About - British Library Research Repository
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Shared Research Repository

British Library research repository

The British Library Research Repository is an open access repository for the research produced by staff and research associates of the British Library.

Research informs and supports almost every aspect of our work, be it curation, conservation, preservation, resource discovery, digital innovation, cultural programming or learning. Whether it’s a major exhibition or a new way to discover or understand a unique part of our collections, it has been enabled by staff research. The outputs of that research have important value for future researchers and we want to make them discoverable and accessible for everybody. 

Repository aims

1. Provide a reliable source of information about research undertaken by British Library staff, individually or in collaboration with other research organisations.

2. Provide a single point of open access to our full-text research outputs wherever possible.

3. Make our research easier to find, and enhance the contribution we make to UK and international research.

4. Respond to the open access expectations of our research funders.

Material not produced by or in association with British Library staff is not eligible for inclusion.


Content in the repository

The repository houses material such as journal articles, conference papers, books and book chapters, reports, datasets, images, exhibition texts and blog posts. Where the full item cannot be added, metadata about the research output is provided together with a link to the full item where possible. Here are some examples of our research outputs in the repository:

~ Our public exhibitions involve many hours of work to prepare, research and interpret collection items for exhibitions such as Karl and Eleanor Marx: Life in the Reading Room

~ Large metadata files and digitised papers are often generated through the work of British Library Labs, such as these xml transcriptions of ancient digitised texts for training OCR.

~ The Library plays a major role in library infrastructural activities such as cataloguing, book conservation and digital preservation, as illustrated by this journal article on automated preservation planning.


Shared repository service

The repository is part of a Shared Research Repository beta service, encompassing the research outputs of a small number of UK cultural and heritage institutions: the British Library, British Museum, Tate, National Museums Scotland, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Our six separate repositories can be visited each in turn or explored together via a single search through the collaborative Shared Repository page. The British Library manages the shared repository service. In the current beta phase, we welcome your feedback as we move towards a full shared repository service.

The other repositories can be found here:

British Museum research repository

Kew research repository

MOLA research repository

National Museums Scotland research repository

Tate research repository 

The repository is built using Samvera Hyku, a rapidly developing open source repository software in which multitenancy is a key feature. The British Library’s shared repository pilot project is an early adopter of the Hyku platform and the Library looks forward to sharing its experience around scalability, multi-tenancy and user experience.

The repository metadata is available for harvesting via the OAI-PMH protocol. The base URL is https://bl.oar.bl.uk/catalog/oai.