The architects were Raymond Harrison and Charles Spencer Haywood. Initial plans submitted to Carnegie, which included an art gallery and museum, were drawn up by architects, but were not accepted. Council Chairman Ralph Yates undertook a personal visit to Carnegie at his Scottish home, and an additional £2,000 was offered, conditional on replacement of the museum and gallery with a juvenile library. The steep Knott Street site was selected, enabling provision of a lecture room and stores in the undercroft. Robert Sharrock was appointed Contractor and the foundation stone was laid in 1906.
Awarded Grade II listing in 2017.
Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Blackburn with Darwen council (2021)
- Year grant given (if known): 1904
- Amount of grant: £8,000
- Year opened (and by who – if known): 27 May 1908, by Andrew Carnegie
Photo of library in 2009:
Photo shared by flick user Robert Wade, under cc licence
Old photo of library (postcard):
Nothing in my collection yet
- Entry on the listed buildings register
- Wikipedia page
- News article: Darwen’s ‘Beautiful’ library and theatre granted Grade II-listed status
- Historic England: Listed libraries of the north
- Featured as an “archetype” library on the Shelf-Life project website, which includes a Video walkthrough of the library