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The Bishopsgate Blog provides an added insight into all of our activities, Library, Courses, Events and Schools and Community Learning. Our regular blogs will feature speakers from our Cultural Events, photographs, documents, letters, posters and ephemera from the Library, up-to-date news and information on courses and first-hand accounts of our Schools and Community workshops.

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Courses Our regular blogs will provide up-to-date news and information on our courses
Events Featuring content from speakers our blogs give added insight into our events
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Library A new way to engage with the library collections and services.
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Schools and Community First hand accounts of our archive learning workshops

Schools and Community

Our inspired Schools and Community Learning programme delivers a range of workshops and projects using the unique and fascinating collections found within our world-renowned Bishopsgate Library. Our workshops are suitable for learners of all ages and are used by wide variety of audiences from primary school pupils to pensioners.

Our regular blogs will demonstrate how our Schools and Community Learning programme encourages discovery and enquiry amongst our wide-ranging participants.


Culture and arts, heritage and history, ideas and independent thought all come together in our exciting events programmes. You can enjoy talks, walks, discussions and debates, or one of the many concerts that take place throughout the year.

Our regular blogs will give an added insight and perspective into our dynamic programme with content from speakers at our events.


Situated in a Grade II* listed building, Bishopsgate Library’s beautiful reading room is a peaceful place to study that is open to all; a calm oasis amid the bustle of Spitalfields and the City. In our dedicated Researchers’ Area, you can consult our renowned printed and archival collections on London, labour, freethought and Humanism, co-operation, or protesting and campaigning.

Our regular blogs will provide a new way for you to engage with the library collections and services, new acquisitions, activities and future developments.


Our comprehensive range of short courses offer you the opportunity to discover, discuss and be inspired in a welcoming environment. Our courses are conveniently designed to take place throughout the day, including lunchtimes, after work and at weekends. We have five course strands, Arts and Culture, Words and Ideas, Languages, Performing Arts and Body & Exercise to choose from.

Our regular blogs will provide up-to-date news and information.

Bishopsgate Blog
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Create Your Own Artist's Book

by Courses on 22 / 04 / 2016
Artist Sarah Sparkes will be joining us this May to run a six-week artist bookmaking course. Sarah has also taught artist bookmaking and other practical courses at Tate Modern, UAL and Putney School of Art and Design. Sarah told us a little about what you can expect to learn on her course.

An artist book is a book produced or designed by an artist that is intended to be a work of art in itself. Usually a limited edition or a unique item, the artist book can come in many different variations around the idea of what a book is, but still retain many of what we would consider to be the key elements that we identify as 'book'.

On this practical course you will be introduced to many exciting and wide-ranging examples of artist books and gain an insight into the processes involved in making them. You will learn how to make a range of different styles of book yourself using a variety of materials, bookbinding, paper folding and pop-up bookmaking techniques. You will explore different illustrative processes, from collage to mixed media mark making and use these to create exciting and personalised designs for your books. You will also explore how to present and exhibit your finished books.

The content course participants will be using to create books - to illustrate them and even to construct them - will be drawn from the fabulous images and texts in the special collections and archives at Bishopsgate Institute. In one session you will also learn how to make a unique art work by using paper cutting and folding techniques on an actual book from the library's book sale!

In preparation for the course, Sarah has been making books with materials from the Bishopsgate archive. Below is an example of a concertina book that she has made fusing protest posters and historical photographs of local markets.
Take a look at previous examples of students' work from Sarah's bookmaking course at Tate Modern.

Create Your Own Artist's Book starts on Thursday 12 May 2016. Stay up to date with all our activities by signing up to our newsletter.