Gloucestershire County Council is giving specialist collectors the chance to buy spare and unused books and texts that are gathering dust in the county’s libraries.

  The items going on sale are either duplicates, unused and/or in poor and deteriorating condition. None of them directly relate to the county’s history or heritage. The money raised from the sale will be used to maintain and improve Gloucestershire’s library service.

  The decision to sell these books has come about following a review of stock at Cheltenham and Gloucester libraries.

  The items are being sold by The Cotswold Auction Company, who have salerooms in Cirencester, Cheltenham and Gloucester. The sales catalogue can be viewed at from March 7th. The books will go on sale on March 17th at the Cheltenham saleroom, Chapel Walk. They include:   - Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac (various years from 1864) - London Illustrated News (1842-1910) - Runs of antiquarian journals, e.g. Archaeologia (114 volumes) - A “Palestine Collection” of never used 19th century topological literature (350 volumes) - An “American Civil War Collection” 19th century (50 volumes).

  Letters have been sent to Cheltenham and Gloucester City Museum in advance of these items appearing in the sales catalogue, so that they are aware of the opportunity to purchase these items.

  Trevor Allen from Gloucestershire County Council’s Libraries & Information said: “All of these books and texts are either duplicates, unused or in a poor condition. They are taking up space in Gloucester and Cheltenham library and even though the items are listed on the public catalogue, very few people, if any in most cases, are getting any use or pleasure out of them.

  “They should be appreciated and properly cared for. This is an opportunity for museums, other libraries and specialist collectors to get their hands on rare, antiquarian books and the money raised from their sale will be used to improve the library experience for our customers in Gloucestershire. It’s a win-win situation.”

  Cllr Ron Allen, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet member for libraries, said: “What a feast for antiquarians - a host of intriguing volumes cataloguing a great deal of cultural history from the 19th and 20th centuries.

  “Gloucestershire County Council’s policy of periodically reviewing its collections works positively for everyone involved - the collectors have a chance to bid for rare books, and the revenue feeds back into better services for library borrowers.

  “The sale on March 17th will generate a lot of interest, so don’t miss an opportunity to buy something rather wonderful.”