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The Art Library, South Kensington—Questions

Volume 229: debated on Friday 5 May 1876

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asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether any steps are being taken to meet the admitted want of accommodation in the Art Library at South Kensington, which was reported last year as still in the same crowded and unhealthy condition as for some time previously, two of the attendants being now in the Consumption Hospital?

in reply, said, he was sorry to say that the condition of the Art Library was very much as the hon. Member had described it to be. It was, however, a temporary room, and he was informed that all that could be done at present to improve it had been done. The Educational Library, which was the one in which the health of the young men alluded to suffered, had been now transferred to a larger and better room, so that he hoped there was no longer any danger to the health of the public or the officers attending the room. A general plan for completing the South Kensington Museum had been agreed upon between the Lord President and the Board of Works, and the first work to be undertaken was intended to be the Art and Educational Libraries; but the claims upon the Exchequer had been so heavy for more important public ser- vices that it had been found absolutely necessary to postpone this work.

asked whether it would not be possible to place in South Kensington Museum some benches or seats for the accommodation of persons who visited it? He had been there several times, and he considered it would be a great advantage to provide such accommodation for the visitors, because people could not stand two or three hours.