Boston library

Brief description

Most towns received Carnegie grants that resulted in buildings either exclusively or primarily for the use of a library. However, this was not the case everywhere. Boston was granted funds by Carnegie that formed part of a much grander and more elaborate plan.

It had been originally intended to provide a Free Library and a School of Art to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. A public subscription fund was inaugurated that was soon accepted by Boston Corporation. The Corporation had also committed itself to providing new accommodation for the Council offices and for the Police and Fire services, so these were included in the scheme. The result was the opening of the new Municipal Buildings in West Street which accommodated the Council Offices, Mayor’s Parlour, Fire Station, Police Station, Police Court and Cells and School of Art, as well as the Library and Reading Room. The Library was given exclusive use of its own designated rooms. Andrew Carnegie donated £560 towards the library scheme and the Mayor, Alderman Joseph Cooke, who  officially opened the premises, contributed a further £500.
[from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Current status: No longer a public library – current use unknown.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £560
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 16 June 1904 by  Alderman Joseph Cooke

Photo of library today:

None traced yet

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet.

Web links:

  • David Lambourne wrote a series of short articles on Lincolnshire’s Carnegie libraries which were published in ‘Lincolnshire Past and Present
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Ashby library

Brief description

The Public Libraries’ Act was unanimously adopted in Ashby at a public meeting in February 1905 and the new library building opened in April 1906 in Ashby High Street. The architect was W.H. Buttrick. The first librarian was Clement Kendall, who remained in the post until his death in 1931.

The Ashby library building, which retains its original beautiful wooden staircase, stood empty and rather forlorn for some years but is now used as a fitness centre. The modern current library, which is more conveniently located further up the High Street, has in it a plaque taken out of the old building which acknowledges the importance of Carnegie’s contribution. [from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Current status: Fitness centre (confirmed via google streetview), which led to Freaky’s fitness centre, address: The Old Library, 107 Ashby High St, Scunthorpe DN16 2JX (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1905
  • Amount of grant: £1,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 16 April 1906 (Easter Monday)

Photo of library today (2010):

geograph-2048273-by-jonathan-billingerFrom Geograph  © Copyright Jonathan Billinger and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Details:

Plaque – now in modern library

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Scunthorpe library

Brief description

In Scunthorpe itself there had been an earlier plan to build a Free Library and Council offices which had come to nothing, but, in August 1902, the Public Libraries’ Act was adopted and a library building erected in the old Station Road (now known as High Street East) through Carnegie’s generosity. The town surveyor, A.M. Cobban, produced the plans. The site, which, like the one in Ashby, was in a rather inconvenient position, was purchased through a gift from the Cliff brothers of the Frodingham Iron and Steel Company.

The foundation stone was laid in August 1903. The first librarian was E. Davison. It was in this building, too, that Harold Dudley established the first Scunthorpe museum in 1909.  [from the article by David Lambourne – see link below

Current status: Demolished in 1985

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): February 1904, by Joseph Cliff

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Web links:

Stamford library

Brief description

An unusual looking building – as described on the listings register: One storey in ashlar. Portico with 4 Tuscan columns, originally open between the columns. Very wide modillion eaves cornice in wood. Moulded pediment surmounts the whole frontage.

This is probably because, unlike other buildings which Carnegie funded, Stamford decided not to build new, but to reuse an existing building.

“Stamford Corporation purchased the White Lion Inn in High Street in 1801. This was knocked down and a market and shambles by William Legg was built on the site and opened in 1808. After the Public Libraries’ Act was adopted in 1903, the building was converted to a library, with a librarian’s cottage behind.”
[last paragraph is from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Awarded Grade II listing in 1954

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Better (Lincolnshire have contracted out their libraries and they are now run by the CIC formerly known as GLL) (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £2,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 25 Jan 1906 by Earl Brownlow

Photo of library today (2010):

Stamford2-tricia-800

Photo credit:Tricia Watson

Details:

Library postcard:

stamford

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Lincoln library

Brief description

In general, the communities that applied for a grant to help fund a public library were those in which there was no free library. However, on occasions, an application was made in a place where a library already existed. Such was the case with Lincoln which secured the very large grant of £10,000.

The City had adopted the Public Libraries’ Act and had established a library in the old Assembly Rooms over the Butter Market in Silver Street in 1894. By the following year the library had some 7,000 books as well as news and reading rooms.

In the early years of the 20th Century it was decided that a larger library with open access and a much simpler borrowing system was needed, so an application for funds was made to Andrew Carnegie.

The new library, which remains as the public library in Lincoln, was built in Free School Lane to a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield, who also designed the Usher Gallery. Dr. T.E. Page, a distinguished Lincoln classics scholar, opened the library. A large stone plaque in a meeting room adjacent to the children’s library reads: ‘This building owes its erection in 1913 to the munificence of Andrew Carnegie’
[from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

It was awarded Grade II listing in 1969. [nb. listing says it is a 1914 building]

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Better (Lincolnshire have contracted out their libraries and they are now run by the CIC formerly known as GLL)  (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £10,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1913 by Dr TE Page

Photo of library today (2013):

10766288123_7b1996e473_z

Photo credit: Flickr user Tom Bastin (cc licence)

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Gainsborough library

Brief description

In 1902 Councillor Joseph Barlow, Chairman of the Urban District Council, in wishing to commemorate the accession of Edward VII, wrote to Andrew Carnegie for assistance.

Carnegie offered £4,000 providing his usual conditions relating to the site and the Libraries’ Act were met. Sir Hickman Bacon offered a site and James Marshall approached employers in the town to raise the money to purchase it. Marshall’s own firm gave £200 and a promise to make up any shortfall.

The new library was opened in October 1905, was administered by the Urban District Council and initially held 1,800 books for lending with a further 80 on reference.

The building is still in use as a public library and stands opposite Gainsborough Old Hall. Although the exterior of the building has memorials to prominent people associated with the town over the centuries, there is no acknowledgement of Andrew Carnegie. He merely provided the money! Over the entrance are simply the words ‘Public Library’. [from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Awarded Grade II listing in 2015.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Better (Lincolnshire have contracted out their libraries and they are now run by the CIC formerly known as GLL) (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1902
  • Amount of grant: £4,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): October 1905

Photo of library today (2011):

photo-gainsbrough

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

gainsborough

Visited?

Visited during a holiday in 2011.

Web links: