Maps are, perhaps, one of my favourite categories of material in the collection. I enjoy the days when I find time, or excuse, to study them, usually finding out something new and interesting about the map or the city when I do so. My recent research into the maps of Bath has made me realise how lucky we … More Mapping Bath
Bath is a photogenic city. Visitors come from round the world to see its crescents, baths and museums – they take their photographs, paint pictures or write long, descriptive letters home about the beauties of the architecture or the city’s long history. But what of life on a daily basis? The Library’s collections contain materials that highlight everyday … More Life more ordinary
You might have noticed, amongst all the other anniversaries being celebrated at present (such as HM Queen turning 90, or Charlotte Brontë turning 200), that it is also the 400th anniversary of the death of a Warwickshire playwright who made good on the stage in London all those centuries ago. And he wrote a few … More Against strange maladies a sovereign cure
Valentine: noun. Defined as ‘card sent, often anonymously, on St Valentine’s Day, 14th February, to a person one loves or is attracted to’ or a ‘person to whom one sends a valentine card or with whom one is romantically involved.’ The origin of the word is late Middle English denoting a person chosen, possibly by … More Will you be my Valentine?
Some famous people have lived and worked in Bath. Many more not-so-famous people have also lived here. And some families have stayed for generations: their names crop up frequently across time – Oliver, Peirce, Falconer, Cotterell – though maybe not much outside the city. But in the case of John Palmer, his name recurs several … More My name is Palmer. John Palmer.
It is very hard to know exactly what is in all of our collections. Some items are used frequently, and some items only very occasionally come off the shelf, or out the drawer, to be seen for their value and interest. One such item was requested the other day: a prescription for the use of … More Drink three quarts of the Pump of the King’s Bath
Bath has seen many people pass through its streets over the centuries. Some stayed, some passed through. Some are still famous – Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley – but there are many more who were famous in their time, but they are now forgotten or only vaguely remembered – Fanny Burney, George Wade, John … More The Lament of Major André
Prologue. It was our birthday on the 28th. I mean the Library’s birthday. Or at least the anniversary of the Lending and Reference Libraries moving in together to the Podium in Northgate Street. It seems like a minor event in the great scheme of things, but it meant a lot to the Avon Library Service … More It’s a long story
Driving into Bath recently, I was struck by how many sets of roadworks were set up along the street. There were holes for utilities, closures for line painting and restrictions for pavement relaying and widening. It was as frustrating as roadworks usually are, but it did make me wonder about the building of Bath. We … More Bath the building site
We have a very dedicated volunteer in the Library, Julie, who has spent the last four and a half years combing through our clippings collection. The collection was started by J. Meehan in the early 20th century and bought, along with other parts of his collection, by the Library. We still add to the collection … More The Bath Prophecy