Comrades, brothers and pioneers: the first public librarians in London

Michelle Johansen, researcher and writer on Victorian public libraries, tells the forgotten stories of the pioneering generation of public librarians in London – who  helped create the “universities of the people”.

Among these was Frank Burgoyne who managed the newly established public libraries in Lambeth – including Tate Free Library in South Lambeth Road (our beloved Tate South Lambeth Library).

victorian libraries Sep 2016Michelle recounts how the first library managers took charge of their rate-supported institutions and  worked together to refine emerging library systems – arguing bitterly about best practice.

Many of them lived in residential quarters over or alongside their libraries. Most of them had moved to London from outside the city and were isolated from friends and family members. She traces their self-taught backgrounds, early career paths and friendship bonds, and describes their library living quarters.

Wednesday September 14th   7pm (doors open at 6.30)

Admission free. Refreshments available

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