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Crowdfunder launched to protect future of Clerkenwell's Marx Memorial Library after flood damage

PUBLISHED: 16:19 06 December 2019

The Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green. Picture: Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green. Picture: Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Archant

A campaign has been launched to raise £50,000 for repairs and upgrades to the flood-hit Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green.

The Marx Memorial LibraryThe Marx Memorial Library

The appeal will coincide with the 150th birthday of Vladimir Lenin - the leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, who once had an office at the library.

The Lenin 150 fundraiser, as it has been named, was launched today at an event to honour the heroic team who saved MML's cherished collections when the building was flooded in September.

Staff and trustees honoured the volunteers, firefighters and Islington heritage staff who came to the rescue when water pierced through the flat roof and put 60,000 books at risk.

Thanks to their efforts the damage was minimal - only five volumes have had to be binned, with another 35 needing work to conserve them.

Archivist and library manager Meirian Jump said: "In our time of need Marx House was full of willing volunteers doing everything from mopping up to offering expert collection care advice.

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"It was wonderful and overwhelming, but more than anything it demonstrated to us what this place - our history, our archives and our education work - means to so many.

"But this is just the beginning. What happened has highlighted the need for an urgent programme of works to restore our historic building, protect our collections and transform access to Marx House."

The campaign will look to raise the £50,000 by April 22, on Lenin's 150th birthday. It will pay for roof repairs, enhanced storage facilities, security systems to preserve the priceless archives and to make the building accessible.

In 1902 Lenin edited Iskra (The Spark) from 37a Clerkenwell Green, and the room is visited by hundreds of people each year.

"What better way to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of VI Lenin, who has such integral ties to our building, than to help us raise funds to ensureit is fit for the 21st century?" Meirian added.

Anyone who donates will also be invited to a birthday celebration in the spring.

To donate, click here.

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