Unearth Birmingham’s hidden treasures from home this half-term

History resources to go on line as part of heritage project.

The Everything to Everybody Project and Mrs History will be presenting four fun, free resources for children and their families this half-term. The resources, which can be used at home, individually or as part of a family group, introduce children and young people to one of Birmingham’s hidden treasures, Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library.

Created by Mrs History the resources are part of Everything to Everybody Project – an ambitious three-year celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the vast Shakespeare Memorial Library housed within the Library of Birmingham.

The Everything to Everybody Project aims to give the city’s uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to the people, and is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding also contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands.

The first of ten resources, designed especially for the Everything to Everybody Project, are aimed at families with primary school age children, although they could be adapted for older children. Covering Dynamic Duos, Impressive Expressions, Victorian Letters and Playbills children are invited to draw their own comic strips, create theatrical masks, write to a family member, and design an advertisement for their own family show!

Rachel Hunter Rowe of Mrs History said: “Our aim is to produce resources that introduce many of the themes, personalities and physical objects associated with the Shakespeare collection, to a family audience. We are keen to reveal to younger audiences the significance of the formation of the Shakespeare Memorial Library in the context of Victorian Birmingham. We also hope to draw links between Shakespeare’s plays and aspects of the primary curriculum. This way, the themes of the resources will be familiar enough to children and young people that they can confidently, actively lead the experience with the adults.”

Everything to Everybody Project Director, Professor Ewan Fernie commented: “These resources are a wonderful and engaging way for children and young people to begin to explore the publicly-owned treasures held at Birmingham’s Shakespeare Memorial Library. We’re delighted that the brilliant Mrs History have created activities which can be downloaded at home during the pandemic, alongside resources which will open up Birmingham’s great and neglected Shakespeare heritage for children when we’re able to invite them back inside.”

Families downloading the resources are encouraged to share their artworks, letters and designs tagging the Everything to Everybody Project on Facebook, twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #EverythingtoEverybody.

Mrs History are one of a host of community partners working as part of the Everything to Everybody Project to work with Birmingham’s communities to explore, interrogate and improve the World’s first great Shakespeare Library.

You can download the Mrs History Everything to Everybody Project resources here.