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Books About Birmingham Communities


These books are not available for purchase during the move from Birmingham Central Library to the Library of Birmingham.

You can still reserve copies for loan through the online catalogue.

Catholics in Birmingham

Catholics in Birmingham

By Christine Ward-Penny
£12.99 (Paperback)

With almost 200 photographs, many from the archives of Birmingham Central Library, as well as previously unpublished material, this book captures the flavour of what Roman Catholics have brought to Birmingham. Today there are tens of thousands of Catholics in the city and this book is dedicated to their history and traditions.



- Birmingham and Midland Romany Gypsy and Traveller Culture

by Ted Rudge
Edited by Doreen Hopwood and Martin Flynn

Gypsies have been an integral part of Birmingham and Midland life for centuries. However, their history has remained largely invisible. Ted Rudge has been privileged to gain the trust and confidence of this community, which has enabled him to tell this story in their own words. The book, lavishly illustrated with photographs, historical source material and personal mementos, brings gypsy and traveller culture to life.

Birmingham Irish

Birmingham Irish

- Making Our Mark

by Carl Chinn

This book shows how and why the Irish community in Birmingham developed. It shows how the community enriched the social, cultural, commercial and political life of the city from the 1820s to the 1990s.
It presents the varied experiences of the Irish in Birmingham, as others saw them and how they saw themselves.

Carl Chinn is well known for his writings and local television and radio work on urban working class life in England and Birmingham. His wife is from Dublin and he grew up with many first and second generation Irish friends.

Other books by Carl Chinn

The divisive decade

The Divisive Decade

- A History of Caribbean Immigration to Birmingham in the 1950s

by Peter L. Edmead

The nineteen fifties witnessed the first major settlement of Caribbean people in Birmingham. This book examines the history of this decade through the personal memories of those early arrivals together with contemporary newspaper accounts and other commentaries on the period. It is heavily illustrated with photography of the time. The author challenges many misconceptions about this key era by looking at people's motives for emigration and the society which they encountered on arrival.

Bella Brum

Bella Brum

- A History of Birmingham's Italian Community

by Doreen Hopwood and Margaret Dilloway

Over a century ago seasonal workers began to arrive in Birmingham from the Lazio region of Southern Italy. These young men brought the sounds and colours of their native land to the densely populated streets of the city. Eventually they transformed part of Digbeth into a 'Little Italy'. Gradually they began to settle permanently and were often joined by other members of their families. The story of this thriving Italian Quarter is told through official documents, photographs and the personal recollections of ancestors of the original migrants.

From Bangladesh to Birmingham

From Bangladesh To Birmingham

- The History of Bangladeshis In Birmingham

By Yousef Choudhury and Peter Drake


Most Indian restaurants in Birmingham are owned and run not by Indians but by Bangladeshis. This book takes a fresh look at a community which has contributed much to the life of the city but has otherwise had a low profile. The story of Bangladeshi settlers in Birmingham is largely told by their own words. These were collected together by Yousuf Choudhury who is related to many of the original migrants, most of whom were merchant seaman. The book is also lavishly illustrated with photographs taken by Yousuf.

Publications from Birmingham Libraries
Library Catalogue