Quaker library reopens after refurbishment

The Quaker library at Friends House, Euston, is reopening to the public on Wednesday, June 15, following major refurbishment.

Library reading room
Refurbished Library pictures: Lisa McQuillan for Britain Yearly Meeting

Closure due to the pandemic in March 2020 offered the opportunity for a long overdue overhaul which has seen the Library of the Society of Friends returned close to its original design when Friends House opened in 1923.

Larger fitted pieces of fitted furniture were removed to create a more flexible and accessible space for a variety of users, and carpet tiles were lifted to reveal the original wooden floor which has now been restored.

Last refurbished in 1993, the project hit an unexpected hurdle when an entire rewire proved to be necessary, and supply chain issues led to delays.

Library reading room

It has been a “huge game of Tetris" to fit the collections back into the room and basement storage, the library staff said.

Lisa McQuillan, assistant head of library and archives, said: “We are delighted that the library will be reopening and thank our readers for their patience. We hope the changes will make the library into a more welcoming space for all."

The library will re-open with an appointment only system, Tuesday to Thursday every week. Please email library@quaker.org.uk or the visit the library webpage to find out more about how to book an appointment.

You can find out more about the refurbishment project on the library blog (offsite link). For those who cannot get to Friends House, there are curated digital links to online resources on this Raindrop site and a selection of subject guides to download from the Library collections page.

The latest leaflet for meetings who want to research their links to the slave trade can be found is available to download. Research guide - Slavery and the meeting (PDF).