Briony Birdi of the Information School and Anna Barton of the School of English at the University of Sheffield are set to collaborate on an Arts Enterprise project, which was recently funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
The project is entitled 'Sheffield public libraries: now and then'. It aims to explore the origins of the free library network in Sheffield and to consider the use and value of these public spaces both at their inception and today. It will make use of the extensive records of the public library's founding committee and the original library visitor’s books held by Sheffield Archives, alongside visual, verbal and textual footage of the libraries today. This will be used to create an exhibition, a publication and a permanent online record that will serve as an interactive document of the library's ongoing legacy at a crucial time for the public library system in Sheffield. The work will be carried out between September 2014 and April 2015.