Antique Library Ladders



2015-06-26 11:16:55

Antique library ladders are original pieces of furniture used by librarians to retrieve books or other publications from the top shelves of a library.

Library ladders are used by librarians so they can easily retrieve books or other publications from the top shelves of the library.

Brief history and description

Antique library ladders are typically made out of wood (such as oak or pine), and can come with a variety of different features such as rolling wheels, collapsible hinges, step insets or even storage compartments.

The origins of the library ladder dates back to the Victorian era, and were not only used in public or school libraries, but in expensive and elaborate homes that had their own individual library room as well. Antique library ladders have become quite fashionable in recent years, and are often placed inside of rooms to help bring a rustic charm, depth or specific dimension to a particular corner or area.

Guide for collectors

Antique library ladders that come with features such as collapsible hinges for storage or step insets are considered to be the most rare and valuable among collectors. Antique folding ladders are also considered to be both rare and valuable as well.

Restoration of an antique library ladder is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage, however, restoring an antique library ladder may decrease its value.

For more information regarding antique library ladders, visit Putnam Library Ladder or Alaco Ladder.


A French Provincial walnut library stepladder (circa mid-19th century, 45" in height) is worth around $500.

Great Gatsby's Antiques and Auctions in Atlanta, Georgia sold a mahogany library ladder with gold tooled leather, bronze accents, and collapsible hinges for compact storage for $2,400 in November of 2009.

Neal Auction Company in New Orleans, Louisiana sold an English folding library ladder (circa 19th century) for $1,700 in August of 2007.

Austin Auction Gallery in Austin, Texas sold an antique pine rolling library ladder which was manufactured by the Cotterman Company and has a "bent side" rolling feature for $325 in October of 2008.

(Values based on auction results from

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