In December 1920 the Carnegie Free Library on Anglesea Street in Cork was destroyed by a fire — lit by members of the British Crown Forces — along with the adjoining City Hall, and large swathes of the city centre.
Librarian and poet Thomas McCarthy tells the story of the destruction of the library and the subsequent restoration of public library service in the city. He covers the various efforts to rebuild the city and its library, set against the evolving political struggles, the generosity and public spirit of the many donors, and the single-mindedness of the then City Librarian James Wilkinson in pursuing his goal of a new library for the city.
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James Wilkinson, Cork City Librarian 1892-1933
(Extract from Radical Collections: Re-examining the roots of collections practices and information professions, Edited by Jordan Landes and Richard Espley)