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About Leadhills Miner’s Library

Leadhills Heritage Trust was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. Its mission is to preserve, conserve and promote the lead mining, local history and cultural heritage of the Leadhills area through our collections: The principal one is the library of Leadhills Reading Society (now known as Leadhills Miners Library) founded in 1741.

It is Britain’s oldest subscription library and is the world’s first library for working people.

The Library Building

The library building, erected in 1791 and built by the miners themselves is one of the oldest library buildings in Scotland.

We hold a 46 volume collection of mining journals and bargain books, recording contracts between the mine managers and miners 1737-1854.

It is the largest collection of its kind in Scotland and one of the largest in Britain.

Leadhills library interior


15 Main Street, Leadhills,
South Lanarkshire
ML12 6XP

Opening Hours

Saturdays and Sundays
from 2pm to 5pm.

Visits by appointment can be arranged throughout the year