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Library of Birmingham

Location: Birmingham
Region: The Midlands

Postcode: B1 2EA

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The Library of Birmingham, an architectural masterpiece in Centenary Square, is more than just a repository of books. Merging modern design with a rich historical collection, it stands as a beacon of knowledge and cultural vibrancy in the heart of Birmingham.

Visitor Information: Library of Birmingham

  • Library of Birmingham

    The Library of Birmingham, situated in the heart of the bustling Centenary Square, is not just an ordinary library. It is a confluence of knowledge, architecture, and civic pride, offering an unrivalled experience to its visitors.

    A Modern Architectural Gem: Designed by the renowned Dutch architects, Mecanoo, the library was opened in September 2013 and soon became an iconic addition to Birmingham’s skyline. Its intricate metal façade, inspired by Birmingham’s industrial past and the city’s jewellery heritage, makes a striking impression. The building, with its series of overlapping rotundas, interlocking spaces, and the shimmering circles on its façade, is as much a piece of art as it is a repository of knowledge.

    Inside the Knowledge Hub: Housing over one million physical volumes, the Library of Birmingham stands as one of the most significant public libraries in the UK. It boasts extensive reference works, rich historical archives, and a vast collection of photographs chronicling the city’s history.

    Special collections, like the Shakespeare Memorial Room, are a treat for literature lovers. This wood-panelled room, initially part of the 1882 library, was meticulously relocated to the new building, preserving a piece of Birmingham’s literary history.

    More Than Just Books: While books form its core, the library is also a hub for community activities. It boasts a studio theatre, an exhibition gallery, and spaces for music and other performances. These arenas frequently host events, workshops, and talks, making the library a living, breathing space of cultural exchange.

    View from the Top: For those interested in panoramic views, the library’s rooftop terraces offer an unparalleled vista of the city. It’s a quiet space to take in the urban sprawl, reflect, or simply enjoy the architecture from a different vantage point.

    The Library of Birmingham is not just a place to borrow books; it’s a testament to the city’s commitment to knowledge, culture, and community. Its innovative design coupled with its extensive collections make it a must-visit destination in the heart of Birmingham. Whether you’re an ardent book lover, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful spot in the city, the Library of Birmingham awaits with its treasures.

  • Highlights
    Not to be missed when visiting

    Striking Architecture: The library’s futuristic design, with its intricate metal façade, has made it a modern landmark in Birmingham.

    The Shakespeare Memorial Room: A room originally constructed in 1882, now perched atop the new building, dedicated to the Bard with a treasure trove of artefacts.

    Terrace Gardens: The library offers outdoor terraces on the 3rd and 7th floors, providing visitors with panoramic views of the city.

    Breath-taking Views: The ‘Secret Garden’ on the 7th floor offers a splendid view of the city skyline, especially during sunset.

    Children’s Library: A dedicated space for young readers, full of colours, interactive displays, and of course, books.

    The Photography Collection: A vast collection of historic and contemporary photographs.

    Archives and Collections: The library boasts vast archives, including the Boulton and Watt archive and the Parker collection of children’s books.

    Music Library: Home to an impressive collection of scores, recordings, and even practice music rooms.

    Digital Technology: Interactive screens, online archives, and other modern technologies are seamlessly integrated.

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