A historic library established in 1704, in its original setting
Thomas Plume’s Library
Thomas Plume’s Library in Maldon, Essex is a hidden gem. It is one of the oldest reference libraries in the country and is still housed in the room created for it on the first floor of the Plume Building. It is also considered a remarkable private library for its day. The collection consists of books that were purchased by Thomas Plume for his own use and with the intention of establishing a lending library. It comprises over 8,000 books and pamphlets, as well as manuscripts, and 13 portraits of English monarchs and divines. Subjects range from theology to science, astronomy, medicine, and travel.
The chief value of the Library, however lies not so much in the individual volumes, which can mostly be found elsewhere, but in the survival of the collection as a separate entity, providing a rare opportunity to examine the process by which the books were amassed (most other comparable libraries have been absorbed into larger ones, e.g. college or university libraries, and have therefore lost their identity). Individual volumes are also of great interest to scholars for their annotations, ownership marks, and similarly unique features.
Tuesday-Thursday 2pm-4pm, Saturday 10am-12pm