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Coronavirus Update

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 27th July 2020

It is with great sadness that we have had to close Gladstone’s Library and cancel our events, residencies and courses for the remainder of 2020. We very much look forward to happier times and to your visits in the future. During this period of closure, we are working on ways to keep our Gladstone’s Library community together through our online presence so please look out for updates and content from us over the coming months.  

De-accessioning in Stephen Gladstone Hall

by Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 09th July 2019

Gladstone’s Library is embarking on a 24-month deaccessioning project on a section of its collections. This is the first review of the Library’s collections since 2008-10. Collection use and user demographic has changed rapidly in the past five years and the Library now has collection use data which can help it make decisions.

Gladstone and the Romantics: our new April display

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 05th April 2019

Today when we consider the word ‘romantic’ we think of love and sentimentality, but the term ‘Romanticism’ had a much broader meaning, historically. Romanticism was a period which spanned the late 18th and early 19th centuries, emerging as a response to the disillusionment with the Enlightenment values of reason and order in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789. It covered a range of developments in art, literature, music and philosophy and William Gladstone himself would have been witness to its peak during his lifetime.

Tales of the supernatural: the library’s hidden creature features!

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 04th February 2019

At Gladstone’s Library we rotate our History Room display every month to focus on an aspect of Gladstone the man, or our extensive library catalogue. This February I decided to give some of our lesser-known collections a little TLC by presenting a display on 'Tales of the Supernatural: The Library’s Hidden Creature Features!' Additionally, to give you all some extra background on this exciting topic, I’m writing this blog for our website.

John Douglas – the man behind Gladstone’s Library

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 26th October 2018

Do you know the man behind the building of Gladstone’s Library? Possibly not. His name is John Douglas and he designed, during his life, more than 500 buildings. One of them was St Deiniol's Library, today known as Gladstone’s Library.

Tales of Wonder and timeless tales of horror...

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 18th October 2018

The month of Halloween is in full flow; the nights draw closer, the mornings mistier, and that black cat at the end of the street grows ever more ominous each time you pass. So, as every fancy dress lover’s favourite day of the year looms over us like a pumpkin-shaped apparition, there has never been a more appropriate time to look into the spookier side of our collections here at Gladstone’s Library…

Edrychiad i fewn yr gasgliad Cymraeg / Looking into our Welsh collection

by Rhian Waller | Tuesday, 25th September 2018

Although not Welsh himself, in 1894 William Ewart Gladstone decided to found his library across the Welsh border for good reason. The beautiful, remote countryside of Hawarden village, as well as nearby historic areas such as Ruthin and Mold, are steeped in culture and Welsh heritage. With an abundance of hills, forests and, of course, castles, as well as the mountain range of Snowdonia, Gladstone envisaged that rather than the congested streets of London, Liverpool or Manchester, North Wales would serve as the perfectly serene backdrop for his incredible legacy as well as provide the necessary air of tranquillity for study and contemplation.

ReaderPLUS – protecting Gladstone’s users for the future

by Administrator | Tuesday, 15th May 2018

If you’ve visited Gladstone's Library recently, you might have noticed a change in the front corridor: new Reader Application forms! These grass-green beauties – very appropriate for spring – replace the well-known A4 Reader Form that every Reader will have completed at one time or another.

World Curlew Day: Books, birds, and St. Beuno

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 20th April 2018

21st April is World Curlew Day, the first annual international event with the aim of raising awareness of the Curlew, one of the most recognisable of wading birds (numenius arquata). According to the RSPB, there are 66,000 breeding pairs in the UK, with 140,000 individual curlews wintering on our shores and estuaries each year.

Making the most of your visit to Gladstone’s Library

by Administrator | Wednesday, 07th March 2018

So, you’re visiting Gladstone's Library for the first time, fantastic! What’s the plan?

We recommend arriving around 11am. Our on-site café and bistro Food for Thought is open to the public (10am - 5pm), and a nice hot cup of coffee is the perfect start to your day.

Inspirational books by inspirational women

by Administrator | Tuesday, 06th February 2018

On 6th February 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed which allowed women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification to vote. This gave 8.5 million women the vote (though it is important to note that this only represented 40% of the total population of women in the UK and it wasn’t until ten years later that women achieved full equality in voting rights).

Gladstone's library of forking paths

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 18th January 2018

In this blog, library intern Carla Manfredino considers the library used by one of her favourite writers, Argentine author and librarian Jorge Luis Borges, and asks how many of those books could be found on the shelves here in Hawarden... 

Christmas reading recommends from the Gladstone's Library team!

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 15th December 2017

Gifting the perfect book to a person is one of the great joys of life; creating a perfect partnership which you can just feel in your bones will last.

With that in mind and as a little Christmas treat, the Gladstone's Library team have gathered together some of our books of the year and reading recommends perfect for stockings. If you are still looking for that perfect gift for someone special, we hope you can find inspiration within this guide! 

Democracy by James Kirchick

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 07th August 2017

Staring at me from the desk in my bedroom at Gladstone’s Library during my recent residency was a postcard inscribed with a bit of the namesake’s wisdom: 

Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. 

Things I learned while not editing my novel by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 07th August 2017

I met my first Wikipedia surfer, almost 10 years ago. It was my first year at university. The polo-shirted boy explained that he spent hours clicking link after link. It wasted days of his life, he said and smiled. Back in my dorm, tucked into my duvet, I settled in with Wikipedia. I clicked a link. I read for a while, and then stopped. The site seemed useful, but I wasn’t entranced by the hyperlink pathway.

Work Experience by Olivia Jones

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 14th July 2017

Starting my Work Experience at Gladstone’s Library, I was given an introduction and tour of the library itself as well as the collections. Within the library are the History and Theology Rooms plus the Annex. After I was shown around, I helped to open the Reading Rooms and then carried out circulation of the books as well as reshelving them.

Work Experience by Harriet Lewis-Wilson

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 14th July 2017

The first day of my Work Experience at Gladstone’s Library incorporated a range of tasks that helped me get familiar with the library itself. I was introduced to the helpful, friendly staff and Interns who then showed me what I needed to do to open up the library which included turning on lights and checking the books were in the right place. 

Work Experience by Kate Robertson

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 14th June 2017

This morning I helped to open up the library and start the circulation process, which meant that I had to use the Heritage Online software and the Cirqaclient software. 

Work Experience by Mia Mori

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 05th June 2017

Starting my week of Work Experience at Gladstone’s Library I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. Since it was Founder’s Day, an annual event at the Library, it wasn’t the average day of work.

Work Experience by Owen Yale-Helms

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 01st June 2017

The start of my Work Experience was not an ordinary day at Gladstone’s Library; it was Founder’s Day and was one of Gladstone Library’s most important events of the year.

Gladstone's Library in the New York Times!

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 08th May 2017

Gladstone's Library is delighted to have been featured in the New York Times (both online and in the physical paper!) in this wonderful piece about what Gladstone’s Library stands for. The title of the piece is ‘A Refuge for Liberal Values Beneath a Stern Victorian Gaze’...

Changes to Reading Room opening hours after 5pm

by Administrator | Tuesday, 04th April 2017

We are delighted to announce that just under 11,000 people worked in the Reading Rooms in 2016! That’s more than ever before, the highest number we’ve yet recorded. Many of those working in the Reading Rooms are enjoying our collections: use of books, journals and archive material is going up year-on-year. User feedback indicates that you, like us, are delighted to be part of a thriving, bustling working environment.

Stay and study with us on a residential course

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 20th March 2017

Gladstone's Library is a haven for reading, learning and conversing. Silent study spaces and more lively communal areas in our truly unique setting allow you to make the most of your time with us in whichever way you choose.

The Swiss Intern

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 20th March 2017

My name is Jennifer, I’m 22 years old and I’m the current Swiss intern at Gladstone’s Library. But how did somebody from Switzerland get to work here? Long story...

The Treasures of Closed Access: Samuel Wesley’s Life of Christ

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 27th February 2017

The Closed Access section of the Reading Rooms contains some of the Library’s oldest and rarest literary works and collections. It includes about 15 Incunabula, texts printed between 1450 and 1501, as well as a collection of books once owned by the Glynne family, of whom Catherine, William Gladstone’s wife, was a member.

One of the books housed in Closed Access is Samuel Wesley’s The Life of our blessed Lord & Saviour. An Heroic Poem.

Flashing at Gladstone's Library?!

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 20th February 2017

Worry not, there’s been no explosion of nudity in the Reading Rooms! But new security measures are in place. Read on as our Director of Collections and Research, Louisa Yates, explains…

Gladstone’s Library features on Telegraph Travel

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 14th December 2016

‘Quirky and eccentric— like hanging out in your favourite bookshop.’

That’s how Telegraph Travel editor Rachel Cranshaw describes the Library in her article published today, after her two-night stay with us in September.

Gladstone's Library on BBC Radio!

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 10th October 2016

Last month BBC Radio Wales’ All Things Considered visited Gladstone’s Library to speak to Warden Peter Francis about what role our Victorian library plays in contemporary life.

Watch: Founder's Day 2016

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 11th August 2016

Watch the video of Founder's Day 2016 at Gladstone's Library which asked the question Is the term 'Liberal Faith' an Oxymoron?

A book list with a difference

by Rhian Waller | Sunday, 17th July 2016

‘Books are a delightful society. If you go into a room filled with books, even without taking them down from their shelves they seem to speak to you, to welcome you.’

With the wisdom of William Gladstone ringing in our ears, we asked the ‘delightful society’ of Gladstone's Library staff to tell us about a book that they love.

A book-list with a difference.

Work Experience in Marketing - Niamh Yale-Helms

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 15th July 2016

I am a sixth form student from Hawarden High School studying Mathematics, History, English Language and Media Studies. After having started my year 12 syllabus in History studying British Prime Ministers and already gaining a strong interest in William Gladstone and his work, I immediately thought of Gladstone’s Library as an apt location for work experience as it's just a few minutes down the road from where I live and has an abundance of literary works which link into the British Parliamentary Reform I have been studying.

Summer 2016 at Gladstone’s Library

by Hayley Butler | Thursday, 07th July 2016

Sunshine or no sunshine, the Library is the place to be!

OK, so the heatwave we’d hoped for has not materialised quite yet but every so often those rays do break through, bathing the ground in a glorious sunlight, and July is looking promising!

Here at the Library we have events and activities for all weathers…

Reading List: Politics of the Mid-Tudor Crisis

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 01st July 2016

A Reading List for Gladstone’s Library.

Bloody Mary, The Life of Mary Tudor - Carolly Erickson (1996)

This biography contains information not only on the early life and the short but ruthless reign of Mary I, but the political manoeuvring which took place after the death of Edward V on 16th July 1553, when, on his deathbed, he named Lady Jane Grey as his successor, despite his father’s Third Act of Succession. This left both of Henry VIII’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, without a legal claim.

The book details how Mary then raised an army to take the throne for herself and the turning of the Council of Lords on Jane and John Dudley.

*Available in Gladstone's Library at shelfmark M 27 M1 / 12

Reading List: European dictators of the 20th century

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 01st July 2016

A ‘dictator’ is defined as ‘a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession’ (www.dictionary.com).

During the 20th century, Europe experienced some of the most manipulative and cunning dictators in history, including Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. Below are a series of reading lists relating to this topic, to some of the most brutal dictators Europe has known.

A translation of Gladstone’s German annotations

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 16th June 2016

William Ewart Gladstone, the founder of Gladstone's Library, was a diligent and intelligent man. Apart from being Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister to this day, he also managed to read 22,000 books and even found the time to annotate 11,000 of them. And not just in his native language, English; he also annotated his books in at least five other languages: Latin, Italian, Greek, French and German.

Work Experience diary - Ewan Jackson

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 08th June 2016

The reason I wanted to spend my Work Experience at Gladstone’s Library was because I wanted to be surrounded by literature. Gladstone’s Library offered a fantastic chance to be personally enhanced by its vast selection of books and debates whilst advancing my career skills and vocabulary. The Library also provided a prime opportunity to understand the versatility necessary to be a successful employee.

Work Experience diary – Beth Morgan

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 08th June 2016

I am a year 10 student in St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School, studying English Literature, French, and Drama. Outside of school (and my time at Gladstone Library), I go to my local drama group. The reason I wanted to spend my Work Experience at Gladstone Library was because I was looking for a place that fitted in with my three GCSE options. After researching some different options.

The Curious Case of the Changeling Chairs

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 13th May 2016

Spring is a time of change and natural miracles. Just to walk around Hawarden is to be faced with ample evidence of this: the leaves are new-green, lambs hop in the fields, and country strolls frequently feature herds of cows who enjoy slobbering on my hands and terrorising my taurophobic co-worker.

Gladstone's Library, commuting and Kung Fu

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 11th May 2016

I am asked frequently by visitors to Gladstone's Library, and by my friends, what it is that I do during my time here. This blog will give a bit of insight into my routine as the only non-residential intern currently on the team at Gladstone's Library.

Guest blog: Writing Echo Hall at Gladstone's Library

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 21st March 2016

I first heard about Gladstone’s Library in 2011 when I picked up a leaflet at the Hay Festival. I am a huge fan of William Gladstone, a Prime Minister who, for all his failings, really tried to improve the lot of ordinary people. So I was delighted to discover his library existed, and furthermore that it was possible to stay there. I was in the midst of writing my novel Echo Hall at the time and the idea of a writing retreat at Hawarden was very tempting. But, it’s a long way from Oxford and being a busy working parent it wasn’t until 2013 that I finally managed to make the trip.

What We're Reading...Kirsten-Rose Brooks, Library Intern

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 18th March 2016

Welcome to a new series on the Volume blog, What We're Reading, in which members of the Library team divulge their current reads and what they think of them. This week, it's my turn: Kirsten-Rose Brooks, one of the three library interns, avid reader and aspiring writer. 

The Gladstone's Library team: what we're reading

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 29th January 2016

At the Library, all of our staff and guests are united by (what else?) a love of books and reading. This week I investigated just what we’ve got our noses in at the moment, and there’s some fantastic reading inspiration to be found!

George Osborne visits Gladstone's Library

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 17th July 2015

George Osborne visits the Library of his most famous predecessor, who delivered 12 budgets over his long political career and whose budget box he used himself upon delivering his first. 

Airbus comes to Gladstone's Library

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 20th February 2015

An exhibition of photographs marking 75 years of aerospace in Broughton embarks on a public tour next week with a three week visit to Gladstone’s Library.

Great Accommodation at Gladstone's Library

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 13th February 2015

Gladstone's Library: Offering great accommodation near Chester & North Wales

Recognised as one of the most important research libraries and collections in Wales & 5 star accommodation reviews on trip advisor Gladstone's Library is a truly wonderful place to stay.


Work Experience by Lucy Hughes-Bowers

by Rhian Waller | Thursday, 06th March 2014

Work Experience student, Lucy Hughes-Bowers, tells us what it's like to be a part of the Marketing Department at Gladstone's Library.

A Call to Arms by Jamie Stokes

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 11th December 2013

The noble consulting intern, Jamie Stokes, picks up the gauntlet laid down for him by the mysterious "Professor" and, so it seems, not a moment to soon...

Professor A.C. Grayling Founders Day Lecture

by Rhian Waller | Wednesday, 24th July 2013

Gladstones Library welcomed Professor A.C. Grayling to the Library as part of its Founders Day celebrations this month. As part of the days events he gave a lecture on The necessity of a liberal educa

Introducing the Timeline Project by Gary Butler

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 28th June 2013

The usefulness of books constantly changes over time. While library buildings remain fixed as permanent structures, the collection of books within them are always in a state of flux. Reorganising lib

History Revisited by Muriel Maufroy

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 21st June 2013

To accept that our views on historical matters need examination and possibly re-evaluation is certainly a challenge, but a rewarding one. This is exactly what Fergus Nicolls book, Gladstone, Gordon an

Our New Additions

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 17th August 2012

The Library has added several books to its collection and is also now subscribing to four new periodicals: 'New Statesman', 'Spectator', 'Economist', and 'Prospect'.

Access to Gladstones Library Friday 9 December

by Rhian Waller | Monday, 05th December 2011

A funeral is taking place at St Deiniols Church on Friday 9 December which will restrict vehicular access to Gladstones Library on that day. Church Lane will be closed from 8am that morning, so visito

Celebrating Gladstones Library

by Rhian Waller | Friday, 16th September 2011

It is the start of the Gladstone Festival at the Library today. The Festival has been organised to celebrate the past, present and future of the Library. It will open with a reception with Warden, Pet

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