Winner of the Victoria Rashbone Award, Manchester Letherium Ideas Competition 2005

  • The Wildgoose Memorial Library [WML] Annexe to the Manchester Letherium [ML] (which takes its inspiration from the roof top extension of San Cataldo in Palermo, Sicily) will be situated upon the uppermost floor of the main Letherium building.
  • Based upon George Hepplewhite's 1794 design for a cabinet, the Annexe will be entirely constructed from reclaimed, storm damaged, or otherwise neglected, wood. Where possible, reclaimed windows, frames, doors, furniture, locks, switches, etc., will be used.
  • Significant to the interior design of the WML Cabinet will be the cases provided to house WML/ML objects: these will be sourced and supplied under the same terms as those of the Letherium accessions - ie by receiving de-accessioned cases from museums and other institutions.
  • The WML Cabinet will house a permanent exhibition of WML objects, supplemented by selected items from the De-Accessions collection of the Letherium, with temporary installations from time to time.
  • Invitations will be offered to museums for temporary loan of items - especially those long held in storage with no hope of being displayed in the foreseeable future due to damage, dirt, or general curatorial disinterest.
  • Within the WML Annexe, undue conservation is to be avoided. Emphasis will be placed upon the right of an object to expire at its own natural rate, and - arguably - to remain interesting as it does so.
  • Every reasonable care will be taken not to hasten dissolution, especially through loss or gross neglect.
  • The Keeper offers to be in attendance on a bi-weekly basis to meet the public, and to offer a consultation service to visitors based upon consideration of objects from either the WML/ML, and/or, visitors' own, collections.
  • Tea will be served to visitors for consultations in the WML Cabinet by the Keeper (prepared in the WML kitchen situated to the rear of the Cabinet Annexe, and served using the WML's distinctive tea service).
  • The WML Cabinet will be available by arrangement for visitors to use as an area for quiet study.
  • Natural light will be an important aspect of the design of the WML Cabinet. Wooden Venetian blinds will be fitted to all windows; care will be taken to keep the rooms shaded whenever possible - but with the opportunity to allow full daylight to be introduced for short periods during consultations, study, etc.
  • There will be no air conditioning in the WML Cabinet Annexe.
  • There will be a fully operational open fire in the WML Cabinet Annexe for use during winter months.
  • The Annexe will be self-contained - with its own main entrance, as well as an entrance from within the Letherium main building - and there will be accommodation for the Keeper or other approved Letherium visitors to stay overnight.
  • A small roof garden will surround the Cabinet, planted and tended at the discretion of the Keeper (see San Cataldo).
  • There shall be only the most discreet signage to the WML Cabinet Annexe within the Letherium main building. However, full details about the WML's presence, times for consultations, etc. are to be included in all ML information and on notice boards.

Copyright Jane Wildgoose and The Wildgoose Memorial Library