Unlocking the Archive at Blickling Estate

In partnership with the Unlocking the Archive team at the University of East Anglia, we're offering a variety of free autumn workshops and drop in sessions, giving you the opportunity to get up close to the Renaissance book collection in Blickling's library. Booking is required on some events and normal admission applies (NT Members free).

A girl at a workshop making notes

Creative Writing Workshop

Join us on Saturday 15 September as we explore some of the practices of early-modern scholarship, looking at the rare books themselves first and thinking about the way they were used. We’ll consider annotation and ‘commonplacing’, exploring how these can lead to surprising and inventive new forms of writing. Using proverbs, poems and other library sources, you’ll create your own new works of literature in a way that most people are quite unfamiliar with today.

Librarian John Gandy talks to visitors about the book collection

Renaissance Books Hands-On Discovery Day

On Saturday 6 October, Blickling's Renaissance books are off the shelves! Join us in the Long Gallery any time from 12-5pm to handle these centuries-old books for yourself, and find out more about the global stories behind the library's magnificent collection. What will you discover?

A page from one of the books in Blickling's collection

Creative Design Workshop

Spend a day on 13 October in the world of Blickling's Renaissance books in our creative design workshop (10am-4pm). In the morning, you'll have a handling session with the rare books themselves and discover the ways in which these ancient books can inspire modern design practice and innovation. In the afternoon, you'll get the chance to try your hand at making your own creative visual response to the collection, working alongside Norwich and Norfolk based graphic designers and artists to design and print your own physical artwork.

Books in a bath tub

The Word Defiant! Trust New Art at Blickling Estate 

Find out more about our art installation The Word Defiant! created by award-winning Theatre Company Les Enfants Terribles, shining a light on Blickling's library and the importance of books. Open daily until 28 October.

An illustration of books in the Long Gallery spilling out across the floor

A journey through The Word Defiant!

The Word Defiant! may only be a six month temporary installation, but the concept, preparation, design and installation was a far longer process. Follow the journey through a series of videos that were filmed right through from planning and building to the installation and opening in May.