Carnegie Library

By Liz Weston

A new public library built with money from Andrew Carnegie, was opened next to the museum on Leeming Street, in 1905. A second storey was added later and the building remained a library until 1977. In this year Queen Elizabeth II opened a new Central Library in West Gate. 

The Carnegie Library was later used as Mansfield Community Arts Centre and renamed the Old Library in 1976. In 2007 the building became the base for County Youth Arts.

Photo:Carnegie Library

Carnegie Library

Mansfield Museum

This page was added on 23/07/2009.
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Carnegie Free Library Memorial Stone laying. Mansfield Chronicle 10.6.1904 p5 The Renaissance style of architecture is to be adopted„ and the front elevation in Leeming-street will have an imposing appearance, And be quite as ornament to the town. Mansfield stone will be entirely used for the front, and the side elevation will be of red-sand bricks, with stone dressings. It is proposed to place suitably inscribed panel in the gable, commemorating the gift of the library by Mr.Carnegie, and this will be surmounted by the arms of the borough. The entrance will be in Leeming-street, and will lead Into a spacious hall, around which will be grouped the public rooms. Accommodation is, provided on the ground floor for a lending library, 60ft, by 18ft. 3in.; reading-room, with magazine and reference-room screened off, 60ft. by 26ft. 6in.; ladies' room, 26ft. 6in. by 15ft. 3in., and librarian's room and packing room. In the arrangement of the several rooms, great importance has been attached to the necessity of working the library with a small staff, without at the same time sacrificing the convenience of the public. Every room will have freah-air inlet tubes, or panels, and ventilating radiators. Flues for vitiated air are to be placed in the roof, having a large electric fan extractor. The lighting will be by electricity, and the heating by hot water. The lending library will be immediately opposite the entrance, and a large space is to be provided for borrowers of books. An iron staircase will give access to a storeroom on the first floor, and there will be a small hoist for books. The total cost of the building will be sbout, £3,000. Just before three o'clock the Mayor and Corporation, together with the members of the Free Library Committee, assembled at the Town Hall and proceeded thence to the site of the Free Library in Leeming-street. Mrs. Markham, accompanied by Lady Dartnell, wife of General Sir John. Dartnell, and Mrs. Bretton, shortly afterwards arrived in a closed carriage. J Vanags – Old Mansfield Society

By John Vanags
On 16/02/2012

Have I not read somewhere that the Mansfield Library is built on the site of of an old Iron Foundry that was operating at the top of Leeming Street. Seems a little strange that a foundry would operate out of the town centre. Although I do believe the centre of Mansfield at that time would have been the Hub for all methods of making a living...

By alan curtis
On 22/04/2013

The original Carnegie Library was indeed on the foundry site on Leeming Stret, next door to the Museum. However the library now is in the shopping Centre on West Gate. It was opened by the Queen during her Silver Jubilee tour in 1977.

By Liz Weston
On 22/04/2013

There were several foundries dotted around Mansfield. Do you know which foundry was on the site of the Carnegie Library?

By Angela Roche
On 23/04/2013

In the book 'Mansfield in the Last Century' published by the Old Mansfield Society under the heading of Iron and Brass Founding it says 'C F Sanderson, later Sanderson and Robinson, moved from Leeming Lane to Hermitage Lane in 1903, and the Leeming Lane site was used for the Carnegie Public Library which opened in 1905......'

By Pauline Marples
On 23/04/2013

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