Welcome to the Library

The Library brings together photographs, films and other archival documents related to Liverpool's oldest city centre building. Explore the Bluecoat’s rich history as the UK's first arts centre by searching past exhibitions and events, and discover the origins of our 300+ year old building that was founded as a charity school during Britain’s colonial era.

This section of our website brings together these strands alongside the stories of people who have visited, experienced and participated in our varied activities. As we continue to update the Library, you can help by sharing your Bluecoat memories with us.

If you're looking for a history of exhibitions, click here to download a pdf that lists as many as we currently know about. Help us fill in the gaps.

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Our Collections

Browse our collections of archival material that focus on themes from Bluecoat’s rich 300-year history, including its architecture, the charity school, our arts programmes and participation work.

The collections represent just a selection of our archive. Here you can discover many more images, documents and videos by clicking the ‘Search the Library’ button. You can filter your search by media type, key word, and time frame.

Much of this archive was developed during 2017, our 300th anniversary year, for our ‘My Bluecoat’ project, in partnership with Liverpool Record Office and Liverpool Blue Coat School, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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