A library within The Library: Gillingham Parish Library at Salisbury Cathedral | Salisbury Cathedral

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A library within The Library: Gillingham Parish Library at Salisbury Cathedral

Wednesday 4th December 2019
14:00 - 16:30
North Transept

14.00-15.00 Talk by Dr John Porter on the history and contents of the Gillingham Library accompanied by Salisbury Cathedral assistant librarian Dr Anne Dutton.

15.15-16.30: Exhibition in the Cathedral library and Book Cleaning demonstration


Did you know that Salisbury Cathedral Library contains another library?  321 books belonging to St Mary’s Church Gillingham, Dorset. Come and find out more about their fascinating history in a special event held as part of our Beyond the Library Door project to improve the care and catalogue of all our rare books.

Starting at 14:00 Dr John Porter will talk about the history of the Gillingham parish library – given to the vicars of Gillingham by Thomas Freke in 1735. Joining John will be Dr Anne Dutton, our very own Assistant Librarian, who with many years’ experience of rare book cataloguing has recently catalogued the Gillingham books onto our new online library catalogue.

During the afternoon there will also be an opportunity to visit the Cathedral library to view some of the Gillingham books and see our Library Preservation Volunteers demonstrating how we are cleaning the books to protect them for the future

Dr. John Porter is Assistant Curator of the Gillingham Museum. He is the author of several publications on the Gillingham area, including a history of the town and of the Forest of Gillingham. He was formerly a lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association, teaching courses on the history of Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire.

Booking Details

Free, no booking required.

Please note that although the talks will be on the ground floor access to the Cathedral Library is via a 37 step spiral staircase.


This event is supported by The National Heritage Lottery Fund.