Photograph by Associated Newspapers Ltd, Sydney Image credit: University of Bristol Library, Special Collections

Photograph by Associated Newspapers Ltd, Sydney Image credit: University of Bristol Library, Special Collections

Penguin Parade celebrates the extensive Penguin Archive held in the University of Bristol Library, Special Collections.

Sir Allen Lane, a Bristolian, founded Penguin Books in 1935. Penguin Parade follows his journey through the history of Penguin publishing and how the design of the books and the range of titles continue to deliver broad public appeal.

Penguins, Pelicans and Puffins – there will be books for everyone along with objects, letters, posters and a range of Penguin products.

Penguin Parade exhibits highlights from the archive, such as tickets and telegrams associated with the Lady Chatterley trial, external loan items and visual representations of Penguin in its social context over time.

Kids can pick up an activity sheet to colour and complete on their way around the exhibition - just ask at Reception for a free copy and coloured pencils.

The Penguin Archive Project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Please note that University of Bristol staff receive free entry to the exhibition with proof of ID and University of Bristol students are eligible for concessionary rate of £3 or will receive free entry with 2 full paying adults.

UoB logo

AHRC logo

Penguin archive logo


Penguin Archive Project talk and gallery tour

Thursday 15 March 4-5pm
Thursday 19 April 4-5pm

Join staff from the University of Bristol to find out more about the Penguin Project and Books Archive
Free talk / tour (normal exhibition entry prices apply)

Al Alvarez in conversation

University of Bristol Public Lecture in conjunction with The New Poetry and Penguin Modern Poets 50 Years conference
Friday 16th March 6 pm start, from 7.30 pm there will be a set of poetry readings entitled 'Penguin Modern Poets' from Edward Lucie Smith, John Fuller and Tom Raworth. Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ
Free but advance booking required, please visit
For more information contact Nicola Fry 0117 928 8515

Curatorial guided tours

Dr Katherine Hann, Penguin Project Curator, will talk about the creation of the exhibition and the choice of material on display

Tuesdays 13, 20 and 27 March 1-1.45pm
Free tour (normal exhibition entry prices apply)

Behind the scenes - the project that lies behind the exhibition

Lunchtime talk / tour with George Donaldson, University of Bristol

Thursdays 29 March, 5 and 12 April, 1-2pm
Free tour/talk (normal exhibition entry prices apply)

Live Performance readings

Join Dr Anna Farthing of Harvest Heritage Arts and Media for some lively performance readings.

In the morning, share your favourite Puffin children’s stories with the next generation.
In the afternoon, hear extracts from Penguin thrillers, drama, poetry, cookery ... and maybe even a snippet of ‘that book’.

Saturday 24 March 11am and 2pm
Free but pre-booking advisable (normal exhibition entry prices apply)

Children’s ‘make and take’ activities – drop in session

Bring the family to get stuck in to making a range of Penguin and Puffin inspired items

Wednesday 11th April 10-12am
Sunday 15 and 22 April 2-4pm
Free but pre-booking advisable (normal exhibition entry prices apply)

Cook the Books

Hands-on sessions inspired by the culture-changing Penguin cookery books, and led by Shannon Smith, an experienced food and cooking tutor. Menus are based on local, seasonal produce, and use simple methods and everyday equipment.

More with less – from the Pauper’s Cookbook to the Naked Chef

Austerity is back on the menu. Thanks to Penguin’s culture-changing authors, eaters today need not return to the mock ingredients of the 1940s. Enjoy a demonstration menu of seasonal and sensual food inspired by Penguin authors – from Jocasta Innes to Jamie Oliver.
Wednesday 14 March 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost £15 (including daytime entry to exhibition). Pre-booking essential – maximum 16 places

Good things – Jane Grigson and the British food renaissance

Watch and taste a menu drawing on the life work of this warm and witty champion of regional food and local produce. Grigson’s fresh approach brings out the pleasure of cooking and eating the ingredients of early spring, and celebrates the best of British.
Wednesday 21 March 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost £15 (including daytime entry to exhibition). Pre-booking essential – maximum 16 places

Fresh and fun

Hands-on food and cooking taster session for children 6-14 years and their parents or carers. Make a simple tasty lunch with fresh ingredients.
Wednesday 4 April 11am, 12 am and 1pm
Cost £5 per child, adults free (but normal exhibition entry prices apply). Pre-booking advised as places are limited.

Pick up a Penguin swap shop – bring a Penguin, Pelican, Puffin book and take another one away....

Free book exchange
Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the exhibition run

Find out more about Penguin Parade by downloading an Exhibition Briefing

Exhibition: 10 March - 22 April 2012

Admission prices