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by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 10th December 2019
Early sepia-drenched photographs of Gladstone’s Library I have seen are curious. They are strange portals into a familiar but unfamiliar world. They can also be a bit like dusty moths, lifeless and flattened in the pages of history. I wanted to (amateurly) try and put a bit of colour in one.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 01st May 2019
Our Assistant Librarian Gary Butler gave a talk Monday night all about rare books and religious texts. In this post, he shares a reading list of books for anyone who wants to explore the themes in his talk further.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 22nd January 2019
In this regular series, library staff ‘spotlight’ a single item, or a set of items, from the thousands of print and archive items held in the collections here at Gladstone’s Library. Read on and discover more about the items on our shelves…
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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…
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 31st August 2018
We’ve had feedback in the past that GladLib guests really trust and rely upon the recommendations of our team – year on year people book festival tickets and accommodation before line ups have even been revealed!
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 16th July 2018
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce that Caruso St John have won the competition to design a prestigious new building for Gladstone’s Library in North Wales and redevelop the existing Grade I listed library and its landscape.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 17th April 2018
Before World War II, when the library was only 30 years old, Alec Vidler, the then Warden of St Deiniol’s Library, was preparing for a 'decrease in the number of ordinary visitors', which he called 'inevitable' is his 1938 report to the board of trustees.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 26th February 2018
Gladstone’s Library became an internet sensation over the weekend when news and entertainment website Buzzfeed published a video on the Facebook page of its travel arm, Bring Me.
by Amy Sumner | 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).
by Amy Sumner | 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...
by Amy Sumner | 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!
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 19th October 2017
I know what you're thinking, the title ‘Class mark K’ is pretty vague, but I just didn’t know how else to describe this magical corner of the Annex, where I lost a good hour of my day because of the sheer number of books that I just wanted to delve into...
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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’...
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 26th January 2017
Wahey, it's Academic Book Week! This week long celebration of the influence and diversity of academic books returns for a second year 23rd -28th January
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 20th September 2016
A creative partnership has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.
During the annual Arts & Business Cymru Awards, support given to a scheme run by Gladstone’s Library was acknowledged as a ‘model of excellence in philanthropic giving’.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
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…
by Amy Sumner | 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
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 03rd June 2016
Over the last week, the Film & Theology DVD collection at Gladstone's Library has almost doubled in size. Why? Thanks to a substantial donation from Warden Peter Francis of over 160 new DVDs from his own personal collection.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
I despair increasingly of the democratising potential of Twitter. But it has achieved one good thing for me: it’s where I first heard about Gladstone’s Library.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | 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!
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 18th November 2015
14th – 22nd November is national Explore Your Archive week, an initiative conceived by The National Archives and The Archives and Records Association aiming to showcase archives and tell amazing stories. To tie in with this, we‘ve decided to delve into our own archival collections and do some exploring of our own…
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 10th July 2015
Work Experience student Tesni Jones looks at Russian literature from the Soviet period.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 10th July 2015
Work Experience student Danielle Povey puts together a Reading List exploring the expression of the Islamic faith through a selection of books from the Gladstone's Library collection.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 31st March 2015
Gladstone’s Library is giving Lewis Caroll fans an exclusive opportunity to experience the library ‘after hours’ to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.
by Amy Sumner | 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.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 02nd January 2015
Friends of Gladstone's Library trip to the Portico Library.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 24th September 2014
TWO 19th century institutions located on opposite sides ‘of the pond’ have signed an historic agreement.Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales and Virginia Theological Semi
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 22nd August 2014
During my month at the Library I became fascinated by what draws us to the places we choose to work. I was lucky enough to be able to use the same desk in the History Room all month. It was lovely t
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 04th April 2014
Gladstone's Library has been playing host to a special guest these past three months, Irene Marin has joined us from Barcelona as our newest intern. In this blog post she writes about the experien
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 01st April 2014
Martha Watson has been at Gladstone's for three months. Now, on the morning she leaves, is her parting message to the Library, its staff and residents. We'll miss her!
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 28th January 2014
Our newest recruit and library intern extraordinaire, Ceri Williams, shares the experiences and impressions of her first month here at Gladstone's.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 05th November 2013
Library Intern, Jamie Stokes, takes us through a new task at the Library and sheds light upon one of the lesser known trinkets of the Library: 'The Paraphrase of Erasmus', translated by Queen Mary
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 09th October 2013
The newest addition to our team, Sin Morgan, writes about her experiences settling into life at the Library as an Intern. She tells us about life behind the scenes after dark and a little about hersel
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 06th August 2013
You never know what you might discover when looking through the shelves of Gladstones Library. In the room which contains the whole collection of the books Gladstone originally donated over 30,000 v
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 26th July 2013
Greg Garrett writes about his current stay at Gladstone's Library, what the library means to him, why he keeps coming back, and what he does here!
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 24th July 2013Gladstones 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
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 10th July 2013
The title is certainly intriguing. Intriguing too is the fact that Gladstone clearly read this autobiography (the author remains anonymous) carefully, as attested by his many pencil written annotation
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 24th June 2013
That different people may at times hold completely opposite opinions on a specific subject, appealing in both cases to large audiences, is strikingly evident to anyone browsing through the shelves of
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 10th June 2013
Gladstones Library is certainly not short of history books, especially when it comes to the Victorian era. However, history is inevitably the view of the past that someone holds which causes their vie
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 04th June 2013
Liam Cookson, a work-based learning student from the University of Chester, has been working in the library for five weeks. While on placement, Liam was able to attend a workshop offered by the Flints
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 03rd June 2013
The range of subjects Gladstone was interested in never ceases to astonish me. Whilst in Gladstones Library, I recently stumbled upon a little thin book with an unusual cover three horizontal bands
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 11th September 2012
My first week here at Gladstones Library has passed by in a blur of books, great food and conversation. This library is a rare hidden gem of the type you only find in a country like Britain. It has ju
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 05th December 2011A 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