The Subscription Library 1821

The first library in Stromness opened in 1821, ‘An institution established for the dissemination of wholesome literature’ . The Subscription Library was housed in 111 Victoria Street, above OTE. The subscription was 7 shillings to be paid annually on the first Thursday of Stromness Market. Early subscribers included John Rae, Hudson’s Bay Company agent and father of Dr John Rae; Rev Charles Clouston, Sandwick minister and founding president of Orkney Natural History Society, now Stromness Museum; and Sir John Login, naval surgeon, shipping and whaling agent and guardian to the deposed Maharajah Duleep Singh.

Below is the full catalogue for 1887. This is reproduced from the original belonging to Elizabeth Bevan and now deposited with the Orkney Library & Archive. Click on pages for a larger view.

1889 Supplemental catalogue

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