THE MONTAGU C. BUTLER LIBRARY
The library is named after its founder Montagu Butler, by training a musician but also a lifelong enthusiast for Esperanto, pacifism, and many other things. Early in the last century he began collecting Esperanto literature at his home, and in the 1920s his collection was amalgamated with the small existing library of the British Esperanto Association. In the 1960s the library eventually outgrew the Butler family home and moved to the Association’s headquarters in London’s elegant Holland Park district. Finally in September 2002 the Association and its library reopened in the newly rebuilt Esperanto House at Wedgwood Memorial College in Barlaston, near Stoke-on-Trent.
From its modest beginnings some ninety years ago the Library has grown to a collection of some 13,000 volumes, mostly through gifts and legacies. It has one of the best collections of early (pre-1914) Esperanto literature, and continues to collect selectively from the large volume of Esperanto material being published. In addition to original and translated Esperanto literature and theoretical writings on interlinguistics, the library collects manuscripts, periodicals, sound recordings and memorabilia. The large documentary and photo archives chronicle the progress of Esperanto through the years and are an invaluable resource for researchers and historians. Many of the sound recordings can be heard and downloaded at the Sonbanko Esperanta. The library also has substantial collections of matierial on Ido, Interlingua, Occidental and especially Volapuk.
The Library offers excellent study facilities in pleasant surroundings, but following the closure of Wedgwood Memorial College only the most basic accommodation is available on site. B&B is available in the area.
For more information on the library, contact the librarian Geoffrey King
For general information on Esperanto contact your local Esperanto website, such as
South Africa: http://www.esperanto.za.org/
New Zealand: http://www.esperanto.org.nz/
P.S. If you’ve only ever seen Esperanto on the Internet, you may have got the impression that Esperanto spelling is peppered with Xs and other strange things. Wrong! The very old article “Typing Esperanto is easy”, reproduced here (see right), explains everything.