Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books

David Almond Fellowships now accepting applications for 2014-15 - see here for further information.

Students visiting open night at Seven Stories

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, is creating a national archive of modern and contemporary materials (artwork, manuscripts and books) relating to British children's books. Its premises include a visitor centre with two galleries, a bookshop, creative spaces and a cafe. It offers a dynamic programme of events and educational programmes as well as support for researchers in its collections. All of these activities create opportunities for SELLL students specializing in children's literature.

SELLL's Children's Literature Unit (CLU) works closely with Seven Stories. CLU staff provide consultancy, sit on management and steering committees and provide continuing professional development, while Seven Stories offers SELLL students unique and rewarding access to its resources through dedicated open evenings, training in the different aspects of the organization, free entry to events, and meaningful work placements. Both undergraduates and postgraduates studying children's literature are trained to work in the archives and have opportunities to help facilitate visitor events, undertake outreach work and contribute to core activities such as sorting archival material, cataloguing and working in the galleries.

Students visiting open night at Seven Stories

The CLU and Seven Stories also collaborate in many other ways. With the Robinson Library we share resources and collections, host visiting speaker programmes, offer David Almond Research Fellowships, run joint conferences, and make joint funding bids. Three CLU doctoral students funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under the Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme have based their research in Seven Stories and helped to open up the collections for new researchers. This close collaboration has helped students find work after they complete their studies including in children's publishing houses, working for literature festivals and also at Seven Stories itself. Currently four former SELLL students work at Seven Stories.

Students visiting open night at Seven Stories

Most recently the CLU and Seven Stories teamed up with English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces in a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Care for the Future scheme. This will see the four partners develop innovative ways of using children's books and new technologies to create apps and other dynamic learning tools to help engage children with the nation's heritage in the form of its landscape and built environment. Dr. Helen Stark, a former SELLL student, is employed to work on the project.