Research Libraries UK

AHRC Town Hall: Shaping the future funding landscape to enable collaboration between researchers and academic and research libraries.

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AHRC Town Hall Events

Research Libraries UK (RLUK) Scoping Study

Shaping the future funding landscape to enable collaboration between researchers and academic and research libraries.

26 February 14.00-15.00; 3 March 11.00-12.00


*** Colleagues will only need to register for either the February OR March meeting, these are not separate events but repeat events***

✒️ Register for the 26 February town hall

✒️ Register for the 3 March town hall


The Arts and Humanities Research Council and Research Libraries UK invite you to attend a town hall meeting to shape future funding frameworks and research programmes, in support of collaboration between academic libraries and researchers.

These town halls support a major RLUK scoping study which, in partnership with the AHRC, explores the role and potential of research libraries as partners and leaders of academic research. They also explore the longer-term development of cross-sector collaboration between academics, scholars, and research and academic libraries in order to provide better support and more meaningful partnerships. This includes the constituent parts of many research and academic libraries, or organisations closely associated with them, such as archives, special collections, and university museums.

The aim is to create a compelling vision of the future research library that

  •  Provides quality support for research in AHSS subjects through working in partnership
  •   Increases collaborative opportunities for researchers
  •   Develops new partnerships actively involving library staff
  •   Responds to future skills and resource needs effectively
  •   Grows and utilises library expertise, especially in digital scholarship
  •   Creates new funding frameworks for work in the field

The 60 minutes of this interactive meeting will comprise presentation, discussion and question and answer session.

Now is a particular moment for change in research infrastructure and support, with libraries at the heart of the challenge and the opportunity. We invite all academics and independent scholars working across AHSS subjects, and inter- and multi-disciplinary colleagues. Early-career researchers and those interested in working in collaboration with library, heritage, or cultural institutions are particularly encouraged to attend. Institutions are urged to send delegates to one or other of the events to help shape future strategy and funding guidelines.

There will be an opportunity to submit questions in advance of the meetings.

The meetings will be led by Professor David Baker of Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, and Professor Jane Winters of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

These events will be recorded and speaker presentations may be published by RLUK/and or AHRC. Recordings of questions and discussions will not be published but will be used to inform the ongoing scoping study.


Professor David Baker

David Baker has over 40 years’ experience in higher education, including as Principal and Chief Executive of the University of St Mark and St John (‘Marjon’), Plymouth (now Plymouth Marjon University) and as Deputy Chair/Chair of the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).  While Principal at Marjon, he was Chair of GuildHE and Chair of Universities South West. He is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Information Management.

David has written widely in the field of information science, with 19 monographs and over 100 articles and book chapters to his credit, editing the peer-reviewed Journal of Information and Learning Science along with two major monograph series.  David has significant experience at CEO level with universities and colleges, both in the UK and abroad, having been involved in national-level information management projects within higher education as well as major work with Russell Group and other universities on the development of information provision, research support and online and distance learning development. He is Chair of the Corporate Board of the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, London. 

David is also a professional musician with a first-class degree from Cambridge and a Master’s in Music. He has performed, and still performs both in the UK and abroad and has published and edited widely within his field. He is an accredited tutor with the Royal College of Organists’ Academy, the premier body for tuition for the pipe organ. His book The Organ: a guide to its construction, history, usage and music is a standard text on the subject.


Professor Jane Winters

Jane Winters is Professor of Digital Humanities and Pro-Dean for Libraries and Digital at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She has led or co-directed a range of digital projects in partnership with GLAM institutions, including Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities (with the British Library) and Traces Through Time: Prosopography in Practice across Big Data (with The National Archives of the UK). Currently, she is a partner in the CLEOPATRA project, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network which is exploring how we can study significant transnational political and cultural events as they unfold online; and a Co-Investigator on the Towards a National Collection foundation project Heritage Connector.

Jane’s research interests include digital history, born-digital archives (particularly the archived web), the use of social media by cultural heritage institutions, and scholarly communication. She has published most recently on Non-Print Legal Deposit and web archives, born-digital archives and the problem of search, and the archiving and analysis of national web domains. She has contributed a short chapter on ‘The role of research libraries in promoting open-access resources and maintaining online community’ to Libraries, Digital Information and COVID: Practical Applications and Approaches to Challenge and Change, ed. David Baker and Lucy Ellis (Elsevier, forthcoming 2021).

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