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The British Library's Content Strategy 2013-15

Our content strategy guides our decision-making about the content we acquire: under Legal Deposit, voluntary deposit, purchasing, donation and exchange. It gives staff and users a clear sense of how the Library is taking its acquisitions activity forwards. It builds upon our content strategy 2006 which approached content development by Discipline and Subject for the first time, as well as emphasising digital content and the role of connecting to content held externally. 

The British Library's role

The British Library is the UK’s national library. Our purpose is to make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment. We build, curate and preserve the UK’s national collection of published, written and digital content. We make our collections and expertise accessible to researchers from all disciplines, and we help businesses to grow with access to information and advice. We engage the public with enriching and enjoyable cultural experiences, and we inspire young people to explore our collections and develop enquiring minds. We have a global role, contributing to the advancement of knowledge around the world and we partner with others to connect people with information wherever it is held.  

Our content strategy

Our content strategy is the framework which guides the Library’s acquisition streams – Legal Deposit, purchased acquisitions, voluntary deposit (e.g. of sound recordings), donation and exchange. Its purpose is to give staff and users a clear sense of how the Library is taking its acquisitions activity forwards. It is expressed in summary form as Key Principles, which we use to guide our decisions. 

From Stored Knowledge to Smart Knowledge is our content strategy for 2013-15. It is a refresh of our content strategy of 2006, which approached content development by Discipline and Subject for the first time and placed increased emphasis on digital content.  It is, therefore, an evolution in our content development, rather than a revolution:

Read From Stored Knowledge to Smart Knowledge: The British Library’s Content Strategy 2013-15 (PDF)

Our content strategy takes a Discipline and Subject approach, as explained above. At the British Library, we organise subjects under three Disciplines: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science, Technology & Medicine. Each Discipline has written a summary of their content strategy:

Read Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science, Technology & Medicine Content Strategy Summary (PDF).

Further information

Please email Richard Price, Head of Content and Research Strategy, richard.price@bl.uk


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