Harewood House is home to more than 10,000 books, spread across 3 libraries. Their contents reflect the varied interests of the Lascelles family over 250 years, and include both rare and highly personal volumes.
Today the books in Harewood’s libraries are cared for by the Collections Care Team and a number of dedicated volunteers, some of whom are retired librarians. A group of volunteers also help us to clean every book once every three years (that’s a whole library each winter!), which helps keep volumes free from dust and allows the team to monitor condition regularly.
The use and handling of books over hundreds of years have made some volumes very fragile. The Collections Care team are specially trained to undertake remedial conservation on any particularly vulnerable volumes, which involves stabilising damaged leather covers and bindings (particularly weakened corners and spines).
By joining the Adopt a Book scheme, you will directly support the ongoing conservation of the important objects we care for in our collection; all monies raised through this fundraising scheme will contribute to the Collections budget and will be used to maintain and develop Harewood, its collections and grounds for the public benefit.
Digital Adoptees can choose to adopt from within any of the major collections at Harewood, these are:
As a thank you for your support, adoptees will receive a range of digital benefits, and have their names permanently recorded in a Donations Register, kept in the Library at Harewood, to be read and appreciated by visitors to Harewood for generations to come.
Books often hold sentimental or ceremonial value, and have been used by the Lascelles family to mark special occasions throughout the last 250 years; they have been given as birthday, Christmas or wedding presents, and have also been used to record significant life events.
Please speak to us if there is a special event you would like to commemorate by adopting a book from Harewood’s libraries. We may be able to find a volume that has particular significance in that area. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.