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October 16, 2014

The Walking Library, London, ca. 1930s

Two women with pin-curls have paused in the street: one sporting a two-shelf book case stacked with the slanting spines of books; the other with a volume in her gloved hands, head bowed toward the open pages.

A "Walking Library" in London, circa 1930s. (via the VSW Soibelman Syndicate News Agency Archive)

The caption, from the VSV Soibelman Syndicate News Agency Archive notes that the photo depicts a walking library in London during the 1930s. In a Tumblr blog, Annie Koh has more details from the photograph. Its extended caption reads:

THE WALKING LIBRARY: London, England – Critics are always remarking that we in this country lag far behind those of European countries when it comes to borrowing books from libraries. Well, this enterprising girl at Rumsgate solves the problem by taking her books in a rack tied to her back round the streets and from door to door and people can borrow them for a week at the price of twopence.

(via Smithsonian )

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