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Celebrating the Coronation with libraries and archives

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Following the successful collaboration with the libraries sector to celebrate the Jubilee last year, DCMS Libraries Team decided to do something similar for the Coronation.

Connections made during the Jubilee were re-established and Libraries Connected, Arts Council England (ACE), The British Library, BBC, BFI, The Reading Agency, The National Archives and the Local Government Association came together to share plans.

For DCMS, we got a good overview of the different events taking place, and more importantly, how we could encourage libraries and archives to help bring celebrations to every community.

The main events are taking place over the weekend but there are activities continuing beyond.

There is much on offer to to help with celebrating the Coronation:

  • Libraries are running activities ranging from crafts, seed planting to classical concerts for children and libraries are a good place to look for volunteering opportunities as part of #TheBigHelpOut
  • The Reading Agency has a booklist offering titles themed on community and celebration with suggestions for adults and children.
  • £1,000 from ACE has gone to each library authority through Libraries Connected to help libraries fund coronation activities and events.
  • The National Archives is telling Coronation and Royalty related stories using its collection, for example;
  • The British Library is using its collection to link with coronations of the past and marking the relationship the Library has with His Majesty.  It’s latest exhibition, Animals: Arts, Science and Sound links to His Majesty’s interest in the environment
  • The BFI has helped put together the DCMS promotional video and compiled celebrity messages of congratulation.  It has also provided source material from the Royal Family’s private film collection cared for by the BFI National Archive that was used by the BBC in its documentary film Charles R: The Making of a Monarch which was broadcast on BBC1 on 30 April and is available on BBC iPlayer. Additionally the BFI will be tweeting film clips from previous coronations for viewers to see how they were celebrated in the past.
  • The BBC has again granted dispensation for community settings, including libraries, to screen the live programmes throughout the Jubilee weekend without needing to purchase a licence.

It’s not too late to plan a celebration. If you’re looking for something to take part in, search the site for events and activities in your area, just type in your town or postcode. You can also take part in The Big Lunch or look for volunteering opportunities (not just for the COronation Weekend) as part of The Big Help Out 

If you’re hosting an event, the Coronation Toolkit is full of ideas and resources to help with your celebrations, and if your event is public  don’t forget to add it the events list

If you’re planning social media, take a look at the social media toolkit for some suggestions.

Share your celebrations with us on social media by using and @DCMSLibraries on Twitter, #Coronation, #TheBigHelpOut

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