The Gibraltar Garrison Library

Preserving precious resources for future generations

The Gibraltar Garrison Library is home to 45,000 books, as well as maps, plans and historical images. It also houses Gibraltar’s newsprint collection, including the complete archive of the Gibraltar Chronicle, the leading local paper. Currently, most of the collections are hardcopy only. This means the library relies on visitors being able to come into the building to benefit from the resources.

In March 2023, we gave the library a grant for a digitisation programme. It will help open up their book and newspaper collections to a wider audience – and preserve them for future generations.

  • Established in 1793, the Gibraltar Garrison Library was a military library for over 200 years. In 2011, it was passed to the Government of Gibraltar for the benefit of the community.
  • The digitisation project will create a full searchable database of the Gibraltar Chronicle newspapers from 1801 to 1990
  • Over 300 historical prints currently held at the library will be digitised. Over 100,000 negatives dating from the early 20th century to the 1990s

A digital studio and repository

Our £264,798 grant will fund two high-spec scanners to produce searchable digital images. One of the scanners will be large format so it can create images from books, plans, maps and artworks. The library’s basement will be transformed into a digital studio, where they’ll keep the scanners and carry out the digitisation work. When complete, the library’s digitised collection will be accessible online from all over the world.

The library is also investing in a conservation programme. This involves storing precious items like artworks and artefacts in a dedicated repository, which will be kept at the optimum climate to make sure the books and artworks remain in pristine condition. Our grant will also fund a rolling stack storage facility to help safeguard, conserve and provide access to these items.

“This generous grant from the Kusuma Trust for our digitisation project has coincided with the Gibraltar Garrison Library’s 230th anniversary in 2023. We find ourselves, therefore, in the wonderful position to be able to commemorate our historic trajectory whilst also thanking the Kusuma Trust for being instrumental in equipping the Gibraltar Garrison Library with the means to achieve greater relevance and sustainability in this digital age.”

Dr Jennifer Ballantine, Director, Gibraltar Garrison Library

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