Early Public Libraries in Britain from Past to Present – a socio-architectural history

A surprisingly high proportion of late 19th and early 20th century library buildings in Britain remain intact and still function as libraries. In Books, Buildings and Social Engineering, authors Alistair Black, Simon Pepper and Kaye Bagshaw provide a socio-architectural history of this large set of urban civic buildings. The book includes a gazetteer of early public library buildings in Britain 1850–1940.

By providing pictures from the past and vivid descriptions of library buildings that are still in use, Black, Pepper and Bagshaw…have written a book that will encourage [architects and librarians] to look at public libraries in a new way. Their enthusiasm for their topic springs from the page and it will make you want to visit and/or revisit the places they describe…Architects, librarians and those with an intelligent interest in cultural history will find it a volume to cherish and enjoy.
Bob Usherwood, The University of Sheffield, UK

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