Kaleidoscope Special Collections Logo

If you’re familiar with the work of Kaleidoscope then you’ll know that it’s an organisation that is over 30 years old, and still going strong. Run by volunteers, we’ve built up an archive of over a million items; many of them unique and not held elsewhere in the world.

We have paperwork from all the major UK TV companies; and many private individuals, including Bob Monkhouse, Ken Hoare, Sid Colin, Reginald Collin, Derrick Sherwin, Katie Boyle, Keith Martin and Jill Hyem. ATV, Central and Rediffusion are particularly well represented. We have sets of Radio and TV Times, including many regional editions. Including the new addition of the huge Tony Currie collection.

Then there is the archive. Thousands of TV and radio programmes, many of them formerly lost, including Top of the Pops, New Faces, Crossroads and Hugh and I, which might be re-shown but largely sit there unseen. Companies like TVS and BSB that used to exist but now the paperwork is lost so they are unlikely to ever be repeated.

That’s why Kaleidoscope has chosen the best items to become part of its Special Collection, which will be available for private research in our new Birmingham Reading Room.

Do you want to be able to sit down and watch formerly-lost Top of the Pops? Or read a set of Scottish edition TV Times? Or perhaps the rarely seen Channel editions? Or a complete set of S4C? Or all the early Channel 4 publicity brochures? Or the schedules for Sky Television before 1992? Early drafts of Carry On scripts, or the formative work of Bob Hope, Johnny Speight and Denis Goodwin? Well now you can.

Launching in March 2020 you’ll be able to visit our Reading Room. Initially open once per month on Saturdays for the next six months. This is for private and personal research, ideal for anyone who wants to watch archive items, write a book, work on an academic project or just come along and enjoy reading the materials. Under the same licensing arrangements as the BBC and BFI, written materials can be photographed as part of your booking fee.

Once you subscribe, you’ll be sent a Booking Form and list of what’s available so you can order the items in advance. And they will be there ready for you when you arrive.

The venue is the Eaton Hotel, Hagley Road, Birmingham. A venue Kaleidoscope frequently uses for events and presentations. Ideal to reach from the M5 or M6 and only one bus route away from train stations. Refreshments, free wi-fi and a large free car park make your day comfortable and easy to enjoy.

Forthcoming sessions
Saturday 21 March 2020 10am - 6pm Eaton Hotel
Saturday 18 April 2020 10am - 6pm Eaton Hotel
Saturday 16 May 2020 10am - 6pm Eaton Hotel
Saturday 20 June 2020 10am - 6pm Eaton Hotel
Saturday 18 July 2020 10am - 6pm Eaton Hotel

Address: The Eaton Hotel, 279 Hagley Rd, Birmingham, B16 9NB