The early days of St George’s School library

Nowadays, St George’s School pupils participate in the annual National Book Week and have access to a new computer suite and well-resourced library.  However, back-copies of the School Magazine reveal the modest beginnings of the School Library.

It was only on completion of the new school building in 1935 that the School Library had a room of its own and soon it became the centre of reading and other hobbies.  Recent acquisitions had focused on fiction, then on nature, while the weekly “Field” magazine was popular.  It was hoped that a large music section, good biographies of distinguished men in the history of the world, more poetry and some moving classics might be forthcoming. Donations and gifts of books were sought as the Library Fund was insufficient to maintain a well stocked Library with its books well maintained and replaced as necessary.

Soon the many contributions to the Library Fund were being acknowledged.  In 1946 a Library Committee was formed, dilapidated and out of date books were being replaced and the proceeds of fines for overdue or damaged books were allocated to the Library Fund.  A year later a small subscription by every boy ensured a small but steady supply of new books for the Library.  Soon it was reported that the school had been gifted some fine oak bookshelves from Chapter Library and that the Library, which now contained 1500 books, was being used by large numbers of boys.  More than 200 books were added to the Library during the school year 1948-49.  In 1953 there was said to be a fairly good selection of all types of literature, but much “dead wood”.  Up to date books on Natural History, science, sports, games, hobbies, music and art, true adventure stories and annuals and books by Jane Austin, Trollope, C. Bronte, More (“Utopia”), Butler (“Erewhon”), C. S. Forester and T. S. White would be gratefully received.  Substantial gifts of books or donations to Library funds are acknowledged in subsequent issues of the school magazine.

Jill Hume, Archives Volunteer

The King's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.