which they are working. In addition, we are leading the work of creating training
materials around persistent identifiers and are working with other EU projects such as
OpenAIRE Advance to design these materials for different audiences.

What would your perfect (PID) world look like?
In an ideal world, I would like every item in The British Library’s collection to have a
persistent identifier which will either provide access to a digital object or detailed
metadata for restricted digital and analogue material.

AerialviewofBLCopy1- Copyright The British Library Board

Aerial View of the British Library - Copyright The British Library Board

More information
For more information on The British Library, see