Blog Archive


In 2011 Birmingham-based architectural photographer Richard Southall commenced a long term project to document the demise of the old Birmingham Central Library. In July 2015 Southall presented the Library of Birmingham with a series of 20 archival prints documenting the Library before its closure. Southall’s project will continue throughout 2015 / 2016 recording the final demolition of the iconic brutalist building.

Tindal Photo Survey1

The Library recently loaned a community photography exhibition, The Tindal Photographic Survey, to the temporary installation Ghost Streets of Balsall Heath. Presented by Flatpack Festival in association a forthcoming exhibition of work by the American photographer Janet Mendelsohn’s to be shown at Ikon Gallery in 2016. Based on an archive of C19th photographs held in the Library, the Tindal Photographic Survey, which forms part of the Building Sights Archive held by the Library, shows a child’s eye view of Balsall Heath at the start of the last decade if the twentieth century.


In spring 2015 the Library completed the transfer of the entire archive of the photographer and film maker Daniel Meadows to the Library. This marked the culmination of a ten year project celebrated during the showing of retrospective exhibition in the Library in 2014. The material, shipped in over 200 boxes includes work assembled over four decades. It contains many thousands of photographs, rolls of film and contact sheets, posters, magazines, books, receipts, newsletters, correspondence, notebooks, audio tapes, digital stories and other contextualising documents. In May 2015 Meadows and his family visited the Library to see the material in its new home. Meadows has recently completed a series of books published by Café Royal Books and uploading a series of short films relation to the archive on Vimeo.


The Library is loaning a series of posters, period clothes and other items from the forthcoming exhibition At Home with Vanley Burke being shown at the Ikon Gallery from 22nd July. The items will be presented within the larger exhibition in which the contents of Burke’s entire flay will be moved to the gallery. Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections has contributed an essay on the history of Burke’s extraordinary archive to the accompanying exhibition catalogue.

Image: Vanley Burke – Tigers Don’t Cry


Following the successful exhibition Softly Following Stone’s Footsteps at the Library and the ongoing Kern Baby exhibition at Compton Verney the Library will be acquiring a series of works Claridge made in response to the photographs of British customs and festival made by Sir Benjamin Stone, during her residency funded by Turning Point West Midlands. This acquisition completes another long term project which began as a conversation between Claridge and curator Pete James in Arles in 1995.

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