Shakespeare Memorial Room
Important notice The Shakespeare Memorial Room is now closed in preparation for its move to the top of the Library of Birmingham building on Centenary Square.
When the Central Library was demolished in 1974 the room was dismantled and stored, and was eventually re-erected as part of the School of Music complex. It was used mainly for private meetings, but was opened to the public on City Centre Discovery Day.
The Birmingham Shakespeare Library outgrew this room in 1906, and the huge collection is now housed on Floor 3 of the Central Library.
The Old Reference Library Reading Room
The L shaped reading room of the old reference library was on the first floor of the building. The Shakespeare Memorial room opened off the new wing. It was designed by J. H. Chamberlain after the fire which destroyed the original library in 1879.
The room was intended to suggest the Elizabethan style with carvings, marquetry and metalwork representing birds, flowers and foliage. The woodwork is by Mr.Barfield, a noted woodcarver, and the brass and metal work is probably by Hardmans. The ceiling decoration is stencilled.