Exclusive: Lambeth Council considering moving Lambeth Archives from Minet Library to Brixton Library

Brixton Library

Lambeth Council is considering moving the Lambeth Archives from the Minet Library to Brixton Library. Brixton Buzz understands that a consultation for this process will start on 30 January. It is uncertain what this would mean for the long-term future of the Minet, should the Lambeth Archives head over to Brixton.

brixton_library

The complete Lambeth Archives are currently held at The Minet along Knatchbull Road, close to Myatt’s Fields Park. The impressive collection is seen as the borough’s unofficial records office.

It is a fantastic resource for local history. Lambeth archaeology, architecture, black history, geology, geography, social history, biographies and transport are all contained within the collection.

Lambeth Archives Open Day at the Minet Library

Lambeth Council last carried out a comprehensive libraries consultation back at the start of 2012. The Co-operative Libraries Programme stated than none of the ten libraries across the borough would close.

The Cabinet report [pdf] also stated that Lambeth libraries wouldn’t privatised or farmed out for volunteers to run.

Instead a Trust model was favoured. The idea was that local community groups would help to manage the libraries, with Lambeth Council acting as a significant partner. A £6m capital investment programme was put in place for the following four years.

The Cabinet report of July 2012 also stated:

“Continued investment and further development of the Minet.”

£35,000 was put aside by the Council towards a feasibility study to help local groups work with Lambeth Council to help manage the Minet.

As is fitting for the Lambeth Archives, the Minet itself has a rich history. It was donated to the community by wealthy landowner Willian Minet in 1890. The borough archives were gradually moved from Lambeth Town Hall to the Minet during the 1950’s.

Brixton Library has just undergone an extensive refurbishment project.