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Library opens after refurbishment

The main reading room of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) in Cecil Sharp House has reopened after major refurbishment.

The work has been carried out by carefully selected professionals, making careful reference to the room’s original features. The result has created a brighter and better space for users to discover and explore the English folk arts. Entrance is free.

The seven-week programme included the renovation of the historic bookcases by accredited conservators Bainbridge Conservation, painting the ceiling, and installation of new flooring, curtains and readers’ lamps. A new display case will exhibit items from the archive, and there are improved facilities for browsing the VWML’s extensive catalogue and online resources.

The VWML is the country’s biggest dedicated library and archive of folk music, dance, and other traditions, and received Designated status from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011. It opened in 1930 to make Cecil Sharp’s personal book collection accessible to the public, and has grown to include audio-visual materials, archival collections, and artefacts.