British Library: EThoS Share my Thesis competition

Doctoral students: why not enter the British Library #ShareMyThesis  competition and possibly win a MacBook Pro?

“The British Library is currently running a Twitter based competition for all PhD authors and current doctoral students, inviting them to say why their doctoral research is/was important, using the hashtag #ShareMyThesis.

 Twitter competition –

Competition web page –

 The competition aims to raise awareness of the importance of doctoral research and increase visibility of the PhD thesis as a valuable source of research information. It is generously supported by Research Councils UK and Vitae, and there are some great prizes.

 The range and quality of doctoral research being tweeted in 140 characters is truly amazing. Entries are flooding in already, and you can see them all here

 The competition closes on 9 February, when eight entries will be shortlisted and invited to expand their tweet into a blog post”.



British Library Doctoral Open days

The British Library Doctoral Open Days are a chance for new PhD students to discover the British Library’s unique research materials. From newspapers to maps, datasets to manuscripts, ships’ logs to websites, collections cover every format and language and span the last 3,000 years.

You will learn about BL collections, find out how to access them, and meet staff and other researchers in your field. The events are aimed at first year PhD students who are new to the Library.

To make the most of your day, you may wish to get a free Reader Pass before the event.

100 websites: Capturing the digital universe

“Websites  don’t last forever. Formats change, whole sites disappear and, once lost,  digital content is irretrievable. But from  the 6 April 2013, this will change as the British Library, the National Library  of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge  University Library and Trinity College Dublin, gain powers to archive the entire  UK  web, along with e-journals, e-books and other formats.”

See the You Tube video at:

Curators and other experts  have chosen the top 100 websites that they believe will make essential viewing for future researchers at:  These include Twitter and Facebook and there are some unusual ones such as: Argos,  Moonpig and the Dracula Society.

Europeana 1914-18 Crowdsourcing project

The British Library is digitising 10,00o items (up to 250,00 digital images) of a wide range of material related to the First World War. Digitised content will be available through the Europeana portal as well as through the British Library website. This will form the Library’s contribution to the Europeana  Collections 1914-18.

Roadshows have been held where the public was invited to bring along WW1 photographs, letters, diaries, film or audio together with stories of who they belonged to or why they are significant to their families. Staff from museums and the BL digitised the content and uploaded it to the dedicated Europeana website.  More roadshows are being held in Europe.

UK Web archive from the British Library

UK Web Archive

I recently attended a Digital Scholarship workshop at the British Library. One thing that was discussed was the challenges of preserving access to digital content such as websites which may be short term or disappear without being captured eg an election website. In an attempt to address this, since 2004,  thousands of UK websites have been collected by the UK Web Archive from the British Library and the Archive is growing.

“Here you can see how sites have changed over time, locate information no longer available on the live Web and observe the unfolding history of a spectrum of UK activities represented online. Sites that no longer exist elsewhere are found here and those yet to be archived can be saved for the future by nominating them.

The Archive contains sites that reflect the rich diversity of lives and interests throughout the UK. Search is by Title of Website, Full Text or URL, or browse by Subject, Special Collection or Alphabetical List.”

There is also a:  UK Web  Archive blog

Ngram search

This search is a visual representation of  the occurance of  search terms over a period of time eg  compare David Cameron and Ed Miliband.  This could be used to assess online popularity of a public figure at a given time for example.

British Library


The British Library is the national Library and is based at St Pancras in London. Explore 14 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 58 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and much more. Find what you need – in the arts and humanities, sciences, or any subject. We recommend that all of our researchers join the British Library because of the richness of its resources.

See information on how to register for a reader’s pass at:

See the help for researchers page at: