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On Friday 26 April, pop-up exhibitions on the origins, means and future of writing will simultaneously launch at Cambridge Central Library and in over 20 partner libraries around the UK, in tandem with the opening of Writing: Making Your Mark at the British Library in London.

The free exhibition will preview at Cambridge Central Library on Friday 26 April and will remain on display until 30 May. It will then tour across selected Cambridgeshire Libraries until 27 August.  

Through images of carved stone inscriptions, medieval manuscripts and early printed works, the family-focused pop-up displays will span five millennia and five continents to deconstruct the act of writing and consider its future in the digital age.

The exhibition will be augmented with material from relevant local and regional archives, accompanying events and an interactive learning trail, enabling visitors of all ages to engage in a nationwide conversation exploring one of humankind’s greatest achievements – the act of writing – through the Living Knowledge Network

Cambridgeshire Libraries is part of the newly launched Living Knowledge Network, an innovative partnership of public libraries based in major cities and towns working in collaboration with the British Library, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. The Network shares resources, skills and ideas, promoting the enduring values of libraries. As a Network we believe new and innovative ways of working will benefit the millions of people who use public libraries in the UK every day.

Sue Wills, Library Service Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We are very proud to be part of the Living Knowledge Network alongside such prestigious partners as this gives us a great opportunity to learn from other parts of the country and share our own experiences in an UK-wide context.

“We are excited to be welcoming this exhibition in partnership with the British Library in all our libraries, to enable visitors of all ages to engage in a nationwide conversation exploring one of humankind’s greatest achievements – the act of writing.”

Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian at the British Library, said: “The Living Knowledge Network is a unique partnership of national and public libraries united by a shared vision to bring knowledge alive for everyone and we are delighted to be to be working with over 20 libraries across the UK to share the British Library’s exhibition, Writing: Making Your Mark. We are looking forward to building on the success of the first Living Knowledge Network display, which was based on the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition and welcomed over 775,000 visitors between 2017 and 2018.”

The following libraries will welcome the exhibition between 30 May and 27 August: Cambourne, Ely, Huntingdon, March, St Ives, St Neots, Wisbech. More details about the exhibition and forthcoming tour dates in Cambridgeshire Libraries will be published on https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/libraries and via social media.

Schoolchild's homework in Greek on a wax tablet (c) British Library

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