Pictures from Museums in Martinique: Schœlcher Library at Fort-de-France.
Schœlcher Library at Fort-de-France in Martinique. © Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme / Henri Salomon
The Schœlcher library stands in Fort-de-France between Saint-Louis Fort, the Palace of Justice and the Government House. The building is one of the finest monuments of the city. It has been labeled as a historical monument. The architect, Pierre-Henri Picq, had first built it in the Tuileries Garden in Paris for the 1889 Universal Exhibition. The building was then dismantled and rebuilt in Fort-de-France. The inauguration of the library took place in 1893.
The library is named after Victor Schoelcher (1804-1893), a French statesman who was strongly committed to the abolition of slavery. Victor Schoelcher has authored several publications on the subject. Under his leadership, the Decree aiming at the abolition of slavery in France was adopted in 1848. He was the deputy of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the National Assembly a few years before being elected senator.
Works of Victor Schoelcher were deposited in the library. While some of them have disappeared in the fire of Fort-de-France in 1890, the Schoelcher Library has grown and now has a large collection of some 130,000 books.