Bracken’s Library: Archives in Lockdown

Notice of books bequeathed to Sedbergh by Brendan Bracken

Although the Archives are still physically closed during lockdown, work continues behind the scenes including the transcription of the hand-written catalogue of Brendan Bracken’s book collection.

Not only did Bracken (SH 1920) fund a complete refurbishment of the school library in 1958, but Bracken was also actively involved in the project ensuring that the decorations, furnishings and fixtures all met his specifications. In particular, he had a long and heated correspondence with the bursar about the desks bought for the ground floor room: Bracken felt that the 3ft. 6in. tables should have been three inches shorter. The refurbishment included glass cloche light fittings which were exact replicas of those used on the HMS Implacable.

Bracken’s book collection is housed on the top floor of the school library now known as the Scholars’ Room, where study carrels are awarded to select students. During Bracken’s refurbishment, internal walls of this floor were removed to create one large room, and the bookcases and carrels were crafted from ‘swetinia macrophyla’ wood from the Brazilian rainforest.

You can view a virtual tour of the school, including the library and the Scholars’ Room here.