photo of a group of women holding Ladybird Books and facing the camera

Academic to share with local community the secret history of Ladybird books

An academic from Loughborough University is working in partnership with Charnwood Museum and Charnwood Borough Council to host an event about the history of Ladybird Books later this month.

Ladybird Books were a collection of iconic books for children that were made and published in Loughborough between 1914-1999.

Dr Wim Van Mierlo, a Lecturer in Publishing and English, has organised the programme as part of Being Human – a festival held in November each year which has around 300 events taking place across the country.

The day’s events are suitable for families and people of all ages and activities include:

  • Storytelling sessions of well-loved tales for toddlers
  • Sharing reading experiences and memories of Ladybird Books
  • An intimate viewing of the Ladybird book items in the Charnwood Museum collection
  • A talk about the history of Ladybird Books, from how a small market printer became a global publisher

The activities are all free to attend but some require booking in advance. They will take place between 10.30am-3pm across various locations in Loughborough on Thursday 14 November.

Speaking about the event, Dr Mierlo said: “I decided to organise an event on The Secret History of Ladybird Books because it was a good opportunity to tell the unusual history of this publishing company: how a small market town ‘jobbing’ printer became a publisher of children’s books with global reach.

“I’ve been researching some of the company’s history and have been working alongside with Charnwood Museum, who have quite a sizeable collection of artefacts, making them a great event partner.”

Being Human is a UK festival established in 2014 celebrating the humanities. It connects museum, galleries, libraries, universities as well as local communities to engage through activities and research. This year’s theme is ‘Discoveries and Secrets’, more information is available on the dedicated website.

For more information about the event, please contact Charnwood Museum by emailing