Thursday, 3 July 2008

Seven Stories Collection

This morning I visited the Seven Stories Collection in Gateshead. Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books in neighbouring Newcastle upon Tyne, is the only place in the UK which actively collects manuscripts, artwork and related materials by British writers and illustrators for children. The archives date from the 1930's and include work by over 50 writers and illustrators.
I learned how the paper-based materials are preserved in acid-free paper and painstakingly catalogued. Digital archives are kept on CD roms covered in real gold. Apparently they have a 300 year life span!
The highlight of the visit was examining materials by the author/illustrator, Judy Brook, which showed the process of picture book making step by step. First I saw black and white sketches with page numbers and margin rules. Next were the watercolour paintings which were used in the published book, followed by the proofs of these pictures sent back from the publisher to the artist. The colours were far more muted in the prints. Examples of dummy books in ring binders and photograph albums could then be compared with the actual printed book. It was fascinating to see the subtle changes that were made.
Finally I was shown how materials from the collection can be sourced and perused through the website. If you'd like to find out more about the Seven Storiescollection check out the fabulous website by clicking the link:


Theresa Schultz said...

Hi Dorothy,

What an interesting place to visit! How fun to see the process unfold. I'm always interested in how things are transformed from beginning to end product.


terri.forehand said...

How wonderful to bring us this information about places we might never visit and to describe the process. I also liked the post before regarding the ghost twins and I will be looking for those books too. Thank you for bringing the world of childrens literature to us from the UK.

Lisa Kirby said...

Hi, Dorothy,

It's fascinating seeing how things like that are done. I think I would have enjoyed the process of picture book making.

Thank you for sharing this information with us. Have a great day.

Lisa Kirby

Judy said...

Hi Dorothy,
Oh I wish I could have made this visit with you. It sounds absolutely fascinating.

I am not sure we have this advantage available in the U.S. so thank you sharing.

Take care,

Naresh Thakur said...

My kid loving it

Thanks Dorothy

Xiaoguang said...