Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books

Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books. Our mission is to champion children’s books as an essential part of our childhood, our national heritage and our culture. We want to inspire a love of reading across generations.

Seven Stories is the only place in the UK dedicated to the art of children’s books, and one of just a few such places in the world. We welcome over 70,000 visitors a year and there is something to enjoy 360 days a year. Everything we do inspires children and grownups to choose, share, read and enjoy the best children’s literature. We attract some of the biggest names in children’s literature to work with us to stage exhibitions and to take part in events.

We can be found in a converted Victorian warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Our seven floors have been carefully restored to house galleries for exhibitions, performances and creative space, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café.

We are custodian of the only collection in the world dedicated to telling the story of British children’s literature from the 1930s to the present day. Seven Stories is a prestigious home for the original manuscripts and illustrations of many writers and artists who entrust us to care for their work. Our treasure trove of children’s literature represents over 100 authors and illustrators, including Judith Kerr, Enid Blyton, Philip Pullman, Kaye Webb and David Almond. It reveals the creative imagination behind the children’s book – from first scribbles to dummy books, roughs to final artwork, letters and correspondence to the finished book. We draw upon these special archives to curate playful exhibitions, to inspire lively events, child-centred learning and offer a unique resource for researchers.

Our exhibitions are carefully designed to immerse children and families in book and story, encouraging exploration and inspiring our young visitors’ creative imaginations. Since we were founded we have curated almost 30 exhibitions working with some of the best known names in children’s literature, as well as many rising stars. Over ½m people have visited Seven Stories since we opened in 2005, and a further 800,000 people have enjoyed our exhibitions on tour across the UK.

We are passionate about learning and inclusion. The number of children and young people living in poverty in the Northeast of England is 24% (the national average is 12%), which diminishes aspiration and attainment. We regularly work with more than 50% of schools in the North East and 85% in Newcastle, welcoming over 10,000 school visitors to Seven Stories and inspiring 12,000 children, young people and grownups each year through our outreach work in schools and communities. We encourage everyone taking part to enjoy reading and to realise their learning and creative potential. We reach vulnerable children and families by working with expert partners such as Action for Children, St. Oswald’s Hospice, local children’s centres and looked after children’s services.

Exhibitions and events

Where Stories Come From

Permanent exhibition

Could there really only be seven stories in the world? Take the quest through our immersive exhibition to find out. Our permanent gallery showcases treasures from our Collection of original art,...

Once There Was Magic

Temporary exhibition until 27.06.2023

Explore magical worlds from beloved authors including Narnia, Discworld and Hogwarts. Enter through a magical fiery archway, and visit each 'world' pod. Each one includes original artwork,...

Shifter of Shapes: Celebrating Nature

Temporary exhibition until 27.06.2023

Featuring nature writing and artwork from The Lost Spells book by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris.  We've also added new artwork and features by North East Artist and Writer...

Educational programs

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