City Document. — No. 73.
(sa^n ®w ©(©^'ir
18 5 3.
In the Boai'd of Mayor and Aldermen^
November 14, 1853.
Laid on the tabic and ordered to be printed.
Attest : S. F. McCleary, Jr., City Clerk.
CITY LIBRARY [Nov.
Public Library of the City of Boston.
In Board of Trustees, Nov. 12, 1853.
Ordered, That the Report of Mr. Everett be accepted
as the Report of this Board, and signed by its members,
and that the Secretary deliver it to the Mayor, in obe-
dience to the requisitions of the 4th Section of an Or-
dinance in relation to the Public Library, dated October
Attest: EDWARD CAPEN, Secretary.
FIRST ANNUAL REPORT
TRUSTEES OF THE CITY LIBRARY.
In pursuance of the Fourth Section of the Ordinance
of the 14th of October, 1852, "in relation to the City
Library," the Trustees beg leave to submit to the City
Council their First Annual Report.
In conformity with the provision of the section just
referred to, the Keport of the Committee of five citi-
zens appointed, in conjunction with a member of the
Board as its Chairman, to examine the library is here-
with submitted, marked A. From this Report it ap-
pears that the whole number of books in the library, on
the 10th day of November, Avas but little short of ten
thousand volumes, of which about four thousand have
been presented to the hbrary, and the residue pur-
The whole amount expended on books is four thou-
sand six hundred and ninety- three dollars and ninety-
two cents, in which is included the sum of one hun-
dred and sixty dollars and seventy cents for binding.
The fourth section of the ordinance above referred to
requires the Trustees to submit a statement of all re-
ceipts and expenditures on account of the library. As
the accounts of receipts and expenditures are kept at
the Treasury, the Trustees respectfully refer to that de-
partment for the required statement.
4 CITY LIBRARY. [Nov.
The Trustees feel warranted in congratulating the
City Council and the public on the condition and pros-
pects of the library. The progess made in its organi-
zation, during the past year, has equalled their most
sanguine expectation. The temporary premises granted
to the Trustees on the lower floor of the school-house
in Mason street have been conveniently fitted up, and
furnish all the accommodation which could be expect-
ed under the circumstances of the case. The munifi-
cent donation of fifty thousand dollars by our fellow-
citizen Joshua Bates, Esq., of London, announced by
his letter of October 1st, 1852, has already received the
appropriate acknowledgments of the City Government.
It placed the library at the outset on a firm basis, and
insured its stability. Mr. Bates having consented that
his donation should be funded, the income only to be
applied to the purchase of books, provision was thereby
at once made for the annual acquisition of books to the
amount of three thousand dollars. The generous dona-
tion of our townsman, Hon. Jonathan Phillips, of ten
thousand dollars, to be applied in the same way, has
added six hundred dollars annually to the fund for the
purchase of books. From these two sources alone the
Trustees will have it in their power, one year with
another, to add at least thirty-five hundred well selected
volumes to the collection. But they have no reason to
doubt that the noble example of Messrs. Bates and
Phillips will be followed by other benefactors, who will
feel, as they have done, that there is perhaps no other
way in which the intellectual culture of the communi-
ty can be more effectually promoted.
In addition to the large pecuniary donations of
Messrs. Bates and Phillips, valuable presents of books
continue to be made by individuals ; the whole number
of volumes added to the library in this way amounting.
1853.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 73. . 5
as has been already stated, to four thousand, The
Trustees confidently expect that the library Avill con-
tinue to receive valuable accessions from this source.
It was the wish of the Trustees to open the library
for public use on the first of October. Although the
number of books at the close of the first year, of which
not more than six months could be devoted to active
operations, was necessarily too limited to be of great
public importance, it was nevertheless thought that it
would be satisfactory to the City Government, and the
public generally, to have a beginning made. It has,
however, not been in the power of the Trustees to com-
plete the necessary arrangements for so early an open-
ing. That portion of their premises which is to serve
as a reading room was under appropriation for another
use, by authority of the City Government. It is the
intention of the Trustees to open the library to the
public, as soon as practicable, after the reading room
shall be placed at their disposal.
It is, however, scarcely necessary to observe that all
their operations must be conducted on a narrow scale,
while the establishment continues within its present
temporary and contracted limits. It is only after the
erection of the library building that it will be able de-
finitively to commence its career of usefulness. The
Trustees gladly avail themselves of the opportunity
afforded them by this their first annual report, to express
their deep sense of the liberality evinced by the City
Government in the steps already taken toward the erec-
tion of the building. The lot of land in Somerset street,
which was at first proposed as the site of the library
was, on further consideration, abandoned as not suffi-
ciently near the centre of population, having regard to
the probable growth of the city in a southern direction.
It was accordingly resold without loss to the public.
6 CITY LIBRARY. [Nov.
The eligible lot of land since piirchasecl, on Boylston
street, unites, in a greater degree than any other which
could be obtained, all the important conditions for such
a purpose ; and is believed to be very generally ap-
proved by the public. The situation is central ; it ad-
mits of enlargement on either side, if hereafter requir-
ed ; it can never be overlooked in front ; and it com-
mands a view of the Common, which secures to it
unobstructed light and air, and as fine a prospect as
can be enjoyed in any city of the world. The Trustees
are confident that on this spit a building may be
erected, at moderate cost, which, besides answering the
primary purposes of the library, will be an ornament
to the city.
Such a building will necessarily occupy two or three
years ; and it is of the utmost importance to the pros-
perity of the library that the plan should be in the
best taste ; that it should combine all the most recent
improvements in library buildings ; and that such a
plan, once adopted, should be carried out to its comple-
tion with steadiness. To attain these ends, the Trustees
respectfully submit to the City Council that it might
be expedient to confide the superintendence of the
structure to a commission specially appointed for that
purpose, whose duty it shall be to adopt a plan for the
building, employ a well-qualified architect, make the
necessary contracts and generally be responsible for the
work. Such a commission might consist of a member
of each branch of the City Council belonging to the
Committee on Public Buildings, and of a certain num-
ber of citizens elected at large. Thus constituted the
commission will on the one hand be kept in constant
and intimat(; relations witli the City Government for
tlie time being, while on llic otlier hand it will be able
to preserve lliat unity of counsel and purpose which
1853.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 73. 7
are essential in the execution of a work of a somewhat
novel and highly important character.
In conclusion, the Trustees beg leave to express their
grateful sense of the favor hitherto extended to this un-
dertaking, in various ways, by the City Government,
and to commend it to their further countenance. They
are persuaded that the Public Library will acquire a
strong hold on the affections of the people. It is des-
tined, they believe, to grow up into an establishment
second only to our schools, as a means of promoting
the great cause of popular education. In fact, it should
be viewed as a part of the same system, intended to
furnish to the mass of the community the opportunity
of completing that education of which the foundations
have been laid in the Public Schools.
All which is respectfully submitted by
JOHN P. BIGELOW,
NATH'L B. SHURTLEFF,
GEO. W. WARREN.
Boston, 12th November, 1853.
CITY LIBRARY. [Nov.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE THE
The Committee appointed under the seventh section
of an Ordinance in relation to the Public Library,
ask leave to
That, as instructed, they have examined the library,
and find its condition to be as follows, viz :
First As to Books. The number of volumes,
which is fast increasing, amounts now to nine thou-
sand six hundred and eighty-eight. All of them are on
the shelves, in good order. All are in English, except
a few that have been presented. And all that have
been purchased, seem chosen mainly with reference to
the wants of the citizens generally, and, in particular,
of those who have not access, as easy as they should
have, to good collections of books.
Second. As to Catalogues. The Catalogue of Acces-
sions, which gives the history of all additions to the
library, day by day, as they occur, and the Alphabeti-
cal Catalogue, which contains the full title of each
book on a separate card, arc, both of them, so prepared
as not only to render the library generally useful now
and in all future time ; but so as to furnish materials
for the Printed Catalogue, which will diffuse among the
citizens at large a complete knowledge of the library
and its contents.
1853.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 73. 9
Third. As to the Lihrary Rooms. The library can-
not be opened to the public until after the end of De-
cember, when the outer of the two rooms now appro-
priated to it in Mason street will cease to be required
as a Ward Room, and can be fitted up as a Reading
Room, where above an hundred American and Euro-
pean periodicals, together with the books in the li-
brary, will always be conveniently accessible. But even
after both rooms are within the control of the Trustees,
the accommodations in Mason street will be too small ;
and before a proper building can be erected, they will
be found insufficient even for putting on convenient
shelves the books that will have been received. Indeed,
in order to place the whole establishment on a footing
of usefulness becoming the city and its wants, there is
obviously needed an edifice, in which a great and rich
library, in all languages and in all departments of
human knowledge, can be so gathered and adminis-
tered, that all our citizens — each according to his inter-
ests, tastes and wants — can enjoy reasonable facilities
for obtaining and using the books they may need, either
for themselves or for their households. Such a build-
ing, we are gratified to learn, will be erected, without
any unnecessary delay, on the lot of land recently pur-
chased for the purpose in^Boylston street.
All which is submitted.
WM. H. PRESCOTT,
ROLLIN H. NEALE,
JOHN T. HEARD,
GEO. S. HILLARD.
Public Library, Nov. 10, 1853.
City Document — No. 74.
n^^ ®w iB®©^®
SECOND ANNUAL EEPOET
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRAHY.
In Commo7i Council^ November 2, 1854.
Ordered, That the Trustees of the Public Library be and
they are hereby requested to present their Annual Report to
the City Council in print, and that they be allowed to print
Sent up for concurrence.
ALEXANDER II. RICE, President.
In Board of Mayor and Aldermen, November 6, 1854.
J. V. C. SWl'Tll, Mayor.
PUBLIC LIBRARY, OF THE CITY OF BOSTON.
In Board of Trustees^ Nov. 3, 1854.
Ordered, That the Report of Mr. Everett be accepted and
signed by each member of the Board ; and that the Secretary
deliver it to the Mayor, in obedience to the requisitions of
the 4ih section of an Ordinance in relation to the Public
Library, dated October 14, 1852.
Attest: EDWARD CAPEN, Secretary.
THE SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
TRUSTEES OE THE PUBLIC LIBllAllY.
In obedience to the fourth section of the ordinance of the
14th of October, 1852, in relation to the Public Library, the
Trustees beg leave to submit to the City Council their
second Annual Report.
In conformity to the provisions of the ordinance, the
Report of the Committee of Examination marked A, is here-
with submitted. This Committee consists of live citizens
at large, appoiuted by the Trustees, and of one of their own
Board acting as chairman. The citizens at large, who have
kindly given their services as members of the Committee,
the present year, are : Hon. Jonathan Phillips, Rev. Dr.
Edward Beecher, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Hon. Nathan
Appleton, and Oliver Frost, Esq. The Trustees deem it a
duty publicly to acknowledge the prompt and diligent atten-
tion of these gentlemen to the duties of a Committee of
Examination, and the interest manifested by them in the
prosperity of the institution.
The Trustees also submit the Annual Report of the Libra-
rian, marked B, made in pursuance of chapter III., article
12th, of the rules and by-laws of the Library.
From these documents a full knowledge may be obtained
of the operations of the Library during the past year, and of
its condition at the present time.
4 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nor.
This year has been one of great importance in the history
of the Library, being that of its opening to public use, on a
plan somewhat novel in institutions of this kind. At the
date of their former annual report, it was the hope of the
Trustees that they should be able to commence their opera-
tions on the first of January. This was rendered impossible
by the circumstance, that the larger room appropriated for the
present use of the Library was still required as a place for
Ward meetings. The reading room was opened on the 20th
of March, but it was not till the 2d of May last that the
Trustees were able to open the circulating department of the
library to public use. Since that time, with the exception
of the usual public holidays, the library has been open every
day from 9 o'clock A. M. to 9 1-2 o'clock P. M., till the ITtli
ult., when, in compliance with the rules and by-laws, the
doors were closed for the amuial examination.
The facts stated in the report of the examining committee
will show the use which has been made of the library, both
as a place of resort for reading and for the purpt^se of bor-
rowing books for home use. Notwithstanding the dilFicultics
incident to most new undertakings, it is believed that there
is no library in Boston, or the neighborhood, of which so
extensive a use has been made.
Such has been the case, although the pnrt of the year, dur-
ing which the library has been open, is that in which, for seve-
ral reasons, the greatest resort is not likely to take place.
During the summer many families reside in the country, and
many more travel. Of those who remain in the city, many
give their leisure time to excursions in the neighborhood and
to those out-door occupations which are favored by the pleas-
ant season. The long evenings of winter and early spring
will, it is anticipated, considerably increase the resort to the
Meantime its growth has exceeded the most sanguine ex-
pectations of the trustees. In their annual report of last
year, they stated that the income of Mr. Bates's munificent
endowment, of the generous donation of Mr. Phillips, and of
the other invested funds of the library, would furnish the
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 5
means of purchasing 3500 volumes for the current year,
while from other sources still further accessions might be
confidently anticipated. In point of fact the library, during
the course of the year, had, at the date of the librarian's re-
port, been increased by 6533 volumes and about 3000 pam-
phlets. Of these it appears, by the librarian's report, that
over two thousand volumes and nearly all the pamphlets
have been donations, and that about four thousand four hun-
dred volumes have been bought. If we are authorized to
form an opinion of the future growth of the library from the
experience of the past, we may safely calculate upon an in-
crease hereafter of at least six thousand volumes annually,
exclusive of pamphlets ; a rate of increase which in fourteen
years will carry the library up to 100,000 volumes, — a larger
collection than any at present existing in the United States.
It is true that a considerable number of the new books
added to the library the present year are duplicate sets of
popular new publications, which have been purchased in
pursuance of the principle on which the circulating depart-
ment is founded, viz : that of supplying the public, as far as
it could be reasonably done, with those books for which there
is an urgent present demand. It is expected that for a certain
class of books this demand will be temporary, and that in due
time — sooner for some and later for others, — all but a single
copy, or a very few copies may be dispensed with. In the
meantime, however, the books will have performed their
office ; the taste and habit of reading Avill have been cul-
tivated ; and if the expectations of the trustees are realized,
the standard of the reading community will have been
steadily raised, and the class of nev/ books called for will
become more and more one of permanent value.
The trustees are of opinion, even at the present time, and
in addition to the number of duplicate volumes of works of
temporary interest, that a larger number of new works of
permanent value have been added to the library the present
year than to any other public library in Boston or the
vicinity. Many of the works purchased in this couMlry
6 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
and all of those imported from abroad, may Ijc reckoned in
In order more cfrectnnlly to meet the wants of the com-
mnnitv, in reference to the supply of books, the trustees have
systematically invited the co-operation of the public in their
selection. For this purpose blank forms of recommendation
have been prepared to be filled np with tlie titles of books
not already on the shelves, and which the applicant may
wish to have purchased. If deemed by the Committee of the
Trustees a book proper for the Li])rary, it is ordered without
dela^'. Several hundred volumes have, in the course of the
season, been procured in this way, and they have usually
been furnished to the reader in twenty-four hours after his
application was made.
The Trustees have from the first calculated on large ac-
cessions to the Library from donations, individually tnken of
a small amount. In a city as large as Boston, containing
probably as great a number of educated persons as any city
in the world of its size, there are in almost every house a few
volumes, — sometimes rare and curious works, — ^which, in
some cases have descended -from former generations, and
which the present owners would rather have preserved in a
public collection than retain themselves. Many such vol-
umes have already been presented to the Library. Larger
donations of this kind, — and in some cases collections which
have been formed at great expense of time and money, — will
in the natural course of things be ])resented to the Library.
Their proj)rietors will often feel that, in the fluctuations of
fortune to which families are subject, there is no way of dis-
posing of a valuable collection of books, by which its perma-
nent usefulness is so sure to be secured, as to place it on the
shelves of a firc-proof building belonging to a great public
The Trustees in this connection feel bound to make a
special acknowledgement of the liberality of Dr. James Jack-
son, of Dr. John Ware, of Dr. Charles G. Putnam, and Dr.
E. A. Kittredge, for donations of medical books, amounting
in the aggregate to eight hundred and twenty volumes, and
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 7
to one thousand and eighty-six pamphlets. The Hon. G. S.
Hillaid has presented to the Library two hundred and two
volumes, among which is the Encyclopedie Methodique, in
197 volumes 4to, one of the most valuable of the works of
that class. One hundred and seventy-eight volumes and
seven hundred and ninety-six pamphlets have been received
from the Hon. Jonathan Phillips, in addition to his liberal
donation often thousand dollars, a copy, in excellent bind-
ing and preservation, of the American edition of the Ency-
clopedia Britannica from Mrs. Louisa Thompson ; and from
many other benefactors volumes amounting in the aggregate
to several hundred, of which a specification accompanies the
The Trustees, in the purchase of books, have had an eye
mainly to the wants of the mass of the reading public in a
community like our own. In a few cases, when there has
been an opportunity of purchasing a valuable work to great
advantage, it has been done, although the work may not
have been adapted for frequent popular use. But with
this exception, it has been the object of the Trustees to
make the acquisition of useful books, in the English lan-
guage, in plain, good bindings. Works in the learned and
foreign tongues, books or editions of books which owe
their value to their rarity, works of luxury as they are
called, splendidly illustrated publications, and sumptuous and
costly bindings have been wholly avoided. The Trustees
do not undervalue works of this class, when surplus funds
exist for their purchase. They look forward to the time
when, the more immediate wants of the institution having
been supplied, there will be a propriety in making the acqui-
sition, to a reasonable extent, of works of this class ; which
they also have no doubt will, from time to time, be added to
the Library by private liberality. But for the present they
are under the impression, that works intended for substantial
use, rather than for curiosity and show, are what the public
need and have a right to expect.
It was remarked in the report of the Trustees last year, that
" all the operations of the Library must be conducted on a
8 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
comparatively narrow scale, while the establishment con-
tinues within its present temporary and narrow limits. It is
only after the erection of a library building that it will be
able definitively to commence its career of usefulness." It
will be recollected that a piece of land for a library building
was purchased on Somerset street, which was given up,
Avithout pecuniary loss to the City, as not sufficiently large or
central. An eligible site was then obtained on Boylston
street, which, according to the opinion expressed by the
Trustees in their report last year, was better adapted to the
purpose than any other then to be procured. The circum-
stances which have prevented any progress being made, the
present season, in the erection of the building, are well
known to the City Council as altogether beyond the control
or influence of the Trustees.
On the 17th of October the Trustees were invited to attend
a conference with a committee of the City Council, appointed
to consider the subject of the location of the library ; and
from this conference it appeared, that it had been proposed
to erect the new building on some suitable place in the pub-
lic garden. The Trustees infer from this circumstance, that
differences of opinion as to the best situation for tlie library
may have had an influence, in causing the delay which has
taken place in reference to the building.
This question is one exclusively for the City Government;
and in their decision, whatever it may be, the Trustees will
respectfully acquiesce. Although as individuals in common
with their fellow-citizens, but led by their duty to take an
especial interest in the prosperity of the library, they may
have their opinions on the relative advantages of different
spots, the subject does not fall within their province as a
board, and has never been officially considered by them.
They trust, however, that they shall not be thought to go
beyond their sphere of duty in saying, that whatever site is
fixed upon, it is extremely desirable that as little time as pos-
sible should be lost. The faith of the City is pledged for
the erection of a library building, to the munificent bene-
factor who has so generously endowed the institution. Any
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 9
unnecessary delay in redeeming this pledge would bring just
reproach on the good name of the City. Till a fire-proof
building of ample dimensions is erected, it is in vain to ex-
pect those liberal donations of books from individuals, which
may be confidently depended upon, when adequate provision
is made for their safe keeping and convenient use. In addi-
tion to these considerations, it must not be forgotten, that
the resort to the library is already so great, that the present
temporary premises, (which consist of the basement story of
one of the City school houses,) are altogether insufficient for
the accommodation of those who come to borrow books,
and still more of those who wish to avail themselves of the
great advantages of the reading room. Notwithstanding
great diligence and promptitude, on the part of the librarian
and his assistants, aided by an admirably contrived system
for the search and delivery of books asked for, it is manifestly
impossible, in premises so contracted as those now appropri-
ated to the library, with an average of three hundred persons
daily resorting to it, to prevent occasional delay and crowd.
It is hoped by the Trustees that the convenience of more
than six thousand citizens who have already inscribed their
names for the use of the library, and to whose number addi-
tions are daily made, will, be thought by the City govern-
ment to merit their earliest attention.
The Trustees are firmly convinced, taking into considera-
tion the present resources of the institution and the indica-
tions of public interest in its progress, that, with a fire-proof
building of suitable dimensions well adapted to the purpose,
the Free Public Library will immediately become both an
honor and a blessing to the community ; — an institution
which will reflect credit on the liberality of its benefactors
and of the City ; — and which will put the finish to that
great system of public education of which Boston is so justly
Before concluding this report, the Trustees beg leave to
add, that they have great reason to be satisfied with the
fidelity, indu:stry, zeal, and spirit of accommodation of the
Librarian and his several assistants. Their diligence in the
10 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
discharge of their laborious duties, under circumstances some-
what embarrassing, has been exemplary, and has materially
contributed to diminish the inconveniences, which would
otherwise have been experienced by the public from the
crowded state of the rooms.
The Trustees may be permitted to add that on their own
part they have spared no pains, by personal attention to the
affairs of the library, to give effect to the enlightened views
in which it has been founded and sustained. They have
held a regular meeting every fortnight, throughout the year,
and extra meetings when necessary ; — and the attendance of
some one of their number, generally of more than one, has
been given on some part of almost every day.
All which is respectfully submitted by
A. B. MUNROE,
GEO. W. WARREN,
JOHN P. BIGELOW,
NATH'L B. SHURTLEFF,
T. G. APPLETON.
Public Library^ 2d November, 1854.
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 11
The Committee, appointed under the seventh section of an
Ordinance in relation to a Public Library, passed Oct. 14,
1852, ask leave to
That they have examined its condition on the three points
embraced in the Report of their predecessors of the last year,
both because those points seem to involve all the inquiries it
was intended they should make, and because, by adopting,
from year to year, the same system of investigation, the
state and progress of the institution can be more easily un-
derstood. Within these limits, then, they find the condition
of the Public Library to be as follows :
First, as to its Books. The number of volumes, which,
in the Report of November 10, 1853, was stated to be nine
thousand six hundred and eighty-eight, is now, by the Libra-
rian's account, sixteen thousand two hundred and twenty-
one, besides two thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine
tracts, added this year, and nearly a thousand given earlier,
portions of which are bound into volumes, and the remainder
arranged alphabetically in compact cases, for easy reference
until they, too, may be bound up. The books and tracts are
in good condition and fit for use. Those purchased during
the past year have been bought with reference to the wants
of the citizens generally, but especially the wants of those
who may not have access to good libraries. Of a large num-
ber of these books there are duplicates, and in not a few
cases there are several or many copies of the same work.
But still the supply falls very far short of the demand.
A great number of persons cannot obtain the book they want
at the time they ask for it, even when more than one copy
belongs to the Library ; and of many books that are much
needed, no copy at all has yet been bought, from deficiency of
12 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
funds. Our citizens meantime have been watcliful and lib-
eral. The Librarian's Report on the state of the Library
during the past year shows this in a manner most honorable
to the individuals whose names it records. And it is confi-
dently believed, when the remarkable facts stated in this
Report shall have been considered by the public, that other
patrons and friends to the Library will be found, like those
who have made it what it is, and that many persons who
have books lying idle in their houses, because they have
ceased to be interesting to their families, will gladly add
them to the Public Library, where they will again become
useful. The City Government, too, has this year made the
appropriation it has heretofore made for the general expenses
of the Library, and a part of this appropriation, but mainly
the munificent foundation of Mr. Bates, of London, and the
income of funds given in a similar spirit by others, consti-
tute, when taken together, the only resources of the Library
for the purchase of books. But these resources are, by no
means, sufficient. Even the present urgent wants of our
citizens cannot be satisfied by them, and these wants are
constantly increasing. Many persons add their names daily
to the list of those who use the Library, and many more will
follow; — for we have a growing population, and the number
of readers among us grows in a ratio still greater than that of
the increase of our people. The Liibrary, therefore, needs
large additions to its collection of books.
Second, as to its Catalogues. These are ample and
well adjusted to their purposes. They consist, 1st, of the
Catalogue of Accessiotis, in which every book, with its cost,
condition, &c., is entered as soon as it is received. This
Catalogue, therefore, constitutes a History of the Library as
a Collection of Books. 2d. The Alphabetical Card Cata-
logue, which contains a full title of each book on a separate
card, with short alphabetical references on other separate
cards to each word of the title under which the book is
likely to be asked for. This constitutes the best basis for a
thorough knowledge of the Library by the Librarian and his
assistants, and for the use of its books by all persons who
1S54.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 13
wish to make careful investigations of particular subjects.
3d. The Shelf Catalogue, which contains the titles of the
books as they stand on their respective shelves, and which,
therefore, affords the means of knowing, at any moment, the
exact condition of the Library as a part of the City's prop-
erty ; And 4th, the Printed Alphabetical Catalogue, of which
interleaved copies, containing the titles of the books added
from day to day, may always be found on the tables of the
Reading Room; — thus placing a knowledge of the contents
of the Library and the readiest means for using it within the
reach of every citizen. These four Catalogues are all in good
order, and carefully made up to the present date.
Third, as to the Library Rooms. The present Rooms —
which were regarded merely as a temporary provision when
they were first assigned for the use of the Library — are only
two in number, and are already found to be wholly inade-
quate to the proper management of such an institution and to
the demands daily made on it by our citizens. The outer
one is the Reading Room, where there are one hundred and
thirty-eight Periodicals, Transactions of Mechanics' Institutes,
Scientific Bodies, ifcc. — all of which are to be read and con-
sulted on its tables. But this Room — from the want of any
other for the purpose — is now necessarily used for the deliv-
ery of books, every afternoon and evening, to above three
hundred persons on an average, and sometimes to more than
five hundred. It is, therefore, noisy, uncomfortable and unfit
for its peculiar purposes as a place for quiet reading ; — besides
which it often happens, that the persons who come to borrow
books are so numerous as to be most inconveniently crowded
together; many of them being, kept standing and waiting
much longer than ought to be necessary, until their turn
comes round to be served. The interior or proper Library
Room is no better than the Reading Room. It is small, ill-
lighted, ill-ventilated, cold in winter, and so nearly filled
with books that it will soon be impossible to find places for
more. Both of them, by their exposure to fire, are unsafe
repositories for books. But there can be no need of adding
a word ou this point. The case is a plain one. Every body
14 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
who visits the Library, and the thousands who use it, know
and feel every time they come there, that its present Rooms
are wholly insufficient for its present wants, — to say nothing
of the increasing wants and inconveniences that must arise
from the increased numbers who are constantly demanding
its privileges and benefits for themselves and their families.
It is obvious, therefore, that something should be done with-
out delay for the erection of a proper building ; — a building
becoming the character of the City, and becoming the
pledges it has given.
In conclusion, it maybe remarked, that the Public Library,
although begun under the very considerable disadvantages
already suggested, has yet been eminently successful. It
was opened as a Reading Room March 20, 1854, and for
the circulation of books May 2, and closed for the annual ex-
amination, October 17 ; the latter dates including a period
of just five months and an half. During this period, it appears
that six thousand five hundred and ninety persons entered
their names in order to enjoy its privileges ; that the number
of volumes borrowed for home use was thirty-five thousand
three hundred and eighty-nine, besides several thousands
used in the Reading Room, of which no record is kept ; that
no one book of this very large number is known or believed
to have been wantonly or unreasonably injured ; that, after
a very careful examination, only twenty volumes are now
missing from the slielves ; that most of these twenty will,
probably, be found and returned to their places ; and that not
one of them is of suflicient pecuniary value to permit its loss
to be considered important or to allow its absence to be
attributed to any cause but accident or misfortune. More-
over, if none of them should be recovered, the very trifling
fines already promptly and cheerfully paid for the undue de-
tention of books, would jjurchase them all several times over.
It is certain, therefore, that a very large amount of good
reading has been circulated among our citizens by the Public
Library, and that the books containing it have been treated,
as it might be expected they would be treated by persons
who know their value.
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 15
The benefits tliat must follow from such an Institution,
fitted, as the Public Library is, to continue by home-reading
and self-culture the education begun by our excellent system
of Free Schools, your Committee will not pretend to esti-
mate. Indeed, if this Library should be liberally fostered
and administered by the persons to whom its support and
care are entrusted, all its benefits to the intellectual, moral
and religious training of our community, and especially of our
children, can neither be measured nor foreseen.
It may be appropriate here to add, as an important circum-
stance in the present condition of the Public Library, that the
very simple system now in operation for arranging its books
on their shelves and circulating them among our citizens, is
not only an excellent system in itself, but is, also, a system
that admits of such easy and almost indefinite expansion,
that it may be relied on to meet the future no less than the
present demands of the public. But, in order to give our
community the benefit of this system and of the wise and
liberal use of the Library which it involves, a building must
undoubtedly be erected permitting arrangements and facili-
ties for its management and administration, that are quite
impossible in the present inappropriate, uncomfortable, unsafe,
and insufficient premises.
All which is submitted.
ROBT. C. WINTHROP,
Public Library, October 31, 1854.
16 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nor.
By chapter III., article 12, of the Rales and Regulations
of the Public Library, it is incumbent on the Librarian,
"before the last day of October, to make in writing and pre-
sent to the Trustees a detailed and circumstantial Report on
its condition and increase during the year preceding."
Agreeably to this provision I submit the following Report :
On the 10th day of November, 1853, there were 9688
volumes belonging to the Library, and 961 pamphlets.
Since that time there have been added 6533 volumes and
2989 pamphlets. Of these, 2152 volumes and nearly all the
pamphlets have been received in donations, and 4381 vol-
umes have been purchased.
The number of volumes at present belonging to the Li-
brary is therefore 16,221, and the number of pamphlets 3950.
In this account are included the duplicate or numerous
copies of many works which it was found necessary to pur-
chase, in order to supply the reasonable demands of the
large number of readers who have availed themselves of the
privileges of the circulating department.
This department was opened to the public on the 2d day
of May last, and, on the 17th day of October, when the
Library was closed for examination, had been in operation
just five and a half months. During this period 6590 per-
sons, by signing their names in the book for signatures, put
themselves under obligations to obey the rules and regula-
tions that had been or might be prescribed by due authority.
Of these 5384 have opened accounts in the " Loan Books,"
and thereby obtained the right to receive books for home
use. Justice to these subscribers requires a strong statement
of the fact, that, under many inconveniences and much dis-
comfort, from the want of proper accomodations in the
1854.J CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 17
library rooms, the rules of the Library, both in letter and
spirit, have been cheerfully complied with.
It has been ascertained that 35.3S9 volumes were taken
from the Library between the 2d day of May and the 17th
of October, for home use ; an average of 250 vohinies a day.
The average number of books taken out daily for the week
ending September 22, was 306, or 1836 volumes in all. On
the 16th of Sejjtember 535 volumes were taken out. In
other weeks, w[ien no account was kept, the average is sup-
posed to have been greater. The average number of books
used daily in the reading room during the week ending Sep-
tember 30th was 34, or, in all, 204, On other weeks it was
probably grealer; and all these numbers- grow larger from
week to week.
Books were in constant circulation until August 1, without
requiring us to replace, in a single instance, the paper cover ;
and up to this time eighty-three volumes only have been re-
bound, and only fifty-two more are now known to require
a new binding. It is not known that, in any instance, a
wilful, and in only one instance an accidental injury has
been done to a book, and in the latter case the damage was
voluntarily and cheerfully made good. One book has been
lost by accident, and that also has been paid for.
An examination of each shelf, with the alcove catalogue,
shows that the books are all in their places, with the excep-
tion of twenty volumes. As an offset to this item we have
received, in fines collected for the undue retention of books,
the sum of $87. 30, which has been paid into the City
Treasury, on account of the Library, and will amply replace
all the books that may have been lost.
Appended to this report, in a paper marked No. I., will be
found the names of the benefactors of the Library, with the
amount of money, or the number of volumes, pamphlets,
charts, &c. received from each during the past year ; the
whole preceded by the names of those who had earlier
been benefactors. This shows us the agreeable fact that
over one hundred and fifty persons, many of whose dona-
tions have been of great value, and all desirable, have had in
mind the wants of the Library.
18 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
Appended also to this report, in another paper marked No.
II., will be found a statement of the expenditures of money,
for whatever purpose, from the first day of November 1853,
to the last day of October 1854. A little inconvenience
arises from the fact that the financial year of the City com-
mences on the first day of May, and that the appropriations
are made for a year from that period. But the most impor-
tant thing here, is to exhibit the way in which the moneys
in trust for the wants of the Library have been spent. This
exhibit can be made month by month, and item by item, if
it be necessary; but it is presumed that the divisions made
in this statement will be sufficiently minute. It should,
however, be understood that the heavy items of the construc-
tion and furniture accounts cannot occur again, and that
about the sum of $200, (192 46) charged to the account of
printing, has been refunded by the receipts from the sale of
EDWARD CAPEN, Librarian.
Boston, October 24, 1854.
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 19
BENEFACTORS TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY,
Previous to the \Qth November, 1853.
Applcton, Samuel $1,000 00
Bates, Joshua Funded, 50,000 00
Bigelow, John P. « 1,000 00
Bowditch, N. I. Services valued at - - - 200 00
Brown, James 500 00
Nightingale, James - - - - - - - 100 00
Phillips, Jonathan Fund, 10,000 00
Appleton, Samuel -.--_- i
Appleton, William ------ 9 1
Balfour, David M. 3
Ballard & Prince, ------ 1
Ballon, M. M. 1
Barnard, Henry, Conn. ----- i
Bigelow, John P. 207 87
Bishop, Nathan 3 7
Boston, England ------ 1
Boston, City of - - - - - - - 315 39
Bowditch, J. I. 4
Clapp, Otis ------- 5 41
Cotiin, Admiral Sir I. - - - - - 6
Dall, William - - - - - - - 70 150
Dearborn, Nathaniel - - - - - 21
Dillaway, Charles K. - - - - - 2
Dui)ee, James A. ------ 1
D wight, Louis --'----- 4
EastJnirn, John H. 1 66
Eliot, Samuel A. ------ 85
Eustis, William T. 4
Everett, Edward 1170 2
Flint, Charles L. - - - - - - 11
French, B. F. 3
Gait, J. M., Va. 14
Gilbert, A., New York, 1
Gray, Asa 2
Gray, Francis C. ------ 57
Greene, C. W., Greenwich, R. I. - - - 33
Gr is wold, Almon W, - ' - - - - - 1
Guildhall Library Committee, London, - - 1
20 PUBLIC LIBRARY. [Nov.
Hale, N. & C, -
Ilcrrick, E. C, Yale College,
Jarvis, Edward, _ _ _
Kingnian, Charles B. -
Knecdand, Saimiel _ _ -
Lawrence, T. B. - - -
Lee, Thomas J. - _ _
Livermore, George, Cambridge, -
Loring, James S. - - -
MclMahon, J. B. - - -
Massachusetts, State of - -
McClearj, S. F. - - -
Montagu, A. de
Norton, Cliarles B,, New York, -
Norwood, Samuel - - -
Paine, IMartyn, NeAv York,
Paris, City of -
Parsons, Ushei-, .* _ -
Phillips, Jonathan _ - -
Rhode Island Historical Society,
Riddle, Edward _ - .
Sawyer, F. W _ _ _
Seaver, Benjamin . . _
Shurtleff, N. B. ...
Smith, Elbridge, Cambridge,
Southcy, Thomas, England,
Sparks, Jared - - - -
Spurr, O. H. -
Thornton, J. W. _ - .
Ticknor, George _ - -
United States, - - - -
Unknown, _ _ _ _
Wales, George B. - - -
Walker, Amasa _ _ _
Warren, J. Mason - - -
Warren, Jolui C. - - -
Warren Street Chapel Library, -
Webster Daniel _ _ _
Weld, Moses IL 1 Crystallotyi)e.
Wilkins, John IL - - -
Williams John D. W.
Winthrop, Robert C. - -
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 21
BENEFACTORS TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY,
For the year 1853-54, and the number of Volumes, Pamphlets,
Charts, &)-c. received from each.
Bates, Joshua, London, Interest, .... $3000 00
Bigelow, John P. " .... 60 00
Bowditch, J. Ingersoll, 300 00
Phillips, Jonathan, Interest, GOO 00
Albany Young Men's Association, ... 1
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis-
sions, by Prudential Committee, - - - 32
Appleton, J. W. M. 1
Appleton, W. ....... 7 1
Austin, J. T. 2
Balfour, David I^I. 55
Ballou, Maturin M. 5
Bigelow, Henry J. ------ 6'
Bigelow, John P. ----- - 4
Binney, C. J. F. 1
Binney, Horace, Philadelphia, .... 2
Bishop, Nathan, ...... 5
Boston Society of Natural History, ... 4 1
Bowditch, Henry I. ------ 6 1
Bowditch, N. I. 1
Bradley, John N. - ■ 55
Brown, Obadiah, Benevolent Fund of - - 9
Cass, Mrs. L. A. 5
Chandlei", George, "Worcester, .... 1
City of Boston, Departments of - - - - 23 1
Clapp, David 11 60
Cogswell, Joseph G., New York, ... 3
Copeland, Elisha -13 79
Cornell, William M. ----- - 4 8
Couthouy, J. P. 4
Davis, David E. ------ 2
Dench, Lawsou B. ------ 3
Dennet, W. H. 1
Dixon, B. Homer, - - - - - - 10
Durkee, Silas, ..-.--- 1
Eastburn, John II. ----- - 1
Eliot, Samuel A. ------ 2
Everett, Edward, 27 Charts, &c. - - - 166 245
Flint, Ch. L. 2 1
Foster, F. E. Miss 1
French, James & Co. - - - . .
Frost, Oliver -.-.-..
Garrison, "William L. - - - . _
Gasking, Samuel -_---.
Girard, Cliai-les, Philadelphia, - - - -
Harvard College, President and Fellows of,
Ilillard, George S. ----- -
Holland, F. W.
Howe, John, Jr. -____.
Jackson, Abby C. ----- -
King, Gedney Mrs. ------
Jackson, Francis ______
Jackson, James --____
Kittredge, Edward A. - - - - -
Lawrence, Abbott, Jr. - - - - -
Leeds, Charles H., New York, - - - -
Loring, James S. ----- -
McCleary, S. F. Jr.
Maryland Historical Society, - - - -
Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, -
Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture,
Merritt, J. Mrs.
IMiinroe, .James - - ■ -
Munsell, J., Albany, ------
New York University, Regents of - - -
New York Society Library, - - - -
Otis, Harrison Gray Mrs. - -
Paris, City of
Parker, Henry T. ----- -
Phillips, Jonathan - - - - -, -
Potter, E. R., Rhode Island, - - -
Prescott, Frederic W. - - - - -
Pulsifer, David -_-___
Putnam, Cliarles G. -
Quincy, Eliza S. ----- -
Quincy, Josiah, Sen'r. - - - - -
Reed, Sampson --.._.
Rich Brothers, London, - - - - -
Roelker, Bernard ------
Ruggles, S. B., New York, - - - -
Shurtleff, N. B.
Spear, Charles ---__.
Sumner Charles ------
Sumner, W. IL, Roxbury, - - - _
Sunderland, La Roy - - - - .
Tarbell, Thomas Mrs. - _ . - .
Tliayer, Gideon F. ----- -
ThompfiOn, Louisa Mrs. - _ _ _ .
Thwing, Thomas .----.
1854.] CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 74. 23
Ticknor, George, 14 Charts, Sec. - - - 116 32
Ticknor, Reed & Fields, ----- 3
Torrey, Henry W. ------ 1
Turner, J. AV, ------- i
United States, State Department, - - - 36
United States Commissioner of Patents, - - 1
Unknown, -----.-19 7
Ware, John 239 307
Warren, Jolm C. ------ 1
West, E. L. Mrs, 2
Wetherbee, Moses H. - - - - - 3
Whitney, Frederic A., Brighton, - - - 30
Wilkins, John H. ------ 2
Willard, F. A. 2
Williams, 'J. D. W., Roxbury, - - - . H 3
Wilson, John ------- 1
Winthrop, Robert C. 3
Woods, Charles - 1
Wright, Ephraim M. - - - - - - 7
24 PUBLIC LICRARY. [Nov.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT, FOR ONE YEAR,
From November 1, 1853, to October 31, 1854.
Binding Books, $ 525.43
Blank Books, Stationery, &c., 381.70
Construction, Repairs, &c., ------ 505.01
Expresses, Cartage, &c., ------ 24.77
Freights, Customs, Wharflige, Sec, - - - - 21.14
Furniture, Tools, &c., ------- 774.35
Insurance, --------- 157.00
Porter, for Fires, Cleaning, &;c., ----- 52.00
Printing and Paper, ------- 1,719.20
Salaries and Extra Help, -".-.-- 2,543.98