Welcome to Quaker Strongrooms, a blog from the Library of the Society of Friends.

Library reading room, 1925-1927 (Lib. Ref. 93/AL/12)

Photograph by Hubert Lidbetter, Architect, of the Library reading room at Friends House, 1925-1927
(Lib. Ref. 93/AL/12)

Follow our new blog for insights into the Library’s wide-ranging collections of print, archive and visual materials relating to Quakers and Quaker activities from the 17th century to the present day, and for news about our work, exhibitions and events. We aim to entertain and inform in equal measure.

You’ll be able to read here about some of the Library’s treasures, and also about some of the less well known but fascinating items in our collections. There will be updates on interesting new arrivals in the Library and a chance to see many more images from our rich visual resources. We will blog about reading room exhibitions and Quaker history events, to give those of you who can’t make it to Friends House a taste of what’s going on. And we plan to bring you posts on what happens behind the scenes, tips for research, and reader experiences of the Library and its services.

Why Quaker Strongrooms? We chose the title as a nod to Caroline Stephen’s classic introduction to Quakerism, Quaker strongholds (1890).  Most of the Library’s holdings are stored in strongrooms purpose made for them when Friends House was built to Hubert Lidbetter’s design in 1927. Library users see the reading room with its open access books, and any items ordered up, but not the full extent of what lies below. Just as Caroline Stephen aimed to make the “Quaker strongholds, those principles which cannot fail” more widely known, we hope to shine a light into our collections for readers of this blog.
Publishing a blog is an exciting new way for us to communicate with our users and supporters. We aim to build on and develop the kind of content you enjoyed in the former Library newsletter, by making the most of the blog format – more up-to-date news, images, and scope for your feedback.

You can subscribe to Quaker Strongrooms by clicking on “Follow us” to receive regular updates, and previous posts will stay here for you to read later. Feel free to make comments on posts – we want to hear your views on the blog.

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10 Responses to Welcome to Quaker Strongrooms, a blog from the Library of the Society of Friends.

  1. Robin Bennett says:

    This is a very welcome development. Thank you. Robin Bennett

  2. Good luck with the blog.

  3. Margaret Page says:

    Great news for all but especially those of us in the shires and beyond! Thanks

  4. Great to see the updates being put in one central place, Facebook is handy, but a dedicated blog serves the purpose much more effectively. Best wishes from South Belfast Meeting.

    • Library of the Society of Friends says:

      Thank you for your good wishes, Jonathan – hope you enjoy forthcoming blogposts about the Library’s collections and services. We’re aiming to post once a fortnight or so, after the first couple of weeks. Quaker Strongrooms will complement our Facebook page, but not entirely replace it. We’ll be keeping that on to make sure we can reach as many people as possible, in different places. For last minute news, see the Facebook page, for more on the collections, better images and greater detail, see this new blog. We’ll try to make sure we put important news in both places, and of course on our webpages – http://www.quaker.org.uk/library

  5. joanevelyn says:

    Congratulations on the blog. I like the title – how about a picture of what the strongrooms look like today?

    • Library of the Society of Friends says:

      Thanks for your suggestion, Joanevelyn. The Library strongrooms do indeed look rather different from the way they would have looked in 1927, though their reassuring solidity persists. Keep your eye on the blog – there may well be a sneak peek in a future post.

  6. Kersti says:

    This is good news. I like the division of material you propose between Facebook and the blog – most of what I will be interested in will be in the blog, which suits me fine – as does the proposed frequency of every couple of weeks. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that another member of my local meeting (the Blue Idol) has already forwarded news of your blog to our email discussion group.

    • Library of the Society of Friends says:

      Hello Kersti, thanks for your interest in the blog and for sharing it with other members of your meeting. Since starting out nearly 2 years ago, we’ve tried to fulfil most of our original ambitions outlined here. The posts are now published at a more leisurely pace – about monthly. That means we tend to announce events and other timely news on the Facebook page. Do have a look if you use Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/libraryofthesocietyoffriends. It’s updated roughly every week, sometimes less often, sometimes more.

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