Experimenting with the British Library Digital Collections: #BL_Labs Workshop at #citylis

BL Labs banner

#citylis is honoured to kickstart the British Library Labs Roadshow 2016 with the following event:

Experimenting with the British Library Digital Collections:

A workshop organised by British Library Labs and City University London as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2016).

Location: Tait Building, Room C304, City University London, EC1V 0HB

Map: http://www.city.ac.uk/visit#9605=1

Date: Monday 1st Februrary 2016

Registration: 17:00-17:30. Event start: 17:30. Event ends: 20:00pm

Cost: Free. Open to the public.

Members of the public please pre-register for free in advance here.

#citylis students and staff do not need to pre-register. 

Limited capacity.

BL Labs Roadshow (2016)

Hundreds of thousands of digital items and objects are being created and collected for researchers to use such as digitised manuscripts, sheet music, newspapers, maps, archived websites, radio, performances, TV news broadcasts, and artworks, as well as the more expected items like scanned versions of books.

This wonderful cacophony of content is having a significant effect on how institutions like the British Library support the research needs of their users:

Will people discover new information when they are no longer restricted to viewing a single page from a single book at a time?

How can the BL build systems that provide a coherent route across its content, regardless of whether it is a televised news report or a unique signature drawn in the margins of a map?

How can we use crowd-sourced information, computer vision and machine-learning techniques to provide people with better tools to better judge and interpret the context of illustration or work?

How can we exploit animations and interactive infographics to better convey the information found in our holdings?

This is the research space that British Library Labs explores and we want to encourage students and researchers at #citylis to work with BL Labs and share their research questions and innovative ideas around this.


1700  Registration.

1730  Introduction. Lyn Robinson, Head of Library & Information Science, City University London.

1735  The British Library Labs Project. Mahendra Mahey, Manager of the British Library Labs Project, British Library, will talk about the British Library Labs project which is getting scholars to use the British Library’s incredible digital collections for their research, through various activities such as competitions, awards, events, and projects.

1745  #citylis student panel.  #citylis students Ludi Price, Alison Pope, Daniel van Strien and Wendy Durham will host a question-and-answer panel sharing their experiences of working with the British Library which includes entering the British Library Labs competition, working as a volunteer at the Library, working at International Gaming Day and attending various events at the Library.

1805 Overview projects that have used British Library’s Digital Content and data. Ben O’Steen, Technical Lead for British Library Labs, will  go into further detail about BL Labs projects and ideas. He will highlight some of the challenges and issues faced with using the digital content and data and importantly what the British Library has learned.  He will also briefly show how to access some of the terabytes of data available on the day.

1835 Ideas Lab. Led by the British Library Labs team. Delegates will be encouraged to work together and think of ideas of what they might do with the digital collections and data in light of some of the challenges of working with it. The Labs and #citylis team will be on hand to help and advise.

1915 Pitching and Feedback. Panel comprising of British Library Labs and #citylis staff. Delegates will be asked to pitch their ideas and be given direct feedback from the panel.

1930 Goody bags! Goody bags will be given to the best idea decided by the panel.

* Programme and timings subject to change. Full details including talk summaries and speakers’ bios will be provided in a handout on the day of the event.

More info:








Find out more about postgraduate study in Library and Information Science at #citylis, meet alumni, current students and staff on our next open evening on Wednesday 17 February 2016. Register here.


If you are a current #citylis student,  alumni or Library and Information professional and would like to contribute a post, please contact Dr Ernesto Priego.

For current and future Library and Information Science news, opportunities and events follow the #citylis blog on Twitter @citylis.

About Ernesto Priego

A lecturer at City, University of London. My research interests include digital humanities, library and information science, human computer interaction design, comics scholarship, scholarly communications, open access, open data and open educational resources.
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