Literature & Music

Explore Britain's rich literary and musical heritage with events, features, news and web resources collected from hundreds of museums, archives, historic properties and libraries across the UK .

A photo of a piece of ancient white parchment with black ink writing all across its levels

"Breathtaking" parchment DNA could reveal Britain's agricultural past, say archaeologists

Experts have used protein and DNA from ancient parchments to trace 700 years of British agriculture, calling wool "the oil of times gone by".

An image of a painting of father christmas delivering alcohol to a soldier in a first world war trench

First World War Christmas cards show stiff upper lip and dark humour of serving soldiers

A card from a Prisoner of War and a portrait of a bulldog exclaiming "life in the old dog yet" illustrate the spirit of First World War soldiers in a festive display in York.

A photo of two children locking arms with a statue outside a historic house

Peter Pan birthplace to become Scottish Centre for Children's Stories after winning £1.8 million

The house that inspired JM Barrie to pen the children's novel Peter Pan has received a £1.8 million Lottery grant, which will see it transformed into a children's literature centre.

a photograph of a man with short hair and a moustache

Archive discovery confirms George Orwell really lived the low life for his reportage

A court record unearthed in a London archive details George Orwell's 1931 conviction for being ‘drunk and incapable’ and lends foundation to the lore surrounding Orwell’s truthfulness as a......

Colour photo of a writer

Artist's Statement: Susie Parr on the Black Country Allotment Society

Susie Parr teams up with Multistory in Sandwell to produce nine essays about allotments in the Black Country. The writer tells us more.

A photo of the front of a notebook

Arthur Conan Doyle notebook containing first ever lines of Sherlock Holmes goes on show

A notebook described as "very precious" by Arthur Conan Doyle's son, used when the author practised medicine in Southsea during the 1880s, is revealed by the Museum of London.

A photo of a large statue of a bear clad in an explorer's outfit carrying a case and hat

Benedict Cumberbatch's design of a life-size Paddington bear statue joins London trail

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch says he wants his Paddington Bear statue, set at the Museum of London in a trail of celebrity designs, to learn "the finer art of acting".

A photo of a band performing on a large stage in a darkened room

Guy Garvey, Bernard Sumner and more announced as BBC 6 Music Celebrates Libraries

6 Music will present a fortnight devoted to libraries next month, including a tour of Manchester's oldest libraries with the Elbow singer and the British Library's first ever live radio show.

A mosaic of photographic portraits

A leafy literary escape from London - Chorleywood Literary Festival returns for ninth year

Chorleywood Literary Festival returns to the idyllic Hertfordshire countryside for the ninth year running between November 10 - 6.

A photo of an outstretched hand holding a book with black writing on it

Happy 100th birthday Dylan Thomas: Five places to discover the poet on the centenary

Recreations of his Greenwich Village bohemia, art inspired by his birthplace and a chance to see the bedroom he once called smelly - here are five places to meet Dylan Thomas.

a sketch of a couple having sex

Dirty doodles and copulating couples: Cambridge University's use and abuse of books 1450-1550

A sordid pencil sketch of an amorous couple, found at the bottom of the page of a gentleman's guide from more than 500 years ago, is revealed in a new exhibition.

A photo of two men hanging a painting on a shadowy wall

Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die at the Museum of London

The most famous fictional Londoner has been reinvented and reinterpreted in countless guises over the decades. Rachel Teskey takes a trip back to Victorian London.

A photo of a woman holding up an old brown wooden camera

Artist's Statement: Kasia Wozniak on Fashion Photography Inspired by Sherlock Holmes

In a Museum of London commission, Kasia Wozniak has used a mid-19th century plate technique to take on the work of Arthur Conan Doyle. Her work, she explains, is a kind of alchemy.

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