Published  25/08/2005

Ideas from Whitechapel

Whitechapel's Library, next door to the superb Gallery, has had to be closed. The plan for this multi-ethnic library has been to create a new 'Idea Store' elsewhere, but which would surely lack the special fin-de-siecle stimulus found there by Jacob Bronowski, Mark Gertler, and Arnold Wesker, to name a few of those who have developed their careers. The library's massive collection of Jewish books is now matched by a later collection of Bengali literature, reflecting the changing mix of the local population. But all is not lost. The building, as adjunct to the Whitechapel Gallery, will be taken over by its neighbour, and restored with the addition of an education centre. Plus ça change ...

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