Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

J.W. Cooper
'Sheffield factory girl' & 'Sheffield workman'
Upperthorpe Library


Upperthorpe Library, Sheffield S6 (AZ p.86 6C)

Above the entrance to the library is a stone porch and balustraded balcony. Two carved stone figues stand just beneath the ornate corbels supporting the balcony. This extract from The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent of 6th May, 1876, describes the figures. The "Sheffield factory girl (is) intently reading a book, the idea conveyed, of course, being that the library will be the means of giving instruction.The other figure represents a young Sheffield workman, with shirt sleeves rolled up, and hands resting on the handle of a large hammer. He is in an attitude of deep thought, and is endeavouring to apply to his work some of the technical knowledge he has gained from the books in the library".
Between the figures and over the door is a stone arch filled with a carded panel on which is a shield bearing the arms of the borough. Above this appear the words "FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY" and below it "UPPERTHORPE BRANCH".

Sheffield Town Council. Upperthorpe Library and Highfield Library are near-identical buildings. Both libraries were opened in 1876, Upperthorpe on 8th May and Highfield on 1st August. They were designed as 'twins' but the figures on them are different. The sculpture on both buildings was carved by J. W. Cooper of Sheffield and Cambridge.

to Local Studies Library for much of this information.

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Last updated September 5, 2006