About Us

An image of the Iron Room in the old library building.
The Iron Room (Ref: Misc Photos / Libraries)

Birmingham Archives & Collections acquires and preserves a wide range of original and printed records relating to the city of Birmingham, its people, businesses, institutions and societies from the 12th to the 21st century.

Our collections, which have been designated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) as being of national and international significance, include business records, letters, diaries, maps, drawings, photographs, films, sound and oral history recordings, title deeds, legal papers, newspapers and the records of societies, churches, schools and institutions of all kinds.

There are many ways to get involved and use our collections…

If you would like to find out more about our holdings, feel free to browse our website and our online catalogue.  For a wide-ranging and interesting selection of online exhibitions, e-learning packages and collection descriptions please visit the Connecting Histories website. If you have any specific questions about our collections, please email us at archives.heritage@birmingham.gov.uk.

If you would like to support us, you can join the Friends of Birmingham Archives & Heritage here.

About our Blog

This blog has been created by the staff of Archives & Collections to help you find out more about the workings of our service and the collections we look after. We hope it will be a place where you can discover information, images and stories about our work collecting, preserving and making records accessible. You can read about our local studies and archival collections and new material we receive as well as learn about cataloguing, public service, digitization and outreach projects in which we are involved.  You’ll get a chance to find out what goes on behind the scenes and we’ll keep you up-to-date with events we are running and exhibitions we are involved in.

But why did we call it the Iron Room?

The Iron Room was a strong room inside the second Birmingham Reference Library (1882-1973). As the most secure place in the building it housed many of the treasures that we still look after in our department today.

Birmingham Post, 1966 (Ref: Newscuttings/Libraries)

Now that we have left our third home in Central Library and moved to the new and improved facilities of the Library of Birmingham we wanted to remember the history of the service.  So in that vein the name of our blog is a celebration of the long tradition of the safeguarding of the records of Birmingham and its people .

We welcome comments on our posts in the ‘leave a comment box’ at the end of each post but if you have any enquiries about our collections, please contact us at archives.heritage@birmingham.gov.uk.

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