Birmingham City Council

What is the Charles Parker Archive?

The Charles Parker Archive is deposited in the Archives and Heritage Service on the 6th Floor of the Central Library.

Illustration for Ballad of John Axon

It consists of tapes, production books, papers, correspondence and scripts for most ot the programmes Charles Parker produced and the organisations in which he was active.

It contains a wealth of material for studying the culture of the 1950s-1970s - broadcasting, the folk revival, pop music, community arts - as well as contemporary social and political issues. Charles made programmes with blind people, Irish labourers, workers in China in 1972, Asian teenagers, protesters against the Vietnam War and other minorities traditionally denied a voice on the air on in historical records.

After his death in 1980 a Trust was set up to administer the Archive. The papers are available to be consulted and many cassettes and CDs can be heard. Please contact the City Archives to book a listening machine..

Illustration by Eric Fraser for the Ballad of John Axon, reproduced with permission of the BBC

Image of Charles Parker