Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Library of Birmingham official opening

The new £189 million Library of Birmingham has its official opening today. The BBC has fuirtehr details at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-23934792, including a short 2 minute video offering a peak inside with library director Brian Gambles.

There's a furtehr series of images of the exterior, interior and construction work at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-23863110

UPDATE: The building will open to the public on the 9th - see Jacqui Kirk's comment below (with thanks to Jacqui).


My wife Claire is planning to swim from the Scottish island of Cumbrae to the town of Largs on September 14th to raise money for local charity Gillian's Saltire Appeal, providing respite for families affected by cancer (Claire's mum and sister in Ireland have previously come through cancer, whilst my mum, based in England, currently has bladder cancer). Her Just Giving sponsorship page, with further details, is at http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Paton1. If you can help to sponsor her, even by a wee amount, we'd be very grateful - many thanks!


  1. Finished at last - hopefully we'll get back to normal service after what seems like years of reduced service - book three weeks in advance for a place in the search room - then nothing for nearly a year.

    Not sure about the building itself but it has to be better than the old one. I always felt a bit uneasy in case it fell down and it was so dark and gloomy - we have been waiting 20 years for a new one. We have had several false starts so it is good that they finally followed through. I'll have to re-register my library card now......

    Will go and take a look as soon as the fuss has died down. It will be nice to have access to up to date GRO registers again and the newspapers. Hope that they have spent some money on re-filming those - Ari's Birmingham Gazette was in a shocking state and one of the few sources for Assizes trials around here and I won't mention the film readers! Access again to the National Probate Calendar volumes - great for a workout -and the Army, Navy and Air Force Lists at last.....hooray!

    As you've guessed I've missed it while it's been away.

  2. Just an update - the archives won't be open until 9th Sept now called the Wolfson Centre it seems

    see http://theironroom.wordpress.com/

    and we'll still have to book an appointment although hopefully there are now more search room places and that may change with time.

  3. Extra update as one of the members of my family history visited recently.

    Many of the old volumes previously on display on open shelve ie printed indexes to local parish registers, phillimore marriage indexes etc are now housed in the moveable stacks presumably to save space. However this means only one person can access them at a time. She reported queues.

    However it does look as if they do have new microform readers. She didn't try them out though. But we have access to the up to date GRO indexes again hopefully!

  4. Thanks Jacqui, and good news on the up to date GRO indexes - they could really do with making them more widely available across England and Wales!