Monday, 5 July 2010

Greenwich Maritime Museum, Caird Library

National Maritime Museum, Caird Library:

The library is moving from its original location where it has been in operation since 1937.The rotunda is the only room that will be kept in its original condition.  The new library will better house the collection of immigration, piracy, navigation, astronomy, exploration, naval architecture, Merchant and Royal  Navy as well as geneological resources.  Although the library has been previously redesigned to allow for more readers, the musuem now needs this area for a gallery, and the library needs a larger space.  To give patrons access to the rare books, it is necessary to have a sight line on readers to ensure they are handling the books in the proper manner.  In the span of roughly one year despite being opened limited hours, there were over 2,000 visitors in the library.  Keep in mind the current library is basically hidden from the public- locked behind fire doors.  Patrons must be 16 years of age to use the resources.  Imagine the possibilities when the new library opens! In addition there will be more modern software to allow for online orders. 

The "gems" of the collection include over 8,000 rare books, pre 1850.  The modern books (post 1850) consist of over 100,000 titles. 

Set of Signals from the US Frigate Chesapeake- 1810
Lead in spine so book would sink if it needed to be thrown overboard. 
Ship set sail from Bosten and lost a15 minute duel vs. Britain.
After this loss, the American Navy had to change their codes!
This is where the term "don't give up the ship" originates.  Interesting...

Notice something funny about this map?

Visit their collections online at

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