MACE highlights 1970s images of 3rd Birmingham Central Library from ATV Today

On the 3rd September the new Library of Birmingham opened its doors to the public for the first time. In recognition of this, MACE has compiled a series of short films from ATV Today which show the building of the third Birmingham Central Library from 1970 to 1973 and shots from the day before it was officially opened by Harold Wilson on Saturday 12 January 1974.

The third Birmingham Central Library, which closed on Saturday 29 June 2013, was designed by John Hardcastle Dalton Madin to replace the existing library in order to make way for a new road layout in the city. His company were active in Birmingham for over 30 years. Some of the buildings his company designed have now been demolished including Birmingham’s Post and Mail Building. Birmingham Central Library will be demolished in 2014.

All but one of these films is silent as the films would have been voiced over live in the studio at the time of broadcast.

All the films were shot by ATV Today, the regional news programme which broadcast to the East and West Midlands from 1964 to 1981. The films are the copyright of ITV.

What you will see:

ATV Today: 05.06.1970: Birmingham Central Library

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Alderman Stanley Bleyer, laying the foundation stone for the new Birmingham Central Library.

ATV Today: 04.06.1973: Birmingham Central Library Removal Operation

A report by Bob Warman. Interview with William Taylor, City Librarian regarding the complicated move from the old library to the new. Shots of removal men wheeling trolley loads of books into the new Birmingham Central Library.

ATV Today: 24.07.1973: Birmingham Central Library

Masking tape put on the plain glass windows at Birmingham Central Library after people walked straight through them. This report includes trims including establishing shot of Birmingham Central Library).

ATV Today: 11.01.1974: Birmingham Central Library

Establishing shots of Birmingham Central Library, plus trims, of the library the day before it was officially opened by Harold Wilson.

This footage was deposited at MACE for future preservation by Carlton Television (now ITV) in 2004, as part of a large collection of news and documentaries from the Midlands. It is (c) ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


If you would like to purchase a DVD or MPEG4 copy of this material for home viewing only or not for profit exhibition please contact Emma Morley at

(Please Note: Any unauthorised reproduction, copying, editing, transformation, exhibition, exchanging, hiring, lending, public performance, radio or TV broadcasting or web use of this material is strictly prohibited). Extracts of this material is licensed commercially through ITN Source. Visit for contact details.


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