The library was designed by Edward Burgess and built by Clark & Garrett of Willow Street.
The new library was opened by Andrew Carnegie himself. The opening ceremony took place at 3pm in the Reference Library on the first floor, presided over by the Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Stephen Hilton. Mr Carnegie was presented with three volumes of the Records of the Borough of Leicester which had been specially bound for the occasion “in full myrtle green crushed Levant morocco, sewn flexibly with silk, with antique gold edges. Tooled and lettered in gold’. Edward Burgess also presented Mr Carnegie with a gold key. The library was opened to the public the next day.*
Awarded Grade 2 listing in 1975.
Current status: still a public library, managed by Leicester City council.
- Year grant given (if known): 1902
- Amount of grant: £12,000
- Year opened (and by who – if known): 8 May 1905 by Andrew Carnegie
Photo of library today:
Old photo of library (postcard):
We visited in 2014 and spoke with the librarians, one of whom remembered dressing up in period costume to celebrate the centenary, another told us about the original layout – which was reading rooms and closed access.
- *Story of Leicester: the central library
- Entry on the listed buildings register
- Library Tourist visits Leicester central library