Historic books have new 'long loan' home to help researchers
- Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography
The small but important library of Quaker books kept at the Friends' Meeting House in Saffron Walden's High Street has been transferred to the Gibson Library.
The books will be held in the Gibson Library as a separate collection on a “long loan” basis. It will allow researchers to more easily consult the books.
The transfer was marked by a small informal meeting.
Representatives from the Saffron Walden Quakers met with members of the Gibson Library Society in the Gibson Library reading room.
A considerable amount of preparatory work was necessary before the transfer could take place.
The books have been individually listed, and a special bookplate inserted inside each book.
For the transfer, the books were wheeled through the streets on a trolley by Karl Gibbs to the Gibson Library, then checked against a list and recorded in the accessions' register before they were placed on shelves.
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Julie Miller and Kevin Davey, two historians with a special interest in Saffron Walden Quaker history of Saffron Walden Quakers, also attended the meeting.
Julie is Curator at the Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon, and a lecturer at Essex University. She is currently writing a biography of the Quaker John Farmer (1667-1724), an early anti-slavery pioneer in North America.
Kevin Davey, who grew up in Hadstock, is the author of an award-winning article on the arrest of a group of Quakers in Hadstock in 1661, which won an award from the British Association for Local History for research and publication.
He also wrote a second article on the anti-slavery campaigners in and around Saffron Walden during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Both articles have been published in Saffron Walden Historical Journal.
Martyn Everett, chairman of the Gibson Library Society, said: “It is appropriate that the books should be held in the Gibson Library, where they will be more easily available to researchers, as the Gibson Library's early founders and benefactors were local Quakers, and we already have several early Quaker publications in the collection - and of course we will be continuing to add new books on Quaker history to the library.”