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City life

You can reserve copies for loan through the online catalogue.

Birmingham: A history of the city and its people

Malcolm Dick
£11.95 hardback (for schools); £9.95 paperback

With 20 fact filled chapters covering 10 centuries, this is the first large-format full-colour history of Birmingham. An easy to use layout and beautifully detailed pictures make the publication an ideal project book for children in Key Stages 2 and 3 but it will be equally enjoyable for adults looking for a clear, accessible, fact-filled read.

Birmingham - The Building Of A City
Joseph Mckenna
£14.99 (Paperback)

Since the time of William Hutton's history of Birmingham in 1780, there has been no real attempt to describe and explain the physical growth of Birmingham as a city and to consider why it developed the way it did. What created the city street plans we see today and how and when were its boundaries extended to create estates and suburbs of the greater city? Who were the men who designed, financed and built them? In this fascinating new look at the development of England's second city, Joseph Mckenna provides answers to many of these important questions.

Central Birmingham 1950-1980

Martin Hampson
£12.99 (Paperback)

For Birmingham, whose motto is 'Forward', change has long been a fact of life. This pictorial history traces some of the dramatic developments that have taken place in the centre of Birmingham during these three post-war decades.

The Bull Ring Birmingham

Patrick Baird
£12.99 (Paperback)

The name of 'Bull Ring' is synonymous with Birmingham. It lies at the heart of the city's traditional market centre, with a long and unbroken history dating back several centuries. This book depicts, through prints, maps and photographs, the area's development and change over three hundred years or so, culminating with the opening day of the most prestigious shopping centre in Europe.

Birmingham Transport
by Keith Turner

This book is an evocative reminder of the crucial role Birmingham has played at the geographical and industrial heart of England's transport history. The city is at the very centre of the country's canal, road and railway networks. Over the past century and a half it has been home to a wide variety of transport systems and vehicles on land, on water and in the air. From national routeways to village lanes, from corporation-owned buses and trams to local commercial vehicles, a flavour of all these different forms of transport is captured in this book.

Birmingham Between the Wars
by Joseph McKenna

This photographic journey through the Birmingham city centre of the nineteen twenties and thirties shows the city's wealthy legacy of Georgian and Victorian buildings. It also has examples of emerging post-war developments. The story of city landmarks, some of which have long since disappeared, is presented through thumbnail histories.

Central Birmingham
Central Birmingham 1870-1920
by Keith Turner

Central Birmingham 1920-1970
by Keith Turner

These two volumes capture the changing face of Birmingham over two half-centuries. They portray not just the buildings and streets, many long since swept away or transformed beyond recognition, but also the men, women and children of the city as they went about their daily business during periods of immense reconstruction and upheaval. Many of the photographs in these books have never been published before.

Contrasts in a Victorian City
Birmingham: sources and notes for a study of Victorian Birmingham
by Richard Albutt, Martin Flynn and Philippa Bassett

This pack contains a range of resources which can be used to study what it was like to live during the Victorian era. It contrasts the lives people lead by people in two geographically close but socially dramatically different parts of the city towards the end of the nineteenth century. Although specifically designed for history, key stage 2 in the National Curriculum, it will also appeal to anybody with an interest in local or social history. As well as a set of guidance notes the pack contains five fold-out maps and twenty seven laminated contemporary documents and photographs.

The Inner Circle - Birmingham's No 8 Bus Route

Margaret Hanson, David Harvey and Peter Drake

Known at the time as the "Workmen's Special" the number 8 bus route served the workers of some of Birmingham's best known employers such as Lucas, Ansells Brewery, HP Sauce, BSA and Bulpitts. Instead of radios and CCTV, standard equipment on the first buses included a rope, a spark plug, a whistle, matches and a candle! This was a time when conductors would actually escort younger passengers from the bus right to their front door.

Made in Birmingham
Keith Turner

The craft of gun making, war munitions manufacturing and car production are explored in this book, together with the intricate skills of the Jewellery Quarter workshops and the splendour of the Cadbury village - the centre of the chocolate empire. Images of warehouses, factories and workshops give the reader an insight into the industries at the heart of Birmingham's economic development.

Outer Circle-Birmingham's No.11 Bus Route
David Harvey, Margaret Hanson, Peter Drake

The No.11 bus route journeys around a twenty-six mile perimeter of Birmingham, following the Outer Circle through many of the city's suburbs including Harborne, King's Heath, Hall Green, Yardley, Stetchford, Bromford, Erdington, Stockland Green, Handsworth Wood and Bearwood. This new selection of over 200 old photographs, many published here for the first time, have been drawn from David Harvey's own collection and that of the Local Studies section of Birmingham Central Library. This book is a fascinating accompaniment to the author's publication The Inner Circle:Birmingham's No.8 Bus route, which is detailed above.

Birmingham Cinemas
Christine Wilkinson and Margaret Hanson

A look at the history of cinema-going in the city of Birmingham, from its early beginning as a fairground attraction right up to the present day and the giant multiplex cinema. The reader is taken on a tour of movie houses and auditoriums around the city, and will appeal to those who remember visiting some of the now long-gone movie houses, or anyone else with an interest in the architectural and social history of Birmingham.