Carnegie libraries in Australia

There were 4 libraries built with Carnegie funding in Australia: Midland Junction – Western Australia, Mildura and Northcote in Victoria, and Hobart in Tasmania.

Details about their funding is on wikipedia

Thank to facebook and flickr friends who live there, I have found out what has happened to some of them.

Hobart

The library in Hobart is now the Tasmanian Maritime museum (not sure when it stopped being a library?)

hobart-snuva-flickr

Thanks to Disa for this quick snap!

Northcote

The Carnegie library in Northcote also has another purpose now, but thanks to Anne Holmes I can see what its like.

9560469062_c297a0d8b5_z

Photo credit: Anne Holmes

And also learn that the date 22 February 1911, is significant – probably when it was opened by the Mayor: Ralph Archbold JP. And as the stone below confirms, this Free and Public Library was erected by Andrew Carnegie.

9560466738_9a1783e15d_m Photo credit: Anne Holmes

Mildura

Mildura is another library with a new lease of life. As the article written in 2008 (when it celebrated its centenary) shows: Still making history at 100. It served as a library for 90 years, and then became the home for the local historical and genealogical societies.

The publishers of the postcard showing the library opening, have made it available via wikimedia commons. Thank you Bruck & Sohn.

512px-10290-Mildura-1908-Opening_of_the_Mildura_Public_Library-Brück_&_Sohn_Kunstverlag

Also, thanks to mattinbgn who shared a photo of the building as it is today also via wikimedia

MilduraCarnegieLibrary

Midland Junction

The National Library of Australia website contains a scanned article from the Western Australian, dated 4 August 1911, which confirms that after ‘protracted negotiations’, Carnegie had agreed to give £1,500 (subject to certain changes that should be made to the original plans which had been submitted).

A website aboutMidland junction has a section describing public amenities in the town. This confirms: …. new library building, consisting of an octagonal bay attached to the old Town Hall, was built on the public triangle and opened in May 1912. The Carnegie Library remained a distinctive part of the town centre until its demolition in 1966.

The State library of Western Australia has a black and white photo (description only) and there is a facebook group: Remember Midland – where this photo was shared, which just shows the octagonal end of the building.