On the brass plate on the foundation stone was the inscription: This first stone of a building for the Free Public Library and Museum of the Borough of Liverpool was set on the 15 April, 1857, by William Brown Esq. M.P. for South Lancashire, at whose sole cost the building was erected and by him presented as a free gift to his fellow townsmen. An hermetically sealed glass vase containing a banquet invitation, a copy of the Liverpool Mercury and other papers of the day, current coins of the realm, the coins of France and Turkey and a medal to commemorate the alliance with France, was laid with the stone.

Image details: Illustrated London News