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Library of Birmingham

See artifacts from the life of Shakespeare, explore a vast collection of greetings cards, and be part of Birmingham’s literature festival at this library and museum.

At the Library of Birmingham, you’ll find historical items relating to William Shakespeare, photography displays and 19th-century greeting cards, and books dating back to the 1500s. The library was originally called the Birmingham Central Library, but is now known as the Library of Birmingham in its new location in Centenary Square. This new lending facility and museum will be spread over 10 floors.

Go to the Shakespeare collection to find over 40,000 artifacts about the playwright’s life and work. Among these are around 6,000 photographs and 10,000 programs. Look for a copy of the First Folio. It was printed in 1623 and was the first book to contain all of Shakespeare’s plays. Book lovers will also enjoy the Parker Collection, a set of children’s literature and games. The oldest book dates to 1538.

Photography enthusiasts will appreciate the collections of Birmingham-born Benjamin Stone, who was a British politician. Don’t miss the displays of American and European portrait photographs taken in the mid-1800s. Find one of the biggest collections of silent movie music in the U.K., including a rare piece by Charlie Chaplin, and an exhibition of greetings cards from the early 19th to 20th century.

Younger visitors to the library should explore the Glad Ur Not… galleries. Prints, photographs and storybooks portray the daily life of children during the Industrial Revolution.

Come to the library during the annual Birmingham Literature Festival for talks and poetry readings.  Visit the Library of Birmingham’s official website for full details, plus information on talks and theatrical performances taking place in the outdoor amphitheater.

Located in the city center, the Library of Birmingham is a short walk from major city attractions, including Symphony Hall and Victoria Square. The nearest train station, New Street, is a 15-minute walk away. Public buses stop on nearby Broad Street.

The library is open every day of the year, except for public holidays. From Monday to Friday it’s open until late. Check the website for exact opening hours.


Guide to Exploring around Library of Birmingham


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Lodging Near Library of Birmingham

See all 358 Properties near Library of Birmingham
ibis budget Birmingham Centre $29
ibis budget Birmingham Centre

ibis budget Birmingham Centre

1 Great Colmore Street, Birmingham
     
    3.7
    of 5, from 712 reviews
    0.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Birmingham, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chinese Quarter, Birmingham Hippodrome, and Arcadian Centre. Bullring Shopping Centre and Alexandra Theatre are also within 15 minutes.

    Holiday Inn Express Birmingham - City Centre $59
    Holiday Inn Express Birmingham - City Centre

    Holiday Inn Express Birmingham - City Centre

    19 Holiday Street, Birmingham
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 223 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Situated in Birmingham, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of International Convention Centre and The Mailbox. Bullring Shopping Centre and Alexandra Theatre are also within 15 minutes.

      Novotel Birmingham Centre $44
      Novotel Birmingham Centre

      Novotel Birmingham Centre

      70 Broad Street, Birmingham
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 904 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        A short walk from the the ICC, NIA, Brindley Place & The Sealife Centre. The Bullring Shopping Centre is just a 15 minute walk away. Ideally located in the heart of the entertainment quarter.

        Malmaison Birmingham $84
        Malmaison Birmingham

        Malmaison Birmingham

        1 Wharfside, Birmingham
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 891 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Birmingham, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Chinese Quarter, The Mailbox, and Alexandra Theatre. International Convention Centre and Victoria Square are also within 10 minutes.

          Jurys Inn Birmingham $48
          Jurys Inn Birmingham

          Jurys Inn Birmingham

          245 Broad Street, Birmingham
             
            4.2
            of 5, from 2,494 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            High-rise Jurys Inn Birmingham is a 5-minute taxi ride from Birmingham New Street Train Station, and it's just a little farther to the iconic Bullring Shopping Centre. The International Convention Centre is a 2-minute walk from the hotel.

            Britannia Hotel Birmingham New Street Station $33
            Britannia Hotel Birmingham New Street Station

            Britannia Hotel Birmingham New Street Station

            New Street, Birmingham
               
              2.7
              of 5, from 1,818 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              This centrally located hotel is a 5-minute walk to Birmingham New Street Station and is near the National Indoor Arena, the International Convention Centre, and Bullring Shopping Centre.

              Copthorne Hotel Birmingham $43
              Copthorne Hotel Birmingham

              Copthorne Hotel Birmingham

              Paradise Circus, Birmingham
                 
                3.6
                of 5, from 1,543 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                This modern hotel is adjacent to the International Convention Centre and 150 metres from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

                Hyatt Regency Birmingham $110
                Hyatt Regency Birmingham

                Hyatt Regency Birmingham

                2 Bridge Street, Birmingham
                   
                  4.5
                  of 5, from 1,441 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  In the heart of Birmingham, just minutes walk from New Street Train Station, the Bull Ring Shopping Centre and the vibrant bars on Broad Street. The International Convention Centre is just across the road. Also near the National Indoor Arena, and only 10 minutes by train from both Birmingham International Airport and National Exhibition Centre.