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Into The Unknown: Special Collections at the British Library [Event Ref. No. TG4/BL]


11:45 am - 4:30 pm


British Library
96 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2DB

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cpd25 is pleased to present a unique insight into the inner workings of the British Library. This visit will take you around various parts of the building and there will be presentations from some of the librarians here. You will hear from three special collection Librarians about the work they are doing. You will also hear from a special guest speaker, Dr Gordon Gill, a reader who visits from America to use the reading rooms.



1145-1200 – Delegates meet in the main hall (coats and bags must be placed in the locker rooms)

1205-1300 – About us

Discover more about our history, collections and architecture on a tour of the public areas of the Library.

1300-1400 – Aquiles Alencar-Brayner, Digital Curator

Aquilies will discuss how libraries are using new technology to change the ways people can interact with manuscript. Focusing his attention on digital projects led by the British Library. He will talk about innovative tools such as the Mechanical Curator and how his team seat about communicating with library users through existing social media and other digital platforms.

1400-1415 – Tea Break

1415-1500 – Christian Algar, Rare Books and Music Team

Christian has a keen interest in Plymouth and tales of the sea. He regularly presents workshops on finding Early Printed Material in the Library’s collections. Christian is part of the Rare Books Reference Team and deals with Western printed material published between the 15th Century and 1914 – this includes many of the Library’s Treasures, the likes of which can be seen in the permanent exhibition spaces in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery and through the glass on the shelves of the King’s Tower in the public area of the Library. He will be talking about a small number of objects selected from the British Library’s early printed collections. There will be 15th Century books; fine bindings; fascinating marginalia; old newspapers and, of course, some Shakespeare.   

1500-1520 – Jaimee McRoberts, Newspaper Reference Team

Jaimee has worked with the Library for many years and was the sole Reference Librarian in the Colindale Newspaper Library and now works as part of the News Reference Team in the newly opened Newsroom in St Pancras. She regularly presents workshops on locating news material in the collections and using the news databases such as the British Newspaper Archive. Her talk will help you learn more about the Newsroom and the history of its collections.  

1520-1600 – Steven Dryden, Sound and Vision Team

Steven’s interests include live and performance art. He is part of the sound archive team. He has worked on several projects including Roving Reference, Mobile Tech in Libraries and Academic books of the Future. He does live recordings at festivals and theatres including WOMAD, Battersea arts centre, and Chelsea theatre. His talk will be about the work he does and he will highlight some interesting items from our sound collections.

1600-1615 – Dr Gordon Gill

Dr Gill has lectured on a variety of courses on the History of the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. He is currently working on a book manuscript “Restructuring the Swamp: Labor, Resistance & Identity in the Slave Society of British Guiana, 1800-1834”. He visits the library 3 times a year from America for his research. He will give a presentation about his experiences as a user of the library and how it aids in the work he does.



There is an optional visit to the Magna Carta Exhibition at the end, please indicate if you plan to visit the Magna Carta as we need to book slots for this to ensure you have a place.–law-liberty-legacy

This exhibition was put together by the Manuscript curator team, please see their blog 



British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB



£65 for members and £98 for other institutions.

Cancellations less than one week before the event will be charged a 50% cancellation fee. In the event of a ‘no-show’ on the day, the full fee will be charged.

To book a place please use our online booking form or email the administrator via

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