On the night of Friday 15th May the Athenaeum Library once more took part in the annual Lightnight Festival when libraries, galleries and museums, not usually open at night, welcome visitors. Our library offered a series of guided tours; visitors saw the Library reading room, the stacks and the Committee Room where a large number of our rare books were on display. After a brief introductory talk and a look around the Library the guests moved to the Committee Room where Mrs Joan Hanford and our volunteer Jane Wilkinson talked about and displayed a few of our treasures. Afterwards a many took advantage of the refreshments and food available in the News Room.
Well over a hundred people paid to take the tour and it is a good indication of the interest in the Athenaeum that exists on Merseyside. It is worth noting that several of our visitors expressed interest in becoming Proprietors or joining the Friends of the Library.
I am sure that all Proprietors will appreciate that the considerable success of the evening depended largely on the unstinting efforts of our staff, who as usual gave up their time and energy to ensure success. Can I also thank the Proprietors who came to help welcome the visitors and guide them around the building.
The next Library event is the Antiques Evening on June 11 when we welcome Jeremy Lamond, well known on television antiques programmes. During the course of an informal supper with a Spanish tapas theme Jeremy will examine, and appraise at least some of the objects that you bring it (he can talk about most things but asks that you do not bring jewellery. The cost is £28.50 This is expected to be a very popular event and early booking is advised.
On June 4 -6 the Athenaeum will be hosting an international seminar organised by Eighteenth Century Worlds study group base at the University of Liverpool with a keynote speaker on the night of June 4 and papers and discussions on the Friday. The theme for this annual event is the social, artistic and economic history of tea, coffee and chocolate drinking in the long 18th century. As the Athenaeum was one of the first Liverpool coffee house it has a special significance for us. Proprietors are welcome to attend the opening keynote lecture and other parts of the seminar on payment of a fee. Details Prof. Eve Rossenhaft, University of Liverpool