Answered By: Gwen Jones
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2023     Views: 2713

Sir Charles Sydney Jones (1872-1947) was a partner in Mssrs Alfred Holt & Co., a shipping line. He was High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1929, Lord Mayor of Liverpool for 4 successive years from 1938 - 42 and was Liberal MP for West Derby for a brief time. He was knighted in 1937.

He held the following offices in the University:

  • Treasurer of the University 1918-1930
  • President of the Council of the University 1930-36
  • Pro-Chancellor of the University, 1936-42. 

He was a generous benefactor of the University. His numerous gifts include:

  • New wing for the then University Athletics Club 
  • All the houses on the north side of Abercromby Square. One was used to extend the Social Science Department and two became the Education Department, the completed reconstruction being done by Jones's architect brother.
  • A permanent endowment for the existing chair of Classical Archaeology
  • Funding for a special lectureship in Art. 

He left his residuary estate of £40,000, his home and its contents to the University. The house 'Eastbourne', Princes Park, became the Vice-Chancellor's Lodge. The house contents included:

  • Books, illuminated manuscripts, rare first editions, fine examples of early printing 
  • Fine china and his collection of pictures. Some of these items can be viewed in the Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Rare books and manuscripts donated by Sir Charles Sydney Jones, and papers relating to him in the University archive can be consulted in Special Collections & Archives (SC&A).

The Sydney Jones Library opened for service in 1976. It was extended in 2007 by annexing the former University administration building, now the Abercromby Wing, and refurbishing the original building, now the Grove Wing.  The project was completed in 2008.

For a detailed history of the development of the University and of the Harold Cohen and Sydney Jones libraries, see the "For Advancement of Learning. The University of Liverpool 1881 - 1981"  by Emeritus Professor Thomas Kelly.

Harold Leopold Cohen (23rd July 1873 - died 27 July 1936) was the son of Alderman Louis Cohen, former Lord Mayor of Liverpool who was a nephew of David Lewis, founder of Lewis's department.

He made a gift to the University of £100,000 for the building of a new Library in Ashton Street, to replace the old Tate Library. This was the largest benefaction that the University had ever received.

The Harold Cohen Library was formally opened by former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (then Earl Baldwin of Bewdley) in May 1938.

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