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 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.

A photo of two people looking scared in a black and white gothic horror cinema film

From Dracula to Jack the Ripper, British Library's Terror of Wonder shines light on darkness

Horace Walpole, Frankenstein, Wallace and Gromit, Jekyll and Hyde and The Wicker Man all feature in the British Library's new exhibition. Rachel Teskey steps into the shadows.

A photo of a yellow book about the first world war called the new wipers times

Competition: Win a copy of World War I graphic art anthology The New Wipers Times

Writer Helen Cross and artist Carol Adlam have recreated the renowned trench magazine in a stylish graphic art book as part of the World War I Centenary. Win it here.

a portrait of a young RAF airman seated in a red armchair

National Portrait Gallery puts young Roald Dahl RAF portrait on show for the first time

A rarely-seen Matthew Smith portrait of Roald Dahl when he was a young RAF officer during the Second World War has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

a painting of four angelic figures lifting a prone warrior into a cloudy sky on a stretcher

Scottish National Portrait Gallery reveals the painting that inspired Wilfred Owen

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is about to launch a new exhibition called Remembering the Great War for the First World Centenary - with a little seen painting admired by Wilfred Owen.

A photo of a four-man band posing in suits

Cara Spencer on her dad, the Beatles, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and Victoria Beckham

Curated by his daughter and named after the war hero and photographer's favourite phrase, Living Dangerously is about to showcase Terence Spencer's remarkable career.

a portrait of William Shakespeare

The National Archives' priceless handwritten Shakespeare documents recognised by UNESCO

Some of the world's most valuable handwritten documents relating to the life of William Shakespeare have been recognised for their importance by UNESCO.

Glastonbury Festival

Postcards from Pilton: Inside the V&A's Glastonbury Festival archive

See pictures from the earliest days of the festival, when The Kinks headlined and tickets cost £1, to Glastonbury's modern-day standing as one of Britain's grandest annual events.

a photo of an old book

Book of Byron's poems offers link to deported Chartist at People's History Museum

A book of poems by Lord Byron is offering curators and visitors at the People's History Museum in Manchester a tangible link to the life of deported Chartist William Cuffay.

A photo of a woman covered in mud dancing at an outdoor music festival

V&A and Glastonbury to create festival archive in "fascinating witness" to a phenomenon

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis says his "crazy hippy trip" will find a natural home at the V&A after agreeing to create an archive of the 44-year-old British institution.

A photo of an illuminated manuscript

Society of Antiquaries to restore and display Magna Carta for 800th anniversary

Two rare copies of the Magna Carta are to be restored and displayed in 2015 to coincide with the 800th anniversary of its signing by King John at Runnymede.

a photo of a man and woman seated

MOSI launches "highly addictive" musical game that aids research into Alzheimer's

The Museum of Science & Industry has just launched a new online game, #HookedOnMusic, developed to explore the science behind what makes a musical hook.

a book with a montage of black and white images on the front

Beauty, decadence and a damned good party: Cecil Beaton at Salisbury Museum

The private world of Cecil Beaton is the subject of a new exhibition at Salisbury and Wiltshire Museum with photographs and interiors form his Wiltshire houses.

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