The front of the Mitchell Library building illuminated at night, c 1990. The clearing of the east side of North Street at the time of the construction of the M8 motorway in the 1960s gave the library a more visible profile than it had enjoyed previously. The appearance of the old building was improved by stone cleaning in 1986 and was further enhanced by the installation of floodlighting in time for Glasgow's year as European City of Culture in 1990.
On top of the dome is a bronze statue by Thomas Clapperton, entitled Literature, often referred to as Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. It was hoisted on top of the dome during construction of the building in 1909. The model was Teresa MacKenzie who appeared as "Britannia" on old pennies and banknotes. The figure holds an open book in her right hand. Although it seems small from street level, the statue is greater than life size.
Another notable sculpture, ensconced above the North Street entrance, is a seated figure of Wisdom by Johan Keller.
Reference: Bulletin photographs, Box 3, Libraries - Mitchell Library
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Britannia, domes, European City of Culture, floodlighting, libraries, literature, Minerva, Mitchell Library, sculptures, statues, stone cleaning, wisdom