AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

WRIGHT, Richard (1890-1976)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1312
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Full title: WRIGHT, Richard (1890-1976)
Date(s): 1924-1969
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.15 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Wright | Richard | 1890-1976 | librarian


Administrative/Biographical history:

Richard Wright, M.C., F.L.A. (1890-1976) was a pioneer of the county library movement. His early library training and experience were gained in public and reference libraries in Croydon, Sunderland, Coventry and Wiltshire. In 1922 he was appointed County Librarian of Middlesex with the task of inaugurating a county library service, following the adoption by the County Council of the Public Libraries Acts of 1919. The service was founded on a Carnegie Trust grant of 1,500 and a budget estimate of 600 and was intended to provide for rural areas without district council libraries. The initial library service comprised collections of books at schools and other centres, open to the public for a few hours weekly and staffed by volunteers, chiefly teachers. From 1930 full-time branch libraries, with professional staff, were opened, and these gradually replaced the part-time library centres. Richard Wright built up a service that was regarded as one of the most comprehensive and efficient in the country. His great enthusiasm and organising ability were evident in the development of the County Library through the medium of local library centres, whole-time branch libraries and students' library services.

Richard Wright served in the Royal Garrison Artillery in the First World War and gained the Military Cross. Throughout the war of 1939-45 he gave encouragement and support to members of his staff on active service and the letters he received are a testimonial to the high regard in which he was held (see Acc/1312/1-60). At the same time he was a member of the Book Recovery Committee which was instrumental in saving books and manuscripts from salvage. He took a prominent part in the scheme for organising a Regional Library System in S.E. England, and, among other professional activities, served on the Council of the Library Association. He retired in 1952 after thirty years service with Middlesex County Libraries.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Richard Wright, Middlesex County Librarian, 1922-1952, including letters and cards sent to Wright from members of staff serving in the Second World War; newsletters; newspaper cuttings; journal articles; and photographs of libraries.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

ACC/1312/001 to 077.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gifted to the Archive in June 1976.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"