About - Shared Research Repository

About our shared repository service (Beta)

This site brings together the openly available outputs of research produced by six UK cultural and heritage organisations: the British Museum, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), National Museums Scotland, Tate, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the British Library.

Our organisations are research active, working with partners both nationally and internationally. Our research informs and supports almost every aspect of our work, be it curation, conservation, preservation, resource discovery, digital innovation or learning. Whether it’s a major exhibition or a new way to discover or understand a unique part of our collections, it has been enabled by staff research.

We are also Independent Research Organisations (IROs), meaning we are non-Higher Education organisations able to receive public funding for our research. It is important we make the outputs of that research as open as possible to allow future researchers to take advantage of and build on our work.

Shared research repository

Our repositories house material such as journal articles, conference papers, books & book chapters, reports, data, images and blog posts. The content is made available for you to read and download to support your own research.

The British Library’s Shared Repository service has started with six separate repositories for the six partners. You can visit each repository in turn using the links on the homepage, or explore the content of them altogether through the shared search feature on this site.

The 15-month pilot project was announced in July 2018. Our aims for the pilot project go beyond the creation of the repository itself and include the following:

  • To establish a research repository for the British Library to improve access to our own research.

  • To investigate the feasibility of, and interest in, a shared repository to support the research of other cultural and heritage institutions alongside our own.

  • To explore sustainable future business and service options relating to shared repository activities for a wider range of content and research, and for institutions both within and beyond cultural and heritage organisations as required.

Repository platform

The repository is built by Ubiquity Press using Samvera Hyku, a rapidly developing open source repository software in which multi-tenancy is a key feature. The British Library’s shared repository pilot project is an early adopter of the Hyku platform.

Further information

The Beta repository service launched in November 2019 and will continue as Beta for the next few months. All six partner organisations will continue to add content, some additional features will be introduced, and we will evaluate the impact and benefits of the project so far.

The British Library is also exploring options for moving to a full repository service from April 2020. Contact us now to stay in touch with our plans for beyond the pilot.