On Thursday 23 February the eighty proprietors and guests who sat down for the Library Dinner received a surprise gift. At each table place there was a scroll tied with green ribbon that contained a copy of one of the Athenaeum Library treasures, ranging from a page of Magna Carta to a Hannah Glasses’ cookery book of the mid Eighteenth century and some of the beautiful botanic illustrations of William Roscoe and Mrs Bury. Each was a copy of one of the high resolution photographs a as part of the Heritage Lottery grant have been made by specialists from the John Ryland’s Library to save wear and tear on our books.
The excellent dinner was followed by presentations from the Archivist Mrs Nicola Hubberstey and Mr. John Corbett, our former Public Engagement Officer, who spoke of their years work and some of the curiosities they had discovered. Now know that the Reebok trainer box was packed with Elizabethan Treasury receipts, some signed by Richard Stonley, who was later involved in embezzlement of government funds, there was the mysterious wine bottle found in the centre of a roll of maps. We saw a panorama of Church Street in 1843 with every shop and workshop named – copies of this are available for sale at Reception. We saw Robert Gladstone juniors Special Constables buttons and heard of his many involvements in Liverpool life.
The whole evening brought out two things, the richness of our collections and the tremendous success achieved during the year of our lottery grant. Finally the guests went home with a beautifully presented booklet detailing just what has been achieved in the Library in the last year. We thank all those involved in any way to create such a successful event.