I’M WRITING this in Haworth a few days before Christmas, and just a couple of weeks before the arrival of 2016, Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary year.

By the time you read this, the museum will be closed for its annual period of maintenance and reviewing the collection, but rest assured, there will be plenty going on behind the closed doors, right up until we reopen on February 1!

The year 2016 promises to be an eventful and exciting one for the museum with lots to look forward to, but the past year has also been a busy one. In fact, 2015 has been an incredible year at the museum.

It’s been a year of meetings, introductions, planning and preparation. A year of ideas, wish lists, what-ifs and why-nots.

It’s also been a year of learning, of gathering even more information about the fascinating family who lived here and considering how we can continue to share and celebrate their legacy with audiences everywhere – how we can bring the Brontës to the world, and the world to Yorkshire.

There has been a lot to do in the run up to Brontë200.

We’ve built partnerships and forged new links; secured funding and made new acquisitions; met with artists, scholars, writers and journalists; curated exhibitions and developed projects; programmed events and organised conferences; provided images and copy for publications and websites across the globe; produced postcards, leaflets and banners.

Everyone at the museum has worked incredibly hard to ensure Charlotte and her achievements are celebrated in a way we can all feel proud of.

What’s more, Brontë200 is a five-year programme and we are already considering how we can celebrate Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020. This is just the beginning!

So what have we got planned? A printed programme is available from the museum, but here are a couple of highlights.

The museum will open on February 1 with Tracy Chevalier’s exhibition: Charlotte Great and Small.

Tracy has been wonderful to work with. She exudes energy and passion and is a fount of ideas and inspiration. We can’t wait to see her exhibition and other projects (including a knitted Jane Eyre!) come to fruition and look forward to seeing more of her during 2016.

Tracy has a new novel out in March, but we are also eagerly awaiting the publication of Reader I Married Him, a new edition of short stories by contemporary female writers inspired by the famous line from Jane Eyre.

Tracy has commissioned stories by authors including Audrey Niffenegger, Susan Hill, Helen Dunmore and Salley Vickers, and the latter two will read from the collection at an event in Haworth on April 7.

We hope the world will join us in celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte’s birth in April.

There will be events happening the length and breadth of the country, but here in Haworth, we will be hosting a birthday party at the Old School Room. There will be tea and cake and, if all goes to plan, the world’s largest Apple Charlotte!

Please join us if you can. And bring a friend – there can be no better time to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum than in 2016!