The National Trust announced that it has secured the important Londonderry family library at Mount Stewart, which will remain in its historic home. The Royal Oak Foundation is pleased to have provided principal funding for this important project together with the B.H. Breslauer Foundation.
“The Mount Stewart Library contains a wide range of important books that would not normally be available through public collections in Northern Ireland,” Sean Sawyer, Royal Oak’s Executive Director explained. “This will open up some very important pieces of history to further research and will enable the information to be made accessible to a broader public.
“For this reason we were very pleased to get involved with this important project and, together with the Breslauer Foundation, provide significant funding to help secure the legacy of this historic collection at Mount Stewart.”
Additional funding for the library acquisition was provided by the Northern Ireland Museums Council, Friends of the National Libraries, and several private donors.
The funds will allow the library to be preserved in a variety of mediums. As part of the long term plan for the library, the National Trust plans to fully catalogue the collection, placing the information online, and to explain and interpret the collection through regular exhibitions at the house.
Jon Kerr, General Manager at Mount Stewart said: “The library gives a unique insight into the reading and book-buying habits of a powerful and influential family from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.”
“It is possible through the books to trace the history of this famous house and its owners including Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, who created the famous gardens.”
“The library contains thousands of books on a wide range of subjects, ranging from Lady Londonderry’s truly magnificent collection of Irish books and her many books on gardening, architecture, archaeology and mythology which clearly relate to the creation of the inspirational garden you can see today at Mount Stewart.”
In 2012 the National Trust embarked on a £7million conservation project at Mount Stewart House which will secure the legacy of this special building for future generations.
The Londonderry library will be appreciated in its original setting in 2015, when the house at Mount Stewart House fully re-opens after the restoration project.
This important project is a demonstration of the excellent conservation standards of the National Trust and includes vital repairs and improvements to the structure and services in the house.
To learn more about the Mount Stewart grant and other projects supported by Royal Oak, visit:www.royal-oak.org/grants