Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carnegie Library, Dunfermline, Scotland

Dunfermline was the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. The Carnegie Library there was the first one to be gifted by him. J.C. Walker designed the building and it was opened to the public on the 29th of August 1883. In the entrance hall of the building there is a bust of Carnegie’s mother. The library provides free Internet access to its users and the collection holds about 59,000 materials. The special collections include the Murison Burns Collection and the George Reid Collection of Medieval Manuscripts and early printed books.

In 1992 the museum expanded and opened a children’s section. The library offers “Rhyme Time” for toddlers and a summer reading program for school aged children. This year they had 139 children signed up for the summer reading program.

The library has a local history room. Items there are shelved by general subject, and then by specific areas of that general topic. They include family history research materials from 1561 to 1700 birth and marriage records. In the back room they have many items in storage including a gifted donation of glass negatives and accompanied handwritten indexes by local photographer Morris Allan, maps of Dunfermline, the 1851 to 1950 bound hard copies of the Dunfermline Journal, and the Scriptures of Saint Margaret Gospel (the other existing copy is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford).

A new museum and gallery is expected to open in Dunfermline by 2015. It will be an integrated facility with the Carnegie Library. Of course this is all dependent upon available money from the heritage fund.

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