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Neilson Hays Library : Neoclassical Architecture That Stands in Love

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2022-04-20 14:32:52

        Throughout the 100 years of the Neilson Hays Library, there has been an important significance in Thai history beyond the ordinary library in many respects.

        This library building was designed by the architect who designed the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. It has been in operation since 1922 as one of the first libraries in Bangkok and was built in remembrance of a beloved woman.

        The beginning of the Neilson Hays Library came from the gathering of only 13 British and American ladies in the name of The Bangkok Ladies's Library Association. Which in the first phase did not have a definite location. The locations and opening times must be rotated according to the homes of the association members.

        After the death of Jenny Nielson, a member of the society Dr. Thomas Hayward Hays, Jenny's husband has seen his wife's love and determination in running the library all her life. Therefore, he invested in the design and construction of a building on Surawong Road to serve as the permanent location of the library and to commemorate the love of his wife. The name of the library comes from a combination of the surnames Nielson and Hays.

        The building was designed by an important Italian architect in Thailand, craftsmanship at the same level used in the construction of national landmarks. The library building is therefore beautifully proportioned. The circular dome hall is symmetrical with the building plan that is the same width and length on all sides, compatible with arched doors and windows. Also attention to design details that are appropriate for a library, such as a double-walled system to prevent moisture, ventilation, or even choose to use all brass bookshelf nails to prevent rust.

        This beauty and perfect fit earned the library the Outstanding Building Conservation Award of the Year 1982 from the Association of Siamese Architects under royal patronage.

        The Neilson Hays Library provides primarily English-language books based on the wishes and aptitudes of Jenny Nelson and Dr. Thomas Hayward Hays. At present, besides providing printing services, there are also a variety of activities such as garden music, book fairs, art exhibitions, literature week, storytelling, activities for children. Most of all activities are communicated in English.

        Open on Tuesday - Sunday from 09.30 - 17.00, closed on Mondays and public holidays. There is a library maintenance fee of 100 baht per person in case of non-members of the library. But you can visit the surrounding area free of charge.

For more information of the library https://neilsonhayslibrary.org