Anglo-Finnish Society donates over 100 books to The London Library to mark centenary of Finnish independence
The London Library was delighted to welcome the Anglo-Finnish Society and guests last night to start the year-long celebrations taking place during 2017 to commemorate the centenary of Finnish Independence.
Attended by Päivi Luostarinen, Finland’s Ambassador to the UK, this was the first official UK event in the Finland 100 programme (Suomi Finland 100) that will culminate on Finland Day, 6th December 2017 - the 100th anniversary of independence.
At the heart of last night’s event was the donation of an important collection of over 100 contemporary Finnish books that has been made to the Library through the Anglo-Finnish Society. The donation recognises the Library’s historical importance as a home of European and international literature (its shelves carry thousands of books in 25 different languages) and is an important modern addition to its existing Finnish collection, which includes the first New Testament printed in Finnish (dating from 1548), of which only 70 copies were ever made.
The Library built up its Finnish collection up to the Second World War, but its development since had been much more sporadic. The donation of over 100 new books through the Anglo-Finnish Society brings the collection up to date and its impressive range is a fitting reminder of the vibrancy of Finnish cultural life.
Over recent weeks, the new Finnish books have been catalogued and bound, and marked with the Library’s striking 175th anniversary labels. Featuring a wide range of topics - including Finnish Art, Architecture, History, Fiction and Topography – the books will shortly be available on the Library’s shelves for borrowing. Each carries an acknowledgement of Suomi 100 on the inside cover and a list at the back of the benefactors involved.*
Following a fascinating talk on Finland by Professor Henrik Meinander, an opening address by Sir Paul Lever, President of the Anglo-Finnish Society the collection was formally handed to Inez Lynn, Librarian at The London Library. Inez Lynn commented “We are extremely grateful to the Anglo-Finnish Society and the generous donors who have made this important gift possible. The new books are a wonderful showcase of Finnish culture and the opportunity to grow our Finnish collection is a lasting way of celebrating this centenary year.”
After its memorable run on ITV earlier this year, Victoria – the acclaimed new series about the life of the young Queen Victoria – premieres on PBS on January 15th 2017.
The series - and the book that accompanies it - has been written and produced by London Library member Daisy Goodwin and much of it researched in the Library.
We are delighted that on 17th January 2017 Daisy will be hosting an event in New York for members of the International Friends and Founders' Circle groups of The London Library to talk about the series she has created and the role the Library played in its development.
In the third instalment of her blog series on The London Library and The Victorians, Helen O’Neill, our Archive, Heritage & Development Librarian, takes a look at the links between The London Library and a distinguished architectural dynasty founded by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the leading proponent of the Gothic Revival.
Gilbert Scott Sr joined the Library in December 1873. He was at the peak of his career - his astonishing Midland Hotel at St Pancras had been formally opened in May that year and he had been recently knighted following the 1872 opening of another of his most celebrated designs - the Albert Memorial. His Library membership was seconded by his architectural son who joined the Library a year before his father.
The Reading Room underwent a miraculous transformation on 1st December from hallowed centre of learning to spectacular party venue as guests joined host Sir Tom Stoppard for this year’s London Library Christmas Party, run in partnership with Harrods, the world’s most famous department store.
2016 marks our 175th anniversary and as part of the celebration, guests were treated to readings from Edward Fox, Anna Chancellor, Bill Paterson and Joely Richardson in the Library’s beautiful Reading Room.
Harrods made sure the party ran in style, providing their luxurious, festive food and drink throughout the evening, and setting the scene with the celebrated Harrods vintage van parked outside in St. James’s Square!
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