THIS week Salisbury Cathedral has opened the doors of its library to visitors.

The library is celebrating the completion of a National Heritage Lottery funded project which started in 2017. 

A series of open afternoons and events have been taking place to share more about the items discovered during the project.

Salisbury Journal:

During the project books from the cathedral’s collection of more than 10,000 volumes were fully catalogued for the very first time, including information on previous owners, inscriptions and bindings and the condition of the books. 

A group of volunteers also cleaned the books, removing decades of grime and dust.

As part of this process the outside of the books have been carefully cleaned with a specialist vaccum cleaner while paint brushes were used to remove any dust inside.

I was given the chance to have a go at this process myself, which I can say was the first time I've had to vacuum a book (and probably the last time). 

The collection features books on a diverse range of subjects not just on religion but music, health and gardening.

Cathedral archivist and head of the library, Emily Naish, said: “The aim of the project was to improve our knowledge about the collection, particularly of the things such as previous owners of books and the bindings and inscriptions.

"It was also to get the books in a better condition by cleaning them and trying to find ways of telling people more about what we have. A big part of that was the online catalogue so you can now browse books we have catalogued.”

Salisbury Journal:

The end-of-project celebrations culminate in a ‘Library Day’ yesterday (Saturday October 30) with talks and a chance to find out more about what was discovered.

The books in the collection range showcase examples of coloured printing to decorative bindings, and feature music to maps, and even a squashed mouse, trapped in the pages of a Latin textbook by choristers over 200 years ago.

Salisbury Journal:

The library is site above the East Cloisters, and is reached via 37 stone spiral steps.



Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.