Seven Stories (they have Ed Vere on the telly in their foyer…)

This time last week I was in sunny Newcastle visiting the wonder that is Seven Stories.  For those of you who don’t know who Seven Stories are, here’s a bit from their website:

We celebrate the art of children’s books, their place in our childhood and in our culture. Seven Stories opened on the 19th August 2005, to showcase a national collection of manuscripts and illustrations of some of the UK’s finest authors and illustrators for children.

There are 3 main parts to Seven Stories.  Firstly there’s the archive, which I’ve been lucky enough to have a look through on a couple of occasions.  They want to create an archive of children’s literature that covers the actual making of the book not just the finished artwork or manuscript, so they have early drafts, rough illustrations, letters between the author and publishers as well.

The collection includes original artwork and manuscripts by around eighty authors and illustrators, including Philip Pullman, Robert Westall, Edward Ardizzone and Judith Kerr, and about 30,000 books.  This means that for Judith Kerr they not only have the original Tiger Who Came to Tea artwork, but also drawings she did as a child.

Just over the bridge they have the main Seven Stories building. This houses their shop, event space, a café with amazing cakes and their exhibitions WHICH ARE INCREDIBLE.  I am not going to go on about them, you can see for yourselves from these pictures:

There are 2 exhibitions on at the moment, Julia Donaldson and Jacqueline Wilson.  In the Jackie exhibition they have even recreated her childhood bedroom.

The third part of their work, when not saving vital manuscripts for the nation and entertaining the world, is the wonderful outreach work they do.  They have brilliant teachers’ resources, run school events, help libraries and generally act as a bastion of all things wonderful.

If you’d like to visit them here are their details.  If you’d like to help them, here’s how. GO AND VISIT THEM.

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7 responses to “Seven Stories (they have Ed Vere on the telly in their foyer…)

  1. I love Seven Stories! It is most most definitely worth the journey if you live down south. Truly! I’ve only been once, when the Puffin exhibit and the Anthony Browne exhibit were on, and they were awesome. Both displays were expertly and carefully created to appeal to the youngest reader through the the adults taking them around. There was something delightful around every corner, and I loved it so much, I’ve accepted a speaking engagement in September so that I can bring my husband and little one to see the Julia Donaldson show.

  2. P.S. I’ve also held and read through an original Enid Blyton typescript which is held in their archives. It was one of the Secret Sevens, I think.

  3. I absolutely MUST go. I’ve been wanting to go for years…

  4. I have the fun and priviledge of working at Seven Stories. I spend my days surrounded by original artwork and manuscripts and getting to meet inspirational people like Anthony Browne, Jane Ray and Michael Rosen. So glad to hear you enjoyed your visit.

  5. sarahb – come on up – we’d love to show you around! Just give us a shout

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