A librarian’s gotta do…

So the building works this summer were, at times, a little bit of an inconvenience, but we didn’t let that stop us. Looking through the Institute archives, it becomes clear that the IoE Library staff have quite a history of adopting a policy of ‘Keep calm and carry on’…

On the outbreak of the Second World War, at the order of the Ministry of Information, the Institute relocated to University College, Nottingham. However the library remained in London and throughout the War years in what is known as ‘the library in the hut’.

Library in the hut

The ioE library during the Second World War. c1940. Institute Archive

When the current Bedford Way building was initially constructed in the late 1970s, the planned library failed to materialize. Some years earlier the library had been accommodated in a building leased on Ridgemount Street. It remained there and operated in cramped conditions, suffering from being dislocated from the rest of the Institute, for over 20 more years.

The Newsam Library as we now know it was unfortunately scheduled for completion some months after the lease on the Ridgemount Street building ran out. However, in March 1991, library staff vacated the Ridgemount Street premises, and commandeered several spaced within the Institute in which to operate from, including the Elvin and Jeffery Halls. Finally moving to our present location in July 1992.

The library in the Jeffery Hall

Interim library service running from the Jeffery Hall. 1991. Institute Archive

Temporary library. Entrance.

Entrance to the library in the Jeffery Hall. 1991

It’s good to think that we have soldiered on just as our predecessors did (although the Jeffery Hall image may well jog the memory of some longer standing members of Institute staff!), and I’m sure a great many library users appreciate that we have allowed only minimal disruption to our library and archive services over the last couple of months.

More photographs documenting the history and development of the library, and the Institute as a whole, can be accessed in the archive along with our deposited collections.

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3 Responses to A librarian’s gotta do…

  1. Lucy Shepherd says:

    I really enjoyed reading this piece on the life of the Library. A library in a hut, sounds cute but must have been mayhem for the staff! It does make one wonder, what other significant parts of collections, libraries were left to the mercy of a stray bomb.

  2. Sean Curran says:

    Very interesting read!

  3. Pingback: More photographs of the IOE library’s previous homes

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