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British Library Labs Symposium (2019)

British Library Labs

Monday, 11 November 2019 from 09:00 to 17:00 (GMT)

British Library Labs Symposium (2019)

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
BL Labs Symposium 2019   more info 8 Nov 2019 Free  

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Event Details

The BL Labs Symposium is an international annual networking event and awards ceremony showcasing innovative projects which have used the British Library's digital collections and data over the past year. The awards recognise outstanding use of British Library's digital content in the categories of Research, Commercial, Artistic, or Teaching & Learning. This will be our seventh annual symposium.

Photograph of Armand LeroiMIn

We are very proud to announce that this year's keynote will be delivered by scientist Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Imperial College, London.

Date and Time
Monday 11 November 2019, 09:00 - 17:00*
*Registration is from 09:00. The event starts at 10:00 prompt. The closing reception will begin at 16:00.


The British Library, Knowledge Centre, Auditorium, London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom.
Please collect your badge, head upstairs to the first floor and follow the signs to the Auditorium.

The following map details how to get to the event.

Biographies of speakers
The biographies of speakers at the event will be available here once they are confirmed.

Delegate list
A delegate list of the people registered for the event will be available as a google sheet and a pdf. 

See our Digital Projects Archive for examples of using the British Library's digital collections and data
Information about over 150 projects which include previous entrants to the BL Labs Competitions, BL Labs Awards and other work using the British Library's digital collections is available in our Digital Projects Archive

We also recommend you browse our digital scholarship case studies.

The final programme (which includes details about WiFi access) will be available as a google doc and pdf.

Event Feedback
Please ensure that you give us feedback about the event (this helps us to improve the event and learn about what we might be able to do to support you in the future).

09:00 - 09:55  REGISTRATION AND COFFEE in the Knowledge Centre Foyer
Network with new and familiar colleagues and British Library staff. Several BL Labs Awards entrants and other projects will be exhibiting their work and we encourage you to chat to them.

Please take your seats in the main auditorium by 09:55 as we will start at 10:00 sharp


10:00 - 10:10  Welcome and Introduction
Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian, British Library

10:05 - 11:05  Keynote
Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Imperial College

11:05 - 11:25  The Research Award
Allan Sudlow, Head of Research Develoment, British Library

This Award recognises a project or activity which demonstrates the development of new knowledge, research methods, or tools using the Library’s digital content.

Previous winners include: Combining Text Analysis and Geographic Information Systems to investigate the representation of disease in nineteenth-century newspapers, by Ian Gregory et al (2015), Scissors and Paste by Melodee Beals (2016) and A large-scale comparison of world music corpora with computational tools by Maria Panteli et al (2017).

11:25 - 11:35  Speakers TBC

11:35 - 11:50  A Series of 3 Lightning Talks

11:50 – 12:00  The Artistic Award
Conrad Bodman, Exhibitions Manager, British Library

This Award recognises an artistic or creative endeavour that has used the Library’s digital content to inspire, amaze and provoke.

Previous winners include: 'The Order of Things' by Mario Klingemann (2015), 'Hey there Young Sailor' written and directed by Ling Low with visual art by Lyn Ong (2016) and 'Imaginary Cities' by Michael Takeo Magruder (2017).

12:00 - 13:25  LUNCH in the Knowledge Centre Foyer. BL Labs Awards / Projects Showcase

Take this opportunity to network with new and familiar colleagues as well British Library staff if you need any help or advice. Several BL Labs Awards entrants and other projects will be around if you want to chat to them and see their work.

Please return to the main auditorium by 13:25 as the event will start at 13:30 sharp


13:30 - 14:00  Digital Scholarship Projects

Highlights of some of the innovative projects recently completed and underway in the Digital Scholarship Department.

14:10 - 14:20  The Teaching & Learning Award
Ria Bartlett

This Award celebrates quality learning experiences created for learners of any age and ability that use the Library's digital content.

Previous winners include: 'Library Carpentry' by James Baker et al (2016) and 'Vittoria's World of Stories' by Vittoria Primary School (2017).

14:20 - 14:35 Speaker TBC

14:35 - 14:50  British Library Staff Award
David Sparling, Head of Information Technology, British Library

This Award recognises a current member of staff, or team, who has played a key role in an innovative project using the Library’s digital content or data.

Previous winners include: 'Libcrowds' by Alex Mendes (2016) and 'Two Centuries of Indian Print' (2017) by the Two Centuries of Indian Print team.

14:50 - 15:20  Coffee break and networking in the foyer
Please return to the main Auditorium by 15:20 as the final session will start at 15:25 sharp


15:25- 15:35  Speaker TBC

15:35 - 15:55  speaker TBC

15:55 - 16:00  Closing remarks

16:00 - 17:00  NETWORKING RECEPTION in the Knowledge Centre Foyer

Enjoy drinks and nibbles, say hello to new faces and old friends and marvel at the various technologies and projects on display!

17:00  Finish

Event Feedback
Please ensure that you have given us feedback. This helps us to improve the event and learn about what we might be able to do to support you in the future.

Do you have questions about British Library Labs Symposium (2019)? Contact British Library Labs

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When & Where

The British Library
Knoweldge Centre
NW1 2DB London
United Kingdom

Monday, 11 November 2019 from 09:00 to 17:00 (GMT)

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British Library Labs

British Library Labs is an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the British Library which supports and inspires the public use of the British Library’s digital collections and data in exciting and innovative ways. We actively encourage scholars and innovators to work with us, thereby supporting the British Library’s mission to guarantee that the wealth and diversity of the Library’s intellectual digital heritage is available for the research, creativity and fulfilment of everyone.

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