Seven Stories

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Seven Stories - The National Centre for Children's Books
Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street - - 1777745.jpg
The exterior of Seven Stories
Established 2005
Location Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Type Children's literature and illustration from 1930s to the present day
Director Kate Edwards
Public transit access Manors, Byker (Tyne and Wear Metro)

Seven Stories - The National Centre for Children's Books is a museum and visitor centre dedicated to children's literature and based in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, close to the city's newly regenerated quayside. The renovated Victorian mill in which it is housed has seven levels.[1] It is the first and only museum in the UK wholly dedicated to the art of British children’s books.[2] Their archive is housed in a separate building in Felling.[3]


Seven Stories opened in August 2005 after a £6.5 million conversion from a former granary building.[4]

In March 2006 the centre received the Centre Vision Award, the Civic Trust’s national award for best practice in town centre regeneration.[5]

Seven Stories celebrated their fifth birthday in August 2010 with an exclusive golden ticket event with popular children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.[6]

In September 2010, Seven Stories purchased several original typescripts by Enid Blyton, making Seven Stories the largest public collector of Blyton material. The purchase was made possible by special funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, and two private donations.[7]

In 2010 Seven Stories was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Award, made for distinguished service to the world of British children’s books.[8]

In 2012 Seven Stories became The National Centre for Children's Books, a registered charity.[9][10]

The centre closed for refurbishment in April 2015. The refurbishment was intended to focus on improving the visitor experience, functionality for school groups and the energy efficiency of the building.[11] The centre re-opened on Sunday 19 July 2015.[12]

In October 2015 author Michael Morpurgo donated a collection of manuscripts, notebooks and letters to the museum.[13]


Seven Stories has a changing programme of exhibitions aimed at both children and adults. Seven Stories brings together original manuscripts and illustrations from some of the UK's best loved children’s books, to excite visitors in an exploration of creativity, literature and art. Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Jones, Philip Pullman and Quentin Blake are among some of the centre's most distinguished patrons.[14]

Seven Stories curates its own exhibitions, many of which go on to tour nationally including Judith Kerr, Anthony Browne and Jacqueline Wilson. They also provide a range of workshops, visits and resources for schools and education professionals from pre-school to post graduates including the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with which it jointly hosts a number of PhD studentships funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.[15]

Many children's authors and illustrators visit the centre to run workshops and give talks, including David Almond, Catherine Rayner, Michael Foreman, Terry Deary, Judith Kerr, Julia Donaldson, Mick Manning, Brita Granström and Oliver Jeffers.[3][16]

Activities include dressing-up and dramatic fun, creative writing and wordplay, illustration and craft. The museum includes one of the largest independent, specialist children’s bookshops in Britain, with over 50,000 titles.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oakden, Rachael (23 December 2015). "Take the kids to … Seven Stories, Newcastle upon Tyne". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Stephen Emms (22 December 2009). "The beating art of Newcastle". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ a b Almond, David (28 July 2015). "David Almond: the tale of Seven Stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "In seventh heaven with Seven Stories". BBC Tyne. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Ruth Lawson (20 August 2010). "Jacqueline Wilson Helps Birthday Celebrations". The Evening Chronicle. 
  7. ^ Alison Flood (22 September 2010). "Rare Enid Blyton Manuscripts Acquired by Seven Stories Museum". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ "The Eleanor Farjeon Award". Children's Book Centre. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Charity Commission. The Centre for Children's Books, registered charity no. 1056812. 
  10. ^ "Seven Stories book centre given national status". BBC News. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Hutchinson, Lisa (12 February 2015). "Newcastle's Seven Stories centre for children's books to get £750,000 refurbishment". Newcastle Chronicle. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "New Chapter for Seven Stories". ADP Architecture. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  13. ^ Youngs, Ian (21 October 2015). "Michael Morpurgo archive yields unpublished books". BBC News. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Doctoral Training Partnerships". Arts and Humanities Research Council. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  16. ^ Eyre, Charlotte. "Seven Stories to host Foreman exhibition". The Bookseller. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  17. ^ Burns, Paul. Entrepreneurship and Small Business: Start-up. Growth and Maturity. 2010: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 91. ISBN 9780230208483. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°58′29″N 1°35′31″W / 54.97472°N 1.59194°W / 54.97472; -1.59194