Birmingham Central Library


Last updated 5th August 2008
Name of library  Birmingham Central Library
Address  Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ
Telephone 0121-303 4545
Fax  0121 464 1178
Alternative names
Contact & Job Title  Marion Smith, Librarian, Social Sciences
Purpose & main user community of the library  Reference library, for members of the public.
Terms of access  Free public access
Opening hours  M-F 09.00-20.00, Sa 09.00-17.00, Su closed
Disabled access  Ramp access to building. Lifts to all floors. Induction loops at enquiry counters. Equipment available for visually impaired library users.
Lending to other libraries & visitors ILL for reference use only.
Number of volumes  49,000
Periodicals – Back Issues  400
Current Periodicals  140
Other materials  1,115 microfilms (67 titles); 1,700 microfiche (6 titles); 1,500 items of audio-visual materials (e.g. posters, maps, ephemera); 8 videos.
Volumes added per year  200
Coverage  Good all round collection of Theological Studies, covering Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Modern Theological Thought, Church History, Liturgy, Ethics, Patristics, Spiritual and Devotional Literature, and Theology relating to political, social and economic matters. Substantial collection of material on World religions covering beliefs, doctrines, worship and the sacred scriptures. Significant holdings in Christian denominational material, particularly Quaker. Collection of material on the Christadelphians and an excellent collection of denominational year books and directories. The Department also collects current documentary material of the World Council of Churches, British Council of Churches and Church Synod publications. Good all round collection of Philosophy including all schools and systems and such topics as Metaphysics, Logic, Ethics, Epistemology and the History of Eastern and Western Philosophy.
Special Collections  Rosicrucian Collection: Ca. 400 vols.Thomas Hall Library: Parish library of Kings Norton, ca. 700 vols.Thomas Bray Library: Parish library of Sheldon, ca. 370 vols.
Research resource  Rastafarian movement.
Catalogue Type  Computer and Card (pre-1972)
URL of catalogue
Other facilities  Photocopying (monochrome and colour), microfilm/fiche prints, microfilming, photographic facilities, word processors, internet.
Full Time Staff  2
Part Time Staff  1
Voluntary Staff
Changes in next five years affecting the above
Anything else about the library  Loan copies of some material on theology and world religions are available from the Central Lending Library but the main collections in the Central Library are for reference only.  Most of the material on theology and world religions is in the Social Sciences section. Books printed before 1701 are shelved in the Early and Fine Printing Collection, which is housed in Arts, Languages and Literature. Archival material, including the Birmingham Diocesan Record Office, and material relating to Birmingham is housed in the Archives and Heritage section. Social Sciences covers a wide range of subjects; all staff are trained to deal with basic enquiries on all their subjects, but only 3 staff  specialise in in-depth enquiries on theology and world religions.