1909 – Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. Lat/Long 51.663889 -3.303889
By contrast to nearby Caerphilly who rejected Carnegie’s money on the basis that they wanted five libraries for the town, not three[i], Merthyr was swifter to take up the opportunity. Following an unsuccessful initial request, the local MP, Mr D.A. Thomas visited Carnegie at Skibo and offers for a central and six branch libraries followed. Bertram’s response apparently quoted Carnegie as saying ‘they are great people, the Welsh’[ii].
Treharris is one of two branch libraries (with Dowlais) funded in Merthyr Tydfil together with the central library (1936) that remain open. Troedyrhiw and Aberfan are closed, Abercanaid and Pen-y-Darren have been demolished.
[i] Weekly mail 18th June 1910 asked for another 2000 for 2 more libraries no more news
[ii] Donaldson, A., Macleod, I. Andrew Carnegie; The Injustice of Rank and a Crisis of Wealth in Merthyr historian v 14
Architect: William Dowdeswell of Treharris.
Heritage designation: LG II, 2003. Purpose built library; Carnegie grant: £700 17/6/1902, 29/5/1903 and 20/6/1905. Open library, council managed.