Victoria Memorial Museum

The first library built in Dominica was the Victoria Memorial Library. It was built on the approval given by the Executive Council for the sale of a lot on Church Street and for the purchase of books and furnishings for a new building that would also commemorate the memory of the late Queen Victoria. In 1902 the position of librarian was offered to Miss Bessie Roper by the Board of Trustees at an annual salary of 40 pounds sterling.

The Victoria Memorial Library opened its doors and charged 1p from everyone who entered. The library received a yearly government grant of 75 pounds sterling. It was found that the library was too small, and the Governor at the time, Andrew Bell wrote to Andrew Carnegie, retired industrialist turned philanthropist for $7500 for the construction of a larger building. Andrew Carnegie agreed to fund the construction of the building on the condition that the government provided a site as well as ten per cent of what was given for annual maintenance and books.

In April 1905, the Legislative Council passed a resolution accepting Carnegie’s offer and his terms. One year later in April 1906, the Carnegie Library (as it was called) was completed. In September of that same year, the library was transferred to the new building, and the Victoria Memorial Library was taken over as the Victoria Memorial Museum.

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