A volunteer has gifted more than 15,000 to the St Bride Foundation to help expand its archive by as much as 50%.
Benefactor Elizabeth Klaiber is about to finish three years volunteering in the role of assistant librarian at the London-based St Bride Library. She worked at the library while she completed a Masters degree about the history of the book.
The Klaiber family has donated £15,300 to be spent on mobile shelving units that will increase access to the collection, which includes 50,000 books, 3,500 periodicals, catalogues and directories, as well as other artefacts including more than 1.5m pieces of historical type.
Klaiber, who is returning to Canada to continue her studies, said: "It was my dream to come to London and study. While doing this, I was lucky enough to discover St Bride Foundation and its community.
"Leading up to my departure from the library and London, my family saw an opportunity to assist in the long-term conservation, preservation and accessibility of the historic books and artefacts in St Bride Library and to be a part of the library's future in a way that will benefit the foundation and its visitors for many years to come."
Click here for a gallery of the old and new archiving facilities.
The St Bride Library is open to the public free of charge, but hosts numerous lectures, both free and paid-for.
Tonight (28 May), the foundation is running the free Justin Howes Memorial Lecture 2009 titled 'Genuine Imitations' – a type designer's view of revivals, featuring historical type designs by Matthew Carter. It is being held at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1, at 7pm.