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Treasure 11 : East Branch Library (22, Union Street)
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Treasure 11 : East Branch Library (22, Union Street)

Historic Photographs
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 11 : East Branch Library (22, Union Street)
Historic Photographs
Treasure 11 : East Branch Library (22, Union Street)
Did you know there used to be a small branch library at the east end of Union Street seen here in the 1930s on this image from the Library photographic archive?

A small branch reading room opened on 5 September 1904 located on the first floor of a drapery shop at 34 Castle Street, leased from Baillie George Brown for a sum of £19 per anum.
Since the opening of the Central Library in 1892 there had been an increasing demand for a Library presence in other areas of the city and branch reading rooms were set up with a selection of newspapers, magazines and a small collection of reference books. Castle Street served the east end of the city and proved popular with over 21,000 users by the end of November.

A budget of £25 per anum was allocated for newspapers and periodicals which were supplied by Miss Davidson, of 76 George Street. There were 55 applications for the position of attendant and Miss Lizzie A Douglas was appointed from a shortlist of 6. Opening hours were from 9 in the morning until 10 at night.

Although the lease of 34 Castle Street was intended as a temporary measure it was 1928 before the reading room closed (it was too small and inconvenient) and re- opened at 22 Union Street as East Branch Library and Reading Room.

This image is part of a photographic survey of Union Street in 1936. It shows the Gas Department showroom, 20 Union Street, and the Library Branch, 22 Union Street.

The removal to new premises was described as the "outstanding event of the year" in the library annual report, particularly so as it was Aberdeen's first branch library with over 5000 books available to borrow.

East Branch finally closed in 1953 but memories remain particularly of wet wool coats drying out on the radiators with the smell of "sheep" in the air!!
Castle Street - Union Street
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