Libraries


Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
61
308
UK
That's possible - I wasn't being serious when I suggested the passengers were half-inching the stock! I think it's possible also that the 'libraries' (in the sense of the book cabinets rather than the rooms) were open only at certain fixed times, which would give the library steward a chance to administer both locations. Clearly there's no way that Mr Kelland could have been on duty in both rooms from 8am to 11.30pm daily.
 

Noel F. Jones

Member
May 14, 2002
857
0
0
"Noel, isn't it possible that they made out their own slips on an honor basis? That was considered pretty binding to the upper classes back then...."

Such a retrospective touching faith in human nature! Would this have extended to the badged ashtrays, bath towels and coat hangers as well?

I fear such as Harrods would be giving White Star the old contractual heave-ho after the first voyage.

On an administrative detail:

"Beesley suggests that Kelland occasionally had other tasks to do, like handing out baggage declaration forms.... "

Customs, immigration and port health declaration forms are customarily distributed to the staterooms by the bedroom stewards/stewardesses as expedited by the purser's department. A public room steward would not have the requisite universal contact with the passenger complement.

Noel
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
61
308
UK
Beesley wrote (of the library steward):

this afternoon he is busier than I have ever seen him, serving out baggage declaration-forms for passengers to fill in. Mine is before me as I write: "Form for non-residents in the United States. Steamship Titanic: No. 31444, D," etc. I had filled it in that afternoon and slipped it in my pocket-book instead of returning it to the steward.

Noel wrote:

A public room steward would not have the requisite universal contact with the passenger complement.

Take your pick, folks.
 

Noel F. Jones

Member
May 14, 2002
857
0
0
I did say (21 March, 2003 - 1:51 am) that I could not speak for Titanic.

"I had filled it in that afternoon and slipped it in my pocket-book instead of returning it to the steward."

Now you can see why things became ordered differently in later decades.

Noel
 

Jeremy Lee

Member
Jun 12, 2003
1,374
1
161
Does it mean that the 3rd Class had then no access to books supplied on board the Titanic? I don't think they could go to the upper classes to borrow....
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
61
308
UK
20 years later, when cheap paperbacks became available, the situation might have been different but books were very expensive in 1912 and passengers in Third Class neither expected nor received any such luxuries. Certainly they couldn't go to the Second or First Class areas for any reason, unless the ship was sinking!
 

Pat Winship

Member
May 8, 2001
245
3
173
So am I, Deborah. And it's amusing to think that my strategy to get rid of some less-than-scholarly books about the Titanic would never have worked in 1912, because the patrons would have been too honorable to take them and not return them!

Pat W
 
J

Jeremy Arment

Guest
Feelings.......meloncholy, sorrow, grateful, happy. Sorrowful that the sinking happened, because he Titanic was a great ship, greatest passenger ship of all time, and it would be quite a spectacle if it were still around today. Grateful that there are documentaries on tv that show there are expeditions being done and recovering items from the ship. Happy that millions are interested in a ship that went down 91 years ago and that some are/might be donating money to the cause so that more may be done to bring the ship back to life and identifying the victims. Quite frankly, I'm an addict of both this site and of the Titanic.
 
M

Marykate Viola

Guest
Was there a library in 3rd Class? I don't remember hearing that there was.
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
0
71
I have a quick question concerning the Second Class library. Is there any record of what books were in the Titanic library, or is that one aspect that can be left up to a fiction writer's imagination?
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,631
445
453
Easley South Carolina
>>Is there any record of what books were in the Titanic library, or is that one aspect that can be left up to a fiction writer's imagination?<<

No record that I'm aware of. White Star might have kept one but by now, it's long in the landfill. I expect that they would have had much the same mix of literature you could find in any library kept by the well heeled along with some popular and recently published titles.

As to which ones, your guess is as good as mine. The photos I've seen of the bookcases on the Olympic don't point to a large selection being available. I suspect a lot of home libraries held by people even of modest means would have put it to shame.
 

N Alison

Member
May 19, 2013
10
0
11
I suspect a lot of home libraries held by people even of modest means would have put it to shame.
They might but I imagine that it could not have been easy to afford all those hardcovers before the mass production of paperbacks. It still costs an arm and a leg for a hardcover book.
 

N Alison

Member
May 19, 2013
10
0
11
For them perhaps but I imagine for the non-wealthy passengers, it would not have been easy to collect enough for a decent sized family library. Which brings to mind, was it normal for those not from first class to have a family library back in the day?
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
61
308
UK
Wealthy homes often contained a library in the modern sense of a room lined with bookshelves. For the middle classes there might be a small library in the more traditional sense of a glass-fronted cabinet for books in the parlour or drawing room - much like the provision in the 1st and 2nd Class lounges on the Titanic. Working familes would generally own a bible and little else other than cheap, disposable reading matter like newspapers and 'penny dreadfuls'. But for those with the desire (and the time) to read more widely there were public lending libraries in most towns. Even today there are many homes in Britain which contain very few books other than immediately useful ones (like cookbooks) and disposable paperback novels.