Support Blickling's Library Appeal

Project

The £325,000 building project will see vital work get underway at Norfolk’s Blickling Estate, as part of a larger five year project to not only save the library, but bring it to life for visitors. The hall is home to one of the most significant country house libraries in England, with more than 12,500 volumes making up the largest and oldest book collection in the conservation charity’s care.

As part of ongoing conservation work a number of risks to the books have been identified, including from mould and death watch beetle. The conservation project will see work take place that will ensure the library is fit for the future.

" Historic buildings like Blickling bring multiple challenges with them over time and need continual care for the precious collections they hold, and the work we need to do in the library is about the long-term future of the books here."
- Paul Coleman, Project Manager

“It’s not unusual for issues such as leaks or pest damage to appear in places like this, but without this essential work to stop them in their tracks, the potential damage to the collection would be irreversible. We know that a visit to the library is the highlight for many visitors to Blickling, so we’re confident that together we can take it into the next stage of its long history.”

Work on the project is due to start in January. As well as repairing leaks, the conservation work will include creating the right environmental conditions for temperature and humidity that the collection needs.

The collection includes the oldest book cared for by the National Trust, the first complete Bible to be printed in English, as well as first editions of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

Librarian John Gandy has spent the last eight years cataloguing the collection. He said: “The library here at Blickling is absolutely magnificent – from medieval manuscripts all the way through to Jane Austen first editions. Some titles are unique to Blickling and with others there are only a small number of copies in the world, but the books are under threat, and we need to do something about it.”

“One of the great highlights of my job here is working so closely with this very special collection and this project is all about taking an historic collection into the future so that we can share it with people for generations to come.”

Conservation work like this is only possible thanks to the kind support of visitors, members, donors and supporters. To ensure the library and its collection is saved, you can get behind the fundraising appeal and donate online.

Most recent update: 24 Jan 19

Lifting floorboards in the North East Turret

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Most recent update: 24 Jan 19

Scaffolding on the North East Turret

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Most recent update: 11 Feb 19

Removing the book presses

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Latest updates

21 Mar 19

31 tonnes and counting...

The scaffold construction around the North East Turret is a work of art in itself with 250 metres of boarding totalling 12 tonnes, scaffold tubes totalling around 16 tonnes and scaffold fittings totalling around 3.5 tonnes.

Scaffolding on the North and East sides of the North East Turret

11 Feb 19

Removing the book presses

It's a hive of activity in the Long Gallery Library as the team start removing the book presses one by one to install insulation behind. We caught up with them as they checking the condition of the wall behind a press on the North side.

Three men looking at a wall behind a book press in the library with a torch

24 Jan 19

Lifting floorboards in the North East Turret

A floorboard specialist has been lifting the floorboards in the North East Turret. Each floorboard can take anything from a couple of hours to a whole day to lift. Some boards are badly damaged by death watch beetle, whilst other boards are still in fairly good condition. Every board is then labelled to ensure they go back in the right place, the right way round, once they’ve been restored. All the debris from underneath each board has to then be hoovered up and bagged to be analysed.

A specialist lifting floorboards in the North East Turret