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Stornoway Library

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Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Stornoway Library

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Stornoway Public Library

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Dates of existence



In 1897, the Burgh of Stornoway Commissioners adopted the Public Libraries Act, establishing a Library Committee and deciding to seek funds to build a Town Hall and public library. A public concert was held to raise money, and donations requested with £3000 from the philanthropist James Carnegie, a further £2000 and almost 1000 books from James Coast Jnr of the Paisley thread manufacturer J & P Coats Ltd. The Town Hall opened in 1905 with the library reading room following in 1906.
In 1964, Stornoway library was transferred out of the Burgh of Stornoway’s control and into the Education Committee of Ross & Cromarty Council who ran the network of libraries across the Council area. In 1975, the library service became part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, coving the whole of Lewis down to Barra.
The Library service moved out of the Town Hall in 1980. It expected to move back into the Town Hall which was to be redeveloped as a Cultural Centre, but this never occurred and the library stayed in its temporary home for another 18 years. A new library on Cromwell Street was opened in 1999 as the main offices of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s library service.


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