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Excerpt from The Birmingham Free Libraries, the Shakespere Memorial Library, and the Art Gallery
By another beautiful provision of the Act two years must now elapse before the question could again be brought before the burgesses. Seven years, we regret to say, had to pass away before the town adopted the Act. In 1855, Mr. Ewart, m.p succeeded in greatly improving the Act of 1850, and through his indefatigable efforts and persistent seal, the existing Act was obtained. It greatly extended the powers conferred by that of 1850; and incrwd the library rate to one penny in the pound on the annual value of property; authorised the use of any part of the rate for the purchase Of books and specimens; and also conferred powers to borrow money to purchase suitable buildings, the interest being payable out of the lib rate.
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