Presents a short study of the evolution of public libraries in Liverpool, especially as a major contribution to the civic culture of the Victorian city. Provides a brief survey of the availability of reading materials before William Ewart and the idea of the public library emerged after 1850. Outlines Liverpool’s pioneering progress in this field, beginning in 1852, and culminating in its “Brown Library” (1860), and its “Picton Library” (1879). Also provides a history of Liverpool’s Branch Libraries, fostered by the generosity of Andrew Carnegie. Concludes with references to W.E. Gladstone as a promoter of the nation‐wide movement for public libraries.
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