As many of the books date from the mid to late 1800s it is an opportunity for artists to work with books, manuscripts, papers, typefaces and bindings that they might not otherwise have an opportunity so to do.
Chosen artists will be sent a book from the collection to work with and can work into the book they receive in any way and with any media. However, the book must be able to be closed so that it can sit on a bookshelf, and must be robust enough to withstand some handling.
The Library of Lost Books will form part of the opening festival for the new Library of Birmingham in 2013. The exhibition will celebrate the history of the book and the elements of the book-as-object. It will explore the pleasures of the book form and the intimacy that forms between the reader and the book object.The finished exhibition will enchant the audience through the magic, beauty, wonder, humour and mystery of the works presented. Artists are encouraged to be as imaginative and playful as they can.