Nelson Hays Library
Nelson Hays Library is worth a visit for its interesting history and its art gallery. The library was founded on January 25, 1869 with the name Bangkok Ladies Library Association. One of the founders was Mrs. Jennie Neilson Hays, who devoted much of her life to serving the community. On her death in 1920, her husband built the current library and dedicated the building to her as a permanent symbol of his love.
When the library opened its doors for the fist time, the Bangkok Times reported, “this magnificent building … is a grand palace on a small scale.” The Western-style building features domes, stucco pillars, ornate molding and louvered shutters.
The librarian undertakes the day-to-day administration of the library and her staff twelve volunteers form the Board of the Neilson Hays Library Association, an all-lady team.
The gallery in the library holds exhibitions by both Thai and foreign artists all year round. It was the brainchild of Nancy Chandler, who believes that a library ought to have a gallery in order to support and encourage artists to show their work to the public. The museum is snuggled on Surawongse road, the back road running parallel to the famous business street of Silom.