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North Highland Archive  

History Of The Wick Carnegie Public Library
From its formation in 1891 - Present
Let there be light


Foreword & Acknowledgements

Introduction  - See Opposite

Chapter 1
Libraries in Wick and Pulteneytown before 1887

Chapter 2 1887 – 1891

Chapter 3 1891 – 1900

Chapter 4 1900 – 1930

Chapter 5 1930 – 1975

Chapter 6 1975 – Present

Chapter 7 Librarians

Photo Gallery

1. Catalogues belonging to the different libraries in Wick &

2. Andrew Carnegie

3. Letter to Andrew Carnegie

4. Hew Morrison, Chief Librarian, Edinburgh

5. Letter to Hew Morrison describing Wick

6. Sir John Usher

7. Copy of letter to Mr. Leith, Agent for Sir John Usher

8. Plans of the library

9. Photograph of the laying of the Foundation Stone

10. Emeritus Professor David Mather Masson

11. Book Label Design done by Miss G. Whittaker

12. John Mowat F.S.A., (Scot.)

13. Portrait of Neil M. Gunn done by D. M. Sutherland 1965
     held in Wick Library

14. Crocodile – Gavialis Gangeticus

15. Effigy of St. Fergus

16. Glass engraving on the window in the library

Information on some of the people mentioned in the text

I started working in Wick Library when I was employed by the Youth Training Scheme. After completing YTS, I was offered a chance to do some relief work. Later, I was offered a full time position in the Library.

I have been asked a few times by the public and my work colleagues to write a book on the history of Wick Library from its earliest origins.

Imagine if this building could talk! It would have a fascinating story to tell about the challenges and the changes in the library from its beginnings to the present. But it cannot speak for itself so I have tried to help tell that story.

The story can be fascinating. What sticks in my mind the most are the different generations--- from grandparents to grandchildren--- coming into the library to see our famous stuffed crocodile!

Although less exciting than crocodiles, the detective work has also been interesting. I have gone through all the information from the minutes’ books & the letter book, picking out the main bits to put into this book.

There is information available from the beginning. Our library still has its original minute books from the 1880s up to the mid -1900s, although in some cases things like these can disappear from the record.

The library itself has changed hands a few times, starting off as Wick Parish Carnegie Public Library, before coming under the Caithness County Council in the 1930s.Highland Regional Council took over in 1975, giving way to Highland Council in 1996.

The minutes’ books, letter book and the plans of the library are held on permanent loan in the Archives upstairs in the library.

Robert Bain,
Library Assistant,
Wick Library.
July 2003

Robert Bain and Sheila Mather Handing Over The History