Coal merchants, grocers and opticians are among the many individuals who played their part in helping British public libraries develop music services during their first 100 years. There were a number of enlightened librarians and library authorities who in a variety of ways developed and extended the provision of music in their libraries having recognized, to a greater or lesser extent, the importance of music in the lives of the people in their local communities. Although the modern public library movement in Great Britain can be said to have begun with the passing of the 1850 Public Libraries Act, the national network of publicly funded, freely accessible public libraries developed painfully slowly, and the provision of music collections and services in libraries was even slower. Between 1853 and 1867 a number of legislative changes took place that in a limited way improved the potential for public library development.