Training with the Jubilee Library: Part One

We recently had some fantastic training with the Library as part of the research project – If These Walls Could Talk.

We had a tour of the Jubilee Library. Built in 2005, it won awards for the use of materials and sustainability, known as one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK. Using the natural elements to heat and cool the building, and water for the building amenities. The building has around a million visitors each year.

We walked through the non-fiction, reception area, shop and children’s area on the ground floor, and then lead to the second floor where all the fiction books are kept. We looked through the Local History section and had explained to us the use of the Dewey decimal system and how we might use it for our research.

The next part of the training was the Rare Books collection, an incredibly special part of the Jubilee Library and we were very fortunate to have a full introduction to the collection and some selected pieces which were of relevance to the project.

The Jubilee Library states “Our substantial rare book and special collections in Jubilee and Hove Library extend to over 50,000 volumes. We have items from the 13th Century through to the 20th Century. Many of these rare books and manuscripts have been donated to our libraries over time. Brighton library first opened to the public in 1873 and Hove in 1908.

Our special collections span more than seven centuries and include:

  • early printed books
  • illuminated manuscripts
  • splendid examples of fine bindings
  • private press publications
  • first and limited editions
  • early children’s books
  • works with beautiful coloured illustrations, woodcuts and engravings covering subjects from history, literature, and the arts to philosophy, natural history, and theology”
New and Correct Plan of Brightelmstone by T Budgen 1788

We had a brilliant and thoughtful presentation from the library staff and collection which displayed some areas of interest:

Church architecture & Interiors decorative features /furniture/ stained glass etc. John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice and The Seven Lamps of Architecture.

Non-ecclesiastical local architecture John Nash’s original designs for the Royal Pavilion

Local History books/ ephemera, including social history

General local history: The Erredge Collection, which consists of boxes of paper ephemera including maps and illustrations. Kelly’s Directory: to track the usage of local buildings & local businesses. Illustrated version of History of Sussex 1906. Short History of Brighthelmstone

Wider social history/ British history: Illustrated London News, Punch, Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and Architecture, or The Looking Glass Ackermann’s

Church texts: manuscripts or early printed missals, psalters

Other religious texts: Books of Hours /Offices/ prayer books used in the home- Again

Local Geography: Topographical engravings and maps. Detailed maps from 1808 & large scale of Brighton.

Local small press items: Looking at some local small press items from the early 20th century illustrating the period. Saints in Sussex


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