Brenthurst Library

Kathy Munro visits one of the top libraries in the world!

 A visit to one of the top libraries of the world, the private Africana library of the Oppenheimer family, the Brenthurst Library (by appointment only) is more than a treat. For a bibliophile one feels as though one has had the happy experience of dying and being directed to heaven. Located off the M1, at the lower end of the grand Oppenheimer estate in Parktown, Johannesburg,  this distinguished library is all a world class private library could possibly be from the tranquil garden setting to the treasured volumes viewed on fine, eye level, wooden, free standing bookcases. The subdued lighting from shaded green library lights at comfortable tables is just right for reading. The attention to functional detail as well as the magnificent presentation of the collection of books, artworks and maps creates the perfect ambience of the ultimate gentleman’s library. The comparison has to be with the JP Morgan library in New York or the Chester Beattie Library and Museum in Dublin. I visited the library this week and needed to pinch myself to decide I was still alive and be reminded that Johannesburg indeed has some hidden delights.