Writing Workshop: Working with Museums and Archives

May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This one-off workshop is an opportunity to explore how working with museums and archives can stimulate your writing.

The location is The Pen Museum, site of a former Victorian pen factory and a treasure trove of literature and artefacts relating to the steel pen industry.

During the 19th Century, it is said that 75 per cent of everything written in the world was with a ‘Birmingham’ pen. At one time, there were around 100 factories in the Jewellery Quarter area. The development of the steel pen reduced the cost of writing and enabled the spread of literacy throughout the world.

In this World War 1 centenary year, the workshop will draw on materials in the museum relating to the war, and in particular the impact it had on women’s lives.

The workshop will be led by Fiona Joseph. Fiona is a teacher, publisher and writer. She has written a biography of Beatrice Cadbury, the radical daughter of the famous chocolate manufacturer, and is currently working on a novel based on Cadbury women employees in WW1.


How to Book:
To book your place, please contact our box office, The Box, on 0121 245 4455 or you can book online by clicking here.


Keith Hancox MBE 1940-2014


Pen Museum Executive Committee, Volunteers and Friends.

Sad news concerning one of our long-serving volunteers and members.

Keith Hancox MBE (1940 – 2014) passed away suddenly on March 19th. RIP.

Our thoughts are with Jackie and their family at this time.

Braille expert Keith attended the museum and various events demonstrating the system to visitors who could also have their name written in Braille. He made a unique contribution to the museum and helped highlight the vital importance of a truly universal method of communication.

A celebration of Keith’s life will take place at Sandwell Valley Crematorium, Newton Road, Great Barr on Thursday 10th April at 2.30pm. Family flowers only please – donations welcome for the RNIB Talking Book Service or the National Memorial Arboretum. This will be a celebration of a life lived to the full and black need not be worn unless you wish to do so.

Afterwards at the Great Barr Hotel which is along the same road.

Larry Hanks





The Pen Museum will join museums and galleries from across the UK and Europe on Twitter later this month for the first ever #MuseumWeek, a project that will connect people to artwork, culture, history and science in new and interactive ways. #MuseumWeek will take place from Monday 24th March – Sunday 30th March and will give Twitter users direct and unparalleled access to some of Europe’s leading museums and the people behind them in 140-characters bursts.

The Pen Museum will join other UK organisations already signed up include the Science Museum (@sciencemuseum), the Natural History Museum (@NHM_London), the Victoria and Albert Museum (@V_and_A), the British Museum (@britishmuseum), Eureka! The National Children’s Museum (@eurekamuseum) and the Tate (@Tate).

The Pen Museum will join others across the UK and Europe by including the hashtag #MuseumWeek in their Tweets for the week, meaning users can follow along on Twitter. In addition, every day there will be a different theme including #MuseumSelfies, #AskTheCurator, and #MuseumMemories.

Brian Jones MBE 1936 – 2014

To: Members of the Executive of the Birmingham Pen Trade Heritage Association and Friends

Closure of Pen Museum on Wednesday 26 February 2014

Please note that it has been decided to close the Pen Museum for the day on Wednesday 26 February 2014, the day of Brian Jones’ funeral, as a mark of respect to Brian and to enable as many volunteers as possible to attend the Service of Thanksgiving at 12.30pm at Chester Road Baptist Church, Sutton Coldfield.

Donations: The Pen Museum & British Heart Foundation

Thank you all for your support at this difficult time.

Larry Hanks


Brian Jones MBE