Fears for the archives at Holborn library remain
01 November, 2018
• COUNCILLOR Jonathan Simpson has kindly offered a reply to my own letter to the New Journal about the Holborn Library archive, and it is very good that he has acknowledged there are concerns, (Plans for Holborn Library are looking to the future, October 11).
However, his reply only reiterates those given previously by councillors and as yet does not address many of the concerns expressed by myself and others. The most important issues are ones concerning space and costs.
At present the archives have their own dedicated rooms. These are well lit with plenty of space to store and study the larger items such as maps or paintings, refer to catalogues and create generous exhibitions from material kept nearby.
There are separate secure rooms where archives can be catalogued as the new material keeps coming in. All these spaces will disappear when the studies area (already signed off) are removed to a basement area half the original size (the rest of the area shared by general events).
Two-thirds of the present collection will be sent to Boston or Yorkshire and probably never return due to huge cuts in council funding. The items will become less and less available as prices for storage, insurance and travel rocket.
The £750,000 gained is not dedicated for the archives. Local people may find they have to pay to use them till they can no longer afford to do so. It is this that would make it undemocratic.