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 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.

a photo of an open book with portrait of Jane Austen on its frontispiece

Newly revealed handwritten Jane Austen text offers tantalising link to Mansfield Park

A rare piece of handwritten text from 1814, in which Jane Austen makes comments in relation to her brother’s sermons, has been revealed for the first time in more than 120 years.

a photo of a ballerina in a pose in front of a painting

Ballet at the National Portrait Gallery as Late Shift marks First World War centenary

David Jones' beautiful and complex epic poem about the First World War provided the inspiration for a night of poignant expression at the NPG for Museums at Night.

A photo of a front cover of a book showing an illustration of a Nazi eagle plunging

Curator's Choice: The unseen literature of the cataclysmic Liberation of Paris in 1945

Charles Chadwyck-Healey's collection of the extraordinary publishing spree following the liberation of World War II is about to go on display in Cambridge.

A black and white photo of a young boy eating a melon

Curator's Choice: The Cinema of Childhood

Former Edinburgh International Film Festival programmer on the delicate beauty and surprising masterpieces touring the country in his Cinema of Childhood this summer.

An image of a white sculpture of a man in a suit against a black background

Happy birthday William Shakespeare: Ten exhibits celebrating Shakespeare in UK galleries

On what would have been his 450th birthday, we take a look at a plaster-cast made when Shakespeare died, a volume of his plays which went to the Arctic, folios and portraits.

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