SIXTIETH ANNUAL REPORT
CITY OF BOSTON
PUBLISHED BY THE TRUSTEES
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
ON FEBRUARY 1, 1912.
JOSIAH H. BENTON, President.
Tenn expires April 30, 1914.
THOMAS F. BOYLE. ALEXANDER MANN.
Term expires April 30, 1912. Term expires April 30, 1915.
SAMUEL CARR. WILLIAM F. KENNEY.
Term expires April 30, 1913. Term expires April 30, 1916.
HORACE G. WADLIN.
ORGANIZATION OF THE LIBRARY DEPARTMENT.
The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston,
organized in 1 852, are now incorporated under the provisions of
Chapter 1 1 4, of the Acts of 1 878, as amended. The Board for
1852 was a preliminary organization; that for 1853 made the
first annual report. At first the Board consisted of one alderman
and one common councilman and five citizens at large, until
1867, when a revised ordinance made it to consist of one alder-
man, two common councilmen and six citizens at large, two of
whom retired, unless re-elected, each year, while the members
from the City Council were elected yearly. In 1 878 the organi-
zation of the Board was changed to include one alderman, one
councilman, and five citizens at large, as before 1867; and in
1885, by the provisions of the amended city charter, the repre-
sentation of the City Government upon the Board by an alder-
man and a councilman was abolished, leaving the Board as at
present, consisting of five citizens at large, appointed by the
Mayor, for five-year terms, the term of one member expiring
each year. The following citizens at large have been members
of the Board since its organization in 1 852 :
Abbott, Samuel Appleton Browne, 1879-95.
Appleton, Thomas Gold, 1852-56.
Benton, Josiah Henry, ll.d., 1894-.
BiGELow, Hon. John Prescott, 1852-68.
BowDiTCH, Henry Ingersoll, m.d., 1865-67.
BowDiTCH, Henry Pickering, m.d., 1894-1902.
Boyle, Thomas Francis, 1902-.
Braman, Jarvis Dwight, 1 869-72.
Carr. Samuel, 1895-96, 1908-.
Chase, George Bigelow, 1876-85.
Clarke, James Freeman, d.d., 1878-1888.
Curtis, Daniel Sargent, 1873-75.
DeNormandie, James, d.d., 1895-1908.
Dwight, Thomas, m.d., 1899-1908.
Everett, Hon. Edward, 1 852-64.
Frothingham, Richard, ll.d., 1875-79.
Green, Samuel Abbott, m.d., 1 868-78.
Greenough, William Whitwell, 1856-88.
Haynes, Prof. Henry Williamson, 1 880-94.
HiLLARD, Hon. George Stillman, 1872-75; 76-77.
Kenney, William Francis, a.m., 1908-.
Lewis. Weston, 1 868-79.
Lewis, Winslow, m.d., 1867.
Lincoln, Solomon, 1897-1907.
Mann, Alexander, d.d., 1908-.
Morton, Hon. Ellis Wesley, 1870-73.
Pierce, Phineas, 1 888-94.
Prince, Hon. Frederick Octavius, 1 888-99.
Putnam, George, d.d., 1868-77.
Richards, William Reuben, 1889-95.
Shurtleff, Hon. Nathaniel Bradstreet, 1852-68.
Thomas, Benjamin Franklin, ll.d., 1877-78.
TicKNOR, George, ll.d., 1852-66.
Walker, Francis Amasa, ll.d., 1896.
Whipple, Edwin Percy, 1867-70.
Whitmore, William Henry, 1 885-88.
WiNsoR, Justin, ll.d., 1867-68.
The Hon, Edward Everett was President of the Board
from 1 852 to 1 864 ; George Ticknor, in 1 865 ; William W.
Greenough, from 1866 to April, 1888; Prof. Henry W.
Haynes, from May 7, 1888, to May 12, 1888; Samuel A.
B. Abbott, May 12, 1888, to April 30, 1895; Hon. F. O.
Prince, October 8, 1895, to May 8, 1899; Solomon Lin-
coln, May 12, 1899, to October 15, 1907; Rev. James De
NORMANDIE, January 31, 1908, to May 8, 1908; JOSIAH H.
Benton, since May 8, 1 908.
(From 1858 to 1877, the chief executive officer was entitled Superintendent.)
Capen, Edward, Librarian, May 13, 1 852-December 16, 1874.
Jewett, Charles C, Superintendent, 1 858-January 9, 1 868.
WiNSOR, Justin, ll.d.. Superintendent, February 25, 1 868-Septem-
Green, Samuel A., m.d., Trustee, Acting Librarian, October 1,
1877-September 30, 1878.
Chamberlain, Mellen, ll.d.. Librarian, October 1, 1 878-Septem-
ber 30, 1890.
DwiGHT. Theodore F., Librarian, April 13, 1892-April 30, 1894.
Putnam, Herbert, ll.d.. Librarian, February 11, 1895-ApriI 30,
Whitney, James L., Acting Librarian, March 31, 1 899-December
21, 1899; Librarian, December 22, 1899-January 31, 1903.
Wadlin, Horace G., LITT.D., Librarian, since February 1, 1903.
LIBRARY SYSTEM, FEBRUARY 1, 1912.
Central Library, Copley Sq. Established May 2, 1854 Mar. 1 1 , 1895
JEast Boston Branch, 37 Meridian St Jan. 28, 1871
§South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway May 1, 1872
IIRoxbury Branch, 46 Millmont St July. 1873
JCharlestown Branch. City Sq ♦Jan., 1874
tBrighlon Branch, Academy Hill Rd *Jan., 1874
JDorchesler Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St Jan. 25, 1874
§South End Branch, 397 Shawmut Ave Aug., 1877
tJamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St Sept., 1877
$West Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St *Jan. 6, 1880
tWest End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St Feb. 1 , 1896
$Upham's Corner Branch, Columbia Rd., cor. Bird St Mar. 16, 1896
tHyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winthrop St *Jan. 1, 1912
Station A. Lower Mills Reading Room, Washington St June 7, 1875
B. Roslindale Reading Room, Washington St., cor. Ash-
land St Dec. 3,1878
" D. Mattapan Reading Room, 727 Walk Hill St Dec. 27, 1881
E. Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponset Ave Jan. 1,1883
F. Mt. Bowdoin Reading Room, Washington, cor. Eldon
St Nov. 1,1886
" G. Allston Reading Room, 354 Cambridge St Mar. 1 1, 1889
J. Codman Square Reading Room, Washington, cor. Nor-
folk St Nov. 12, 1890
" N. Mt. Pleasant Reading Room, Dudley, cor. Magazine St. Apr. 29, 1892
P. Broadway Extension Reading Room, 13 Broadway
Extension Jjm. 1 6, 1 896
" R. Warren Street Reading Room, 390 Warren St May 1, 1896
S. Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 1 1 54 Tremont St Jan. 1 8, 1 897
T. Boylston Station Reading Room, The Lamartine, De-
pot Sq Nov. 1,1897
" W. Industrial School Reading Room, 39 North Bennet St.. Nov. 3, 1899
" Z. Orient Heights Reading Room, 1030 Bennington St June 25, 1901
" 23. City Point Reading Room, 61 5 Broadway July 18, 1906
" 24. Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tremont St July 15,1907
*A8 a branch. tin building owned by City, and exdusively devoted to library uses. tin City building,
in part devoted to other municipal uses. §Occupies rented rooms. IIThe lessee of the Fellowes Athe-
naeum, a private library association.
1 . Central Library, Copley Square.
Branch Libraries, February I, 1912.
2. Brighton Branch, Holton Library Building, Academy Hill Road.
3. Charlestown Branch, City Square.
4. Dorchester Branch, Aracadia, cor. Adams St.
5. East Boston Branch, 37 Meridian St.
6. Jamaica Plain Branch. Sedgwick, cor. South St.
7. Roxbury Branch, 46 Millmont St.
8. South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway.
9. South End Branch, 397 Shawmut Avenue.
10. Upham's Comer Branch, Columbia Road, cor. Bird St.
1 1 . West End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St.
12. West Roxbuiy Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St.
13. Hyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cot. Winlhrop St.
Delivery Stations, February 1, 1912.
A. Lower Mais Reading Room, Washington, cor. Richmond St.
B. Roslindale Reading Room, Washington, cor. Ashland St.
D. Mattapan Reading Room, 727 Walk HUl St.
E. Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponset Ave.
F. Mount Bowdoin Reading Room, Washington, cor. Eldon St.
G. Allston Reading Room, 6 Harvard Ave.
J. Codman Square Reading Room, Washington, cor. Norfolk St., Do
N. Mt. Pleasant Reading Room, Dudley, cor. Magazine St.
P. Broadway Extension Reading Room, 13 Broadway Ejttension.
R. Wanen Street Reading Room, 390 Warren St.
S. Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 1 1 54 Tremonl St.
T. Boylston Station Reading Room, The Lamartine, Depot Square.
V. City Pomt Reading Room, 615 Broadway.
W. Industrial School Reading Room, 39 North Bennel Si.
X. Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tremont St.
Z. Orient Heights Reading Room, 1930 Bennington St.
Area of City (Land only) 43.27 Square mile.
Population (Census of 1910), 686,092.
Report of the Trustees
Balance Sheet ....
Report of the Examining Committee
Report of the Librarian .
Index to the Annual Report 1911-1912
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Central Library Building
Map of the Library System
Jamaica Plain Branch Library
Delivery Room, Jamaica Plain Branch
Reading Room, Jamaica Plain Branch
Children's Room, Jamaica Plain Branch
Hyde Park Branch Library
Facing page ix
To His Honor John F. Fitzgerald,
Mayor of the City of Boston:
Sir, — The Board of Trustees of the PubHc Library of the
City of Boston present the following report of its condition and
affairs for the year ending January 31, 1912, being their sixtieth
ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD.
The Board organized on May 5, 19 11, by the election of
Josiah H. Benton as President, Thomas F. Boyle, Vice Presi-
dent, and Delia Jean Deery, Clerk.
The term of William F. Kenney expired on April 30, 1911,
and he was re-appointed and qualified a member of the Board
Board for five years from that date.
RECEIPTS OF THE LIBRARY.
The receipts of the Library are of two classes: First, those
which are to be expended by the Trustees in the maintenance of
the Library. These consist of the annual appropriation by the
City Council, and the income from Trust funds, given to the
Trustees but invested by the City Treasurer under the direction
of the Finance Committee of the City. During the past year
these receipts were as follows:
Annual appropriation • $355,200.00
Income from Trust funds, including unexpended balance of previous
Second, receipts which are accounted for and paid into the
City treasury for general municipal purposes. These consist of
receipts from fines for the detention of books, from sales of find-
ing lists, bulletins, and catalogues; from commissions paid for
the use of telephone facilities; from sales of waste; from pay-
ments for lost books; and from money found in the Library.
These receipts, during the year, have been as follows:
From fines $5,114.82
From sales of catalogues, etc. . 79.12
From telephone commissions 190.23
From sales of waste 148.63
From payments for lost books 393.32
From money found in the Library 232
TTie $393.32 received for lost books, being received only to
replace lost library property is, when paid into the City treasury,
added to the appropriation for library maintenance. A balance
sheet showing all the receipts and expenditures of the Library
Department in detail is hereinafter contained.
As we have pointed out in previous reports, the sum required
for the proper administration of the Library, taking into account
the increase in the population of the City, and the enlarged de-
mands made upon the library system, will require a progressive
increase in appropriations. Without such an increase, the Li-
brary will fail to be efficiently worked and improved to its full
capacity for the education of our people, and its usefulness will
surely decrease. The Library cannot simply mark time. It must
either march forward, or fall behind in its work. The appropria-
tion last year was fully required for the efficient administration
and maintenance of the library system.
ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY.
During the year, 36,886 volumes have been added to the
library collection. Of these, 25,506 were purchased, 6,749
were given to the Library, cind the remainder were received by
exchange, binding of periodicals into volumes, etc. ; 1 2,249 vol-
umes were purchased for the Central Library, and 13,257 for
the branch libraries and reading-room stations.
The total amount expended for books, including $6,741.79
for periodicals, $2,000.00 for newspapers, and $310.84 for
photographs, was $48,827.81, or about 12.4 per cent of the
entire expense of the Library for all purposes.
The average cost of all books purchased was $1.57 per vol-
ume. Of the books purchased, 20, 1 9 1 were bought from money
appropriated by the City, at an average cost of 93 cents a volume,
and 5,315 were bought with the income of Trust funds, at an
average cost of $3.93 a volume.
BOOK CIRCULATION AND USE OF THE LIBRARY.
There were issued during the year for direct home use
274,981 volumes at the Central Library, and from the Central
Library through the branches and reading-room stations 73,576
others, while the branches and reading-room stations also issued
1 ,093,05 1 volumes for direct home use. There were also issued
from the Central Library, branches and reading-room stations,
for use at schools and institutions, 1 70,662 volumes, making the
entire issue for use outside the library buildings 1,612,270
The use of the Library for general reference and study is im-
restricted. It is therefore impracticable to record this use statis-
tically. Its extent, however, is shown by the fact that about half
a million call slips for the table use of books in Bates Hall in the
Central Library alone are required during the year. The daily
use of books and other library material in the Central Library
and in the branches is doubtless many times greater than the home
use of books drawn out upon cards.
BINDING AND REPAIR OF BOOKS.
During the year 42,398 volumes have been bound in the
Bindery. Besides this, a large amount of miscellaneous work
has been completed, such as the folding, stitching and trimming
of 1 70,81 9 library publications, the mounting of maps and photo-
graphs, the repairing of books, the making of periodical covers,
etc. The expense of performing this necessary miscellaneous
work is equivalent to about 1 7 per cent of the total expense of
the Department. The ability to do it promptly in our own
bindery, greatly promotes the convenience, economy and effi-
ciency of the library work.
HOURS OF SERVICE.
The Central Library and the branches open and their work
begins at nine o'clock in the morning. The reading-room sta-
tions open in the afternoon at varying hours, most of them at two
o'clock. The service continues until ten o'clock at night at the
Central Library building and at the West End Branch, and un-
til nine at the other branches and reading-room stations except
during the summer months. From June 1 5 until September 1 5
the Central Library and West End Branch are closed at nine
o'clock. The other branches and reading rooms during a shorter
period close earlier than in winter, most of them at six o'clock.
The Central Library is in operation 102 week days of twelve
hours each, 203 week days of thirteen hours each, 1 7 Sundays
of nine hours each, and 35 Sundays and two holidays of ten
hours each, making an aggregate of 359 days, or 4,680 hours,
during each twelve months.
The Sunday service as now arranged includes the Central Li-
brary and the West End Branch throughout the year. All the
other branches (except the West Roxbury Branch, which has no
Sunday service) and the eight largest reading rooms provide Sun-
day service from November 1 to May 1 only. The hours are as
At the Central Library and West End Branch, from twelve
o'clock to ten o'clock, except that the closing hour is nine o'clock
from June 15 until September 15. At the South End Branch
from twelve o'clock to nine o'clock. At the other branches,
and at the eight largest reading rooms (namely, Allston, Cod-
man Square, Broadway Extension, Warren Street, Roxbury
Crossing, Boylston Station, City Point, Parker Hill), from two
o'clock to nine o'clock. At all of these reading rooms except
Codman Square the room is closed from six to seven o'clock.
The total number of hours of Sunday service provided an-
nually at the Central Library and at the West End Branch is
507 each; at the South End Branch, 234 hours; at the other
branches, and at the Codman Square Reading Room, 1 82 hours
each; and at the following reading rooms: Allston, Broadway
Extension, Warren Street, Roxbury Crossing, Boylston Station,
City Point, Parker Hill, 1 56 hours each.
LIBRARY COOPERATION WITH SCHOOLS, ETC.
The Trustees continue to cooperate with the educational work
of the schools, and, during the past year, the Library has sup-
plied with books 28 branches and reading rooms, 1 1 public and
parochial schools, 61 engine houses and 33 institutions, and
sending out upon the average from the Central Library, about
400 volumes every day by its delivery wagons. The number of
volumes sent on deposit from the Central Library through the
branch system was 41 ,296, of which 9,386 were sent to schools.
There were also sent from the branches themselves and from two
of the largest reading rooms 20,803 volumes on deposit, distrib-
uted among 128 places. Of these 16,327 were sent to schools.
That is to say, not only is the collection of the Central Library
used as a reservoir from which books may be drawn for use in
the branches and reading rooms, but each of the branches and
reading rooms is in itself a reservoir from which books are drawn
for use by teachers in schools in its immediate vicinity.
JAMAICA PLAIN BRANCH.
The new building erected for this Branch, on part of the Cur-
tis Hall lot, South and Sedgwick Streets, Jamaica Plain, was
opened to the public July 24.
This is the first independent building apart from the Central
Library, built by the City exclusively for library uses. It cost
$33,000, including furnishings, but exclusive of the lot, which
was owned by the City. It is built of brick and stone, with slated
roof, was planned with special reference to its site, and has every
convenience required for the effective administration of the
Branch. Separate provision is made for adult and juvenile
readers, and all the books are openly accessible to readers. In
the basement, with separate entrance from the street, is a small
assembly hall or lecture room, already occasionally used for
story-telling to children, and adapted to be used by study classes
or meetings of any kind properly within the scope of library work.
The building is entered from Sedgwick Street, and is so arranged
that the custodian or assistants at the central desk may overlook
the entire floor area, although, by the use of plate glass screens,
quiet is secured in the different reading rooms.
The entire accommodation for the public, except the lecture
hall, is provided on the first floor, and the use of stairs is not re-
quired. The first floor area, exclusive of the custodian's room
and entries, is 3,800 square feet. Shelving is provided for about
NORTH END BRANCH.
The need of better library facilities in the congested North
End district has been urged in previous reports. On the 17th
of March last, the Trustees addressed to Your Honor a com-
munication in part as follows :
The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston have the
honor to submit this communication with reference to the need of further
library accommodations for that part of the City known as the North End,
substantially within the limits of Ward 6.
The Trustees have maintained a reading room in a building occupied
by the North Bennet Street Industrial School at 39 North Bennet Street,
which was opened November 3, 1 899. It has never been satisfactory for
library purposes, but was the best that could be obtained with the means
at the disposal of the Trustees. In their Fifty-eighth Annual Report, for
1909-10, they stated that "these rooms are wholly inadequate for library
They have also maintained since June 9, 1903, a reading room on
the ground floor of the building at 207 North Street, which was adequate
for its purpose although inconvenient and not suitable in many respects for
proper library service. This building, however, has been sold and the
tenancy of the Library terminated by the new owner. All the library
accommodations for this part of the City are now necessarily suppHed at
the North Bennet Street Reading Room, where some additional room has
been obtained, but only for temporary purposes. It will be seen there-
fore, that provision for library service for the people of the North End of
the City is wholly inadequate, and there is imperative need that something
should be done without delay to provide that part of the City with such
library service as the people obviously have a right to expect. It was the
opinion of the Trustees, as expressed in their Fifty-eighth Annual Report,
transmitted to Your Honor in February, 1910, that "there should be a
building for a new branch at the North End at an early date," and they
are of the same opinion now, the need for such accommodations being even
more imperative than at the time this report was made. The situation is so
fully set forth in the Report of the Examining Committee, appended to
the Report of the Trustees recently submitted to Your Honor, that we beg
leave to refer to that as a fair statement of the situation.
In this urgent state of affairs the Trustees have deemed it their duty to
ascertain whether some method could not be devised for providing the
North End with suitable hbrary accommodations, and to bring the same to
Your Honor's attention. They have therefore fully investigated the mat-
ter of obtaining land and building for a branch library at the North End.
They find that the City can purchase an estate now occupied by the Church
of St. John Baptist, on North Bennet Street, comprising 4,980 feet of
land with a substantial building thereon, for the assessed valuation of
$38,000, and they have taken an option to the City to purchase the estate
at any time within ninety days from March 15, 191 1 , at that price, which
they believe to be reasonable. This estate is, in the judgment of the Trus-
tees, properly located to serve library purposes in Ward 6. It is near the
main avenues of travel, but sufficiently removed therefrom to avoid noise of
street cars and teams. It is nearly opposite the open grounds connected
with the municipal gymnasium, and in the vicinity of several large schools
which would be served by the library station. The building is approxi-
mately 56 X 71 feet in size.
The Trustees have had the building carefully examined by Messrs.
Maginnis & Walsh, Architects, who report to them that the walls and foun-
dation are in good condition and of adequate thickness to permit remodel-
ing for library purposes, and also that it is feasible to make such changes
and reconstruction of the building as will provide two stories, each with a
floor area of approximately 3,500 square feet, and a flat roof. Such
reconstruction would give an adequate room for adults, and a small hall,
seating about 325 persons, on the first floor; and on the second floor good
reading and reference rooms for children, with excellent top lighting.
Provision can also be made if desired for an open air reading room upon
the roof, for summer use. New heating apparatus could be placed in the
basement, which would also amply provide for storage and work rooms.
The character of the building as thus remodeled is shown by a sketch of
the front, provided by the Architects, which is herewith transmitted. Rough
plans of the interior as remodeled are in preparation, but they are of
substantially such changes as have been above indicated. The cost of
making these changes in the building has been estimated by the Architects,
at $38,000 for second class construction, which in this case would as we
understand, be permitted, or $42,000 for first class fireproof construc-
tion. The difference is so slight that we are of the opinion it would be
better economy in the long run to adopt the fireproof method of construc-
In conclusion we beg to say, that in making this recommendation as to
the needs of the North End, we are not unmindful of the needs of various
other parts of the City for improved library service, notably East Boston,
the district served by the Broadway Extension Reading Room, and
Charlestown. But it is impossible that all these needs should be met at
once, and we are of the opinion that the improvement which we suggest at
the North End should be undertaken and carried out now, to the end that
thereafter improvements of a similar character may be made in other parts
of the City which may be found to require them and where they can be
provided within the means at the command of the City.
We earnestly request therefore, that an appropriation be made sufficient
to enable the Trustees to purchase the land at the price of $38,000, and
to remodel the building at an expense of $42,000, making $80,000. In
addition to this the appropriation should include $5,000 for the expense of
fittings for the building for library use, making a total of $85,000, to
accomplish the purpose the Trustees deem desirable.
In response to this communication, Your Honor recommended
a loan order, and an order of the Council, approved June 26,
1911, appropriated $86,000, to be expended under the direction
of the Trustees, for the purchase of land and the provision of a
building w^ith suitable fittings, as recommended by the Board.
The property on North Bennet Street was taken by the street
commissioners for the City use and was conveyed to the City by
the owner for $38,000. On July 7, 1911, Messrs. Maginnis &
Walsh were selected by the Trustees as architects, a selection
afterwards approved by you. Plans and specifications have been
prepared and a contract made under which a suitable branch
building will result from the remodeling of the existing structure,
formerly used as a church.
It is expected that early in the fall of 1912 this building will
be ready for occupancy, and by concentrating our work at the
North End in the virtually new branch thus created, the resi-
dents of Ward 6 will have the improved library facilities they
have so much needed.
The need of supplying this Branch with a suitable building,
nearer the centre of population in the district, and more conve-
niently arranged for library work, has been urged by the Board
for several years. During that time the question of a proper
location has been considered, and sketch plans of a suitable build-
ing have been prepared, with estimates of cost. An appropria-
tion of $30,000 was made in 1901, the feasibility of acquiring
the Harvard Church estate, Thompson Square, and remodeling
the building for library uses being then under special considera-
tion. This, however, was found impracticable, and the money
was never spent. By a transfer from the reserve fund, in
accordance with and upon the written recommendation of Your
Honor, and approved by you November 28, 1911, $30,000
additional was appropriated, and by another order, similarly
recommended and approved by you November 29, the sum
appropriated in 1901 was combined with this, so that the entire
amount now available for land and building is $60,000. This
sum being, in the opinion of the Board, insufficient for the pur-
pose, the following communication was sent to Your Honor,
under date of December 8 :
To His Honor John F. Fitzgerald.
Mayor of the City of Boston.
Sir, — The Board of Trustees of the Public Library are advised of an
appropriation by the City Council of $60,000 to be expended by the Trus-
tees for a branch library in Charlestown. The Trustees are of the opinion
that before proceeding to acquire land for this branch library they should
bring the situation with regard to the expense of such a branch library to
Before 1905 an appropriation of $30,000 was made for a branch
library in Charlestown. At that time, for the purpose of ascertaining what
further appropriation would be required, the Trustees caused preliminary
sketch plans of a library building and an estimate of its cost to be prepared
by Messrs. Fox & Gale, Architects. From this estimate it appeared that
such a building would cost at that time approximately $50,000 for second
class construction, or about $55,000 for first class construction, which the
Since that time, the increase in the cost of building would probably
bring the cost at the present time for first class construction of a suitable
building to a little over $60,000, and for second class construction, as we
are advised, about ten per cent less.
In March last, in answer to a written request from the Acting Mayor,
Hon. Walter L. Collins, the Trustees replied, referring to their previous
reports to the Mayor on the subject, indicating the kind of building which
they are of the opinion should be provided, and said that a building adapted
to the needs of Charlestown "could probably be provided at an expense
for land and building of approximately $70,000 or $75,000." This was
intended to include furnishing and equipment of the building for use.
It is the judgment of the Trustees that an adequate branch library
building suitably located for the needs of Charlestown cannot be constructed
at a cost for land and building substantially less than from $70,000 to
If therefore the Trustees should proceed under the present appropria-
tion to acquire land for the building, it would be necessary before they
could proceed to the construction of a suitable building, that there should be
an added appropriation of $15,000. They respectfully recommend, as
far as they properly can, that such additional appropriation be now made,
so that the work of providing this important and much needed public im-
provement may be at once begun and carried out without delay.
The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston by
(Signed) J. H. BenTON,
For this building a site has been selected on the comer of
Monument Avenue and High Street, involving an expense of
$15,000. The selection has been approved by Your Honor.
EAST BOSTON BRANCH.
The need of a new building of modern type, to provide for the
requirements of this Branch, pointed out in previous reports of
this Board, has been considered by Your Honor and by the
City Council, and In accordance with and after your written
recommendation, an appropriation of $50,000 has been made,
by transfer from the appropriation for reserve fund, under an
order approved December 1 9, this sum to be expended under
the direction of the Trustees for such a building. Including the
purchase of land.
Hie question of site has been carefully considered by the
Board, and we are entirely clear that a location at the corner of
Bennington and Porter Streets, adjacent to land now owned by
the City and occupied by the Hospital Relief Station, is the best
site for the proposed new building, as set forth in a communica-
tion to Your Honor, under date of December 29. The erection
of a new building is now immediately required, as the building
at present occupied by this Branch is to be taken down, to permit
the site to be used for a new court house.
BROADWAY EXTENSION READING ROOM.
It is proposed to give this Reading Room proper accommoda-
tion in the new Municipal building to be erected on a site not yet
selected in Ward 7. If this is done, the limitations under which
this important Reading Room has been operated in leased quar-
ters at 13 Broadway Extension, — namely, inadequate space,
poor light, no proper ventilation, and noise, will be overcome,
and the public will be served, as it should be in this congested
district, in rooms of adequate size, conveniently arranged, and
properly fitted for the purpose.
CITY POINT READING ROOM.
This Reading Room now occupies leased quarters in the build-
ing, 615 Broadway. The new Municipal building to be built
on part of the lot now occupied by the Perkins Institution, will
contain, on the second floor, superior accommodations for the
Reading Room, entirely independent of the other uses to which
the building is devoted, with a separate entrance from the street.
The Board has recorded its opinion that branch libraries are
so important and distinctive in their purpose, and the work per-
formed by them is of such a character, that they ought not to be
placed in buildings devoted in part to other, and generally in-
congruous uses. On the other hand, reading rooms, although in
a sense minor branches, are at present usually placed in single
apartments leased for the purpose, and the limited function which
they serve as compared with the branch libraries, although im-
portant as part of the library system and essential to efficient
public service, does not necessarily require their location in
independent buildings. The accommodation of the City Point
Reading Room, as well as that of the Broadway Extension
Reading Room, previously mentioned, in apartments arranged
especially for them in the projected Municipal buildings, is ap-
proved by the Board, provided the rooms are planned so as to be
independent of the other parts of the buildings, and have entirely
THE HYDE PARK BRANCH.
On January 1 , by annexation of the Town of Hyde Park to
the City of Boston, the Hyde Park Public Library became part
of the Boston Public Library system, and has been designated
by the Trustees as the Hyde Park Branch.
The Branch occupies a modern building of good design, well
planned and completely furnished, built in 1899, on Harvard
Avenue, Winthrop and Everett Streets. It comprises about
25,000 volumes. In connection with this Central Library a de-
posit station and reading room is operated at Readville, in a
building which was not owned by the Town, and which therefore
does not pass to the City.
The employees of the Hyde Park Library, who are familiar
with the service, and have been especially trained for it, have
been continued in their respective positions, and the operation of
the Library as a branch of our system has proceeded without
friction. The citizens of Hyde Park, as a result of annexation,
obtain the privilege of using the important collections of our Cen-
tral Library, and, as in our branch service generally, there has
been put in operation a system of daily delivery and return of
books from and to the Central Library by way of the Hyde Park
Branch. Certain wider privileges in the use of books at the
Branch will also follow. The schools in that Ward will have
the opportunity of obtaining deposits of books and pictures for
class work that has heretofore been enjoyed by the schools of
Boston. It is our belief that this Branch will become one of the
most important in the City, and that the library service under the
new conditions will be found satisfactory to the people of Hyde
The increased expense to the City due to the acquirement of
the Hyde Park Library, and its operation as a branch of our sys-
tm, upon the scale of service given to other branches, will during
the present year amount to about $6,900, in detail as follows :
Books and periodicals 1,200.00
Stationery, small supplies and miscellaneous expenses .... 1,210.00
Under the cooperative inter-library loan system books are
occasionally lent to public libraries in other cities or towns for
the temporary use of a person who wishes to consult a book which
his local library does not possess. In this way 993 volumes were
lent to libraries in the State, during the year 1911, and to libra-
ries outside Massachusetts 245 volumes. On the other hand, a
person in Boston can by this arrangement obtain in the same way
from other libraries books which our Library does not have, and
during the year 4 1 volumes were thus borrowed.
RETIREMENT OF A LIBRARY EMPLOYEE ON PENSION.
The provisions of Chapter 113, of the Acts of 191 1, enable
city employees who are veterans of the Civil War, and who have
been employed at least ten years, to be retired on half-pay, pro-
vided they are incapacitated for active duty.
Dennis McCarthy, a night watchman at the Central Library,
who entered the library service May 2, 1888, and who was in
poor health, was retired November 2. He was paid $15.75 per
week, and under the terms of the Act now receives one half of
that sum. He is the first library employee who has ever been
retired on pension.
RETIREMENT AND PENSION FUND.
In their last report the Trustees stated the result of an examina-
tion, made in compliance with a request by Your Honor, of the
effect upon this Department of the provisions of Chapter 619 of
the Acts of 1910, entitled "An Act to Authorize Cities and
Towns of the Commonwealth to Establish Retirement Systems
for their Employees." Such examination showed clearly that
this Act would be of no practical value to the Library Depart-
ment, either by increasing the efficiency of its service or in
reducing the expense by the City for the maintenance of the
Department, and we so reported to you.
We have examined the Act of 1911 in amendment of this
Act, being Chapter 338 of the Acts of 1911, and in our judg-
ment this Act, like that of 1910, would be of no practical value
to the Library Department. It would neither increase the effi-
ciency of the service, nor reduce the expense for the maintenance
of the Department. We therefore renew the suggestion made
in our Report of 1910 as to the importance of legislation which
will enable some provision to be made by the Trustees for a
contribution to the support of employees who become worn out
in the service of the Library.
A large part of library service is specialized work. It is very
desirable that persons who enter the library profession should
remain in it, and after they have been in this profession long
enough to be of the best service to it they are practically unfitted
for any other work. The margin between the salaries which
can be paid them within the library appropriation and their neces-
sary expenses for reasonable and decent living is very small.
One of the Examining Committees of the Library recently said
in its report: "It is manifestly impossible for persons receiving
such rates of compensation to create and maintain any adequate
fund to which resort can be had in the emergencies of life which
confront, or are likely to confront them." In this statement we
The necessary result of this condition is that persons are re-
tained in the library service after they cease to be able to do the
best work, because they cannot be retired from it without be-
coming objects of charity or requiring the assistance of others for
their support. The public service suffers from this because the
worn-out employee cannot do as good work as ought to be done.
The expense of the public service is also increased because it is
necessary to have more employees if a portion of them are unable
to do the best work. Merited promotion is also often delayed,
and the tendency is to weaken the library service where it should
be strengthened. A worn-out tool is the most expensive tool for
use, whether it be a combination of merely material things like
wood and metal, or a living human being. The law does not
permit the Trustees to retain any portion of the annual library
appropriation to provide for such cases, and they have no trust
fund the income of which is applicable to this purpose. The
employees have themselves done all they can. They have estab-
lished a Mutual Benefit Association, to which they make con-
tributions within their means, and out of which some small sums
are paid for time lost on account of sickness, and a moderate sum
is paid to a beneficiary at the death of a member. What they
have done has proved very beneficial and is of advantage to the
library service. We commend them and their efforts in this direc-
tion to the benevolent consideration of the public and of persons
interested in the Library.
What we now wish however to press earnestly upon the con-
sideration of the City Government and of the people of the City,
is the importance not only from humanitarian but from business
considerations, of some provision which will render it unneces-
sary for the Library Department to retain in its service employees
who have been worn out by years of work in that service, and
whose retirement with suitable provision for their support is de-
manded, not only because it is humane, but because it is for the
best business interests of the City.
The annual expense for this purpose need not be large, and
it should, we think, be met in part by contributions from the
employees who are to be benefitted by it. But we feel that the
interests of the Library require that the Trustees should have
power to deal with this matter in such just and reasonable way
as may be found for the best interest of the Hbrary service and
of the City.
MONEY FOR MAINTAINING AND WORKING THE LIBRARY.
Substantially all the money which the Trustees can use for the
maintenance and working of the library system comes from the
annual appropriation by the City Council. The Trust funds,
that is, property given to the Trustees in trust for the uses of the
Library, are by law required to be invested by the City Treasurer
under the direction of the Finance Committee of the City.
A detailed statement of these funds and the income therefrom
is annually contained in the report of the City Treasurer and in
the report of the City Auditor, and therefore is not presented
here. The income received from them in 1911 was $1 6,520.41 .
This income can only be used for the specific purposes of the
several trusts under which it is held, which vary widely.
During the past ten years the estimates of the Trustees, the
recommendations by the Mayor, and the amounts appropriated
by the City Council have been as follows :
wr ii\«j jicr-is.
BY CITY COUNCIL
THE LIBRARY TO SCHOLARSHIP.
We desire at this time to call attention to the importance of the
relation of the Library to scholarship. It is true that the primary
purpose of a free public library supported by taxation is to give
good books to those who would not otherwise have them, and to
afford instruction by the intelligent use of books to those who
would not otherwise have it. But the Boston Public Library
also has another purpose not less important to the welfare of the
people, though less in the public view, and not so obvious to the
public at large. It is a scholar's library, and it is of public im-
portance that it should be maintained as such. It is only by the
scholar's work that the primary purpose of a public library can
Good books do not come by chance. They come only by the
work of scholars. The scholar writes the text-book that the child
studies; he discovers the law by which the inventor improves an
existing industry, or creates a new industry. The scholar recre-
ates a period of history from its scanty records and manuscripts ;
he constructs a grammar by means of which civilization makes its
way into new territories, or the new world shares its knowledge
and its traditions with the old. The scholar's work is manifold,
and that time and that state are poor indeed which are without it.
The scholar's work is nowhere more important than in our
City, which is preeminent in the work of education. Nearly
20,000 students are pursuing their studies either within imme-
diate reach or within easy access of the Central Library building.
The teachers in these institutions are scholars, many of them not
only teaching students directly, but working in the preparation
of books for students. Their work covers language, art, litera-
ture, economics, science, music, sculpture, applied mechanics and
every other form of intellectual instruction. These institutions of
learning not only give dignity and importance to our City, but
they also aid its material prosperity, and even in that aspect are
as important as factories and warehouses, railroad and steamship
lines, or wharves and docks.
Our Library is therefore not only an important means of popu-
lar education, but it is also a valuable business asset of the City.
It not only gives instruction for the people, but it provides material
for the work of the scholar without whose work popular educa-
tion and instruction could not go on. The Boston Public Library
was founded by scholars and from the beginning recognized its
duty to scholarship. The roll call of its special collections tells
the story of provision for the scholar, not only by private gift but
by public expense. Dr. Bowditch brought to it his rare and
valuable books on pure mathematics. The unique collection
made by the Rev. Thomas Prince, surpassingly rich in books
relating to early New England history, has found its proper
place here. The Ticknor library offers opportunity to scholars
for study in the French, Spanish and Portuguese languages which
is probably not to be found elsewhere in America. The Barton
library, with its priceless Shakespeareana, acquired partly by
the generosity of Mrs. Barton, and partly by the expenditure
of City money, is the crown of the Library's collections. The
Allen A. Brown Music and Dramatic collections, the Thayer
library, the Parker library, the John Adams library, the Cham-
berlain manuscript collection, and many other important and
some unique collections, justify the claim of our Library to be the
Mecca of America for those men and women who are pledged
to the service of learning.
This Library has thus a great inheritance of material upon
which the scholar can work. The City cannot afford to regard
these collections with indifference, or even with inactive respect.
They must be kept up, cared for, extended, made more perfect,
so that people will continue to come to our City for the purpose of
using them. It is good for Boston that men should come to it as
they go to Rome, or London, or Paris, that they may find the
great rare books of the world and use them. Boston is bound in
honor to keep alive its traditional hospitality toward scholarship.
Rare books, books for scholars, as well as books for children, and
books for the people, must be continually acquired. The money
spent for a rare book which is needed for but one scholar, and
by him but twice in a lifetime, may be well spent if it brings him
to Boston for that book and saves him a journey half around
the world to find it and use it. It may lead him, as is often the
case, to make this City his home because he can here best find
help in research and study. The Library must continue to employ
scholars. It must recognize scholars. It must help scholars in
their work. Only by doing this can it be worthy of its own his-
tory, and be of the greatest benefit to our City.
HISTORY OF THE LIBRARY.
At the close of the first fifty years from the opening of the
Library for public use, in 1854, the Trustees considered the
matter of some action which would be a permanent memorial of
that half century of the Library work. They concluded that a
publication which told the story of the origin and growth of the
Library would be the most appropriate memorial, and requested
the Librarian to prepare it. He took up this work in addition to
his other duties, but was so thorough in his examination and so
faithful in the work, that it assumed under his hands a more im-
portant form than was at first intended. The work was finished
and brought down to the close of the last year as a complete his-
tory of the Library from its beginning to that time. It was
printed by our own Printing Department and issued in December,
1911. It is a credit to the scholarship and industry of the Libra-
rian, and to the careful work of all who have had a part in its
preparation and execution.
The Trustees appointed an Examining Committee of persons
not members of the Board, and joined with them the President
of the Board as Chairman, to examine the Library and make to
the Board a report of its condition, as required by the ordinance.
That Committee consisted of the following persons :
Mrs. Charles E. Aldrich. Mr. Joseph B. Maccabe.
Dr. Fred W. Allen. Rev. W. B. McNamara.
Dr. Barnard L. Bernard. Mr. Max Mitchell.
Mr. G. L. Brune. Mr. Thomas A. Mullen.
Mr. Michael S. Cooney. Miss Elizabeth M. Needham.
Mrs. Thomas Downey. Mrs. Ellor C. Ripley.
Miss Rose E. Fitzgerald. Mrs. James J. Storrow.
Miss Heloise E. Hersey. Dr. Patrick J. Timmins.
Rev. C. E. Jackson. Rev. William H. Van Allen.
Mr. Charles J. Kidney. Mr. Thomas M. Watson.
Rev. Leo J. Knappe. Mr. Frank C. Weeks.
The report of the Committee is hereto annexed and included
as part of this report.
The Trustees have held regular meetings each week during the
year, except during the summer months, for the transaction of
the business of the Department, which is constantly increasing In
amount and in the detail required for its proper administration.
They feel that the Library service has been well administered
during the year, and that this is due to the industry, intelligence,
and loyalty with which the employees of the Library have per-
formed their respective duties. The Trustees are glad to be able
to bear testimony to the substantially uniform excellence of their
The Trustees desire to express their appreciation of the cor-
dial and generous support which the Mayor and the City Council
have given to the Library Department during the past year, not
only in appropriations for Its maintenance and working, but by
important appropriations for the construction of new branch
buildings. It will be their desire to so administer the affairs of
the Department as to merit the continued confidence of the City
JosiAH H. Benton.
Thomas F. Boyle.
William F. Kenney.
BALANCE SHEET, RECEIPTS AND
Central Library and Branches:
To expenditures for salaries —
General administration ...... $184,433.22
Sunday and evening force ..... 26,470.36
Pensions ......... 67.51
To expenditures for books —
From City appropriation .
Trust funds income
Carnegie gift, Galatea collection .
Sullivan bequest ....
To general expenditures —
Nev^spapers, from Todd fund income
Furniture and fixtures
Small supplies .
Freights and cartage .
Transportation between Central and Branches
Postage and telegrams
Travelling expenses (inclu'
Lecture account (including
To expenditures for salaries .....
To general expenditures —
Electric light and power .....
Contract work .......
Freights and cartage ......
Small supplies, ice, repairs, furniture and fixtures
EXPENSES, JANUARY 31, 1912.
By City Appropriation, 191 1_12 .
Income from Trust funds
Payments received for books lost .
Carnegie gift for Galatea collection
Sullivan bequest ....
Hyde Park, balance of appropriation
By Balances brought forward February 1, 191
Trust funds income on deposit in London
City appropriation on deposit in London
Trust funds income balance, City Treasury
Carnegie gift for Galatea collection
Accrued interest on bank deposits .
BALANCE SHEET. RECEIPTS AND
To expenditures for salaries
To general expenditures —
Electric light and power
Contract work .
Freights and cartage .
Cleaning .... ....
Small supplies, ice, repairs, furniture and fixtures
To Amount paid into City Treasury:
From fines .....
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists
Commission on telephone stations .
Sales of waste paper
Money found in the Library
Accrued interest on bank deposits .
To Balances, January 31, 1912:
Trust funds income on deposit in London
City appropriation on deposit in London
Trust funds income balance, City Treasury
Carnegie gift for Galatea collection
EXPENSES, JANUARY 31.1912.
From fines .....
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists
Commissions on telephone stations
Sales of waste paper .
Money found in the Library
REPORT OF THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE.
A City Ordinance requires the Trustees to appoint annually
an Examining Committee of not less than five persons, not mem-
bers of said Board, who, together with one of said Board as
Chairman, shall examine the Library and make to the Board a
report of its condition.
The Examining Committee appointed by the Trustees of the
Public Library, in accordance with this Ordinance, held its first
meeting in the Trustees' Room of the Central Library on Mon-
day, November 10, 191 1. Mr. Josiah H. Benton, President of
the Board of Trustees is Chairman of the Committee, and Miss
Delia Jean Deery of the library staff was appointed Clerk.
ORGANIZATION OF COMMITTEE INTO SUB-COMMITTEES.
The investigation of the various departments of the Library
was divided among nine sub-committees, and these sub-commit-
tees were instructed to report their findings to a tenth sub-com-
mittee, which was empowered to draft the general report, and
submit it to the whole Committee at an early date in January.
The sub-committees were made up as follows :
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE.
Mr. G. L. Brune, Chairman.
Mr. Thomas A. Mullen. Mr. Frank C. Weeks.
BOOKS AND FINE ARTS.
Dr. Fred W. Allen, Chairman.
Rev. W. B. McNamara. Mrs. Charles E. Aldrich.
PRINTING AND BINDING.
Mr. Michael S. Cooney, Chairman. Mr. Frank C. Weeks.
BRANCHES AND READING ROOMS.
SOUTH BOSTON AND SOUTH END BRANCHES, CITY POINT AND BROADWAY EXTENSION
Dr. Barnard L. Bernard, Chairman.
Dr. Patrick J. Timmins. Mrs. Thomas Downey.
CHARLESTOWN AND EAST BOSTON BRANCHES, ORIENT HEIGHTS READING ROOM.
Rev. C. E. Jackson, Chairman.
Mr. Joseph B. Maccabe. "Mr. Max Mitchell.
BRIGHTON, JAMAICA PLAIN AND WEST ROXBURY BRANCHES, ROSLINDALE, BOYLSTON
STATION, WARREN STREET, ROXBURY CROSSING, PARKER HILL AND
ALLSTON READING ROOMS.
Miss Elizabeth M. Needham, Chairman.
Mr. Thomas M. Watson. Dr. Fred W. Allen.
DORCHESTER, ROXBURY AND UPHAM's CORNER BRANCHES, CODMAN SQUARE, MT.
PLEASANT, MT. BOWDOIN, LOWER MILLS, MATTAPAN AND NEPONSET
Mr. Charles J. Kidney, Chairman.
Miss Rose E. Fitzgerald. Mrs. Charles E. Aldrich.
WEST END BRANCH, INDUSTRL\L SCHOOL READING ROOM.
Rev. Leo J. Knappe, Chairman.
Miss Heloise E. Hersey. Mrs. James J. Storrow^.
children's department and work with schools.
Rev. William H. Van Allen, Chairman.
Miss Rose E. Fitzgerald. Mrs. Ellor C. Ripley.
GENERAL COMMITTEE ON PREPARATION OF REPORT.
Mr. Max Mitchell, Chairman.
Miss Heloise E. Hersey. Mrs. James J. Storrow.
In accordance with the scheme thus outHned, the various sub-
committees made their respective reports, some with more, some
with less detail. As informed by these reports and by its own
observation the General Committee submitted the draft of its
report for adoption as follows :
To the Trustees of the Public Library of the Cit^ of Boston:
The Examining Committee submits the following report :
NEW HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
We wish as our first word to pay tribute to the admirable
History of the Public Library which has just been issued by
your Board. It fills a need which has become fully evident only
now that it has been met. It traces the evolution of the Institu-
tion from the day in 1854, when two rooms in Mason Street
housed the small collection of books, to the present time, when
twenty-nine buildings and parts of buildings are in daily use,
when two hundred and twenty persons are employed in the ser-
vice of the Library, when $350,000 are annually appropriated
by the City for the administration of the Library, when a million
and a half volumes are used annually in the homes of the people.
The story of the fifty-five years of the life of the Library is more
wonderful than the tale of Aladdin's lamp. Every citizen of
Boston who loves his city ought to read the book, and he will feel
himself anew a debtor to the Trustees who conceived the idea of
issuing the history of their trust, and not less to the Librarian,
Mr. Wadlin, who has so successfully carried the scheme to
The present condition of the Public Library and its branches,
as reported by members of the Committee, is good. The house-
keeping is careful, the courtesy of the employees commendable,
conditions in the Printing and Binding Department satisfactory,
and evidences of life and vigor in the library service are every-
where to be seen.
children's department prosperous.
The Children's Department is especially prosperous, both in
the Central Library and the branches. It has been recognized
as a separate department only since 1895. but now has some pro-
vision at each branch and station. Twelve hundred and twenty-
two chairs are provided for juvenile readers, and over 50,000
volumes are on open shelves for the children's use. Even this
number is too small, for, as one of our members well says, "chil-
dren are naturally curious to see the covers and pictures of their
books before they become seriously interested in them." Cards
are issued to children over ten years old, and the attendants seem
to be untiring in their efforts to seek out reference books for chil-
dren in connection with their school work. Classes from the
schools visit the Central Library and are instructed in the use of
the Catalogue, boxes of books on special subjects are sent to the
school rooms on application, and graded finding lists are issued to
the schools. So it is apparent to your Committee that the Library
lays its foundations strongly where they ought to be laid, — in
the minds of the children. It is only by planting there enthusiasm
for good reading that the future of the Library can safely be left
to the next generation. An intelligent and cooperating public
opinion is at once the Library's safeguard and its inspiration. In
passing it is worth while to suggest that story-telling for children
may well be more generally used, by way of awakening the taste
for books in the minds of little children. The new Branch build-
ing at Jamaica Plain has a small hall in the basement admirably
adapted for this, and perhaps volunteers might be willing to take
part in such work. Each of the new branches should be fur-
nished with such a hall. It is now recognized as a necessary part
of the library equipment. Lectures may be given there, classes
may be brought there by teachers from the schools, and exhibi-
tions may be held there of historical or artistic interest as circum-
stances make them timely.
FREE PUBLIC LECTURES.
The free public lectures held at the Central Library on Thurs-
day evenings have proved so popular that the Library has added
to them a course to be given on Sunday afternoons. One set
of three of these is given by the Librarian, Mr. Wadlin, and
is on "The Poetry of the People." The subjects of the others
are chiefly literary and historical, and admirably adapted to
stimulate and guide interest in good books.
DEPARTMENT OF FINE ARTS.
The Committee finds the Department of Fine Arts much used
and well conducted. It calls especial attention to the interesting
gift by Mr. Alexander Steinert of the first example of piano
making in America. The quaint old instrument has found by
Mr. Steinert's generosity a suitable home in the room which con-
tains the Allen A. Brown Collection of Music.
The Library is evidently "in good working order;" its staff is
loyal ; its public is large and exacting, — as it ought to be. With
the exceptions to be hereafter noted in this report, the conduct
of the great municipal institution is just cause for modest, civic
SELECTION OF BOOKS FOR PUBLIC USE.
TTie work of a great public library may be divided into four
departments : First, the selection and procuring of books ; second^
the cataloguing of them, for only by listing do the books become
accessible to readers ; third, the housing of the books, and fourth,
the distribution of the books to readers, either in the library
buildings or in their homes.
For the selection and the procuring of books, your Committee
finds the Boston Public Library well equipped and well operated.
It is a sign of a healthy appetite for books that the cry goes up
continually from the citizens for larger and larger expenditure for
books. It would be a sad day for Boston when its readers found
all the books they wanted on the shelves of their Library. It is of
prime importance for the usefulness of a library that the books
should be carefully and intelligently selected. With the enor-
mous output of printing presses today, the problem has become
not so much "What may we buy?" as "What must we reject?"
CURRENT FICTION NOT BOUGHT.
The Boston Public Library deserves the praise of all lovers of
good books for standing firmly by its deliberately assumed deter-
mination not to buy current fiction with the money of the taxpayers
until time has winnowed the chaff from the wheat. If the Li-
brary bought the necessary thirty copies of every new novel, it
would have at the end of each year an accumulation of useless
and undesired literary rubbish which would clog and retard the
proper use of the Library, and appall the educator and the econo-
mist alike. So the Examining Committee desires to express its
hearty approbation of the courageous position taken by the Trus-
tees in regard to the purchase of ephemeral books.
CALL FOR BOOKS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES FOR ADULTS ONLY.
There is another question in regard to the purchase of books
which the Committee wishes to raise. Our City is rapidly
forming a series of foreign centres, — of Italians, Jews, Poles,
Portuguese and other foreigners in different localities of the City.
Many of these foreigners are eager readers. They want the
companionship of books as a cure for homesickness, and they
want the information to be gained from books as an aid to
advancement in their occupations. When these foreign-born
persons are children or under twenty-five years old, it seems to
this Committee that their desire for books should be used as a
spur to them to learn the English language. In order to make
them good citizens, they must learn the speech in which Patrick
Henry, Washington, and Lincoln spoke and wrote. But what
of the middle-aged and the elderly? the women and the "shut-
ins" among these foreign-speaking residents? The sub-commit-
tees on the North End and the South End make pleas for more
books in Yiddish, Italian and Polish. This request is a proper
one so far as it applies to books for comparatively uneducated
adults. But to children and young people it is the duty of the
Library to hold out interesting books as their reward for the hard
work of learning our language. Their books should be in Eng-
lish and in English only. Meantime, the custodians of the various
branches should watch the stream of immigration, and as one
nationality and another appears in their quarter of the City, should
enter requisitions for books for the adult newcomers.
CATALOGUING A TECHNICAL ART.
The cataloguing of books has become an art in itself. It
requires a high degree of technical skill, and must be carried on
by experts. The Examining Committee commends the general
results of this special work in the Public Library, and especially
the Weekly Lists, which make the new books easily known to
the public. Good service has also been done for the hundreds
of music students in this vicinity by the publication of a list of
books in the Library on the operas announced for production at
the Boston Opera House during this season.
The catalogue of the Boston Public Library is simple and
among the best in the world for the general public. The system
of classification has grown with the Library and has changed as
needs required. It is not perfect, but there can never be a crys-
talized classification not subject to change. As the public do not
use the shelves, the fact that ail books on a given subject cannot
always be placed together has not inconvenienced them. Since
1 895 the American Library Association has been working on the
question of "Subject Headings." The Boston Public Library is
helping the Association in its work and watching to take advan-
tage of improvements recommended by the Association. There
seems to be no reason at present for making any revolutionary
change in the method of cataloguing in the Library.
The real problem of the Public Library appears to the Exam-
ining Committee of this year, as it appeared to that of last year,
to be concerned with the inadequate housing of the books in
certain of the branches and reading rooms, and their consequent
restricted and difficult use, — whether in the homes or the libraries.
CONDITIONS IN CITY POINT READING ROOM.
The experience of the Examining Committee repeats itself
year after year. "We are sorry," says one sub-committee on the
City Point Reading Room, "to report very bad conditions. On
the floor above the Reading Room is a moving picture establish-
ment, and immediately behind it is a bowling alley. The noise
from these two places of public amusement naturally disturbs
and distracts the readers. The Library is thus robbed of its first
essential, quietness. The room itself is unsatisfactory, — narrow,
dark, ill-ventilated, and so small that the children are packed
against the walls, using their knees as desks. The Broadway
Extension Reading Room is even worse. The noise from the
elevated trains is deafening. The room seats only sixty, and
any evening, a line of children may be seen, waiting with such
patience as they can command for admission to the library. The
poor, thin clothing of many of these anxious, shivering boys and
girls is mute testimony to their eager desire for books."
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST YEAR?
These conditions and others of a similar nature were set forth
in the Report of last year's Examining Committee, and the argu-
ment then made was nobly responded to by the City Govern-
ment. Let us review what has been done in the past year toward
satisfying the needs then described.
The most crying demand, that of the teeming population of
the North End, has been answered by the appropriation of
$86,000 for a branch library there. The Trustees have pur-
chased the Church of St. John Baptist, situated on North Bennet
Street. Plans have been made for its remodeling, and as this
report goes to print, bids are being considered for the alterations.
The East Boston Branch occupies the quarters assigned to it
in 1871, although the population which it serves has increased
from 23,000 to nearly 60,000, and the books for home use are
now nearly 100,000 annually. An appropriation of $50,000
has been made, and a new building for the exclusive use of this
Branch is contemplated.
The Charlestown Branch has occupied the present quarters
since 1874. Although the population has increased only from
33,556 to 41,444, the annual circulation of books for home use
has grown from 32,000 to 55,000. This growth would probably
have been even greater in the last years, if the books had been
better housed and in a location more accessible to those who need
the Library. Sixty thousand dollars has been appropriated for
a new building for the Branch.
The South Boston City Point Reading Room is to be given
new quarters in the municipal building to be erected on Broad-
way, near the present location of the Reading Room.
The Broadway Extension Reading Room serves a population
of nearly 25,000 people, and it is the darkest spot in the great
library system of Boston. The City Government plans to give it
new and enlarged rooms in the municipal building soon to be
erected in that district.
It appears accordingly that no less than five new buildings have
been determined upon during the year by the City Government,
three of them to be exclusively for the use of the Library, and
two others to be partly given to its service. Appropriations have
been made for all these buildings, but at least two of them have
been insufficient for the essential demands of the branches. Land
must be bought for both the Charlestown Branch and the East
Boston Branch, and $50,000 for East Boston is said by the
sub-committee to be $46,000 short of the proper sum, and
Charlestown needs $ 1 5 ,000 or $20,000 in addition to its $60,000
appropriated. The delay and vexatious confusion of plans when
the sum to be expended is left in uncertainty is too evident to need
IMPERATIVE CALL FOR PROMPT COMPLETION OF PROPOSED
The Examining Committee believes that the one vital service
it can perform for the year is to urge upon the City Government
the imperative necessity that these five library buildings should
be begun and completed as soon as possible. Not a stone has yet
been laid or a nail driven in them. The locations have not all
been settled. It too often happens with public buildings that the
weighing and balancing of conflicting interests regarding location
prolong unduly the preliminaries of the building. The Committee
begs to remind the City Government that in case of these special
buildings it is eminently true that he gives twice who gives quickly.
In fact this gift postponed for even one year can never be fully
given. Desirable and dignified surroundings for many public
enterprises may come almost as satisfactorily tomorrow or the next
day as today. But for the library or the school, since they serve
the child, there is no tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, today's
child has passed on. The wistful throng of boys and girls who
stand outside the closed door of a crowded library in 1912 will
not be there in 1913, and by so much as the City fails in its duty
to those particular children do they become a reproach to both
the generosity and the wisdom of the City.
No public service is more needed in Boston today than that
which can be rendered by prompt, sufficient appropriations for
these already determined branches of the Public Library, and
the speedy application of those appropriations for the adequate
housing of good books, and their consequent easy, abundant
distribution to every home, — the poorest as well as the richest
in our City.
The foregoing was adopted as the report of the whole Com-
mittee at a meeting held January 9, 1912.
Della Jean Deery,
REPORT OF THE LIBRARIAN.
To the Board of Trustees:
I respectfully submit the following report for the year ending
January 31, 1912.
REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
The following important repairs have been made during the
year: At the Central Library the entire basement walls and
ceilings have been cleaned and whitened, the walls and ceilings
of the Lecture Hall washed and retinted, and the walls of the
Children's Room retinted. Such repairs as have been required
to keep the structure of the building in proper condition have
been made, and the elevators, motors, and steam plant have been
kept in effective operation by such repairs or replacement of parts
as were needed from time to time.
At the branches, besides the usual routine repairs, the entrance
doors have been made to open outward by the construction of an
inner vestibule at the Brighton Branch, and a fire escape attached
to the rear of the building; a fire escape has been put in place
by the Public Buildings Department at the West Roxbury
Branch; the grounds in front of the West End Branch have been
further improved by cooperation with the Park Department, and
improvements in the heating apparatus have been made within
the building. Our landlords at the Roxbury Branch, and at the
Broadway Extension, Mt. Bowdoin and Orient Heights Read-
ing Rooms have improved the premises by whitening and re-
painting; cork matting has been provided by the Public Buildings
Department at the Charlestown Branch and at the Upham's
Corner Branch; and at the Upham's Corner Branch, also, the
librarian's office has been repainted and varnished, window
screens put in place and grille partitions and doors supplied.
Additional shelves and furniture have been supplied as required
by the increased demands of the service throughout the system.
The Industrial School Reading Room has been enlarged and
materially changed to provide for the increased use of the rooms,
on account of the consolidation therevs^ith of the reading room
heretofore maintained at No. 207 North Street. Improvements
in lighting have been made by our landlord at the Parker Hill
Reading Room, and by ourselves at the Dorchester Branch.
The new building for the Jamaica Plain Branch has been opened
for public use, fully equipped for the effective administration of
THE USE OF BOOKS.
The use of books supplied by the Library is of two kinds. Ex-
tensive use is made of the collections within the buildings, and this
use is constantly increasing, although not recorded statistically.
It includes reference use by students from the various institutions
of learning in the vicinity, or by pupils from the schools ; literary
research work for the purpose of authorship, or by special stu-
dents; and the use of books by scholars, connected with the
faculty or staff of instructors of some college or advanced school,
either in Boston or elsewhere. The scholarly character of the
books contained in this Library has always invited this extensive
reference use of our collection.
Besides this use of books within the buildings, the circulation
of books for home use during the past year numbered 1 ,61 2,270
volumes. The following tables show this circulation in detail,
and so far as they relate to the Central Library, are based upon
the annual report of Mr. Frank C. Blaisdell, Chief of the Issue
Department. The figures for the branches are from the regular
returns of the custodians. It is perhaps well to repeat the caution
contained in reports of previous years: "The tabulated figures
are of value in comparison with our own similar figures presented
in other years, but they should not be closely compared with the
records of other libraries, unless it is certain that such records have
been made upon exactly the same system as that in use by us.
It will be plain, also, that since these figures show circulation
for home use only, and are entirely distinct from the reference
circulation referred to above, they cover only a part of the entire
circulation of the Library.
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The figures reported by months are presented in detail :
CIRCULATION FROM CENTRAL BY MONTHS.
March. " .
April, " ,
May, " .
June, " .
July. " .
August, " .
September, " .
October, " .
November, " .
December, " .
January, 1912 .
The following summary condenses the figures for the entire
Boo\s Lent foT Home Use, including Circulalion through Schools and Institutions.
From Central Library (including Central Library books issued through the
branches and reading-room stations) ....... 432,672
From branches and reading-room stations (other than books received from
Total number of volumes lent for home use and through schools and
Comparative statements follow, showing the circulation of
books for use outside the library buildings in each of two suc-
Central Library circulation
(excluding schools and institutions) :
Direct home use 299,771 274,981
Through branches and reading-room sta-
tions for home use .... 74,182 73,576
Carried forward . . . 373.953 348,557
Brought forv>ard ... 373,953 348,557
Brancli Department circulation
(excluding schools and institutions) :
Direct home use
From branch collections . . 685,327 696,162
From reading-room stations . . 383,826 396,889
Schools and institutions, circulation:
(including books from Central through
the branch system) . . . , 159,119 170,662
Totals 1,602,225 1,612,270
In response to individual applications made at branches and
reading-room stations for books from the Central Library, to be
issued through the Branch Department, 76,006 volumes have
been issued for home use as compared v/ith 76,754 in the pre-
ceding year. The proportion of unsuccessful applications for
books issued in this way (that is, applications which did not secure
the book, owing to the fact that it was already in the hands of
some other borrower) was 49 per cent as against 55 per cent for
the preceding year. At least two-thirds of these unsuccessful
applications are for current fiction, for which the demand usually
exceeds the supply. We are constantly endeavoring to reduce
the percentage of unsuccessful applications, by providing addi-
tional copies of such standard books as are likely to be called for.
The circulation of volumes sent on deposit (to 143 different
places) from the Central Librar^'^ through the Branch Depart-
ment was 135,000 as against 127,000 (sent to 143 places) in
the preceding year. The circulation of books for home use to
young readers applying in the Children's Room at the Central
Library numbered 55,078 volumes, and 17,935 volumes were
sent out from this room for home use through the Branch Depart-
A statistical statement of the number of books received follows :
BooI(s acquired bv purchase.
For the Central Library:
From City appropriation . . . 8,361 7,666
From Trust Funds income . . . 5,545 4,583
For branches and reading-room stations:
From City appropriations . . . 8,801 12,525
From Trust Funds income . . . 3,876 732
By Fellowes Athenaeum (for the Rox-
bury Branch) 920 1.147
Totals 27,503 26,653
The following statement shows whether the books added to
the Library during the year have been obtained by purchase,
gift or exchange :
CENTRAL, BRANCHES, TOTAL.
VOLUMES. VOLUMES. VOLUMES.
Accessions by purchase (including 1,147 vols, by
Fellowes Athenaeum, for Roxbury Branch) . 12,249 14,404 26,653
Accessions by gift (including 47 vols through Fel-
lowes Athenaeum, for Roxbury Branch)
Accessions by exchange
Accessions by Statistical Department
Accessions of periodicals (bound)
Accessions of newspapers (bound)
20,907 15.979 36,886
PURCHASES OF FICTION.
Of current fiction, chiefly English, including juvenile fiction,
884 different titles have been carefully examined during the year.
A selection of 1 36 titles was made, and 2,239 copies purchased,
25 1 copies for the Central Library and the rest for use through
the branch system. In addition, 8,942 volumes of fiction were
purchased for replacement of worn-out books and to increase the
number of copies of certain books in large demand. The total
expenditure for fiction, was $9,499.29, or 23.70 per cent of the
amount expended for all books.
The report of Miss Theodosia E. Macurdy, Chief of the
Ordering Department, furnishes the following details as to
Among the important purchases of the year are four which are espe-
cially noteworthy, two of which are works still in progress. They are:
( I ) The North American Indians, by E. S. Curtis, a series of twenty
sumptuous volumes, describing the Indians of the United States and
Alaska, of which eight volumes with their accompanying portfoHos of
photogravures have been issued.
(2) Histoire physique, naturelle et politique de Madagascar, by
Alfred and Guillaume Grandidier, an exhaustive work in fifty-two vol-
umes, embodying the original researches of many specialists. Twenty-four
(3) The Ellsmere Chaucer. Reproduced in facsimile from the
manuscripts of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales now in the possession of the
Ellsmere family. Two volumes. Published by Manchester University.
(4) An excellent example of a Horn Book, containing the alphabet
in large and small letters, the vowels with combinations, the Invocation and
Lord's Prayer on paper, under a horn face, oak back, with handle and
brass rim. (I 7 — ?)
(The Library had no original example of a Horn Book.)
Other books acquired, of especial interest, are given in the following
list, those relating to, or pubhshed in Boston, being grouped in division I.
The Boston Gazette. Ten numbers, 1 720—1 723.
The Boston Weekly News-Letter. Thirty-three numbers, 1 755-1 759.
The Boston News- Letter, number for August 12-19, 1706. (The
earliest number previously possessed by the Library is dated May,
The Belles-Lettres Society. Minutes of the organization, with addresses,
poems, etc., of a society which existed in Boston in 1813—15. In
The Cash Book of Henry Bromfield. Boston, January 1 750-1 756.
Journal (Day-book) belonging to John Erving, Esqr., merchant in Boston,
1 733—1 745. (A carefully written manuscript bound in vellum.)
Crosby, Thomas. The work of a Christian. An important case of prac-
tical religion. Boston. 1 702.
(Dawes, Thomas.) The law given at Sinai: A poem. By a young
gentleman. Boston. 1 777.
The New-England Primer improved. For the more easy attaining the true
reading of English. Boston. Printed and sold by Nathaniel Coverly
in Newbury Street. 1 762.
Ailesbury, Thomas, Earl of. Memoirs (written by himself). Printed
for the Roxburghe Club. 1890. 2 v.
Bible. New Testament. Codex Sinaiticus PetropoHtanus. The New
Testament . . . preserved in the Imperial Library of St. Petersburg.
Now reproduced in facsimile from photographs. Oxford. 1911.
Bibliophile Society. The Dickens-Kolle Letters, edited by H. V. Smith.
Etched portrait by W. N. Bicknell and facsimile, a. 1. s. of Dickens.
Boston. 1910. (For the Artz Collection.)
British Museum. The sculptures of the Parthenon. With an introduc-
tion and commentary by A. H. Smith. London. 1910. 2 v.
Bruges. Les chefs-d'oeuvre d'art ancien a I'Exposition de la Toison d'Or
a Bruges en 1907. Bruxelles. 1908.
Burke, H. Farnham. Historical account of the coronation of Their
Majesties King George Fifth and Queen Mary. (With colored por-
traits. ) London. 1911.
Carbonell, P. M. Chroniques de Espaya. Barcelona. 1547. (Title
in red and black with a wood-cut border and engravings in the text.
For the Ticknor Library.)
Gust, L. Eton College portraits. London. 1910.
Fouquier, M. De I'art des jardins du XVe au XXe siecle. Paris.
1911. (For the Codman Collection.)
Gould, John. A century of birds from the Himalaya Mountains. Eighty
colored plates. London. 1 832.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. Poem for the dedication of the fountain at
Stratford-on-Avon presented by G. W. Childs. Cambridge. 1 887.
(For the Artz Collection.)
Jones, E. A. The gold and silver of Windsor Castle. Letchworth, Eng.
Lockwood, L. V. The Pendleton Collection of furniture. Rhode Island
School of Design. 1904.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Bronze plaque portrait issued by the
Grolier Club. Reproduced from a model made by John Flanagan.
(1911. For the Artz Collection.)
Magni, G. II barocco a Roma: nell' architettura e nella scultura decora-
tiva. Parte 1 . Chiese. Torino. 1911.
Marbeck, John. A Concordace, that is to saie, a worke wherein by the
ordre of the letters of the A. B.C. ye maie redely finde any worde con-
teigned in the Whole Bible, etc. Black-letter. Richardus Grafton.
1550. (The first edition of the first Enghsh Concordance of the
Marucchi, O. I monumenti del Museo Cristiano Pio-Laterannese.
Ninety-six plates. Milano. 1910. Imperial folio.
Meserve, F. H. The photographs of Abraham Lincoln. Privately
printed. New York. 1911. No. 39 of an edition of 1 02 signed
copies. (For the 20th Regiment Collection.)
Morrison, A. The painters of Japan. 2 v. London. 1911.
Ravel, M. L'heure espagnole. Partition d'orchestre. Paris. Durand.
(For the Allen A. Brown Collection of Music.)
Sandier, A. Les cartons de la manufacture de Sevres. Paris. 1911. 2 v.
Stainer, Sir John. Early Bodleian music . . . ranging from about A.D.
1185 to ... 1505. London. 1901. (For the Allen A. Brown
Collection of Music.)
Vinci. II codice di Leonardo da Vinci della biblioteca di Lord Leicester
in Holkham Hall. Milano. 1909. (A transcript and facsimile.)
Verneuil, P. Japanese textiles, woven and embroidered. A series of
80 coloured plates illustrating . . . 200 choice examples from im-
portant museums, etc. London. 1910.
Wesley, Samuel. Te Deum, Jubilate, Sanctus, Kyrie Eleeson, Magnifi-
cat et Nunc dimittis . . . with an accompaniment for the organ or
pianoforte. First edition. Inserted are two autograph letters from
Wesley and a signed autograph manuscript with his musical setting.
1 800. Also a portrait of Wesley at the age of eight. (For the Allen
A. Brown Collection of Music.)
Also, a large collection of photographs of European ports, harbors and
THE PATRICK F. SULLIVAN BEQUEST.
About 200 volumes were bought with the Patrick F. Sullivan Bequest,
including 28 copies each of volumes 10, 11 and 1 2 of the Catholic
Encyclopaedia, L. von Pastor's Supplementary volumes to Janssen's Ge-
schichte des deutschen Volkes, The Life of Father Vaughan, a new edition
of the Roman Breviary translated by the Marquis of Bute, Gueranger's
Liturgical Year in 1 5 volumes, a series of Motettes for the seasons of the
Ecclesiastical Year in 70 numbers, and Sa's History of the Catholic
Church in India.
The gifts received during the year number 10,243 volumes, 19,453
serials and 49 newspaper subscriptions. From these the following selec-
tion is made:
Anonymous. (In memory of Charles Stuart Pratt and Ella Farman
Pratt.) An autograph letter, signed, of J. G. Whittier, and the manu-
script of his poem "The poet and the children"; an autograph letter
signed by E. C. Stedman, and the manuscript of his poem "The star
Benton, J. H. Fifty-two volumes ; 1 7 photographs of scenes in Hungary
and Vienna; one large framed photograph of the Gross Glockner from
Franz Josef Hohe, for the Children's Room.
Brown, A. A. One hundred and ninety-four volumes of music for the
Brown Collection of Music.
Converse, F. S. The full score of his opera "The Sacrifice" in manu-
script. (For the Allen A. Brown Collection of Music.)
Ditson, Oliver, Co. Twenty-five volumes of modern music.
Dowse, Estate of Miss Martha E. Three hundred and seventy-five vol-
umes, including some first editions of American poets.
Green, Dr. Samuel A. Six volumes and a collection of old playbills
(105) and (Boston) Campaign hterature.
Halverson, Mrs. Anne. Fifty volumes of the works of modern Danish
and Norwegian writers.
Haven, Miss Mary E. One hundred and thirty-five volumes, chiefly
Greek and Latin classics.
Higginson, Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Sixty volumes of miscellaneous works.
Higginson, T. W. A collection of autograph letters of women authors
of the later 19th century. (For the Galatea Collection.)
Higginson, Mrs. T. W. A collection of autograph letters of Emily
Dickinson. (For the Galatea Collection.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Two hundred and fifty-three vol-
umes, miscellaneous collection.
Morgan, J. P. The Golden Latin Gospels in the Library of J. P. Mor-
gan . . . Now edited for the first time . . . by H. C. Hoskier.
(One of 200 copies.) New York. Privately printed. 1910.
Morse, F. S. (The Robert Shaw School.) One hundred and eighty-five
volumes, histories and books of travel.
Nichols, Miss Mary P. A large collection of sheet music and bound
volumes of the works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Krause, Liszt,
Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer; also 33 volumes, chiefly biographies of
Robins, Miss Julia P. One hundred and nineteen volumes, including a
large number of Greek, Latin and German text-books.
Sampson & Murdock Co. Four hundred and ninety-six volumes, directo-
ries of cities and towns in the United States.
Sears, Mrs. J. M. A collection of one hundred and thirty-four portraits
Webster, Frank G. A subscription for a copy of "The Old Silver of the
American Churches," by E. A. Jones, to be issued under the auspices
of the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames.
Widener, H. E. A catalogue of some of the more important books, manu-
scripts and drawings in the Library of H. E. Widener. Philadelphia.
Privately printed. 1910. (No. 69 of 1 02 copies on Whatman paper.)
Whiting, Miss Lilian. Six volumes and 31 manuscript letters from Phil-
lips Brooks, Juha Ward Howe, O. W. Holmes, Harriet Prescott
Spofford, Robert Barrett Browning, Jane Barlow and some others.
(For the Kate Field Collection.)
— A photograph of Robert Browning in his Oxford robes, from the paint-
ing by R. B. Browning. From a negative owned by Miss Whiting.
(For the Browning Collection.)
THE CATALOGUE DEPARTMENT.
As in preceding years a tabular statement of the work of this
Department follows, derived from the report of Mr. S. A.
Chevalier, its Chief:
VOLS. AND ^„. ,„ VOLS. AND ^„, ^.
Central Library Catalogue . . 20,080 13,355 19.773 14,167
Serials 5,430 6,517
Branches 18,733 16,309 15,866 14,321
Re-catalogued 19,472 12,165 16,568 10,135
Totals 63,715 41,829 58,724 38.623
Many soiled and worn cards in the public catalogues have
been replaced, and a large number of subject headings in the
catalogue cases have been revised, sub-divided, and made more
useful. Old cards containing inadequate matter are gradually
being replaced by others newly printed, carrying more significant
descriptions. Three parts of the second volume of the Allen A.
Brown Music Catalogue have been published during the year,
bringing the work through the title "Panormo," and about one-
third of the fourth and last part of that volume is in type. The
Catalogue of Books on Architecture is three-quarters in type and
will be completed within a short time. Considerable progress has
been made in cataloguing the recently-acquired Allen A. Brown
Dramatic Collection. Work is also in progress, and well ad-
vanced, on a revised card catalogue of maps, and during the year
considerable work, apart from actual cataloguing, has been done
in this Department, such as the selection and classification of vol-
umes for deposit at the Boston Medical Library (in furtherance
of the plan of transfer of medical books to a deposit station there,
begun some time ago) ; the transference and re-arrangement
(involving new numbering and recording) of many books in the
general collection, for greater safety and convenience; and the
examination of bibliographies, sales catalogues, etc., antecedent
to rcommendations for purchase.
The following condensed statement relating to the number of
volumes finally placed on the library shelves is compiled from
the report of Mr. W. G. T. Roffe, in charge of the Shelf De-
Placed on the Central Library shelves during the year:
General collection, new books (including continuations) ....
Special collections, new books ........
Books reported lost or missing in previous years, but now found, transfers
from branches, etc. ..........
Removed from the Central Library shelves- during the year:
Books reported lost or missing, condemned copies not yet replaced, trans-
fers, etc. ............
Net gain at Central Library
Net gain at branches and reading-room stations
Net gain, entire library system
The total number of volumes available for public use in the
Library at the end of each year since the formation of the Library
is shown in the following statement:
Volumes in entire library system ....
In the branches and reading-room stations .
These volumes are located as follows ;
Fellowes Athenaeum 28,014
Owned by City 8,564
Total, Roxbury Branch
South Boston .
Parker Hill (Station
Lower Mills (Station A)
Roslindale (Station B) .
Matlapan (Station D)
Neponset (Station E)
Mt. Bowdoin (Station F)
Allston (Station G)
Codman Square (Station J)
Mt. Pleasant (Station N)
Broadway Ext. (Station P)
Warren Street (Station R)
Roxbury Crossing (Station S)
Boylston Station (Station T)
North Bennet St. (Station W)
Orient Heights (Station Z)
City Point (Station 23) .
24) . 985
LOST AND MISSING BOOKS.
The loss of books, principally from the open shelves, by reason
of theft or by the carrying away of volumes without the formality
of having them charged on a library card, still remains a vexing
incident of library administration with us, as with every library
wherein the privilege of open access to the books is granted. The
number lost does not greatly increase, being kept within limits
more or less definite, by the rules relating to the use of the open
shelf privileges now in force at the branches. It is true that the
books lost are largely of the cheaper kind, especially those for
young readers, but the moral delinquency involved in their loss
is more serious than the unwarranted expense thus thrown upon
the Library. It is deplorable that the free access to the shelves,
granted in the interest of all, a privilege prized and properly used
by the majority, should be abused by a few, with complete dis-
regard of the rights of those who are deprived of the use of the
books improperly carried away. One phase of the evil has be-
come particularly vexatious. It has long been our practice to
display temporarily upon open shelves near the Centre Desk in
Bates Hall all recent accessions, as the books are made available
for public use from week to week. The loss of books by theft
from these shelves, affecting as it does new books, just published
and in active demand, has become so great that, in the public
interest, a new arrangement with some limitation upon freedom
of access is required. It is proposed to place such books upon
guarded shelving in the delivery room, immediately under the
control of an attendant, to permit any one to examine them upon
request, but to require the use of a call slip before they can be
removed to the reading tables.
Notwithstanding the loss of books, which we deplore, it is
apparently true that in proportion to the number of books circu-
lated the number lost annually is no greater than during the first
decade of the Library's history. Indeed, the proportion appears
to have been reduced. During the ten years following the open-
ing of the Library for public use, in 1 854, the proportion of books
lost to every 1 ,000 books lent for home use was approximately
L69. During the ten years ending January 31, 1912, the pro-
portion is 1 .09. The books lost in recent years are mainly lost
from open shelves, and not from books issued for home use, and
the number issued for home use has perhaps little direct relation
to the number lost during either period. But the circulation for
home use is the only recorded index to the amount of business
done, and the comparison at least shows that with the large in-
crease in the circulation of books in the later as compared with
the earlier period, without taking into account the almost unre-
stricted access to the books now granted as against the closed
shelves of earlier days, the relative number of books lost is even
less than formerly. The recorded figures in the earlier years are
possibly not so exact as those based upon the inventories now
annually taken, but upon the record the comparison is valid, and
such errors as may exist in the early reports would hardly affect
the general conclusion.
It does not follow that the present loss of books should be dis-
regarded, or that diligent effort should not be made to diminish it.
It is plain, however, that the extension of privilege, the undoubted
advantage to the public of handling the books directly, without
burdensome formalities, has not resulted in a larger percentage of
loss than under the old restricted conditions; and it is also clear
that of the large number of persons who now use the books freely,
comparatively few disregard the principles of honesty and respect
for the rights of others, which are essential to the continuation of
the wider privileges now enjoyed.
The use of this Department at the Central Library, by young
readers at hours when the public schools are not in session fre-
quently exceeds the provision made for them at the reading tables.
Especially on Sundays the main room is often crowded. The
inner room, set apart for reference work by teachers and advanced
pupils, is also largely used. Particular phases of the work of the
Department are referred to in the following extracts from the
report of Miss Alice M. Jordan, Custodian:
Readers in the room have evidenced a satisfactory appreciation of the
Library as a place wherein to read. An Austrahan boy returning home
spoke of his days in the Children's Room as the pleasantest part of a four
months* visit in Boston. And this is but a single illustration of the attitude
of many readers on whom we believe the room has had an influence.
In cooperation with the schools, assistance has been given many readers
ranging from primary school to normal school age. The usual instruction
on books as tools and on the card catalogue was given to ten classes. With
so few schools planning to aid the outgoing pupil in the intelligent appre-
ciation of the Library one Is led to ask how far the Library can go alone
in forcing upon the schools the close relationship desired. During the ten
years that the Library has given these lessons the gain in number of visiting
schools has been almost negligible. Yet those teachers who methodically
make the visits are unanimous in declaring their value. If the schools aim
to build up a system of education and development that is life long rather
than a course which lasts through youth only, they cannot afford to neglect
this movement of bringing school and library together. One effective way
of accomplishing this would be for the Normal School itself to incorporate
in its curriculum a series of lessons on library methods and children's read-
ing. Until this is done the teachers are likely to underrate its importance.
On the other hand, there has been progress this year on the part of
teachers in the recognition of what the Library may do for their own pro-
fessional advancement. The recent activity of the Education Conference
of "Boston— 1 915" has brought to the attention of many teachers the library
facilities for study, and has stimulated the interest of others who had a par-
tial knowledge of its resources. As a result of circulars sent by the School
Committee to the schools, groups of teachers have prepared and sent us
lists of books which seem to them of sufficient value to be reserved per-
manently for reference use. A considerable proportion of the titles sug-
gested on the general subiect of education and psychology were already on
the shelves of the School Reference Room ; others have been added as space
allowed. Current educational periodicals have also been transferred from
the Periodical Room so that there are now eighteen of the best pedagogical
journals on file in this room.
In addition to the lessons given to classes from the elementary schools
the Custodian of the Children's Department has addressed the Boston
Normal School, the Wheelock Training School, has lectured at Simmons
College and at the Training School for Children's Librarians, Pittsburg,
and has spoken at several educational clubs on the general subject of chil-
dren's reading. The demands upon the Department for lists of books for
children in English and foreign languages and for special information on
the part of authors, editors and educators as well as for assistance in book
selection seem steadily to increase. One long list was prepared for the
Federated Boys' Clubs, and was printed by them in the magazine, "Work
with Boys." Another list published by the National Congress of Mothers
was revised by us,
Mr. Oscar A. Bierstadt, the Chief of the Reference Depart-
ment, located in Bates Hall, the principal reading room at the
Central Library, reports in part as follows :
There has been no decrease in the number of students frequenting Bates
Hall, although no statistics can be kept and no figures show the total of
readers consulting books at its tables. Nowhere else in the entire library
system are so many visitors congregated as here. Visiting strangers quickly
learn to avail themselves of the advantages freely offered here to all, and
often express their gratitude. Noteworthy is the high character of the
books used. Novels are comparatively seldom called for unless for pur-
poses of reference. The greatest demand is for standard, educational, and
scholarly works, and they are diligently studied.
The amount of reference work done by the Bates Hall staff increases
constantly. Readers whose questions are once satisfactorily answered are
very likely to submit other requests for information. The subjects of
inquiry take such a wide range that only the faculty of a large university
could be competent to deal with all of them, but the reference librarian^
from long experience, is usually able to put the right book into the reader's
hands. Much time is also saved to visitors by the expert assistance given
in the use of the immense card catalogue, so confusing at first in its com-
In order to facilitate the rapid delivery of books to readers at
the tables in the Hall, arrangements have been made to determine
immediately whether or not a book requested from the stacks
can be supplied. Previously, such requests were first sent to
the Issue Department, where a record is kept of all books lent,
and there examination was made to discover whether the book
asked for was in its place upon the shelves or whether it had been
already lent. This examination required several minutes, and to
overcome this delay, and enable the examination to be made in
the Hall itself, a duplicate record tray has been installed at the
Centre Desk. All slips requesting books, filed by readers in the
Hall, now undergo examination at this desk, and if the book is
available, it is at once sent for. If, on the other hand, the book
cannot be supplied the slip is returned to the applicant with a
statement in explanation stamped upon it. The time thus saved,
as compared with that formerly required, facilitates the rapid
delivery of the book to the reader, or, if it cannot be delivered,
informs the applicant v/ithout undue delay. The new arrange-
ment even permits a reader to discover whether a desired stack
book is "in" or "out" by direct inquiry at the Centre Desk, with-
out the necessity of filing a slip.
Mr. Pierce E. Buckley, in charge of the Centre Desk, reports
that the maximum attendance of readers in Bates Hall (319)
was recorded on the afternoon of February 19, 1911, at five
THE SPECIAL LIBRARIES.
The following details relating to the operation at the Central
Library of the special libraries, so-called, including the Fine Arts
Department, the Allen A. Brown Music Room, and the Barton-
Ticknor Room, are based upon the report of Mr. Frank A.
Chase, Custodian in charge :
THE FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT.
Photographs and Lantern Slides.
The circulating collection of pictures, available for school and
club use, now numbers 1 0,434, of which 1 ,453 have been added
during the year. Nearly all the accessions have been photo-
graphs. The circulation of pictures during the year has increased
as shown by the following table :
Portfolios of Pictures Issued b^) Years.
Public schools .
Private schools .
Totals . . 2.158 1,689 1,007 952 773 675
Allowing 15 pictures to each portfolio, a fair average, the
total approximate circulation of individual pictures, based upon
the foregoing table, amounts to 32,370, or three times the number
contained in the entire circulating collection.
The collection of lantern slides is gradually enlarging by the
addition of slides acquired for use in our own lecture courses.
The number added during the year was 282. The entire num-
ber is now 3,402. From this collection 1,174 slides have been
lent during the year (to 45 different borrowers), as compared
with 606 lent during the preceding year.
The circulation during the year of books from the Fine Arts
Collection (included in the statement of total circulation, pages
38—39) , was 1 9,540, as compared with 1 8,963 for the preceding
Barlon-Ticknor books issued ......... 18,033
Maps issued 790
Books from other departments, issued for readers applying in this room . 7,690
ALLEN A. BROWN MUSIC ROOM.
The number of volumes added during the year to the Col-
lection in this room is 318. Of these 194 were given by Mr.
Brov^n. Among the important accessions are orchestral scores of
the following: Converse's Sacrifice (autograph manuscript);
Offenbach's Contes d'Hoffmann; Humperdinck's Konigskinder ;
Ravel's L'heure espagnole; Rakhmaninov's Der geizige Ritter;
and Mahler's Eighth symphony. Among early American music
added may be noted, "Sonnet for the 14th of October, 1793,
when were entombed the remains of John Hancock," and an
early edition of "Adams and Liberty." This room is constantly
used by students of music, and this use increases. The duplicate
scores and librettos for circulation are in continual demand.
MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES OF THE SPECIAL LIBRARIES.
Visits of Classes.
As in preceding years a large number of study clubs and
classes have held meetings in the West Gallery of the Fine Arts
Department. The total number of these meetings is 194, with
a total attendance of 1 ,896 students. Tables have also been
reserved there for students from the Massachusetts Normal Arl
School, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Massa-
chusetts Institute of Technology and the Emerson College of
Oratory. The instructors in English in the Harvard-Lowell
University Extension Courses meet their pupils in the West Gal-
lery for individual conferences, and in the provision of library
material for use in these courses and in connection with the use of
the Department by the schools and classes mentioned, the Library
fills an indispensable part in the work of education in Boston.
Use of the Photograph Room.
It is perhaps not generally known that a photograph room,
equipped for the making of photographic plates, from Hbrary
material, is available in connection with the Fine Arts Depart-
ment. The use of this room is already considerable, but it is
desirable to promote it further, whenever copies of illustrations
are to be made or other photographic work is to be done, from
books which cannot be withdrawn from the Library, or which are
in such demand that if lent inconvenience to the public would be
LECTURES AND EXHIBITIONS.
The following lists enumerate the free public lectures given in
the Lecture Hall, and the exhibitions given in the Fine Arts Exhi-
bition Room at the Central Library, during the year.
Besides the regular Thursday evening course of free lectures,
a free course to be given Sunday afternoons was begun Decem-
ber 10, 1911, to close March 31. 1912.
1911. January 1 9. The Land of the Shamrock. By Minna Eliot
Tenney. (Repeated on January 23.)
January 26. The Architecture of Persia. By Garrick M. Borden.
February 2. Joan of Arc. By Rev. Thomas I. Gasson.
February 4. Campaigning in Two English Elections. By George L.
February 6. Ruined Cities of Asia Minor. By D. M. Robinson.
(Under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America.)
February 9. Historic Cathedrals of England (Canterbury, Durham
and Westminster). By George N. Cross.
February 1 3. The Haunts of Nature. By Edward F. Bigelow.
(Under the auspices of the Field and Forest Club.)
February 1 4. Home Life in Oberammergau, and the Passion Play of
1910. By Minna Eliot Tenney.
February 1 6. Beautiful New Brunswick and Historic Quebec. By
Minna Eliot Tenney.
February 2 1 . The Passion Play of Oberammergau. By Rev. Thomas
February 23. The Palace of Urbino; Italian Home Life in the Fif-
teenth Century. By Annie Beecher Scoville.
March 2. The English Homes of Shakespeare's Day. By Annie
March 9. Housing Problems: Houses at Moderate Rents. By J.
Randolph Coolidge, Jr.
March 1 3. The Work of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals. By Dr. Francis H. Rowley. (Under the aus-
pices of the Field and Forest Club.)
March 1 6. Along White Mountain Trails and Paths. By John
March 2 1 . Predynastic Egypt. By George A. Reisner. (Under the
auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts.)
March 23. Switzerland and the Rhine. By Henry Warren Poor.
March 28. The Early Dynastic Period in Egypt. By George A.
Reisner. (Under the auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts.)
March 30. Recent Masterpieces of Sculpture. By Edmund von Mach.
March 3 1 . The Age of the Pyramids. By George A. Reisner. (Un-
der the auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts.)
April 1 0. Useful Birds of Farm, Field and Forest, and how we can
protect them. By Edward H. Forbush. (Under the auspices of the
Field and Forest Club.
May 8. Yucatan, the Egypt of the Western Hemisphere. By Flora
Kendall Edmand. (Under the auspices of the Field and Forest Club.)
May 1 7. The Greek Theatre and Greek Drama.* By W. S. Harris.
(Under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America.)
October 1 9. Commercial and Industrial Development of Boston. By
Henry C. Long.
October 26. Moorish Art in Spain. By Garrick M. Borden.
November 2. The Land of the Pyramids. By Francis Kingsley Ball.
November 9. Italian Villas and Their Gardens. By Samuel E.
November 1 6. An Architect's Impressions of the Boston Chamber of
Commerce Trip to Europe. By Frank A. Bourne.
November 23. American Excavations at Ancient Cyrene. By Arthur
Fairbanks. (Under the auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts.)
December 4. Excavations of the Archaeological Institute at Cyrene.
By J. C. Hoppin. (Under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute
December 7. As Men Live in the Great Sahara. By Anna Speed
December 10. The Music of the Bible.* By Louis C. Elson.
December 1 4. The Passion Play of Oberammergau. By Rev. Arthur
December 1 7. Folk Tales of Many Lands.* By Mary W. Cronan.
December 28. Florence. By H. H. Powers.
December 31. The Poetry of the People, with Illustrative Selections:
I. The Ballad, old and new.* By Horace G. Wadlin.
1912. January 4. The Collection and Distribution of News. By
William U. Swan.
* All lectures not marked with a star were illustrated.
January 7. The Evolurion of the New England Home.* By Frank
January 1 1 . Isabella d'Este and the Courts of Mantua and Ferrara.
By Martha A. S. Shannon.
January 14. Benjamin Franklin, the Craftsman.* By Lindsay Swift.
Exhibitions, Central Librar^."^
1911. January 1 6. Irish Scenery.
January 23. Modern Persian Architecture.
January 30. Joan of Arc and Her Story.
February 1. (Street Floor.) Abraham Lincoln.
February 6. English Cathedrals.
February 1 3. Scenery of Canada.
February 20. Urbino.
February 27. England in Shakespeare's Time.
March 6. Reproductions of Bookbindings.
March 1 3. Switzerland, Ireland and the White Mountains.
March 13. (Street Floor.) Mexico.
March 27. Modern Sculpture.
April 1 . Exhibition of Bibles in commemoration of the Tercentenary of
the King James Version of the English Bible.
April 8. Modern American Architecture. (Pictures loaned by Brook-
line Education Society.)
April 15. (Street Floor.) Bygone Boston.
May 8. Photographs of Old Boston.
May 25. Photographs of Portraits by F. P. Vinton.
June 1 5. Coronation of George V. — Pictures, Books and Manuscripts
relating to Harriet Beecher Stowe, born June 14, 181 1.
July 3. Old New England Houses.
July 8. Pictures and Books relating to William M. Thackeray, born
July 18, 1811.
July 29. Posters.
August 1 . Pictures and Books relating to Edwin A. Abbey and his
August 1 4. Japanese War cartoons and photographs.
August 21. Photographs. Harvard Aviation Meet, 1910.
September 1 1 . Reproductions of paintings in the Mond and Wallace
October 9. Water Fronts of the World.
October 16. (Street Floor.) Views and Maps of Boston Harbor.
October 23. Moorish Architecture of Spain.
October 30. Egypt.
November 6. Italian Villas and Gardens.
November 1 3. Places visited by the Boston Chamber of Commerce
Party in Europe.
November 20. Northern Africa.
November 27. Pictures, books and manuscripts relating to Wendell
Phillips, born Nov. 29, 1811.
December 4. Northern Africa.
December 1 1 . Madonnas ; also (on the Street Floor) Enlargements of
Tyrolese mountain views.
December 26. Florence.
1912. January 8. Isabella d'Este, Mantua and Ferrara.
January 15. French painting of the Nineteenth Century.
DEPARTMENT OF DOCUMENTS AND STATISTICS.
This Department has continued in charge of Mr. H. L.
Wheeler, first assistant under Mr. Whitney, the former Chief.
The Statistical Collection, so-called, includes not merely statis-
tical reports, but state, municipal, and special official reports, the
United States documents, works on economics, civics, industrial
questions, and such books as form a reference library on munici-
pal problems, social economics, etc. This collection now num-
bers 1 7,424 volumes on its shelf-list, and directly available for
use in the Department are many others, approxim.ately 20,000 in
all, including the Sessional papers of the House of Commons,
the Congressional Annals, Globe and Record, etc.
The demand for such information as the collection contains
continually increases, the use of the Department grows, and reser-
vations of tables are now regularly made in it for students and
Owing to the remote location of the so-called Manuscript
Room, which has heretofore contained the general manuscript
collection belonging to the library, arrangements have been made
for transferring the collection to cases placed in the lobby imme-
diately connected with the Librarian's Office, where the manu-
scripts v^ill be made available for public use.
*Excepl as otherwise mentioned, all these exhibitions were held in the Fine Arts Exhi-
bition Room en the Special Libraries Floor.
BRANCHES AND STATIONS.
EXPENSE OF OPERATION.
The total expense of operation of the branch system, charge-
able against the city appropriation, including the reading rooms
or minor branches, 1 6 in number, as well as the 1 1 principal
branches was $1 10,663.71 for the year.
The circulation through the branches is shown in the tables on
The branch system has been enlarged by the addition of the
Hyde Park Public Library, through the annexation to Boston
of the town of Hyde Park, but as this did not take effect until
January 1, 1912, it does not materially affect the operations of
the year covered by this report.
The change of ownership of the property occupied in part by
us for reading-room purposes at 207 North Street, has led to a
concentration of our agencies in Ward 6 at the Industrial School
Reading Room on North Bennet Street. The acquisition by the
City of the church building of St. John Baptist, on North Bennet
Street, and its authorized remodeling for library purposes, now
in progress, will enable us to carry on our work hereafter in that
district, in our own building, properly equipped for such public
service as the Library offers.
The new building at Jamaica Plain, and others contemplated,
will materially strengthen the branch system, and enable us to
operate it to the point of highest efficiency. The following
excerpts are made from the annual report of Mr. Langdon L.
Ward, Supervisor of Branches:
From the Central Library and the branches there have been sent on
deposit to the schools 25,713 volumes as against 23,302 volumes in the
preceding year. We have supplied 664 teachers, an increase of 1 4 over
the year before. Of these 509 were supplied from the branches and
large reading rooms and 1 55 from Central.
The work of supplying the schools with books shows thus a healthy
gain. The gain year by year can never be very large while the applications
are purely voluntary, and while we continue to have the same number of
assistants and approximately the same number of books. The most notable
advance of the year is in the number of pictures sent, which is nearly twice
as large as in the preceding year.
The chief work of this Department with schools is done at the branches
and reading rooms, which continue to receive and care for the crowds of
children who come for assistance as soon as school closes. Their wants
and those of the teachers are kept in mind when the books are chosen and
in the daily activities of the branches. It would seem as if the connection
between most of the schools and the branches to which they are assigned
was as close as present conditions permit.
The attendance at the branches and reading rooms has been good in
general throughout the year. Many of those who come never take home
books, but read them at the branch, or read only the newspapers and
magazines. I quote a passage from the report of the custodian of a large
branch: "This community, made up as it is of various nationalities, finds
in the branch a common ground to which it gravitates, not alone to borrow
books for home use, but to read there the newspapers and current periodi-
cals. The main room at the branch is largely a reading room, and is used
to a considerable extent by men, only a small proportion of whom take
books away from the building. On one of the busy days this season, at
four o'clock in the afternoon, there were in this room 79 men and 1 7
women reading at the tables. If it were possible to keep statistics of this
use of the branch they would be very large. We have tried to estimate
in a general way the hall use of the books at this branch, by occasionally
counting those left on the tables by the readers, and on two days this year
there were gathered 426 and 398. This, however, does not give any fair
idea of the number of books used in this way, as there were perhaps as
many more consulted and put back on the shelves by the borrowers."
Many volumes of vocational books have been placed in the branches
this year. A considerable number of books by Jewish authors have been
added. Some books have been bought with special reference to the story-
telHng. Books that will assist foreigners in learning EngHsh have been
bought. We need, however, a moderate supply of books in foreign lan-
guages for adult foreigners.
As to the circulation of pictures, Mr. Ward remarks :
The number of pictures circulated this year from the branch collections,
chiefly among schools and for use at those reading-room stations which
have no collections of their own, is 40,149 as against 21,719 in 1910:
that is, the use of these pictures has nearly doubled in one year. Early
in the year a new edition of the printed lists of these pictures was issued
and distributed among teachers, and these lists have stimulated the cir-
culation. The custodians have been steadily adding to their collections
pictures for which they know there will be a demand, and this has been
appreciated by the teachers.
The nature and use of the branch collections of pictures were thoroughly
described in the last annual report of this Department.
I quote a passage from the report of the custodian of one of the smaller
reading rooms: "1 736 plates have been issued this past year to 26 teachers.
This means that every one of the teachers in the district has at some time
during the year been supplied with pictures. The method by which these
results have been accomplished has been that of sending to the masters at
regular intervals blanks on which the teachers could sign their names and
give the subjects for which they would like pictures sent them. The mas-
ters send these lists to the Library, and the requests are filled from the
collections of the branches and reading rooms or from Central. This
method has been a very satisfactory one both to the teachers and custodian.
Both masters and many of the teachers in the district have expressed many
times their appreciation of the Library, and have said how helpful the
pictures and books have been in their work."
The following relates to the personal influence exerted through
the Library at different branches or reading-room stations:
In the branches and reading rooms, which are really small local and
district libraries, it is often possible to become well acquainted with indi-
viduals and their peculiar wants and hence to become increasingly success-
ful in helping them to make efficient use of the Library. This is the aim
of the branch employees, but success varies with the personality of the
employee and the equipment of the branch. The following passages from
reports of custodians illustrate various phases of this personal work with
the public, which is as important as any function of the Department:
"The characteristic feature of the year's work seems to be a gain in
sympathy and understanding between the reading room and the district.
We have acquired a wider knowledge of our large, closely packed section,
which presents all the problems of city and country, includes every degree
of wealth and poverty and of perfection and degradation.
Our work continues to be with individuals, which is the secret of giving
satisfaction with service. We cannot merely direct our visitors to the open
shelves, while our room is so crowded and our collection of books so small ;
they would glance around and remark that they had read 'everything.'
We need intuition, tact, and persuasion in order to convince people that we
can supply their needs. But we soon acquire a person's approximate 'book
measure,' and any information which will guide in selecting and recom-
mending books is shared by all members of the force."
"The books other than fiction show the largest increase in circulation,
and the circulation of books other than fiction among adult readers has
nearly doubled. We have always circulated a good many histories and
geographies to those who are studying in evening classes or by themselves,
but it has seemed lately as if this demand were increasing. At the regis-
tration desk we make it a point of helping a new card-holder draw his first
book, and so usually find out what he is specially interested in. Over and
over the request is for some technical book — banking, automobiles, or
engineering. The use of the Central Library through the branch shows
the same tendency. It is a satisfaction to look over the table where the
books are laid out and feel that the Library is helping so many people along
some line of serious endeavor."
STORY TELLING TO CHILDREN.
For some time Mrs. Mary W. Cronan has conducted a "story
hour" for children, in the small lecture room at the South End
Branch, without expense to the Library. Since the opening of
the new building at Jamaica Plain, she has rendered similar ser-
vice in the lecture hall there, for compensation provided by the
subscriptions of residents of Jamaica Plain who were interested
in promoting such work. A small appropriation has been made
by the Library to continue her services during the ten months
beginning with November, 1911.
Although sometimes introduced for special reasons or to mark
certain anniversaries, usually at the Central Library, story telling
for children has never been a part of the regular work of this
Library, nor does the limited engagement and small sum paid to
Mrs. Cronan necessarily imply its continuance. If kept within
definite limits, and so conducted as to afford not merely amuse-
ment, but to promote the use of good books, it is now recognized
as a legitimate function of library work with children. Mrs.
Cronan's methods are especially adapted to this result, and she
has been unusually successful in attracting the interest of her
audiences, and in developing the educational value of such work.
It is proposed to introduce her, during the term of her engage-
ment, at other branches, where it is possible to accommodate
THE DEPARTMENT OF PATENTS.
By the addition of 366 volumes during the year the total
number of volumes in the Patent Collection has been brought to
1 1,69L The use of this room increases, as will be seen from
the fact that 1 1 ,832 persons used the collection, consulting 81 ,397
volumes, as compared with 9,729 persons and 67,528 volumes
reported for the year 1910—1 1. The figures do not include a
considerable unrecorded use of books from the open shelves.
THE PERIODICAL ROOM, CENTRAL LIBRARY.
The following table shows the number of readers in the Peri-
odical Room, Central Library, at certain hours as totalized in
each of two successive years :
The number of bound volumes from the files consulted in this
room during the year, in the day time (week days only), was
32,460 as compared with 31,752, the number reported in the
preceding year. The number consulted in the evening or on
Sunday was 11,1 20, as compared with 1 0,644 reported in the
preceding year. Unbound back numbers of periodicals, in all
27,841, were issued to applicants during the day time on week
days and 1 7,402 in the evening or on Sundays ; the corresponding
figures for the preceding year being 26,782 and 1 6,643. Several
magazines devoted to educational subjects heretofore displayed
in this room have been transferred to the Teachers' Reference
Room on the main floor of the Library and a few medical
periodicals have been transferred to the deposit station estab-
lished at the Boston Medical Library in the Fenway.
THE NEWSPAPER ROOM, CENTRAL LIBRARY.
At present, 340 newspapers are filed for reading in this room,
currently as received. Of these, 233 are published in the United
States and the others in foreign countries. The daily newspapers
number 257 and the weeklies 83. The seating capacity of the
room, always taxed to the utmost, has been increased by the re-
moval of the large magazine racks formerly located in the room,
for which wall racks have been substituted. This change permits
the placing of three additional tables in the room, and about 30
Mr. Pierce E. Buckley, in charge of the Department, reports
that the maximum attendance at any one time during the year
was 275, on February 5, 191 1, at five o'clock P.M. From the
files of old papers 23,052 bound volumes were consulted during
the year by 1 0,988 persons. These figures compare with 20,667
and 9, 1 1 1 , respectively, for the year 1910-1 1 .
Some very rare eighteenth century newspapers have been
added to the files during the year; among others a copy of the
Boston News Letter for August 1 6, 1 706. This is the earliest
issue of that paper which we possess. Some of the copies re-
ceived of the Boston Gazette, 1 729-1 764, are especially valua-
ble and rare, several being the only known copies extant. A
copy of the New England Courant for February 26, 1 722,
among the acquisitions of the year, is the only number we have
of this rare newspaper ; and another rarity is a copy of the Weekly
Rehearsal for August 4, 1 735, the next to the last number of
this paper which was published before it was succeeded by the
Boston Evening Post.
Under the editorial supervision of Mr. Lindsay Swift the fol-
lowing publications have been issued :
1. Quarterly Bulletin (four issues), aggregate pages 376; edition, first
three numbers, 3,000 copies; last number, 2,000 copies.
2. Weekly Book List, each week, (52 numbers), aggregate pages, 360;
edition, 2,500 copies.
The Library has also published a useful and popular list of
books on Domestic Science. The proof of this list was examined
by Dr. W. T. Sedgwick and the late Mrs. Ellen H. Richards
of the Institute of Technology, and by Miss Sarah L. Arnold,
Dean of Simmons College, who gave the work their approval as
a whole, and to whom we are indebted for helpful suggestions
and criticism. The current issues of the Allen A. Brown Cata-
logue, and the revision of the Catalogue of the Adams Library
have received editorial supervision during the year. A list of
books on the operas announced for production at the Boston
Opera House during the season of 191 1-12 was issued by the
Library in October. This was prepared by Miss Barbara Dun-
can, in charge of the Allen A. Brown Music Room, and not
under the supervision of the library editor.
THE PRINTING DEPARTMENT.
The following table, compiled from the report of Mr. Francis
Watts Lee, Chief, exhibits the range of work in the Printing
Department in two successive years :
Requisitions on hand at opening of year .... 17 9
Requisitions received during year 202 142
Requisitions on hand at end of year ..... 9 11
Requisitions filled during year 193 140
Card Catalogue (Central) :
Titles (Printing Dept. count) 16,812 13,434
Cards finished (excluding extras) 170,900 164,691
Titles in type, but not printed 168 360
Card Catalogue (Branches) :
Titles (Printing Dept. count) 464 304
Cards (approximately) 34,800 22,800
Pamphlets not elsewhere enumerated 28,425 21,150
Call slips 1,777,795 1,525.340
Stationery and blank forms 722,530 652,234
Signs 840 651
Blank books 55 182
Mr. James W. Kenney, Chief of the Bindery, in his annual
report presents figures upon which the following comparative
view of the work of the Department is based :
Number of volumes bound, various styles .... 37,154 42,398
Volumes repaired 2,200 2,494
Volumes guarded 1,584 1,945
Maps mounted 978 1,021
Photographs and engravings mounted ..... 5,521 4,258
Magazines stitched ......... 233 206
Library publications, folded, stitched and trimmed . . . 160,106 170,819
The figures reported above show a substantial increase in the
output of the Bindery. The gain in the total number of volumes
bound during the past year is 5,244, as compared with the pre-
ceding year, and 8,254 as compared with the work of the year
1909-10. The general miscellaneous work also has increased.
Mr. Kenney reports that notwithstanding the increase in wages
under the union scale, the average cost per volume bound in what
is termed "Bates Hall" style (full canvas or half morocco), has
been reduced to $1 .01 as compared with $1 . 1 5 in 1 91 0-11 and
$1.35 in 1909-10.
DOCUMENTS AND SUPPLIES.
Mr. George V. Mooney, in charge of the Stock Room, reports
the following as to the distribution of library publications during
Sent to departments for free distribution . . . . . . .11 7,841
Sent to departments for sale ......... 968
Free direct distribution .......... 32,683
Distributed for library use .......... 95
Total . 151,587
The report of Mr. John J. Keenan, Chief of the Registration
Department, supplies the basis for the following statistical state-
ment as to card holders:
Cards held by men and boys ......... 39,116
Cards held by women and girls ......... 50,046
Cards held by persons over 16 years of age ...... 49,545
Cards held by persons under 1 6 years of age ...... 39,61 7
Teachers' cards ........... 4,634
Pupils' cards (public and parochial schools) ...... 30,012
Students' cards (higher institutions of learning) ...... 24,080
On January 16, 1911, there were 86,913 borrowers' cards
in force, entitling their holders to borrow books from the Library
for use outside the buildings. During the year, 41,719 new cards
were issued, and 39,470 lapsed and have not at present been
renewed. The net gain for the year is, therefore, 2,249.
SUNDAY AND EVENING SERVICE AT THE CENTRAL LIBRARY.
The average number of books lent upon Sundays and holidays
from the Central Library, for use outside the library building, was
720. The largest number lent on any single Sunday (or holi-
day) was 1 ,259. The largest number of readers present in the
Bates Hall Reading Room on any single Sunday was 319, on
February 19, 191 1 , at five o'clock P.M.
An examination for the library service. Grade E, was given
September 16, 1911; 1 05 applicants appearing, of whom 65
CHIEFS OF DEPARTMENTS AND CUSTODIANS OF BRANCHES
AND READING-ROOM STATIONS.
As at present organized, the various departments of the
Library and the Branches and Reading-room Stations are in
charge of the following persons :
Samuel A. Chevalier, Chief of Catalogue Department.
William G. T. Roffe, In charge of the Shelf Department.
Theodosia E. Macurdy, Chief of Ordering Department.
Oscar A. Bierstadt, Custodian of Bates Hall Reference Department.
Pierce E. Buckley, Custodian of Bates Hall Centre Desk, Patent and
Frank H. Chase, Custodian of the Special Libraries.
Frank C. Blaisdell, Chief of Issue Department.
Langdon L. Ward, Supervisor of Branches and Stations.
Alice M. Jordan, Custodian of the Children's Department.
John J. Keenan, Chief of the Registration Department.
Horace L. Wheeler, First Assistant, in charge of Statistical Department.
Francis Watts Lee, Chief of Printing Department.
James W. Kenney, Chief of Bindery Department.
Henry Niederauer, Chief of Engineer and Janitor Department.
Katherine S. Rogan, Custodian of Brighton Branch.
Elizabeth F. Cartee, Custodian of Charlestown Branch.
Elizabeth T. Reed, Custodian of Dorchester Branch.
Ellen O. Walkley, Custodian of East Boston Branch.
Elizabeth Ainsworth, Custodian of Hyde Park Branch.
Mary P. Swain, Custodian of Jamaica Plain Branch.
Helen M. Bell, Custodian of Roxbury Branch.
Mary J. Minton, Custodian of South Boston Branch.
Margaret A. Sheridan, Custodian of South End Branch.
Mary Loretta Brick, Custodian of Upham's Corner Branch.
Ahce M. Robinson, Custodian of West End Branch.
Carrie L. Morse, Custodian of West Roxbury Branch.
Mary A. Hill, Custodian of Station A, Lower Mills Reading Room.
Grace L. Murray, Custodian of Station B, Roslindale Reading Room.
Emma D. Capewell, Custodian of Station D, Mattapan Reading Room.
Mary M. Sullivan, Custodian of Station E, Neponset Reading Room.
Isabel F. Wetherald, Custodian of Station F, Mt. Bowdoin Reading
Katherine F. Muldoon, Custodian of Station G, Allston Reading Room.
Gertrude M. Harkins, Custodian of Station J, Codman Square Reading
Margaret H, Reid, Custodian of Station N, Mt. Pleasant Reading Room.
Cora L. Stewart, Custodian of Station P, Broadway Extension Reading
Mary L. Kelly, Custodian of Station R. Warren Street Reading Room.
Laura N. Cross, Custodian of Station S, Roxbury Crossing Reading
Elizabeth P. Ross, Custodian of Station T, Boylston Station Reading
Florence Bethune, Custodian of Station Z, Orient Heights Reading Room.
Josephine E. Kenney, Custodian of Station 23, City Point Reading Room.
Mary F. Kelley, Custodian of Station 24, Parker Hill Reading Room.
I wish to acknowledge the continued cooperation of the fore-
going, to thank the employees generally, who in their several
places have faithfully performed the routine work of the Library,
and to record again my appreciation of the loyal and efficient ser-
vices of Mr. Otto Fleischner, Assistant Librarian.
Horace G. Wadlin,
Accessions and Additions. (See
Appropriations. (See Finance.)
Architectural catalogue, preparation
Balance sheet, 22~25.
Bates Hall, 3, 51.
Benton, Josiah H., elected President,
1 ; chairman Examining Committee, 26.
Bindery Department, 3, 28, 65.
Binding and repair of books, 3.
Board of Trustees, organization, 1 ;
Books, accessions, 2. 41-44, 53, 54, 58,
62, 63; average cost, 3; binding and
repair, 3, 28, 65; branches, 3, 41, 48;
circulation, 3, 5, 37-40, 53, 62; delays
in delivery, 52; deposits, 5, 40, 59;
expenditures, 3, 41 ; fiction, 30, 41 ;
hall use (see Reference) ; in foreign
languages, 31, 60; inter-library loans,
13; lost and missing, 48; placed on
shelves, 47; reserved for students, 54,
58; reserved for teachers, 51, 63; se-
lection of, 30; Sullivan bequest, 44;
total number and location, 48; unsuc-
cessful applications for, 40; yearly
Borrowers. (See Card holders.)
Boyle, Thomas F., elected Vice Presi-
Branches and reading rooms, 59-62;
accessions, 3, 41, 48; attendance, 60;
circulation, 3, 38^40, 59; expense, 59;
hours of service, 4; need for better
buildings, 6-12, 33, 34; repairs, 36;
Sunday service, 5; v^ork v^filh schools
and institutions, 3, 5, 38, 59; better
accommodations for Broadway Exten-
sion Reading Room, 11, 33 ; Charles-
town Branch, 9, 33; City Point
Reading Room, 1 1 , 32, 33 ; East Bos-
ton Branch, 10, 33; Hyde Park
Branch established, 12; Jamaica Plain
Branch, new building opened, 5, 59;
North End, new building for, 6, 32,
33, 59; Station 22 and Station W con-
solidated, 37; Story telling at, 29, 62.
Brown, Allen A., Collection, additions
to, 54; work on catalogues of music
and dramatic collection, 46.
Card holders, 66.
Catalogue Department, 31, 46.
Chiefs of departments, list, 67.
Children, story telling to, 29, 62.
Children's Department, 50.
Circulation, 3, 5, 37-40, 53, 62; inter-
library loans, 13; pictures, 53, 60.
Classes and clubs, 54, 58.
Cronan, Mrs. Mary W., story telling
to children, 62.
Deery, Delia Jean, clerk of Trustees, 1 ;
of Examining Committee, 26.
Delivery of books, improvements in sys-
Deposits, 5, 40, 59.
Documents. (See Statistical Depart-
Employees. (See Service.)
Examining Committee, 19; report, 26"
Fiction, purchases, 30, 41.
Finance, appropriations for new branch
buildings, 6-10, 33; average cost of
books, 41; balance sheet, 22-25; city
appropriation, 2; expenditure for fic-
tion, 41; maintenance, 2, 16; opera-
tion of branches, 59; increase on ac-
count of Hyde Park Branch, 13;
receipts, 1 ; trust funds income, 1 .
Fine Arts Department, 29, 53.
Foreign population, books for, 31, 60.
History of the Library, 19, 27.
Hours of service, 4.
Hyde Park Public Library becomes
branch, 12. 59.
Institutions, deposits and circulation, 3,
5, 38, 40, 59.
Inter-library loans, 13.
Issue Department, 37.
Kenney, William F., reappointed Trus-
tee for five years, 1 .
Lantern slides, 53.
Lectures, 29, 55.
Lost and missing books, 48~49.
McCarthy, Dennis, retired on pension,
Maginnis & Walsh, architects for
North End Branch building, 8.
Manuscripts, located in Librarian's
Newspaper Room, 63.
Patent Department, 62.
Pension, retirement of first library em-
ployee under, 13.
Pension and retirement fund, need of,
Periodical Room, 63.
Photographs and other pictures, acces-
sions and circulation, 53, 60; exhibi-
Photographic work room, 54.
Printing Department, 28, 65.
Publications, 46, 64; History of the
Receipts. (See Finance.)
Reference work, 3, 37; attendance.
Bates Hall, 52; branches, 60; Chil-
dren's Room, 50; Patent Room, 62;
Periodical and Newspaper Rooms, 63 ;
Special Libraries, 54; Statistical De-
partment, 58; Sunday and evening, 66.
Registration Department, 66.
Repairs and Improvements, 36.
Scholarship, relation of Library to, 16.
Schools and institutions, work with, 3, 5,
38, 50, 54, 59.
Service, hours of, 4; well administered,
Shelf Department, 47.
Special Libraries, 53.
Statistical Department, 58.
Steinert, Alexander, gift of old piano,
Stock Department, 66.
Story telling to children, 29, 62.
Students, tables reserved for, 54, 58.
Sullivan, Patrick F., purchases from
bequest of, 44.
Sunday and evening service, 5, 66.
Teachers, books and periodicals re-
served for, 51, 63.
Trust funds, 1 .
Trustees, organization of Board, 1 ;
meetings of, 20. ."
The Public Library of the City of Boston: Printing Department.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 9999 06314 652 4