History: The Birmingham Library

(Andy Wootton) #1

I was filing some paper and found the ‘B&MI Spring - Summer Programme, Science Arts Literature’. There’s a page on The Birmingham Library:

“The original Birmingham Library was founded in 1779 by John Lee, a button manufacturer who lived at 115 Snow Hill. This private lending library was reorganised in 1781 by Joseph Priestley, the pioneering chemist who discovered oxygen. The library moved into a purpose-built location on Union Street in 1797… until it moved to its present location on Margaret Street in 1899. The Birmingham & Midland Institute joined the Library in 1955, having moved from its original Victorian premises in Paradise Street.”

There is a large photograph of the old B&MI building on the staircase. I think it was demolished to make way for Central Library and the Conservatoire. “Call some place Paradise, kiss it goodbye” - The Eagles.