Issued: 5 October 2012
Plan To Re-create Victorian Library At Inglis Memorial Hall
Angus Council is moving forward plans to re-create a Victorian library at Inglis Memorial Hall in Edzell, turning it into a unique visitor attraction and making it a key destination in the county’s tourism trail. Neighbourhood Services committee agreed to consider proposals at their meeting yesterday, Thursday, 4 October.
The historic Inglis Memorial Library building– recently upgraded by Historic Scotland to a Category A listed building because of its status as a rare and unusual example of a surviving 19th century library- could be restored to its original 1898 layout. Neighbourhood Services committee agreed at their meeting to progress plans for the project.
The library consists of a collection of 6,000 volumes, gifted to the village by Lieutenant-Colonel RW Inglis at the end of the 19th century and is considered to be the best preserved example of a Victorian public library in the United Kingdom. The building also contains the original Cotgreave Indicator Issue System which contains loan records, printed catalogues and lists of regulations.
Imaginative ideas for the library include conserving and repairing the unique stained glass windows and the mosaic Librarian panel about the vestibule door; replacing carpet tiles with linoleum in the style of the original flooring and replacing modern fixtures and furniture with Victorian fitments, lighting and curtains.
As part of this significant work to create a heritage visitor attraction, the council will also consider the future budget implications, including all costs associated with the employment of a member of staff in setting up a lending library in the building. Edzell library service is delivered by a mobile rural services vehicle since the library building closed in 2010.
Convener of Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Donald Morrison said: “We know that the Library and Information History Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information professionals considers the Inglis Memorial Library to be unique in the history of librarianship.
“If these ideas for the library can be taken forward, with input from Historic Scotland, this would be a welcome additional attraction for tourists in that area of Angus visiting the Glen Esk Folk Museum, the Caledonian Railway and the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, as well as our excellent museums at Brechin and Montrose.”