Online Exhibition: History of the Town Library

The books inherited from Hill House

The diagram sketched in the front of the catalogue on the picture opposite shows how George Stacey Gibson's books were originally arranged at his home, Hill House, in Saffron Walden High Street. The books were catalogued using letters to denote subjects.

A - Biography, Genealogy etc,
B - History
C - Topography (geography) and travel, (Great Britain)
D - International topography
E - Theology, religion and church history
F - Literature (essays, collected works, literary criticism etc.)
G - Arts
H - Social sciences
I - Bibliography, librarianship, printing history etc.
K - Sciences including geology, astronomy and mathematics
L - Botanical science, agriculture, horticulture etc.
M - Natural history
S - Fiction

The same categories were used in the Institute Library and have been retained for the old books in the Town Library.

© Saffron Walden Town Library Society, 2004 & 2015

Many of the books in the Town Library reflect the Gibson's interests. George Stacey Gibson was the author of The Flora of Essex, which explains why he collected so many books on botany and zoology. These can be seen in the bookcases. The collection reflects the Gibson family's interests. As brewers they had books on brewing and temperance and as bankers they collected books on finance.

The major influence on George Stacey Gibson's book collection, above all else, was his Quaker faith.

Catalogue of the library of George Stacey Gibson, 1880

Catalogue of the library of George Stacey Gibson, 1880.

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