Height: 83.000 mm
Width: 78.000 mm
Archives CE114/622 (York Album)
Frederick York, The Grenville Library, a photograph
The British Museum, London, England, AD 1875
Sir Thomas Grenville (1755-1846) was a Trustee of The British Museum from 1830. He had a fine library of 20,240 volumes which he left to the Museum in his will. The books arrived in January 1847 in twenty-one horse-drawn vans.
The only vacant space for this large library was a room originally intended for manuscripts, between the Front Entrance Hall and the Manuscript Saloon. The books remained here until the British Library moved to St Pancras in 1998.
This photograph of 1875 shows the south side of the Grenville Library. The bust of Thomas Grenville by Sir David Dundas, also Museum Trustee, can be seen in the alcove. The books were originally on open shelves, which were glazed by 1857 when this room, the King's Library and Manuscript Saloon were opened to the public.
For many years an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts was on display in the Grenville Library. Many of these can now be seen at the British Library in St Pancras.