Save The Honresfeld Library
8th June 2021
The news is exciting that the fabled Honresfeld Library has emerged from myth and obscurity to reveal its extraordinary treasures. But without immediate government intervention in the public interest a national collection hidden for 100 years will soon be scattered piecemeal across the world—perhaps never to be seen. The first tranche is set to go under the hammer as soon as July. This is a library filled with unique and precious British treasures—manuscripts in the hands of Burns, Scott, Austen and the Brontës, as well as little-seen letters to and from Elizabeth Gaskell. With national libraries and literary house museums, the public custodians of such materials, struggling to survive after a year of forced closure and lost revenue, this is not the moment to bring national treasures onto the international market. Saved for the nation, this unrivalled collection will be a source of vital cultural revenue and creative renewal. Retained as a coherent collection, it will repay scholarly investigation and provide enjoyment for all lovers of literature for the next 100 years. Read more about the collection and auction via this BBC Article
Our friends at the Brontë Parsonage are leading a campaign to save this astonishing collection intact for the nation. You can find out more about the collection and the Brontë Parsonage’s response here.
The Chair of Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, which owns and operates Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, has written to our local MPs and Mayor to urge immediate action on this and we would encourage you to do the same.
We urge immediate action to save the Honresfeld Library for the nation.