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Edward Hall
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Edward Hall

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Edward Hall
Historic Photographs
Edward Hall
In March 1885, the City Librarian, A.W. Robertson, reported to the Free Public Library Committee that he had examined all the volumes that were to be transferred from the Mechanics' Institution, "and a note taken of any injury or imperfections, or both, that may have been found therein". He discovered that, while many were unsuitable due to their poor condition, others required repairs including fixing leaves and plates, re-attaching books to their covers and mending corners, and believed that this work "could be done most economically and conveniently on the library premises".

Edward Hall worked for the William Jackson bookbinders at the time and was sent by the company to carry out this work, including all the gilt lettering.

After the first six months of the new public library, and the wear and tear on the books "being already large and accumulating from day to day", the library committee were considering the appointment of a library binder to maintain the stock and repair minor faults before the volumes needed total rebinding. In August 1886, Mr Hall was appointed at a wage of twenty-three shillings weekly. Although other binding work was still undertaken by local firms William Jackson and John Avery, the Librarian was pleased to note in his annual report for 1885-86 that "The results of the experiment so far have been satisfactory, justifying the expectation that it would effect a saving both of time and of cost of rebinding".

The library bookbinders' wages and working hours were regulated by agreement with their trade union and in the 1890-91 Library Committee Minutes, it is noted that the Bookbinders and Machine Rulers' Consolidated Union had agreed a reduction in the bookbinders' working week from 54 to 51 hours.

After the Town Council made a resolution that all staff should retire when they reached the age of 65 years, the Library Committee had to ask Mr Hall to retire in May 1935. At this time his wages were £3.15. 6 per week.

In an interview with the People's Journal reporter, he expressed his disappointment that he was unable to complete his 50 years' service, even though he was then 72 years old. The Library Committee agreed that he would receive a weekly allowance of 16/8 (sixteen shillings and eight pence) in recognition of his long and efficient service.

At his retiral presentation, he was presented by the City Librarian, G.M. Fraser, with "a beautiful chiming clock with Westminster and the new Jubilee chimes".
Aberdeen Central Library
Aberdeen Local Studies
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