Happy New Year!

Open the doors! Light of the day, shine in; light of the mind, shine out!
We have a building which is more than a building.
There is a commerce between inner and outer, between brightness and shadow,
between the world and those who think about the world.

These lines are from the late, great Edwin Morgan’s inspiring poem for the opening of the Scottish Parliament building – whenever I read them I always think they could equally well apply to Gladstone’s Library. For me, it sums up what Gladstone’s Library is about. It makes no difference whether you come to listen, to learn, to write or reflect - it is what you think and say that makes this building more than an historic building.

We are open again after a Christmas break and look forward to welcoming you to Gladstone’s Library in 2022.  Our priority is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all our visitors.


To be extra safe, we impose a restriction to the number of people in our meeting rooms and do everything we can to make a visit to Gladstone’s Library to read, stay, attend a meeting or event as safe as we can make it. All our staff take regular lateral flow tests. This, I hope, is reassuring in these edgy times.

However, not all is gloom and doom. We have put together an excellent programme of events and these are booking well. In the first weeks of the year there is a short residential course on ‘liberal Christianities’ (22nd – 23rd January), followed by an important talk by Andrew Graystone on the church and institutional abuse which will be presented on the same weekend (23rd January) and in early February our much loved literary mini-festival ‘Hearth’ (5th February) . . . and there is much, much more in the months to come. All these events will be limited to appropriate numbers for social distancing purposes.


We look forward to safely welcoming you in the next months. We have a building that is more than a building. I conclude with the final line of Edwin Morgan’s poem:

So now begin. Open the doors and begin.


Peter Francis

Warden and Director of Gladstone’s Library

Sleeping with books

Sleeping with books

Food for Thought

Food for thought