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Society of Public Librarians

Society of Public Librarians LogoADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: The Society of Public Librarians (SPL) was founded in 1895 to promote the interests and professional status of chief librarians in and around London. The Society held monthly meetings at which papers would be presented on matters of professional interest or debate, including cataloguing, public access to library shelves, the selection of books and so on. The group also hosted an annual outing every summer out of London to a historic or cultural landmark or educational institution, along with an annual dinner in the Holborn area of London. The Society, along with leading members Charles Goss, John Frowde, Frank Chennell, William Bridle and Edward Foskett, remained one of the main vehicles of opposition to open access within the public library, with debate channelled through the correspondence pages of newspapers and periodicals. The Society folded in 1930.


  • Minute books of the Society with photographs of annual outings, miscellaneous papers and correspondence, press cuttings and other material, 1895-1930
  • Loose papers including circulars, press cuttings, correspondence and SPL publicity material, 1881-1930

EXTENT: 1 box