Quotations from P G Wodehouse are copyright of, and reprinted by permission of, the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate © 2019 The P G Wodehouse Society (UK)

The P G Wodehouse Society (UK)

It was around the end of 1998 that the Swedish Wodehouse Society achieved the unprecedented feat of arranging for a local public library – the Centrumbibliotek in Märsta, some 40km (25 miles) north of Stockholm – to designate a corner of one of its rooms as ‘The Wodehouse Corner’.

A Unique Wodehouse Resource – near Stockholm

It initially consisted of an easy chair, a table and a bookcase, with an embryo collection of some 50 books by and about Wodehouse in Swedish or English on its shelves.

Over the years, members of the Society donated hundreds of books which were no longer needed, and it became, de facto, the Central Library for Wodehouseana in Sweden.

Märsta had been chosen because of the influence of the late Åke Skeppare, a local resident with interests and contacts in the community. He and the Cultural Management of the library put the project together, and it has had the strong support of the Swedish Society, especially its Chairman, Sven Sahlin, ever since. At least one meeting a year is held for members at the Library.

Early in 2014 the Library at Märsta moved into a brand new building across the road from its old location. Included in the design was space for a conference room which has been dedicated to Wodehouse, with four quotations from his books showing clearly in frosted glass on the panels of one wall. It is quite a large room, with a large oriental carpet on which there is a long dining table which doubles as a conference table with room for some 20 people. Three tall bookcases have glass doors of their own, to house the collection which has now grown to over 300 books, and visitors can sit in an armchair donated by Louise Skeppare in memory of her late husband, next to a small table with a lamp and two lower book-shelves.

The room is available for hire by the public as a meeting room, for which a full range of modern technical equipment is available.  An ideal place to encourage the spread of a love for Wodehouse, and the recently retired Librarian, Monica Dahlgren, and the present holder of that office, Lena Gustafson Randau, are to be congratulated on their diligent stewardship of the Wodehouse project. It is good to know that, despite her imminent retirement from the Library Service, Monica will continue to be involved in maintaining The Wodehouse Room’s lustre.

Tony Ring