Special Collections: Burnt Books

Eric Gill (1917) The Way of the Cross (GSA Library, Special Collections)

On the 23rd of May 2014, a fire in the Mackintosh Building of the Glasgow School of Art caused us to lose our much loved Mackintosh Library. The majority of the library’s 10,000 volumes were totally destroyed in the fire; however, a very small number of volumes were salvaged and conserved in the aftermath. These act as a memorial to the volumes that were lost, but also present intriguing possibilities for object analysis and phenomenological research. Our conservation approach has been to make the volumes safe but otherwise to intervene as little as possible, leaving the scars of the fire and subsequent water ingress clearly visible.