The Guille-Allès Library was founded in St Peter Port by Thomas Guille and Frederick Mansell Allès.
They purchased the Assembly Rooms from the States of Guernsey in 1882, and the library was opened in 1888.
Guille and Alles worked in New York as apprentices during the 1830s, and made extensive use of the apprentices' library in that city. When they had made their fortunes in the United States, undertook to provide sufficient funds to establish the same service for the benefits of their fellow islanders.
The library was originally run on a subscription basis, and for many years was a cultural centre of the island. In the middle years of the twentieth century it ran into financial difficulties, and as a result the States of Guernsey stepped in providing support to enable it to become a free service to the whole island.
Since 1979, the library has run on the basis that:
- The Guille-Allès Trust provides the Library building.
- The Library houses and runs the Schools' Library Service for the Education Council.
- Annual grants from the States provide maintenance and running costs.
- The contents of the museum and art gallery are on indefinite loan to Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery.
- A large amount of local history material has been passed to the Priaulx Library.
The building was completely refurbished thanks to a generous grant from Sir Charles and Lady Hayward.
The library was originally home to the Lukis Museum, whose collection formed the basis of the Guernsey Museums and Art Gallery when it was established in 1978.
- Guille-Allès, Review of the Guernsey Society, Spring 1954