The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is very excited to announce that its main reading room is to undergo a major refurbishment this summer to create a better space for users to discover and explore the English folk arts.
The VWML, based at Cecil Sharp House in London, will be closed from 19 July to 5 September while the work is carried out.
The VWML is the country's biggest dedicated library and archive of folk music, dance, and other traditions, and received Designated status from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011. It opened in 1930 to make Cecil Sharp's personal book collection accessible to the public, and has grown to include audio-visual materials, archival collections, and artefacts.
The library was one of the few rooms in the Grade II listed property that escaped serious damage from a WWII bomb, and so it still features the original bookcases made by Heal's on Tottenham Court Road and its Art Deco ceiling.
The seven-week programme will include the renovation of the historic bookcases by accredited conservators Bainbridge Conservation, painting the ceiling, and new flooring, curtains, and readers' lamps.
A new display case to exhibit items from the archive will also be installed, along with facilities for browsing the VWML's extensive catalogue and online resources.
The library has always been considered the "jewel in the crown" of the EFDSS – and rightly so, since its collections underpin the preservation and sharing of the folk arts. This refurbishment demonstrates our commitment to our important collections, and to those wishing to rediscover English traditional culture.
Library staff will continue to operate an email, telephone, and letter enquiry service during the closure period. Check the VWML website and the photo album below for updates and photos whilst the refurbishment takes place.