Birmingham City Council

Archives Information for Young People

Information for Young People


What is the archives?

Part of the library where we keep all kinds of records about the City of Birmingham and the people that live here or lived here in the past.




What do we keep in the archives?

We collect letters, photos, notes from meetings, plans and maps, drawings and paintings, diaries, hospital and school records, sound recordings and oral history.




Why do we keep them?

We keep them as a record of what happened in our City in the past and as a record of what is happening now. It is so people like you can find out about, when their house was built, what the City centre looked like, what people thought about living in Birmingham, what the Council spent money on, who lived in which parts of the city and what they did there... anything you can think of that happens or has happened in Birmingham.





Who can use the material?

Everyone! The archives are open to everyone to come and look at things that they are interested in. To join the City Archives you need to have some identification with proof of your address and signature. If you don't have this, you need to bring your library card and come with a parent or carer on your first visit, so that you can join.




How do we look after the archives?

We store things carefully so that they will last forever! Some things are too fragile for people to see as they are falling apart. We try to make copies of the things that get looked at a lot. We ask people to take care when looking at records, use book supports, wear gloves and only use a pencil. Sometimes things have to go to conservation to be taken care of and protected so that they don't fall apart.


Where are we?

The Archives service is now in the Library of Birmingham.