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The Children’s Lives Project

The Children’s Lives project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), was the first major project in Birmingham and the West Midlands to consider children’s lived experiences from the 18th century to the present day. The project consisted of a series of interrelated activities drawing on the nationally acclaimed collections of archives, artefacts, oral histories and film material relating to the lives of children in the past held by Birmingham Archives & Heritage, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (BMAG) and the Media Archive of Central England. The project was led by Professor Ian Grosvenor, supported in the development of the exhibition by a Birmingham University Cultural Intern attached to BMAG and by an HLF-funded Skills for the Future postgraduate, Nicola Gauld. Key to engagement with the project was an exhibition in BMAG, which explored ideas of childhood and the city. It presented the diversity of the city in all its forms and drew extensively on Birmingham’s collections to bring the voice of the child out of the archive and museum. It also included a section on childhood in the 21st century curated by young people from two local schools and was supported by two blogs charting the project’s development; one run by the project team and the other sharing contributions of the school groups.

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Images courtesy of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, see more at

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