Handbags (The sad, the bad and the ugly. Non-productive stuff here.)
Once upon a time, I had attributed the aroma to aged paper.
However, neither Manchester Central Reference Library which has old books,
nor the Old Science Library at Manchester University, and ditto the Medical library produced the said aroma.
Also, When Wigan Tech Library moved to Parson's Walk, the aroma stayed behind in the Library Street building. (Cannot speak of now, as I have not been there since it has become Town Hall.)
All of which has lead me to reject that notion, and attribute the aroma to polish on wood. Though, that is no more than a guess!
Replied: 16th Feb 2019 at 18:00