Perth Libraries ~ a potted history

Fragments of a brief history on Perth Libraries (from an article by Sara A Kelly in the Friends of Perth Archive newsletter).

First library in the county at Innerpeffray (1664).

Perth library service begins 1784.

In the 19th Century most individual parishes had their own private book collections.

Institutes such as the Mechanics Institute owned their own libraries.

Public Libraries Act of 1853 important turning-point.

Archibald Sandeman bequest of the 1890s leads to the building of the Sandeman Public Library and the bringing together of many small dispersed collections.

Carnegie Trust support an experimental County Library Service.

By 1954, 213 branches/centres across county.

Mobile Library began in the 1920s.

1971 autonomous libraries in Blairgowrie, Crieff, Kinross and elsewhere become part of the County Service, which subsequently includes the Sandeman Library.

1974 Local Government Reorganization.

Over the years Sandeman Library was the receiver of many donated collections:

Robert Scott-Fittis (1906) – a private library owned by this Perthshire historian/writer

Mackintosh Library (1933) – extensive collection of the Rev. Donald Mackintosh (books from 1500s to 1830s)

Atholl Collection (1935) – donated by Lady Dorothea Ruggles Brise (sheet music, poetry and dances later catalogued by Sheila Douglas)

Also the Young Collection; Brough Collection; Pullar Collection; Keith Collection; and, the Margaret Stewart Collection of maps.

1983 Local Studies Department established.

1994 – AK Bell Library built.