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Bromley House Library

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by Erin Connelly (subscribe)
I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published May 24th 2014
'Paradise will be a kind of library' ~Borges
Off the busy market square of Nottingham city centre is an old Georgian building that houses one of the last subscription libraries in England. Bromley House Library was founded in the early nineteenth century and holds an eclectic collection of rare manuscripts, early printed books, and works by new authors that are unavailable in more conventional libraries. With its serene reading rooms, spiral staircase, coffee room, 'secret garden', dynamic lectures and conservation efforts, and over 40,000 books, it is an enchanting place for scholars and book lovers.

Upstairs book collection. Photo by Erin Connelly

In the entrance to the library there is a three floor staircase surrounded by large paintings, as well as a vibrant exhibition space for artists and photographers. The library also owns one of the last walled gardens in Nottingham, which has been described by the library's website as a 'magical secret garden'. The garden is officially opened every spring with a party for members and the general public.

Yellow Hall Exhibition Space. Photo by Erin Connelly.

Walled Garden from Third Floor. Photo by Erin Connelly

One of the most photogenic features of the library is its beautiful spiral staircase, which is only accessible by one person at a time due to its age and somewhat cracked condition. The stacks of dusty books and lovable eccentricity of Bromley is reminiscent of other urban retreats for the literary aficionado, such as Shakespeare and Company located in the heart of Paris.

Spiral Staircase. Photo by Erin Connelly.

Membership is available for 90 per year, which provides access to the library's collection, gallery, garden, and members-only lecture series, as well as a dynamic community of like-minded people. The membership is reduced to 45.00 for young people between 18-25. Facilities are also provided to students and researchers on a short-term basis, as well as temporary memberships of 25 for repeat visits.

But, you don't have to become a member to enjoy this unique library. Free tours are offered on a fortnightly basis, many art exhibitions (as well as the garden party) are open to the public, and a wide range of lectures, teaching courses, and other events are open to members and non-members alike. See the Bromley House website for full details on visiting as a non-member.

Photo by Bromley House.
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Why? For those who love books
When: See website for opening times
Phone: 0115 9473134
Where: Angel Row Nottingham NG1 6HL
Cost: Variable
Your Comment
The spiral staircase is a great feature.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11681) 1393 days ago
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