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Treasure 51: Central Library Extension Plan 1902
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Treasure 51: Central Library Extension Plan 1902

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 51: Central Library Extension Plan 1902
Historic Documents
Treasure 51: Central Library Extension Plan 1902
In this Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design we feature a plan from our archive showing the proposed extension to the original Central Library building. Previously, the building was around half the size of what it is now - the area which houses the Children's Library and Media Centre was added in the extension to the building in 1905.

By 1900 - less than 10 years since the Central Library first opened - the need for an extension was recognised with reports from the time describing The Reading Room as "congested, dark and inaccessible". In 1902, the architects Brown and Watt designed a 2-storey central piece with a single storey extending west to the junction of Skene Street, and ending in a tower. The extension cost £7,700 and opened on 18 May 1905. Built in keeping with the character of the main structure, it was described as a "harmony of architectural features". Facilities included a new Reading Room, a Stock Room, an upgraded Reference Department and public toilets.

The new Reading Room was painted in colours of citron and cream and described as "handsome, airy, bright and convenient". The 2000 readers who frequented it daily would have been well satisfied with 21 dailies, 100 weeklies, 78 monthlies and 11 quarterlies to choose from. Railway Timetables were also stocked.

The rules of the reading room were strictly enforced. Time restraints on newspapers were also in operation. Readers were given 10 minutes to "occupy a page if another reader has expressed a wish to have it turned".
Aberdeen Central Library
Aberdeen Local Studies
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