Reading Rooms Dundee

Authorised by the Dùn Dèagh Department of Counter Culture

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History


As many of you already know, the Reading Rooms building started life as a Library, St Roques Library infact, and it was built on vacant ground in the Blackscroft area of Dundee which was owned by the town council. The site was laid out as a landscaped garden in the Italian style, in an attempt to upgrade what was described at the time as a "sordid district". Many Edwardians held the belief that by improving a district you could improve the people who lived there - they may even have been right!

The library was used as a reading room and delivery station for any of the 100,000 books held by the Dundee Central Library at the Albert Memorial Institute.
James Thomson Dundee's City Architect, produced a design with the library as an integral part of the Mediterranean terrace and garden, featuring a fountain as well as a sundial among the trees and flowers. The library was opened on 9th December, 1910 by a Mrs Urquhart of Dundee.

Reading Rooms Dundee

It was built near the site of the former chapel, and the original drawings show it to be set in a formal garden of great elegance. It was funded from part of the Carnegie Library gift to Dundee, some of the old Blackscroft houses having been cleared when the town council acquired the site at the beginning of the century.

Over 100 years old

Since those far off days, the building has been home to a commercial nightclub, a gay nightclub, a function room, a techno nightclub, all of which failed and folded within 2 years and NONE of them used the name READING ROOMS, which is really bizarre as it is etched in stone above the entrance to the building.

So there you have it, our building is over 100 years old and according to Lee 'Scratch' Perry "a haunted building with lots of ghosts."
- The Librarian.