School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Seven Stories

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books

Seven Stories is creating a national archive of materials relating to British children's books. It offers a dynamic programme of events and educational schemes as well as support for researchers in its collections.

All these activities create opportunities for our students who specialise in children's literature.

Our 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.

The CLU and Seven Stories collaborate in many ways:

  • with the Robinson Library we share resources and collections
  • host visiting speaker programmes
  • offer David Almond Research Fellowships
  • run joint conferences
  • make joint funding bids

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 dynamic learning tools and apps.

The tools will 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.

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Damien Wootten
Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Damien Wootten

Opportunities for students

Seven Stories offers our students unique and rewarding access to its resources through:

  • dedicated open evenings
  • training in the different aspects of the organisation
  • free entry to events
  • meaningful work placements

Both undergraduates and postgraduates studying children's literature are trained to work in the archives. They have opportunities to:

  • help with visitor events
  • undertake outreach work
  • contribute to core activities such as sorting archival material, cataloguing and working in the galleries

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. They have 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
  • at Seven Stories itself