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Researching in the North American collections at the British Library

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British Library

Boston Spa

LS23 7BQ

United Kingdom

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For the first time the Eccles Centre's resource training session will be delivered from the Boston Spa (West Yorkshire) reading rooms, which we hope will make it more accessible to researchers at a geographical remove from St Pancras. Free coach pick up from York train station is included.

The British Library’s North American collections are the largest outside of the US, and hold huge research potential. For the same reasons, researchers new to the Library may find the experience daunting and not know how to best approach using the collections. With such vast holdings, even more experienced users are liable to overlook key resources.

The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library organise regular resource training sessions designed to inform researchers about what is available in the Library's North American collections, and how best to navigate the Library's catalogues and databases.

This interdisciplinary day is designed for postgraduate students, and third year undergraduates working on a dissertation topic.


PROGRAMME

10.45 Free coach pick up from York train station to Boston Spa Library

11.30-12.30 Introduction to the North American collections at the British Library, with Dr Mercedes Aguirre (Lead Curator, Americas) and Dr Francisca Fuentes (Assistant Head of the Eccles Centre).

This introduction gives an overview of the collections, with tips on how to be an effective researcher in the Library. It includes a look at the Library’s often overlooked electronic resources, and will conclude with a 'show and tell' of the kinds of resources researchers can expect to uncover.

12.30 - 13.15 Lunch & reader registration

13.15 - 14.00 Overview of the North American Newspapers holdings, with Joanne Cox & David Clayforth

The Library holds over 60 million newspapers from the 17th Century to the present day, including early American newspapers, all housed at Boston Spa. This session will help readers navigate this print cornucopia, and explain how to access newspapers and cover the use of microfilm.

14.00 - 15.00 Breakout Sessions 1 & 2

  1. Working with US Federal Government Documents, with Jennifer Grimshaw (Service & Content Lead Government & Official Publications)
    The British Library has one of the most extensive collections of US Federal Government documents outside of North America. This presentation will introduce you to our collections of Congressional materials in print, in microform and online, explain how to access them, and suggest how they might be used in your research.

  2. Researching North American literature at the British Library, with Dr Mercedes Aguirre & Dr Francisca Fuentes
    This session will explore the wealth of resources the Library holds for literature students, including early published works and manuscripts. We will also consider how historical resources can enrich literary research. Part of the session will be devoted to illustrating subjects chosen by students.

15.15 Free Coach back to York train station

Please allow at least 45 minutes for train reservations.

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British Library

Boston Spa

LS23 7BQ

United Kingdom

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