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SEVENTY- SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
CITY OF BOSTON
PUBLISHED BY THE TRUSTEES
CENTRAL LIBRARY: BATES HALL.
SEVENTY^ SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
CITY OF BOSTON
PUBLISHED BY THE TRUSTEES
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF BOSTON: PRINTING DEPARTMENT.
MP6; 7.15.24; 2500.
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
ON FEBRUARY 1. 1924.
ARTHUR T. CONNOLLY, President.
Term expires April 30, 1927.
LOUIS E. KIRSTEIN. MICHAEL J. MURRAY.
Term expires April 30, 1924. Term expires April 30, 1926.
WILLIAM A. GASTON. GUY W. CURRIER.
Term expires April 30, 1925.
Term expires April 30, 1928.
CHARLES F. D. BELDEN.
ORGANIZATION OF THE LIBRARY DEPARTMENT.
The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, organized
in 1852, are now incorporated under the provisions of Chapter 1 14, of the
Acts of 1878, as amended. The Board for 1852 was a preHminary or-
ganization; that for 1 853 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 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 organization 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
representation of the City Government upon the Board by an alderman 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 1852:
Abbott, Samuel Appleton Browne, a.m., 1879-95.
Appleton, Thomas Gold, a.m., 1852-56.
Benton, Josiah Henry, ll.d., 1894-1917.
Bigelow, John Prescott, a.m., 1852-68.
Bowditch, Henry Ingersoll, m.d., 1865-67.
BowDiTCH, Henry Pickering, m.d., 1894-1902.
Boyle, Thomas Francis, 1902-12.
Braman, Jarvis Dwight, 1869-72.
Brett, John Andrew, ll.b., 1912-16.
Carr, Samuel, 1895-96, 1908-22.
Chase, George Bigelow, a.m., 1876-85.
Clarke, James Freeman, d.d., 1879-88.
CoAKLEY, Daniel Henry, 1917-19.
Connolly, Arthur Theodore, 1916-
CuRRiER, Guy Wilbur, 1922-
Curtis, Daniel Sargent, a.m., 1873-75.
De Normandie, James, d.d., 1895-1908.
Dwight, Thomas, M.D., 1899-1908.
Everett, Edward, ll.d., 1852-64.
Frothingham, Richard, ll.d., 1875-79.
Gaston, William Alexander, ll.b., 1923-
Green, Samuel Abbott, m.d., 1868-78,
Greenough, William Whitwell, 1856-88.
Haynes, Henry Williamson, a.m., 1880-94.
HiLLiARD, George Stillman, ll.d., 1872-75; 76-77.
Kenney, William Francis, a.m., 1908-1921.
KiRSTEiN, Louis Edward, 1919-
Lewis, Weston, 1868-79.
Lewis, Winslow, m.d., 1867.
Lincoln, Solomon, a.m., 1897-1907.
Mann, Alexander, d.d., 1908-1923.
Morton, Ellis Wesley, 1870-73.
Murray, Michael Joseph, ll.b., 1921-
PiERCE, Phineas, 1888-94.
Prince, Frederick Octavius, a.m., 1888-99.
Putnam, George, d.d., 1868-77.
Richards, William Reuben, a.m., 1889-95.
Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet, ll.d., 1852-68.
Thomas, Benjamin Franklin, ll.d., 1877-78.
TiCKNOR, George, ll.d., 1852-66.
Walker, Francis Amasa, ll.d., 1896.
Whipple, Edwin Percy, a.m., 1867-70.
Whitmore, William Henry, a.m., 1885-88.
WiNsoR, Justin, ll.d., 1867-68.
The Hon. Edward Everett was President of the Board from 1852
to 1864; George Ticknor, in 1865; 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 Lincoln, May 12, 1899, to October 15, 1907;
Rev. James De Normandie, January 31, 1908, to May 8, 1908;
JosiAH H. Benton, May 8, 1908, to February 6, 1917; William F.
KeNNEY, February 13, 1917, to May 7, 1920; Rev. ALEXANDER
Mann, May 7, 1920, to January 22, 1923; MsGR. Arthur T.
Connolly, since April 1 3, 1923.
(From 1858 to 1877, the chief executive officer was entitled Superintendent.)
Capen, Edward, Librarian, May 13, 1 852 - December 16, 1874.
Jewett, Charles C, Supcrinlendent, 1858- January 9, 1868.
Winsor, Justin, ll.d.. Superintendent, February 25, 1868 -Septem-
ber 30, 1877.
Green, Samuel A., m.d.. Trustee, Acting Librarian, October 1 , 1 877 -
September 30, 1878.
Chamberlain, Mellen, ll.d.. Librarian, October 1, 1878 -Septem-
ber 30, 1890.
DwiGHT, Theodore F., Librarian, April 13, 1892 -April 30, 1894.
Putnam, Herbert, ll.d.. Librarian, February 1 1, 1895 -April 30,
Whitney, James L., a.m.. Acting Librarian, March 31, 1899 -De-
cember 21, 1899; Librarian, December 22, 1 899 - January 31,
Wadlin, Horace G., LITT.D., Librarian, February 1, 1903 -March
15, 1917; Acting Librarian, March 15, 191 7 -June 15, 1917.
Belden, Charles F. D., ll.b.. Director, since March 15, 1917.
LIBRARY SYSTEM, FEBRUARY 1, 1924.
May 2, 1854
fCentral Library, Copley Square ,
tEast Boston Branch, 276-282 Meridian St. .
§South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway .
IIFeiiowes Athenaeum Branch, 46 Millmont St.
tCharlestown Branch, Monument Square
fBrighton Branch, Academy Hill Road
JDorchester Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St.
JLower Mills Branch, Washington, cor. Richmond St.
JSouth End Branch, Shawmut Ave. and West Brookline St.
tJamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St. .
JRoslindale Branch, Washington, cor. Ashland St.
tWest Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St
§Mattapan Branch, 7 Babson St *Dec. 27, 1881
tNorth End Branch, 3a North Bennel St *Oct., 1882
§Neponset Branch, 362 Neponset Ave *Jan. I, 1883
§Mt. Bowdoin Branch, Washington, cor. Eldon St. . . . *Nov. 1, 1886
§Allston Branch. 138 Brighton Ave *Mar. II. 1889
f Codman Square Branch, Washington, cor. Norfolk St. . . . *Nov. 1 2, 1 890
JMt. Pleasant Branch, Vine, cor. Dudley St *Apr. 29, 1892
$Tyler Street Branch, Tyler, cor. Oak St *Jan. 16, 1896
tWest End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St Feb. 1, 1896
JUphams Corner Branch, Columbia Rd., cor. Bird St. . . . *Mar. 16, 1896
§Warren Street Branch, 392 Warren St *May I, 1896
§Roxbury Crossing Branch, 208 Ruggles St *J*i. 18. 1897
§Boylston Station Branch, The Lamartine, Depot Square . *Nov. 1, 1897
§Orient Heights Branch, 1030 Bennington St *June 25, 1901
JCily Point Branch, Municipal Bldg., Broadway .... *July 18, 1906
§Parker Hill Branch, 1518 Tremont St »July 15, 1907
tHyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winthrop St. , . Jan. 1, 1912
tFaneuil Branch, 100 Brooks St *Mar. 4, 1914
§Andrew Square Branch, 396 Dorchester St *Mar. 5, 1914
§Jeffries Point Branch, 195 Webster St »Oct. 15,1921
U In the case of the Central Library and some of the branches the opening was in a
different location from that now occupied. * As a delivery station. f In building
owned by City, and exclusively devoted to library uses. % In City building, in part
devoted to other municipal uses. § Occupies rented rooms. || The lessee of the Fel-
lowes Athenaeum, a private library association.
Report of the Trustees .
Balance Sheet ....
Report of the Examining Committee
Report of the Director
Appendix to the Report of the Director
Index to the Annual Report 1923-1924
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Central Library: Bates Hall
South End Branch: Reading Room
Map of the Library System
Facing page 54
At the end
To His Honor, James M. Curley,
Ma^or of the Cit^ of Boston.
Sir: — The Board of Trustees of the Public Library of the
City of Boston presents the following report of its condition and
affairs for the year ending January 31, 1924, being the seventy-
second annual report,
ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD.
On April 13, 1923, the Right Reverend Monsignor Arthur
T. Connolly was elected President to succeed Bishop Alexander
Mann resigned, and Mr. Louis E. Kirstein, Vice President in
Monsignor Connolly's place.
Mr. Guy W. Currier was reappointed a trustee for the term
ending April 30, 1928; and Mr. William A. Gaston was ap-
pointed a trustee for the term ending April 30, 1925, to fill the
vacancy caused by the resignation of Bishop Mann.
The Board organized at the annual meeting on May 18,
1923, by the election of Monsignor Connolly as President, Mr.
Kirstein, Vice President, and Delia Jean Deary, Clerk.
On October 26, the Board approved a change in the title of
"Librarian" to that of "Director".
RECEIPTS OF THE LIBRARY.
The receipts of the Library which are to be expended by the
Trustees in the maintenance of the Library consist of the annual
appropriation by the Mayor and City Council, and the income
from Trust Funds given to the Trustees but invested by the City
Treasurer. During the past year these receipts were
Annual appropriation .......... $779,935.00
Special appropriation .......... 50,000.00
Income from Trust Funds ......... 25,037.00
Unexpended balance of Trust Funds income of previous year . . 69,710.00
Receipts which are accounted for and paid into the City
Treasury for general municipal purposes, during the year have
been as follows
From fines $15,612.47
From sales of catalogues, etc 39.04
From commissions on telephone stations 566.12
From sale of waste paper ......... 550.64
From payments for lost books 1,116.61
Interest on bank deposits 67.77
ESTIMATES FOR 1924-25.
The estimates of the Trustees for the maintenance of the Li-
brary for the coming year, forwarded to Your Honor in budget
form, were $905,614, of which $629,421 is for personal service
and $276,193 for general maintenance.
ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY.
During the year the Library has added 62,166 volumes by
purchase as against 68,074 in 1922. Of this number 51,329
were placed in the branches as against 55,31 1 in 1922; and
10,837 in the Central Library as against 12,141 in 1922; 57,052
were bought from the City appropriation at an average cost of
$1.35 per volume, and 4,032 from Trust Funds income at an
average cost of $4. 1 4 per volume.
The total expenditure for books and periodicals was
$109,405.29 as against $122,916.07 in 1922. Of this amount
$90,000 represents the expenditure from City appropriation as
against $100,000 in 1922, and $19,077.56 from Trust Funds
income as against $21 ,883.27 in 1922. The cost of periodicals
was $9,351 as against $9,568 in 1922.
The total circulation of books for home use, including circu-
lation through schools and institutions was as follows:
From Central Library, including Central Library books issued through the
From branches, excluding books received from Central Library , . 2,345,864
REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
On May 18, 1923, the Trustees were granted a special appro-
priation of $50,000 for equipping and furnishing the Addition to
the Central Library Building; and on May 28, a contract was
authorized with the Library Bureau for two additional tiers of
steel stacks, amounting to $32,998. This work was completed
and accepted on January 12, 1924. Contracts for heating and
lighting these stacks are now under consideration.
Other improvements and repairs include a new ventilating sys-
tem for the Lecture Hall, Central Library, at a cost of $4,164;
the replacement of certain plumbing at the Central Library,
$2,902 ; new electric light fixtures. Special Libraries Depart-
ment, $683; new boiler at the West End Branch, $1,818;
painting at the Hyde Park Branch, $954; and repairs to wall.
West End Branch, $698.
On February 1 , 1923, the South End Branch was opened for
public use at 9 o'clock a.m. in the new Municipal Building at
the corner of Shawmut Avenue and West Brookline Street.
On April 13, on request of Your Honor, the Board had a
conference with the School Committee, represented by Mr.
Richard J. Lane, Chairman, and Mr. Jeremiah E. Burke, Su-
perintendent of Schools, relative to the establishment of branch
libraries in school buildings. A tentative plan was agreed upon,
to be worked out later in connection with the erection of new
school buildings, with special reference to districts where there
are at present inadequate library facilities.
On May 1 8, the Board approved a change in the title of read-
ing room to that of branch; and a grading of all branches as
major and minor branches.
BRANCH FOR BUSINESS MEN.
The importance of the estabhshment of a business men's
branch has been for many years considered by the Trustees as
an imperative step which the Library should take. The ideal
location for such a branch, in the judgment of the Trustees,
would be in the new Chamber of Commerce Building. If up
to the present this much called for and really necessary extension
of the Boston Public Library system has not materialized, it is
not the fault of the Trustees. All that is required is the selection
of a place for such a branch and the necessary appropriation by
the city for its maintenance.
Already a sister city in the State of Rhode Island has taken
this step with other cities, and quite recently the city of Pitts-
burgh, following the good example, has appropriated $10,000
for the establishment and maintenance of a down-town branch
of the Carnegie Library. The Trustees realize that the cost of
space for the project in the business center of the city is almost
prohibitive, but we cannot believe that the civic pride of Boston
merchants can long allow such a fact to stand in the way of its
If a single room sufficiently large to contain selected material
of particular interest to persons engaged in commercial and
technical pursuits were secured, it would not be long before its
utility and necessity would become so apparent that more ex-
tensive quarters would be demanded as a necessity.
While the number of books kept in a business branch must,
owing to limits of space, be restricted, still a direct telephone to
the Central Library and a daily delivery service would make it
possible to draw freely from the extensive collection of reference
works at the main Library.
GIFTS AND BEQUESTS.
On May 4, a check for $964.30 was received from the ad-
ministrator of the estate of Sarah E. Pratt, late of Boston, on
account of the distribution of the residue of said estate, and was
added to the original bequest and funded as the "Sarah E. Pratt
Fund" for the purchase of books for the Dorchester Branch.
On June 29 the Trustees received a check from the estate of
Mary Elizabeth Stewart in the amount of $3500, in final settle-
ment of a bequest under the will of Miss Stewart, which was
funded as the "Mary Elizabeth Stewart Fund" the income to
be applied to the purchase of books and other library material.
On December 28 the Trustees received notice of a gift to
the city for the benefit of the Mattapan Branch, in the sum of
$11,781.44; which was funded as the "Oakland Hall Trust
Fund", the income to be applied to the purchase of books and
other library material for the Mattapan Branch.
Other important gifts include a marble bust of Henry James,
given by the sculptor. Captain Francis Derwent Wood, R.A.
of London, England; a collection of 219 volumes of French
history and literature of French writers of eminence, given by
Mr. Charles F. Lebon, former professor of French in the En-
glish High School ; a marble statue by Larkin Goldsmith Mead
called "Echo", given by Mrs. Henry S. Shaw of Milton for the
West End Branch; an oil painting by Marcus Waterman called
"Hayfields" (July) bequeathed to the Library by his brother
William C. Waterman; and many other gifts largely of single
works, which are partially recounted in the report of the Director.
The Trustees renew the hope that the Library may be the con-
tinued object of large gifts and bequests. It is from such sources
that the institution must derive the more valuable additions which
give to it a high and permanent rank.
RETIREMENT OF MR. OTTO FLEISCHNER.
During the year the Library has lost the services of many
employees on account of the Pension Law, among them Mr.
Otto Fleischner, Assistant Librarian. At the meeting of the
Board held on December 14, 1923, the following Resolution
was adopted by the Trustees and ordered spread upon the
RESOLVED: that in the retirement of Otto Fleischner the Pubhc
Library of the City of Boston has been deprived of the services of a
devoted and capable official who, for more that thirty years, contributed
much to the life and progress of the institution. Mr. Fleischner entered
the service of the Library on November 23, 1891. Soon after the occu-
pation of the Copley Square building in 1 895 he was chosen to organize
the Special Libraries Department which has since been conducted along
the lines he inaugurated. On January 12, 1900, Mr. Fleischner was
advanced to the position of Assistant Librarian. In this post, under three
successive librarians, he labored earnestly and indefatigably in the service
of the Library, carrying many responsibiHties easily and efficiently. He
has withdrawn from the Library at the age of seventy, still full of energy
and zest in life. The Trustees assure to Mr. Fleischner their enduring
esteem and for his continuing happiness extend their hearty good wishes.
RESOLVED : that the Board of Trustees accord to him the freedom
of the alcoves with the customary privileges; that this minute be placed
upon the records and that a copy of the same be sent to Mr. Fleischner.
TABLE OF TRUST FUNDS.
A detailed statement of these funds, and the income therefrom,
is contained in the report of the City Auditor, but a condensed
statement of them is as follows :
RESTRICTIONS OF GIFT.
For the purchase of valuable and rare editions of
the writings, either in verse or prose, of American
and of foreign authors, "to be known as the Long-
fellow Memorial Collection."
To buy "books of permanent value."
Purchase of books.
For the purchase of books.
For "the purchase of books of permanent value and
authority in mathematics and astronomy," to be
added to the Bowditch Collection.
For the purchase of books for the use of the young.
Available only in years when the City appropriates
for the maintenance of the Library at least 3% of
the amount available for department expenses from
taxes and income in said City.
For the purchase of books.
For the purchase of books upon landscape gardening.
For the purchase of books and for binding for the
Abram E. Cutter Collection.
For the purchase of books of "permanent value and
Benton Will) .
Matchett Will) .
Carried forward $354,537.55
Charlotte Harris .
Thomas B. Harris
Abbott Lawrence .
Edward Lawrence .
South Boston .
Mary E. Stewart .
Alice L. Whitney
James L. Whitney
1,000.00 Books of permanent value, preferably books on
government and political economy.
2,000.00 Books relating to American history.
10,000.00 Books for Charlesfown Branch, published before
1,000.00 For benefit of the Charlestown Branch.
10,000.00 For the purchase of books.
10,000.00 Books having a permanent value.
500.00 "To hold and apply the income and so much of the
principal as they [the Trustees] may choose to the
purchase of special books of reference to be kept
and used only at the Charlestown Branch of said
For the purchase of old and rare books to be added
to the John A. Lewis Library.
Memorial Fund, from the income of which books
are to be bought for the West End Branch.
Books and library material for the Maltapan
From the Papyrus Club for the purchase of books
as a memorial of John Boyle O'Reilly.
"To the mamtenance of a free public library."
"Purchase of books."
"Books of permanent value for the Bates Hall."
For the benefit of the Dorchester Branch.
To be used for books of permanent value.
For the purchase of books.
For benefit of the South Boston Branch.
Books in Spanish and Portuguese, five years old in
some one edition.
50,000.00 The income to be expended annually for current
newspapers of this and other countries.
4,000.00 Books five years old in some one edition.
10,131.77 For the benefit of the Charlestown Branch.
5,000.00 "For the purchase of books of a military and
patriotic character, to be placed in the alcove appro-
priated as a Memorial of the Twentieth Regiment."
5,000.00 For the purchase of books.
5,000.00 For the benefit of sick and needy employees and
the purchase of books.
8,645.84 For books and manuscripts.
1,000.00 For the purchase of books.
The Trustees call special attention to the report of the Ex-
amining Committee which is appended hereto and included, as
required by the city ordinance, as a part of this report. Many
of the suggestions and recommendations embodied in the same
have the sympathy and general approval of the Board. Those
who served as members of the Examining Committee for the fiscal
Rev. William J. Barry
Mrs. I. Tucker Burr
Paul F. Butler, M.D.
Mr. Francis M. Carroll
Miss Rosanna M. Dowd
Mrs. Carl Dreyfus
Mr. Henry Gideon
Mr. Edward S. Goulston
Miss Heloise E. Hersey
Mr. Vincent A. Keenan
Hon. Frank Leveroni
Mrs. Marguerite J. Martin
William Jason Mixter, M.D.
Harold A. Murphy, M.D.
Miss Mary Ranney
The Trustees have held regular semi-monthly meetings during
the year except during the summer months, for the transaction of
the business of the Department. They feel that the Library ser-
vice has been well administered during the year, and that this is
due to the industry, intelligence, and loyalty with which the
Director and the employees of the Library have performed their
Arthur T. Connolly,
Louis E. Kirstein,
Michael J. Murray,
Guy W. Currier,
William A. Gaston.
BALANCE SHEET. RECEIPTS AND
Central Library and Branches:
To expenditures for
Permanent employees (exclusive of Printing and
Temporary employees ......
Service other than personal
Contract work (Printing outside)
Transportation of persons
Cartage and freight .
Light and power
Rent, taxes and water
Premium on surety bond
Cleaning, towels, etc.
Removal of snow
Expert and architect
Extermination of insects
General plant repairs
To expenditures for equipment
Furniture and fittings
Molorless vehicles .......
Tools and instruments ......
City appropriation .... $80,193.96
Trust funds income . . . 18,951.40
City appropriation .
Todd fund .
General plant equipment
To expenditures for supplies
Food and ice .
Forage and animals .
Laundry, cleaning and toilet
Chemicals and disinfectants
General plant .
EXPENSES, JANUARY 31. 1924.
By City Appropriation 1923-1924 .... $779,935.00
Income from Trust funds ...... 24,205.83
Income from James L. Whitney bibliographic account . 700.00
Interest on deposit in London . . . . . 131 .69
By Balances brought forward from 1923:
Trust funds income. City Treasury .... 50,934.27
Trust funds income on deposit in London . . . 9,650.18
City appropriation on deposit in London . . . 4,565.72
James L. Whitney bibliographic account . . . 4,560.61
Library Building Addition, equipping and furnishing . 50,000.00
BALANCE SHEET, RECEIPTS AND
Brought forward .
To expenditures for material
Building . , . ,
Electric . . . .
General plant .
To expenditures from Alice M. Whitney Fund
Small supplies .......
Special Appropriation : Library Building Addition
Equipping and furnishing .....
To Amount paid into City Treasury:
From fines .....
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists
Commission on telephone stations .
Sale of waste paper ...
Payments for lost books
Interest on deposit ...
To Balance, January 31, 1924:
Trust funds income on deposit in London
City appropriation on dep>osit in London
Trust funds income balance, City Treasury
James L. Whitney bibliographic account
Interest on deposit in London
General appropriation .....
Special appropriation. Library Bldg. Addition
EXPENSES, JANUARY 31, 1924.
Brought forward .....
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists .
Commission on telephone stations .
Sale of waste paper .....
Payments for lost books ....
Interest on deposit .....
1 7 RQ? M
REPORT OF THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE.
To THE Trustees of the Public Library of the
City of Boston.
The Examining Committee takes pleasure in submitting its
report for the year ending January 31. 1924.
In order to examine properly the various functions of the
Boston Public Library as it is now operating, the work of the
Examining Committee was divided among the following sub-
Administration and Finance.
Books and Catalogues.
Printing and Binding.
Children's Department and Work with Schools.
These sub-committees have worked this year, as in the past,
with the exception of the one on Branches. This committee was
considered of such importance that it was decided to have all
the members of the Examining Committee serve on it, so that
as many visits as possible might be made to the branches; and
in that way more vital and constructive suggestions might be
received. The Committee believes this change is more than
justified, and that it has obtained many suggestions for the good
of the entire branch system.
The Sub-Committee on Branches comprises this year all the
members of the Examining Committee, and is accordingly able
to base its report on more than sixty visits to the various branches.
This unusually large number of visits marks suitably the Seven-
tieth Anniversary of the appointment of this historic committee,
— "to examine the Library and make report of its condition to
the Trustees." The hundreds of men and women who have
served as Examiners have testified again and again, since 1853,
to the kindling of interest and faith in the Library which has
resulted from their widened knowledge of the service that it
renders to the city. We acknowledge once more this year that
we are debtors to the Library, rather than the Library to us, in
our study of its task and its needs.
The Committee finds thirty-one branches of the Library in
operation. Of these, nine are housed in buildings owned by
the Library; nine in rooms in municipal buildings; and thirteen
in buildings or rooms leased from private owners. Not one of
the buildings owned by the Library is unsuitable or unattractive.
But the conditions of many of the other buildings are a blot on
the good name of the Library. The first recommendation of
the Committee is that the Library should be given larger freedom
in the municipal buildings, — freedom, namely, to keep clean.
At present, entrances are cluttered and dirty; staircases are de-
faced and ill-lighted; the janitor's service to the branch library
is in many cases highly unsatisfactory; yet the Library authori-
ties are helpless to improve conditions becauses these matters are
under the care of a separate city department. The branch at
City Point is typical of these poor conditions. That at Dor-
chester is wickedly so. Inadequate rooms, repairs sadly ne-
glected, dirt and disorder reigning in rooms and halls, — and the
Library not in the least responsible for the conditions. The
difficulty can be remedied by the application of one of the
fundamental principles of good housekeeping for public insti-
tutions. The Library should be given by the City the money
to do its own cleaning, when housed in municipal buildings.
Divided responsibility is sure to stand for dirt and disorder. Let
the united vote of the Examining Committee persuade the City
to remedy this long-standing abuse. The standard of order and
beauty held by the Public Library may well be above the
standards of other municipal departments. Let it do its rightful
share toward lifting the others up, rather than submit tamely
to being dragged down to the lower level.
Of the thirteen branches occupying rooms leased from private
owners, much the same report must be made. Only two or
three of them are what they ought to be. Many are entirely
unsuitable in their plan. A square room where children and
adults must be seated near together, where the Librarian has
insufficient desk room, where books in the busy hours must be
heaped on the floor, where quiet is impossible, — all these bad
features have to be accepted as a matter of course in rented
rooms. In many places the Librarian has used the utmost
ingenuity in making the best of inconveniences. But the City
should certainly lose no time in providing better quarters at
Roxbury, Mt. Bowdoin, Warren Street, Boylston Station, Jef-
fries Point, Orient Heights, Mattapan, Roxbury Crossing,
Parker Hill, and Andrew Square.
Another evil crying for redress, is the improper lighting of
many of the branches. Mere business economy would dictate
that an expert on lighting should be employed to go with the
Supervisor through the thirty-one branches and prescribe for the
difficulties which he will find in 85 per cent of them. It is actual
cruelty to tempt children to read in badly lighted rooms. Even
the new South End Branch suffers from the lights being too high,
and has no daylighU — an almost incredible architectural blunder
for the housing of a library. The Hyde Park Branch, one of
the best branch buildings, has poor lighting in its children's room.
The West End Branch, — famous historic building that it is,
visited by many as a landmark of Old Boston, — has a lighting
system most inadequate, the lights being several feet too high
and of too small lighting power. If these most important and
modern branches must be judged faulty in lighting, what can we
say of the Mattapan, East Boston, Orient Heights, Dorchester,
and Lower Mills Branches? Every adult reader is needlessly
annoyed by being compelled to work in semi-darkness, and
every child is cruelly exposed to severe eye-strain which may
involve impaired vision all through life. The City should give
the Library a sum of money to employ an expert, and he should
have power to advise and install excellent electric lighting in
every room belonging to the Boston Public Library.
The branches show this year, to those of the Committee who
have previously visited them, an encouraging improvement in
esprit de corps among the employees, and an increased ability
to render a high grade of community service.
The visitors of the Committee report various details which
require attention; but all such matters are reported to the Di-
rector and to the Supervisor of Branches, and are dealt with as
promptly as possible. The one insuperable obstacle to immediate
improvement is the size of the appropriations given to the Library
by the City. Some of the suggestions made by the visitors hardly
bear further postponement ; for example, a change of location of
telephone at the West End Branch, a counter desk at the Tyler
Street Branch, and new window shades at Upham's Corner.
It is not wise public policy to reduce expenditure for such repairs
below the figures given in the Library budget.
But this year the Sub-Committee on Branches wishes to throw
special emphasis in its report on just three matters. The first is
that of improvement in cleanliness and in the keeping up of
repairs, by making it possible for the branches in municipal build-
ings, and so far as possible in rented quarters, to be themselves
responsible for cleaning, painting, etc. The second is the prob-
lem of proper lighting of all rooms where reading is done. The
third, and most important, is the old cry, — "Books, books, and
yet more books!" The real test of the work of a great public
library is the figures which tell of the growth in circulation. It
is difficult to compile enlightening statistics as to the use of books
in the library buildings. A great many books may be called
for which are little used. On the other hand, with open shelves,
large numbers of books are used of which no record is kept.
But the circulation is a tolerably reliable measure of the use of
the library. During the past five years the branch circulation
has increased more than 47 per cent.
For the year 1918 it was 1,755.100
For the year 1923 it was 2,594,033
This is an extraordinary record. But it must give us pause when
we discover that the amount of money allotted to the thirty-one
branches last year for the purchase of new books and the re-
placing of old ones was only $66,500. In purchasing power
this is equal, perhaps, to 40,000 volumes, and must suffice for
all branch replacements, new books, and deposits, a number
wholly inadequate to meet the fast-growing demands of the
public. It is only as we ponder on these figures that we begin
to realize what is the responsibility of the City of Boston, — to
meet a hunger of the mind as keen as any hunger of the body, —
to guard against a starvation more bitter and perhaps more
dangerous that that following a famine.
If every one of the City authorities could pass an hour in the
North End Branch (where the circulation for the year was
107,329), or in the East Boston Branch (with its circulation for
the year of 125,968), or in the South Boston Branch (with its
circulation for the year of 1 39, 1 73) , or in the West End Branch
(with its circulation for the year of 154,267), the appropriating
authorities might well be inclined to double the amount of money
for the purchase of books, instead of reducing the sum.
The call for "easy reading" for our little, foreign-born chil-
dren is a loud one. So is the call for books in foreign languages,
with English translation. So is the call for all sorts of books
supplementary to the work of the schools. Meantime, the great
tradition of the past bids us not to forget that high scholarship
has not asked in vain the help of the Boston Public Library.
Learning does not stand still. We cannot live on the reputation
of our noble "Special Collections." By our loyalty to those
whose "plain living and high thinking" put us in possession of our
treasures, we are bound not to withhold our gifts for to-day's
needs of the great scholars. The Public Library ought to find
mention in the will of every man and woman who loves books
and loves our City. But when bequests are few and far between,
the demand for service must be met each year. "Books, books
and yet more books!" The cry comes from the scholar whose
learning without the great books must go unfed. It comes even as
loudly from the little child, who, in this country, may in his turn
become a famous scholar or a great inventor, — and who, like
the scholar, starves without the prmted page. For men, women.
and children, Carlyle's true words gain emphasis with the parsing
years, — "In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the
true University of these days is a Collection of Books."
ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE.
Under the guidance of its Board of Trustees, with the aid of
the Director and his co-workers, the usefulness of the Boston
Public Library to the community continues to be enlarged in
many directions. This widening of the demand for its service is
likely to go on indefinitely, as a result of the modern methods of
publicity in making its facilities known. But an increased de-
mand means both more books and more work in handling them.
The institution combines the function of a scholarly reference
library, called upon to meet the needs of a constituency of some
40,000 students, with those of a lending library seeking to supply
the demand of a population of over 750,000 for contemporary
fiction and popular non-fiction. The efFort required to meet both
these needs is a severe one, which taxes to the utmost both the
strength of the Library Staff and the available financial resources.
Books to meet the demand for popular consumption may per-
haps be furnished from the City appropriation ; but larger perma-
nent funds must be provided if the store of works for the use of
scholars is to be kept up to the point where it meets the expecta-
tions of the students who are drawn to Boston in large numbers
by the fame of the Library's collections. It is to be hoped that
public-spirited citizens will strengthen by endowment the re-
sources of the Library, already built up to such an extent by the
far-sighted generosity of its benefactors in the past.
The increase of labor involved in the growing use of the Li-
brary may be met in one of two ways : by enlarging the staff or
by laying a heavier burden upon those now employed. It appears
that in general the Library has been forced to the second of
these courses. During the past five years, the circulation of books
has grown 33^4 P^r cent, while the number of employees
has increased only 13^/3 per cent. The Committee desires to
commend the loyalty of the Library staff, who have done their
full share in helping the work of the institution to grow without
undue demands upon the City's purse.
The Committee is pleased to state that during the past year
many of the recommendations in the report submitted a year ago
have been carried into effect, and others are in process of adoption
One of the problems confronting the Director at the main li-
brary is that of providing additional space for the accommoda-
tion of new departments and of departments that should be en-
larged, TTie Teachers' Room is inadequate for its purpose:
so is the Children's Room. More open shelf room is necessary.
If increased space is to be provided, it must be gained either by
adding at least two floors to the Annex at a heavy expense, or
by utilizing for the service of the public the area now devoted to
printing and binding. We recommend that the Trustees and
Director consider the possibility of removing the printing and
binding departments to some other location, thus releasing for
other purposes the space now employed in handling that me-
chanical work. If this is not feasible, we suggest that the work
of printing and binding be done outside the Library at the City
Printing Plant, or elsewhere.
In addition to the needs of the Children's Room and the
Teachers' Room, the Periodical and Newspaper Rooms, both
very widely used, deserve and require better facilities. Here
modern equipment is necessary, including new racks for the
periodicals and newspapers. Such improvements we believe
will be economies in the end. Without presuming to pass judg-
ment upon mechanical devices off-hand, it appears to us that the
carrying system is out of date, and that it might well be replaced,
if funds can be made available for the purpose.
BOOKS AND CATALOGUES.
The most important duty of a library is unquestionably to
supply books to the public. However well-organized are the
other activities, the conduct of the branches, the perfection of
the catalogue and delivery systems, the work connected with the
public schools, etc., — all these are futile if the library cannot
fulfill its fundamental purpose and offer books in plenty. And
this requires money. In 1922 the appropriation from the City
for the purchase of books was $ 1 00,000. Last year this amount
was cut to $90,000. Out of this sum must be purchased :
( 1 ) All books for the thirty-one branches and the branch
deposit collection which supplies reading matter to the 289 other
(2) All the circulating books for the Central Library.
(3) All the periodicals (costing nearly $10,000 yearly).
(4) Some of the newspapers (since the increased cost of
these has made the established newspaper fund inadequate).
(5) All photographs and lantern slides.
(6) All books to replace worn-out volumes.
When we remember the advance in price of popular fiction
alone and realize that thirty to forty of each of the much-called-
for novels must be bought, it is easy to see how rapidly the
money is used. While the several trust funds help out con-
siderably, many of these are limited in their use and in general
should be left free for the purchase of expensive rare volumes
and reference books.
This Committee recommends that in future the City of Boston
should appropriate annually a sum large enough to take care of
all books needed for circulation both at the Central Library and
at the branches.
PRINTING AND BINDING.
This Department appears to be efficiently managed and the
quality of the production is excellent. Apparently the only
need of the Department, and that is not a pressing one, is the
exchange of the old linotype machine for a more modern type.
The policy of an appropriation per annum for the purchase
of matrices appears to be a wise one and in the opinion of the
Committee should be continued.
This Committee repeats the recommendation of the former
Committee that a so-called over-sewing or stitching machine
should be purchased by the City at a cost of approximately Four
Thousand ($4,000.00) dollars. At the present time there are
vacancies caused by resignations which need not be filled in the
event that such machine is purchased. The saving of the salaries
for these positions will amount in one year to very nearly the cost
of the machine. For the branch libraries thirty thousand volumes
are rebound each year, and for this work such a machine would
be available at a saving of six cents per volume. There seems
to be no valid economic reason why this machine should not be
The reinforcement of books put into effect during the past two
years has added greatly to the life of the volume and must
represent a great saving to the Library.
The Department appears to be well organized and is in
In connection with these two Departments there is a grave
question as to whether or not they should be continued as an
integral part of the Library. This Committee does not purpose
to pass upon this question, but believes it should have the thorough
consideration of the Trustees.
The Committee on Special Libraries recommends that the
tables and cabinets in the West Gallery be rearranged ; that two
more alcoves of the Special Libraries' Reading Room be opened
for the accommodation of an enlarged open shelf collection and
that the open shelf architecture collection now located in alcove
14 of the West Gallery be moved into the new alcoves. It also
recommends that the school picture work be removed from the
Special Libraries catalogue and delivery room to some less public
spot ; that special cases be provided for the more expensive prints,
especially the Medici prints; that the ventilation of the Music
Library be improved and that all music books be collected in
children's department and work with schools.
The Library is doing noteworthy work in the cause of Ameri-
canization, and for this reason the branches should be near the
center of foreign population. The visits of the Librarians to the
various evening schools are acquainting many immigrants with
the work of the Public Library. In this connection there is a
great demand for books printed in both English and a foreign
language. The story telling for adults and children is an im-
portant factor in this work. This Committee hopes to see this
activity further extended in its usefulness to both foreign and
It is suggested that the schools give instructions in the use of
the catalogue. A great saving of time and energy would be
effected if -the teachers gave more definite instructions as to the
books and subjects which the pupils are required to look up.
This Committee recommends that Librarians make more frequent
visits to the schools and gite more talks on the use of the Library,
to be followed by class visits to the Library, where the class may
have a lesson on the handling of books and the use of the Li-
brary. It is further recommended that the schools take advantage
of the Librarians' ofFer to speak at Teachers' meetings, thus
revealing the resources of the Library to the teachers. The
annual observance of Library Day in the schools would serve
to arouse proper appreciation and interest in the Library, one of
the greatest and most important of the City institutions. Every
visit of a Library employee to a school serves to emphasize the
helpful spirit and unselfish devotion of the employees in their
effort to introduce the book to the child.
AFFILIATION BETWEEN THE LIBRARIES OF GREATER BOSTON.
The General Committee wishes to call to the attention of the
Library employees the opportunities for advancement contained
in the following statement; and to the general public the articu-
lation between the Boston Public Library and all other libraries
in the State.
Through the interlibrary loan system the Boston Public Li-
brary is constantly serving other libraries of the Boston district
by lending books at their request for the use of residents of the
various towns and cities surrounding Boston. The Library also
cooperates in this way with the Athenaeum and the State Li-
brary, and the various college and university libraries of the
region. These libraries are all glad to lend the Boston Public
Library books in the same way for the use of Boston readers,
and books are frequently borrowed from the Harvard University
Through the Special Libraries Association, an organization
made up of employees of all the libraries, both public and
private, in the Boston district, the personnel of the Boston Public
Library is brought into intimate relations with the other librarians
of Greater Boston. The Library participates in all the work
of the Association and there is a close cooperation between this
Library and all the others which are represented in its member-
Announcements of all courses offered by the Library to its
employees are sent to the other public libraries of the Boston
district and the employees of many of these libraries have taken
advantage of the opportunities thus opened.
The Library is more and more regarded as a centre of leader-
ship by the libraries of Greater Boston and it is safe to say that
it is sure to take a prominent and helpful part in every activity
aimed at the extension of library service in Eastern Massachusetts.
INSTRUCTION OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES OF THE
PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF BOSTON.
In the year 1919, Simmons College opened its courses in the
academic and Library School departments, free of tuition charge,
to members of the Library staff recommended by the Director of
the Library. The courses in the College of Business Administra-
tion of Boston University have been similarly opened, and about
thirty members of the Library staff have since taken one or more
courses in these institutions.
In 1919-20 instructors in the Simmons College Library School
gave in the Library a course on "Aims and Methods in Library
Work," which was taken by thirty-five members of tlie staff.
This was followed, in 1920-21, by a course in "Reference
Work," under the instruction of Miss Donnelly, Director of the
Simmons College Library School, which was taken by fifteen
members of the staff. In 1919-20 Miss Jordan offered a course
in "Children's Work" in which some thirty members of the staff
In 1920 the Library offered to its employees a course of
twenty-five lectures on the organization and resources of the
Boston Public Library system. The talks were given by the
chiefs of the various departments and the Director. The last
lecture was on the Free Public Library Commission of the
Commonwealth and its work. At the close of the course an
examination was held. It was the general feeling that the course
was eminently worth while, as it gave a broadened outlook on
the work of the institution. It is hoped to repeat the course with
some modifications another year.
In the year 1922 there was given a series of informal talks
and conferences by the heads of libraries outside Boston, v/hich
proved very stimulating to the younger members of the Staff.
In the following year a course in "Elementary Reference Work"
was given by members of the staff to two sections of the younger
employees; a syllabus was prepared for each lecture and there
was an examination at the end of the course. About thirty-five
members of the staff were enrolled in the course. In the present
year two courses are being offered by members of the staff, one
in "Advanced Reference Work" and one in "Children's Work" ;
about fifteen persons are enrolled in each of these courses.
In the past three years, by an arrangement with the University
Extension Division of the Massachusetts Department of Edu-
cation, weekly lecture courses in literature arranged especially
for library assistants, have been given in the Lecture Hall of the
Library by Professor Robert E. Rogers of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. Tliese lectures have proved exceed-
ingly valuable both to employees of the Boston Public Library
and to those of other libraries who have attended the courses in
large number. In the course on "English Literature" given in
1922, fifty-five members of Library staff were enrolled; in that
on "American Literature" in 1922-23, fifty of the staff en-
rolled. The course in "Modern Continental Literature" given
during the present season, which makes a somewhat narrower
appeal, is being taken by thirty-four Library assistants and
twenty-eight employees of other libraries.
An innovation is being tried, that promises great success, in
the offering of a course in Italian given weekly by Miss Eleanor
M. Colleton of the Hancock School. It is hoped that this course
will enable many of the thirty employees who are taking it to
qualify for the Library examinations in modern language.
On the whole, the Library is making progress in the adapta-
tion of instruction to the needs of its employees and in interesting
those employees in fitting themselves for a higher type of Library
The Committee heartily commends these efforts, and hopes
the assistants will avail themselves of the opportunities in increas-
ing numbers. The profession of the Librarian is one in which
when one stops learning one begins to forget. Only by a
constantly refreshed and stimulated interest, both in books and
in people, can the Library successfully make its promotions from
its own ranks, and at the same time keep abreast of modern
scholarship, both in literature and in education. The Librarian
should be the strong link between the book — the best thought
of the best mind, — and the man, the ruler of himself and of
his country in a true democracy.
1 . That the increased demand for books be met.
2. That the question of obtaining more space for new depart-
ments be considered.
3. That the feasibility of the suggested plan of segregating the
printing and binding departments from the main plant be
4. That larger appropriations and larger permanent endowment
funds be sought.
5. That the old linotype machines be exchanged for more
6. That larger freedom in overseeing the cleaning of libraries
housed in municipal buildings be granted.
7. That the lighting throughout the whole library system be
8. That the salaries of heads of departments be raised to equal
at least those given by other cities containing equally large
9. That the opening of a business men's library be accomplished
as soon as possible. This has been suggested several times
by previous committees, and this Committee hopes the repeti-
tion of the demand will emphasize the importance of the
The Committee wishes to express its thanks to the Director
and employees of the Library, with whom the members of the
Committee have had many cordial conferences, as a result of
which this report has been made possible.
Adopted as the Report of the Examining Committee, January
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR.
To THE Board of Trustees:
I respectfully submit my report for the year ending January
ACCESSION AND CIRCULATION OF BOOKS.
A gain of 153,877 in the home circulation of books during
the year is a matter for satisfaction. The total circulation was
2,922,861 volumes, compared with 2,768,984 for the year
previous. Some interesting facts are brought to light by the
study of these figures. The branch circulation, exclusive of
"deposits" of books sent to schools and institutions, shows a
gain of 1 50,074 volumes and the Central Library a loss in direct
home use of 1 6,1 42 volumes. There was an increase of 23,762
volumes in the number of books sent from the Central Library
and branches to schools and institutions. The loss in circula-
tion from the Central Library would seem to be in line with
similar losses in circulation reported by many of the large libraries
of the country. In Boston it is believed to be insignificant.
Certainly the saturation point of books available for circulation
from the Library system has not been reached, as it is estimated
that a borrower fails six or eight times out of every ten that
he tries to procure from the Library or its branches any modern
popular book, fiction or non-fiction. Such books are always out,
and the book appropriation does not permit the purchase of
additional copies to any extent. A circulation of nearly three
million is creditable, but if there were more books, more branches
in those sections of the city at present unprovided for, more
assistants, competently trained, throughout the system, there is
every reason to believe that within a very short time the present
circulation could be doubled.
The City appropriation for books for 1 92 1 -22 and 1 922-23
was $100,000 each year and the accessions for those years
were the largest in the history of the Public Library. For the
year 1 923-24 the allowance for books was cut to $90,000, and
after setting aside the sums necessary for periodicals and news-
papers, the money available for books for the Central Library
and its branches was 15 per cent less than for 1922—23. This
has resulted in a decreased number of accessions, over 6,000 less
than last year, and has thrown on the limited Trust Funds the
burden of purchasing many current books for circulation which
are customarily bought from the City appropriation.
The total accessions for the year were 75,534 volumes, of
which 62,166 were acquired by purchase; 11, 134 by gift ("ac-
cessioned" and catalogued) ; 1,959 by binding periodicals; 135
by binding newspapers; 44 by exchange; and 96 through the
American Statistical Association. The purchases were dis-
tributed as follows: branches, 51 ,329 volumes, including 5,685
for the Deposit Collection; Central Library, 10,837 volumes,
including 4,032 volumes bought with Trust Funds.
The book expenditures for the year total $109,405.29, of
which $90,000 represents the money appropriated by the City,
$327.73 that drawn from funds on deposit in London, and
$19,077.56 the income derived from Trust Funds.
Further analysis shows that $79,794.59 (City appropriation)
was spent for books, of which $67,064 went for branch books;
that $9,351.59 was spent for periodicals, of which $3,457.09
was for branches, and $5,894.50 for the Central Library; and
that the Trust Fund expenditures include $16,698.1 7 for books,
$344.20 for lantern slides, $419.85 for photographs, as well as
$1,615.34 for newspapers. Altogether, the Library spent for
books $96,492.76, against $110,450.35 in 1922-23.
Of the sum spent for books, the amount expended for new
fiction was $1 1 ,090.79 for 7,273 volumes, comprising 468 titles,
of which 4,591 were assigned to branches, 1 ,680 to the Branch
Deposit Collection, and 1 ,002 to the Central Library. The
books bought for branches form the major part of the increase
for the year and for them the major part of the book appropria-
tion was expended. The ratio was 80 per cent of all books
bought, and 84 per cent of the total expenditure. From year
to year these books do not vary greatly in character. They com-
prise the current popular fiction and non-fiction, children's books,
reference books and replacement copies of books worn out. But
upon these books depend chiefly the growth and popular service
of the Library System as expressed in circulation, and any de-
crease in book purchases reacts unfavorably on this gauge by
which libraries are wont to measure their effectiveness.
With lessened resources the buying was concentrated on chil-
dren's books, those of lower cost, and 31,700 volumes for
younger readers were placed in branches and 2,000 in the
Central Library. The purchase of many desirable books of
reference had to be deferred. That they were needed is perhaps
evident from the fact that the only edition of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica possessed by one of the branches is that of 1880.
The closing months of the financial year present many diffi-
culties in the way of keeping up an uninterrupted supply of
books for the branches and the Deposit Collection. Since the
budget allowance cannot be exceeded nor bills be carried over
to the next fiscal year, the ordering of books in large numbers
has practically to be suspended during January. Books bought
at that time are mainly those which can be charged to Trust
Funds for the Central Library. There is greatly needed a
book fund available for branch books and independent of the
current appropriation, which may be used during this annual
period in which orders now have to be curtailed.
The Central Library is fortunate in having on its staff numer-
ous experts in special fields of knowledge ; and a continuous flow
of recommendations from them, combined with the steady in-
flux of books submitted on approval, insures the receipt of the
important current literature of general interest issued in this
country and abroad. The acquisition of the exceptional book
or collection of books depends upon opportunity and available
means. It frequently happens that means are oftener lacking
than opportunity, especially as regards material sought at auction
sales. It is not the policy of the Boston Library to pay excessive
prices, but the Director does recognize its obligation to acquire
and preserve as many of the records relating to the early history
of Boston and Massachusetts as its Trust Funds will permit.
Among the examples of pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary
matter of local interest recently secured are:
A Manuscript Minute Book of the meetings held at the Royal Exchange
Tavern in Boston, December 21st and 23d, 1773, of the principal
dealers in teas, with a list of the dealers attending these meetings.
A Boston Non-Importation meeting broadside of April 19, 1 770, in which
"Merchants . . . are desired to meet at Faneuil Hall ... to receive
the report of the Committee of Inspection relative to the most unac-
countable . . . conduct of several persons who have imported goods
. . . contrary to the agreement — particularly a quantity of Tea."
A Boston Port Bill broadside letter, May 12, 1774, stating that "An
Act has been passed by the British Parliament for blocking up the Har-
bour of Boston with a Fleet of Ships of War."
A broadside setting forth the final preparations for an advance against
Boston, January 19, 1 776, "Whereas General Washington has applied
for a temporary reinforcement . . . that the Army investing Boston
should be of strength sufficient to act offensively as well as defensively."
Governor Gage's Amnesty Proclamation, Boston, June 12, 1 775, Gage's
last warning to the Revolutionists in which he offers in His Majesty's
name "most gracious pardon to all who shall lay down their arms ex-
cepting only . . . Samuel Adams and John Hancock."
A Massachusetts Slavery broadside, "House of Representative, Nov. 19,
1 754 — Ordered that the assessors of the several Towns . . . send
into the Secretary's Office the exact number of the Negro Slaves both
male and females, sixteen years old and upwards that are within their
Towns and District." (Apparently the order for the first slave census
to be taken in Massachusetts showing 2717 slaves, 989 of which be-
longed to Boston.)
A Manuscript Letter Book, 1 783-1 785, belonging to S. Codman, a Bos-
ton Merchant, relating to American shipping and business transactions
after the Revolution.
The dispersal of a private library afforded opportunity to
obtain a collection of 1 6th and 1 7th century books giving a view
of the state of certain sciences of that time.
There were added to the Brown Collection of Music six of
Stephen Foster's songs in first editions and a version of "The
New Yankee Doodle," printed by J. Hewitt, 18 — , quarto
music sheets with a cut portrait of Washington.
Other important acquisitions were:
Monumentl vallcani dl archeologia e d'arte, pubblicali per munlficenza di
Sua Santita Benedetto XV, a cura della Pontificia accademla romana
d'archeologia. Volume 1. Roma. 1922. (Continuation of Col-
A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke, set down in forme
of a dialogue ; divided into three parts . . . London. 1 608. Dia-
grams. Decorated title page.
Price, Captain R. K.
Astbury, Whieldon and Ralph Wood figures and Toby jugs. Lon-
Rio de Janeiro.
Theatre municipal do Rio de Janiero. Photogravure illustrations,
consisting of portraits, exterior and interior views, etc. Rio de Janeiro.
1913. A presentation copy to Enrico Caruso by the Director of the
Royal Institute of British Architects.
Sir Chrisopther Wren, A.D. 1632-1723. Bicentenary memorial
volume. London. 1923.
La casa artistica italiana; la casa Bagatti Valsecchi in Milano. Mi-
lano. 1918. 160 plates.
Sketches and designs. New York. 1 920.
The examples cited above have been mainly confined to ex-
ceptional books, or to some of the more costly works, but there
has been substantial growth in many directions, especially in the
collections in the Special Libraries.
The Library has only fallen short in the number of current
books bought for popular use and circulation throughout the
The gifts received during the year include 14,652 volumes,
12,005 issues of serials, 942 photographs, 75 lantern slides, 51
newspaper subscriptions, from 7,155 givers, as compared with
12,968 volumes, 13,078 serials, 763 photographs, 349 lantern
slides and 48 newspaper subscriptions from 5,936 givers in
There was also received under decree of Court "The Oakland
Hall Trust Fund" of $11,781.44, accepted by the Trustees,
"the income to be applied to the purchase of books and other
library material for the Mattapan Branch."
On pages 77-82 of the Appendix will be found listed a selec-
tion of the more important gifts of the year, with the names of the
On January 31, 1924, there were outstanding 11 7, 11 9 "live
cards", that is, registered cards available for present use in
the custody of citizens and certain holders of "special privilege
cards. Through the Central Library and the branches 33,976
new registrations were taken and 26,927 cards renewed, making
a total of 60,903 cards issued during the past year. In the
same period 57,667 borrowers allowed their home use privilege
to lapse. The net increase in cardholders, therefore, for the
year was 3,236, compared with 3,933 in 1922-23.
Teachers' cards to the number of 946 were renewed, and 329
new cards were issued to teachers, making in all 1 ,275 teachers'
cards in use compared with 1 ,472 a year ago.
Special privilege cards were voted by the Board of Trustees
to 176 persons; these, added to the 228 which were renewed,
make a total of 404 "live" special privilege cards, compared with
396 last year.
At the close of 1923 the department reports the new regis-
tration record, begun in August, 1919, as including 203,218
cards ; there is also a geographical record of over 1 20,000 cards.
During the coming year some provision must be made for the
more adequate housmg of these important card records which
have outgrown their present quarters.
CATALOGUE AND SHELF DEPARTMENT.
The number of volumes and parts of volumes catalogued
during 1923-24 was 90,107, representing 64,293 titles. The
number of cards added to the catalogues was 244,772, of which
number 203,109 were added to the catalogues in the Central
Library and 41,663 to those in the branches. The Bates Hall
and Issue Department catalogues received 56,501 cards; the
official catalogues, 60,723; the Special Libraries catalogues.
28,887 ; the catalogues of the Library of Congress and Harvard
College, and lists in process, 56,998 cards. The above figures
are listed not only as a record of the year's work, valuable in
making comparisons with that of previous years, but as an indica-
tion to the layman of the immense amount of detail connected
with the process of making available through the public card
catalogues the authors, titles and subjects of the book accessions
of the year.
In May, 1923, the Card Division of the Catalogue Depart-
ment was established, with Mr. Thomas Francis Brennan in
charge, and five assistants working under his immediate direc-
tion. The Division has the general supervision of all the cata-
logues in the Central Library, including their maintenance for the
convenience of the users, and the oversight of all matters relating
to the cards, including the filing, after they come from the Print-
ing Department of the Library or on their receipt from other in-
stitutions. It is expected that the new Card Division will add
to the efficiency of the Department and relieve the Chief of
much detail. Already the results have justified these expecta-
Four positions of importance, which call for special qualifi-
cations, including a knowledge of foreign languages, remain
unfilled in the Catalogue Department. The work of the insti-
tution will continue to suffer just so long as trained, experienced
persons remain unfound. The reason for these vacancies is not
far to seek. The salaries available for important places in this
department, as in others of the Library, are insufficient to attract
qualified library assistants.
On page 69 of the Appendix may be found the usual details
relating to the work of the Catalogue and Shelf Department
for two successive years.
In December 1923, the fifth volume of the Quarterly Bulle-
tin (Fourth Series) was finished. The completed volume filled
480 pages, 46 pages of which were given over to announcements
of public lectures and educational courses given not only at the
Public Library but at a number of other educational centres.
Though the main purpose of the publication was to present
in dictionary form a list of current additions to the Library's
shelves, it included the following special articles and reproduc-
In the March number, an account of the John Adams Library, some
Comments of John Adams on Mary Wollstonecraft's "French Revolu-
tion," a reproduction of Copley's portrait of Mr. Adams, a facsimile of
the title-page of the First FoHo Shakespeare, from the original in the
Barton Collection, and a list of British and American Longer Plays,
compiled by Michael J. Conroy, of the Bates Hall Reference Department.
The June number presented a sketch of the Franklin Library, repro-
ductions of the portraits of Franklin by Duplessis and Greuze, which
hang in the Trustees' Room of the Central Library, a facsimile of one
of Franklin's letters to Samuel C. Johonnot, with some notes on the latter,
and the second edition of a List of References on the Project Method of
Education, compiled by Alice M. Jordan, Supervisor of Work with
1 he September issue contained a description of the Gilbert Collection,
accompanied by a portrait of John Gilbert, together with several items
connected with Shakespeare, in commemoration of the Tercentenary of the
First Folio; these include a reprint of Horace Howard Furness's report
on the Barton Collection, made in 1882, with some remarks on the
present status of the Collection; views of the exterior and interior of
the Globe Theatre — "Shakespeare's Theatre"; contemporary prints of
London Bridge and of part of Queen Elizabeth's funeral procession, all
supplemented by a List of Works on Shakespeare's England, compiled
by Mary A. Tenney of the Catalogue Department.
In the December number the editorial matter related to the Parker
Library, and was accompanied by a portrait of Theodore Parker from
Seth Cheney's crayon, and a letter from Parker to Miss Thayer. X^^^'e
was also a reproduction of Francis Derwent Wood's bust of Henry James,
which the sculptor had recently presented to the Library. An Index to
the poems of Robert William Service, prepared by Michael J. Conroy of
the Bates Hall Reference Department, was also included in this issue.
Other Library publications of the year included the following :
Weekh Lists, 52 in number for the year 1923, giving brief titles of
a selected list of the most recent additions to the Library, compiled by
Lucien E. Taylor.
Ten-Book Lists, numbers 52—104 inclusive. Four of the fifty-
three issues printed during the year were double numbers. The series
began in 1 922 under the editorship of Mr. Taylor and ceased on Decern-
ber 8. 1923, on the completion of a bA'o vear period. Most of the lists
were prepared by chiefs of the various departments of the Library; a
number were compiled by members or officers of various associations whose
meetin<^s suggested the respective subjects of the lists. In the future.
Ten-book Lists will be issued irregularly in connection with topics of
current interest, on the occasion of important anniversaries, or in con-
nection with conventions and meetings of associations held in the city.
Brief Reading Lists, Nos. 24-26. The subjects were as follows:
No. 24, th2 Project Method in Education, compiled by Alice M. Jordan,
Supervisor of Work with Children; reprinted from the June issue of the
Quarterly) Bulletin: No. 25, Health and Hygiene, compiled by Lucien
E. Taylor, prepared in connection with the Boston Health Show; No. 26.
British and American Longer Plays, 1900-1923, compiled by Michael
J. Conroy, reprinted from the Quarterh Bulletin for March.
A Guide to Serial Publications founded prior to 1918 and now or
recently current in Boston. Cambridge, and vicinity, compiled and edited
by Thomas Johnston Homer; part II, Bibl.- Esp., 1050 copies, 50 on
special paper, pages 97-192; main entries nos. 1860-3952. The ma-
terial for the rest of the alphabet, not yet printed, is accessible for use in
the Barton Gallery of the Central Library.
Library Life, the Staff Bulletin of the Library, published on the 1 5th
of each month, summer months excepted, entered upon its third year
in October, with an enlarged and reorganized staff selected with the
purpose of covering the news of interest to the employees in a more sys-
tematic way by means of a greater division of responsibility.
The revision of the Bates Hall reference collection progresses
toward its completion. The sections devoted to encyclopaedias
and dictionaries has been thoroughly overhauled and constant
changes have been made in the collection as a whole. The
movement of books, as a matter of record, has affected 969 titles
(1415 volumes), besides 102 volumes added as continuations;
475 new titles (578 volumes) have been added to the collection
during the year; 250 titles (476 volumes) have been given new
locations; 184 titles (301 volumes) have been retired as super-
annuated. The missing list of the year is even smaller than that
reported a year ago; 165 books have disappeared from the
shelves and six volumes missing in previous years have been found,
making a net loss for the year of 1 59 volumes.
The reference work of the Library, with its centre in Bates
Hall, has been carried on along the traditional lines. The use
of ths telephone for reference purposes is growing steadily. A
constantly increasing number of persons call for information in
this way, and on the other hand, the reference assistants are learn-
ing to make a larger use of the telephone in running down the
answers to elusive questions.
During the summer a questionnaire was prepared and sent to
the special libraries in Metropolitan Boston, including a con-
siderable number in addition to those listed in the last edition of
the Directory of Special Libraries. This questionnaire was the
means of collecting additional information regarding the re-
sources of the libraries of Boston and its vicinity, and it is hoped
that before long a new edition of the Directory of Special Libra-
ries will be published. In this connection should be mentioned
the activities of the volunteer Extension Service Committee,
v/hich resulted in enrolling some fifty organizations which have
no libraries but which possess large funds of specialized informa-
tion, most of which they are glad to place at the disposal of the
public through the reference and information channels of the
The year has seen closer co-operation between the Reference
Department and the branches of the Library, which has taken
various forms. The Reference Librarian has assisted in revising
reference collections and lists for various branches and has con-
ducted a course in reference work for branch assistants.
The total number of volumes consulted in Bates Hall was
248,169, an increase of 7,569 over last year. It should be re-
membered that these figures relate only to the use of volumes
taken from the stacks, for which regular call slips were filed.
No account is kept of the many thousands of volumes which
readers use from the great reference collection in the Bates Hall
During the winter months, especially on Saturday and Sunday
afternoons, there have been more readers than seats in Bates
Hall. A notable feature of the use of the hall is the large per-
centage of adult non-resident readers who avail themselves of
material not to be found in their own home hbraries in adjacent
In increasing numbers, students from various schools and in-
stitutions find Bates Hall a convenient place in v/hich to work
up lecture notes and lessons, study school text books and pre-
pare their work for the following day. So long as students
using the Library for these purposes have not interfered with
adult readers or their accommodation, the Director has made no
protest. When men and women come to consult books or other
library material and find the number of students so great that
seats are unobtainable, it is a question whether students are not
abusing library privileges.
The service of the Hall is greatly and increasingly handicapped
by the wholly inadequate and outworn pneumatic tubes and
book carrier system which were installed over twenty-five years
ago. No relief can be hoped for until city appropriations permit
the installation of a more modern equipment.
NEWSPAPER AND PATENT ROOMS.
Of the 271 newspapers regularly received by the Library
191 are American and 80 come from thirty-three foreign coun-
tries. The daily papers number 214, the weekly 57. During
the current year six papers were added and two ceased publication
or were consolidated with other papers. The bound volumes
now number 8,882, an increase of 1 35 volumes since the last re-
port. Readers to the number of 18,654 consulted 33,534
bound volumes during the year, a slight increase over the year
During the year 483 volumes were added to the Patent
collection which now numbers 16,776 volumes. During the
twelve months 107,868 volumes were used by 18,163 persons.
It is unfortunately still impossible to obtain continuations of the
German patent records, which are lacking for the entire period
since 1914. The Library receives regularly the volumes from
New Zealand, Australia, France, Great Britain, Canada and
the United States.
INFORMATION OFFICE, GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT SERVICE,
AND OPEN SHELF ROOM.
The Information Office is now generally recognized by the
public as a library directing agency, a first aid to the inquirer.
To this end there has been assembled on the shelves of the room
such material as will be of most immediate use, including a few
obvious books of reference, several hundred municipal and tele-
phone directories, reports from many chambers of commerce, the
Federal Reserve bulletins and other publications relating to
banks and banking, surveys of current business and commerce,
etc. Constant use is made of the large collection of school,
college and institution catalogues, and the vocational service
files. The latter files, it will be recalled, were established in
December, 1920, by the Boston Branch of the Association of
Collegiate Alumnae, with the co-operation of the Women's
Municipal League, the Girls' Trade Education League and the
Young Women's Christian Association. This collection, ever
changing in order that it may be kept up to date, consists at
present of some nine hundred pamphlets and over fifteen hun-
dred clippings. Gifts of periodicals and pamphlets for the files
have been received from the Women's Educational and Indus-
trial LInion, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the
Prospect Union, and the National Research Council. The As-
sociation of Collegiate Alumnae made a gift of ten dollars for
special pamphlets and volumes. It is interesting to note that
men use the vocational file fully as much as women. The in-
quiries vary with the seasons of the year: in the fall there is a
lively demand for material on educational opportunities, especial-
ly evening courses, while in the spring the call is for booklets
descriptive of summer schools and camps. Special interest has
been shown in the following occupations: accounting, advertis-
ing, agriculture, art, automobiles, aviation, engineering, insurance,
librar}'^ work, music, radio, salesmanship, secretarial work, social
service, teaching, and the various trades and occupations for the
The federal and state documents in the room adjoining the
Information Office are continually sought by men and women
who have discovered the great value of these official current
publications dealing with the varied problems of government and
the results of governmental research.
The Open Shelf collection of books of non-fiction has main-
tained its popularity. In the room may be found not only a
selection of the more recent accessions of the Library, but some
two thousand volumes no longer considered new but still of
value, as they treat of many subjects in which the public finds
abiding interest. The most popular books are in the fields
of travel and discovery, biography, drama, business, domestic
science and household arts. Somewhat unusual has been the
steady call for the so-called "war books" — volumes treating
not only of the late World War in its many phases, but the
Civil War, the American Revolution, and the Napoleonic cam-
paigns. Over 42,000 volumes in all were drawn out for home
use from the shelves of this small and wholly inadequate room
during the year.
The number of readers at certain hours, as totalled in each of
two successive years, and the number reported five years ago,
are as follows:
HOURS 10 12 2 4 6 8 9.45
a.m. m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.
1923-1924 . . 15,233 17,416 29,172 35,841 22,416 26,531 13,340
1922-1923 . . 14,871 16,263 27,826 33,109 22,241 26,310 13,216
1918-1919 . . 7,264 10,342 18,547 23,201 16,173 19,236 6,072
The steady increase in the use of bound and unbound periodi-
cal files is shown by the following figures :
Bound volumes consulted during the year: 1922-1923. 1923-1924.
Day time (week days) ... . 44,843 46,724
Evening and Sunday 18,762 19,843
Unbound periodicals consulted: 1922-1923. 1923-1924.
Day time (week days) ...... 53,786 55,516
Evening and Sunday 23,479 24,572
Current periodicals, exclusive of those issued by the State and
Federal governments, regularly filed for readers, may be found
distributed as follows :
Periodical Room . . . . . . . . . . 1,1/9
Fine Arts Division and Music Room ........ 134
Statistical Department ........... 48
Teachers' Reference and Children's Room ....... 57
Ordering Department ........... 27
The Custodian reports that never have the periodical rooms
been so crowded. Not infrequently all the available seats are
occupied. The leading cause of the growing use of periodicals
is the interest in current events shown by the general public and
by the students from the various schools and institutions of higher
learning. In increasing numbers instructors and pupils have
come from the Boston schools to receive aid and instruction in
the use of digests and indexes. Inadequate appropriations have
made impossible the installation of a modern equipment, more
economical as to space. The inconvenient periodical racks con-
tinue to be the source of complaint from many readers. It is
hoped that provision for new tables and cases may soon be forth-
coming. The enlarged use of periodicals and newspapers is
only another indication of the desirability of throwing open for
public purposes the valuable space now occupied by the Cata-
logue and Ordering Departments, provided these departments
can be accommodated in additions to the present Central Build-
The Special Libraries include all the collections housed on
the third floor of the Central Building, and comprise the follow-
ing divisions :
Fine Arts Division. Books, plates, pamphlets and periodi-
cals on the fine arts, including architecture and city planning.
sculpture, painting, graphic arts, and art crafts; the Codman
collection on landscape architecture ; material on pageants ; and
the Library's main collection of photographs, prints, art clippings
and lantern slides.
Technology Division. Books on technology, including en-
gineering in all its branches, manufactures, applied sciences, and
works in the fields of pure physics and chemistry added since
1 922 ; also the bound files of technical periodicals.
The two divisions above named have a common reading-room
and a book delivery service in communication with all parts of the
Music Division. The Allen A. Brown reference collection
of music and literature of music; also a large collection of music
for home use, musical and dramatic periodicals, indexes and
Barton -Ticknor Division. Twenty-three special collections
restricted to use within the building, including Americana, Anti-
Slavery and Civil War material, books on dramatic history, in-
cunabula and publications of famous presses, works on mathe-
matics, Shakespeariana, Spanish literature, books illustrating
women's activities, etc. The Library's large collection of maps
and the map catalogue are also to be found in this division.
Some idea of the complexity of the Special Libraries Depart-
ment and its service may be obtained from the statement that it
takes care of about thirty-three different classes of books and
other library material, arranged according to nine different sys-
tems of classification or location, noted in eleven catalogues and
six shelf-lists, and charged for issue in eight indicators.
The time of the department personnel is, naturally, almost
wholly absorbed by the daily routine of this complex service, but
it will be seen that some work of constructive character has been
The personnel of the department has been notably strength-
ened during the year by the appointment of Dr. Zoltan Haraszti,
an efficient and highly educated assistant who is in charge of the
Barton -Ticknor Division, filling a vacancy of two years' standing.
The involved shelf arrangement of both the Music and the
Barton -Ticknor divisions has been completely charted during
the year. The map collections have been rearranged and over
ten thousand Anti-Slavery letters have been bound and indexed.
For the first time, regular monthly exhibitions of rare books and
manuscripts have been arranged in the Barton Room, and illus-
trated "special feature" articles describing these exhibits have
been written for the daily papers.
The open-shelf music reference collection has been extended
during the year. The bulletin of musical events in Boston
posted weekly and described in the report of last year has been
continued and has been of interest to many visitors.
The Fine Arts Division has nearly completed a classed cata-
logue of the accessions of the last four years. Progress has been
made also in the revision and reclassification of the fine arts open-
shelf collection, the periodical index, and the collection of art
clippings known as "decorative detail."
The Technology Division has continued to build up its classed
catalogue and has also found time to reclass and renumber its
entire open-shelf collection. The subjects of pure physics and
chemistry have been taken over by the division, and a shelf
classification for these subjects has been printed as a special
From May 1, 1923, to May 1, 1924, the department put on
view forty-six exhibitions. Fourteen of these were biographical,
and all but fourteen were made up from collections owned by
the Library. A complete list of these exhibitions may be found
on pages 75 and 76 of the Appendix.
The number of books issued for home use from the Special
Libraries during the year was 23,121, compared with 25,130
in 1922-23. This loss in circulation is negligible. It is in-
teresting to note that every month shows a decrease from the
figures of the preceding year, excepting the periods, September
1 5 - November 15, and December 1 6 — January 1 5, which have
much larger totals than last year. In the fiscal year 4404 lan-
tern slides and 2 1 84 portfolios of pictures were issued. About
twenty-five pictures are placed in each portfolio, making the pic-
ture circulation something over 54,000. The total number of
photographs and process pictures now available is estimated at
68,560 and that of lantern slides at 10,348.
WORK WITH CHILDREN.
The stock of children's books in the Central Library and the
thirty-one branches has been replenished by the purchase of
33,763 volumes, which includes new books, additional copies,
and replacements. Of the total number of books acquired for
the branches 63 per cent were for children, constituting a larger
number for this purpose than the Library has ever before pur-
chased in a single year. The circulation of children's books in
the branch system was 1 ,236,999 out of a total branch circula-
tion of 2,345,860. From the Children's Room in the Central
Library there were issued 73,278 additional books, making a
total of 1,310,277 volumes classed as children's books lent for
home use during the fiscal year. A total of 60,913 volumes —
43,521 from the branch libraries and 17,392 from the Branch
Issue Division of the Central Library — were sent during the
same period as deposits to 1 7 1 grammar, 5 high and 1 3 parochial
schools of the city.
The above statements imply progress ; they also call attention
to the need of more books for the use of children, as the insistent
call on the part of children cannot by any means be satisfied by
the Library's present supply. It is suggested that inquiry might
reasonably be made regarding the possibility of securing some
financial aid from the School Department in providing books
used exclusively as school deposits to assist children in learning
to read. At present the deposits sent to schools constitute a
severe drain on the all too limited collections in the branches and
deplete the book shelves in the crowded children's rooms of the
Sior^ Hour. The results obtained in the library story hour
organized by experts who are equipped to meet the great oppor-
tunities of their work continue to be most gratifying. All over
the city can be felt the impetus to use the library and to read
the finer types of books, traceable to the effective personal in-
fluence of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Cronan and Mrs. Margaret W.
Story hours have been held at fifty-three different points during
the year. In all branches where space permits there have been
groups for longer or shorter terms within the library and there
are only four branches which have lacked a story hour, held
either in their own buildings or at neighboring schools. Two of
these will receive attention early in 1924.
The following quotations are from the report of Mrs. Cronan :
There is much in the present day to excite children and distract them
from reading books which require any concentration. For this reason it is
more difficult for the story hour to produce readers, but we rejoice to see
that many of the children do go from Hstening to the story to the reading
of the book.
Those who do not read are surely benefited by hearing the stories of
idealism, patriotism, dehcate fancy, quaint humor and those which give a
better understanding of children of other countries.
To meet the requests of responsive readers the libraries need
to be supplied with the books used by the story-tellers in sufficient
quantity to prevent repeated disappointment, which tends to dis-
courage children from further attempts to secure the books.
It would be impossible for the story-tellers to cover the city in
out-of-school hours with library groups alone, and the welcome
accorded to them by teachers and masters of public schools has
opened a door for unlimited extension work of the most fruitful
kind. Throughout the winter months the library story hour is
reaching from 300 to 1000 children each school day.
Sometimes the principals have needed to be convinced as to the
place of stories in a school program, but once sure of their value
to children, they have become warm supporters, asking for the
continuance of the privilege beyond the time allotted. A few
of their words of commendation follow:
The latch-string of this school is always out to you. You could not
come too often to us. I know of nothing outside the school which has
been such a help.
You strengthen the bond between library and school.
You have something of value to say to the children and we wish to do
everything in our power to help.
This is educational work, so we welcome it in the schools.
I have no stronger aid in my English work with the children of foreign
parentage than that given by the story tellers.
As for the children, their affection for the story tellers is
touchingly and dramatically expressed in many letters begging
them to come again.
Tlie story-tellers testimony reads as follows:
Story telling has proved to be a bond between Art Museum, Neigh-
borhood Houses and Library, but now each year seems to bring a closer
connection betv/een schools and library. It has been a privilege to be
welcomed in the schools and thus reach such numbers of children who
need what we have to give and who have no time to listen to stories out-
side of school hours.
The advice to Jacob, "Bear a gift in thine hand," seems to apply to
story telling. We are able to bring a touch of joy to the school, and at
the same time enhance the value of school deposits, advertise what our
Library has to offer and emphasize what we cannot say too often, that
librarians and teachers are working together for the children and can work
together most effectively when there is united effort and close understanding.
Children s Rooms. Though crowded conditions prevail in
several sections of the city, notably those served by the South
Boston, Warren Street, Jeffries Point, Upham's Corner, and
Mt. Bowdoin Branch Libraries, accommodations for carrying on
the work with the children have been improved at a number of
points. The reading room in the new South End Branch, has
ample and satisfactory space for the ordinary activities, but as
yet no suitable place has been found there for the story hour.
At Roxbury Crossing enlarged quarters have received cordial
appreciation. The librarian comments as follows: "A visitor,
a perfect stranger to us, stopped at the desk and said that she
could not pass by the door without coming into the children's
room, it was so inviting from the outside." Re-arrangement of
the Roslindale Branch to admit of a separate entrance for chil-
dren is a forward step that promises to solve certain problems in
the administration of that library.
Central Children s Room. The Supervisor of Work with
Children states that the personal guidance given to readers in the
Children's Room of the Central Library indicates the nature of
the assistance which every branch should be able to give.
Arousing interest in books of real value by substituting those of
high quality for the mediocre, and encouraging appreciation of
general literature by introduction of different types of reading
are the tasks for w^hich the staff is qualifying. There has been
a development in reference work during the j^ear; many of the
questions to be answered require a wide knowledge of children's
literature and acute discernment in the matter of relative values.
As usual, the Central Children's Room has been visited by many
classes from schools.
Teachers* Room. The Teachers' Room has likewise grown
in usefulness and acceptability. It has furnished reference ma-
terial for students at universities and training schools, and has
become a centre for persons taking extension courses. Books
have been reserved for nineteen courses since September.
The Department has also been able to supplement the work
of the Special Libraries Department by issuing 7,892 pictures
to teachers and schools, exceeding by 1 ,624 the circulation of
pictures from the Children's Department the previous year.
Co-operation with Children's Museum. Co-operation with
the Children's Museum in Jamaica Plain has proceeded in an
orderly and animating way. The Central Children's Room
and the Tyler Street Branch have had successive exhibitions
from the Museum. These have included spring birds, Japanese
ceremonial dolls, collections of shells, minerals, etc.
Gift. A gift of dolls of different periods and nations received
from Mrs. Dwight Blaney is at present assigned to the North
End Branch, which is assembling a permanent collection of dolls
of many kinds.
REORGANIZATION OF WORK WITH CHILDREN.
All the reports from the branch libraries discuss at some length
the constantly growing work with children, which the librarians
are sometimes unable to conduct in a systematic and orderly way
in rooms of insufficient size or unsatisfactory location. Where
quarters are large enough to accommodate considerable numbers.
too often there is a crying need of assistants properly qualified to
give the sort of personal attention which is the basis of sound and
intelligent relations with boys and girls. The volume and im-
portance of library work with children leaves no doubt as to the
pressing necessity of unifying and co-ordinating the work by
means of a more definite organization than exists at present. In
twenty-one of the thirty-one branches the use of children's books
constitutes more than 50 per cent of the total circulation. At
the North End Branch it reaches 88 per cent, while in all the
branches the demands for reference work with children are stead-
ily increasing. Attention must immediately be given to building
up an adequate body of trained assistants for the development
of this important phase of the library's activities. The resources,
time and energy now given to work with children must fail of
complete fruition so long as there is a lack of the standardization
which makes for consistency and concerted effort.
In most other departments of library work the idea that
"anybody can do anything if he tries" is no longer accepted.
Assistants in charge of work with children must be fitted by
temperament and training for their work, which should be put
upon as sound an educational basis as that of teachers in the
schools of the city. If the library is to bring good books within
reach of every child in the city and to foster the habit of dis-
criminating reading, those selected to carry on the work must
have a wide knowledge of children's literature and an ability to
perceive the qualities in books which attract children. This
fitness, the capacity to furnish wise guidance through the realm
of books written for children to a point at which true appreciation
of general literature is reached, can be gained only by intensive
study and experience. It cannot be attained by casual methods.
The staff of each of the major branches of the system should
include a well-trained assistant to lead in this special work. Her
duties have been outlined as follows by the Supervisor of Work
with Children :
She is responsible for the order and attractiveness of the children's
room. This involves the ability to preserve an atmosphere inviting to
readers, by handling matters of discipline in the best way possible, and
keeping physical conditions comfortable and agreeable. A room is made
attractive by means of well arranged pictures, well planned exhibits, and
chiefly by a sufficient display of books that have decorative value.
She has the care of the collection of children's books. Books in
bad condition should be repaired or withdrawn. The character of the
collection and of the neighborhood should be studied, in order that a
balanced supply of books of standard merit, or those for which there is
popular demand, may be recommended. Books which have outlived their
usefulness should be replaced by others.
She gives personal assistance to children in the selection of books and
in reference problems for schools. These duties call for thorough ac-
quaintance not only with the limits of the children's collection at the
branch but with the books available at the Central Library, the manifold
interests of children and the school curricula.
She helps adults in search of information concerning children's reading.
The demand from parents and teachers grows with the library's pre-
paredness to meet it.
She gives instruction to the younger assistants detailed to help in the
She assists at the story hours and furthers their influence in every way.
She visits schools and other institutions connected with child welfare,
for the purpose of making desirable outside contacts with the library's
Training for this special work is best given in schools or
classes established for this definite end, such as the Library
School connected with Western Reserve University in Cleveland,
and that of the Carnegie Library at Pittsburgh. The Boston
Public Library has no provision for furnishing a training which
shall provide theoretical and practical instruction given by experts
who are qualified to teach and sufficiently free from other re-
sponsibilities to do it effectively. Properly prepared assistants
for work with children can, however, be obtained if they are
offered their right place on the library staff, with a salary in ac-
cord with their attainments.
Libraries whose work with children has reached a high degree
of efficiency and success have insisted upon securing a trained
group of individuals who are expected to lead in this work, under
the Supervisor of Work with Children. The time seems to have
come for the Boston Public Library to take its place with other
large libraries by active reorganization of its work with children
in accordance with generally accepted standards.
THE BRANCH SYSTEM.
By vote of the Board of Trustees on May 18, 1923, the
title "Reading Room" was changed to that of "Branch", and
the thirty-one branches of the library system were graded as
Major Branches, A and B, and Minor Branches, C and D.
The title "Reading Room" has always been misleading in that
it gave to the uninitiated the impression that it was a room for
reading purposes, rather than a small branch of the system, at
which service similar to that in the larger branches was offered to
the public. The grading of the branches is based on their size,
location, circulation figures, the scope of activities undertaken
and the complexity of their problems of administration.
The subsidiary agencies served through the Branch Depart-
ment include 56 fire engine houses, 44 institutions of various
types, and 1 89 schools, of which 1 3 are parochial schools. The
total number of library agencies through which the Library
serves the public is 320, as compared with 333 a year ago. The
number of volumes issued on borrowers' cards from the Central
Library through the Branch Department was 1 07,250, as against
1 1 1 ,070 in 1 922-23, and 1 06,556 in 1 92 1 -22. These figures
show a loss of 3,820 volumes issued during last year as com-
pared with the year before. The proportion of unsuccessful
calls for books was 51.5 per cent as against 55 per cent a year
before. Of the total unsuccessful requests, 52,640 v/ere calls
for fiction, as against 66,572 last year. Of the total number of
volumes sent out from the Central Library through the branches
86,025 were taken directly from the shelves of the Branch De-
The total circulation of the Branch System for the fiscal year
was 2,594,033 volumes, compared with 2,424,014 the year
before, a gain in branch circulation of 170,019 volumes.
Twenty-five branches gained and six lost in circulation. The
greatest gains were at Andrew Square, Mt. Bowdoin, South
Boston, Warren Street, South End, West End and North End;
the losses were at Upham's Corner, Roxbury, Parker Flill,
Orient Heights, Charlestown and Mt. Pleasant.
The number of volumes sent out from the Central Library on
deposit to schools, institutions and other agencies was 42,230,
as against 45,286 last year and 44,257 in 1921-22. The
number of volumes sent to schools from the Central Library and
branches was 60,913, compared with 56,348 last year. Of
this number 1 7,392 were sent from the Branch Issue Division,
Central Library, as compared with 18,524 the year before.
The number of books issued on deposit from the branch libraries,
chiefly to schools, was 43,521, compared with 37,824 the year
before. The number of individual teachers supplied was
1,391, as against 1,200 in 1922-23.
The number of volumes acquired by purchase for branch use
during the year was 50,151 ; of these 5,685 were placed in the
branch deposit collection, and 44,466 were distributed among the
thirty-one branches. These figures represent almost exactly two-
thirds of the total number of accessions by purchase for the entire
library system (75,534 volumes) . The number of books bound
for the branch libraries the past year was 24,626, as compared
with 23,465 in 1922-23.
The new South End Branch, opened on February 1, 1923,
is located in the basement of the Archbishop Williams Municipal
Building, corner of Shawmut Avenue and West Brookline Street.
On the main floor is an auditorium seating a thousand, with stage,
ante-rooms, corridors, etc. A large modern, well-equipped
gymnasium, with shower baths, lockers, etc., occupies the top
floor of the building. The branch library, with direct approach
and separate entrance from West Brookline Street, occupies a
quiet room fifty-nine feet wide and ninety-nine feet long. Econ-
omy in construction necessitated sinking the floor some ten
steps below the sidewalk, which permits the placing of seven-
foot bookcases around the walls with windows above, admitting
as much direct side light as is possible under the circumstances.
The room is amply supplied with the latest and most approved
type of lighting fixtures, arranged in rows so that the lights farth-
est from the high side windows can be switched on first, and, as
the daylight fades, other rows of lights can be turned on until the
room is fully illuminated. In the centre of the room, running
back from the entrance, is a corridor enclosed by plate glass in
suitable screen partitions about seven feet high. Here Is located
the charging desk. On the right of the corridor as you enter is
the children's room and on the left the adults' room. Through
the glazed panels, the attendant in charge has an uninterrupted
view of the whole floor. High bookcases line the walls and are
built into the alcove of the adults' room, while three-foot shelv-
ing follows the inside of the dividing partitions, providing alto-
gether room for over 15,000 volumes. There are fifteen tables,
each seating nine persons, in the adults' section and fifteen in that
for children, providing accommodation for two hundred and
seventy readers at a time. In addition to the main room, there
is a private room for the branch librarian, and work, lunch and
toilet rooms. The bookcases, furniture and fittings are of
stained oak; the walls are tinted a light, dull yellow, and the
ceilings are ivory white, better to reflect the light. Floors
throughout are of cork tile, to insure against noise. The archi-
tect of the building was Mr. J. A. Schweinfurth, of Boston,
who gave careful consideration to the needs of the branch, and
at all times co-operated most cordially with the Director and
other library officials.
On March 1, 1923, a new room for adults, adjoining the old
room used for both adults and children, was added to the Rox-
bury Crossing Branch, nearly doubling the previous floor space
and permitting an extension of work in this crowded section of
REPORTS FROM THE BRANCHES.
The reports of the thirty-one branches of the Boston Public
Library constitute a copious volume in themselves. They afford
a comprehensive insight into the inner life of the whole organiza-
tion. Short extracts from these reports are given below. They
illustrate the specific characteristics of the different branches.
First, however, it is expedient to sum up certain features common
to all the reports.
All the librarians speak of a great Increase In the activities
of their branches. The circulation of books is larger, reference
information is much more in demand, and, after school hours,
every seat is usually occupied. "Our library is really a com-
munity center . . ," is a frequently recurring phrase in the re-
ports, fully justified by the statistics.
Because of these growing demands, the problem of the loca-
tion and housing of the libraries becomes increasingly important.
The Boston Public Library has some fine, modern library build-
ings; others are fairly good, but a number of the older quarters
are to-day entirely to small. Frequent are the complaints of the
serious inadequacy of these buildings. "The quarters are
crowded and unattractive . . .", is an often repeated phrase
in the reports; but with it is also the appeal: "There is here
a great opportunity for growth, and we must not let it go by
In spite of many handicaps, the work done in the branches
was very satisfactory. The spirit of the librarians — even where
the conditions are the most difficult — is suggested in this phrase
from one of the reports : " 'Keep on going' was our slogan in
the past, and will be also in the future."
Second only to the problem of housing is that of the branch
book collections. These are constantly changing; old or un-
used books are returned to the Central Library, and new acces-
sions fill their places. The weeding-out, re-arranging and re-
classifying of the books is constantly going on. The demand
for more of both fiction and non-fiction is constant. The supply
is wholly inadequate. The stock, nevertheless, is diversified and
alive. Many joyous references have been made to the growing
Many branches are located in districts with an extremely
heterogeneous population. The reports emphasize the need of
more books in the native tongues of the foreign-born. Many of
the newcomers are eager readers, and appreciate library privi-
leges. Easy English books help the process of their Ameri-
canization. The librarians are conscious of their obligation in
The third problem relates to the staff. Harmony is the pre-
valent note in all the reports. The branch librarian "cannot
close" her report without referring to the "helpful co-operation
and loyalty" of the assistants. There have been some necessary
changes in the personnel of the different branches, and it takes
time for a new person to get fully acquainted with her surround-
ings, but the work has progressed everywhere smoothly and
without interruption. There are just complaints in some cases
of a lack of sufficient assistants. The growing work with the
children, and the increasing demand for reference information,
call for more help than is at present available.
Regarding the work with children, co-operation with the
schools was closer and more intensive this past year than ever
before. The process of depositing new collections of books and
pictures in the schools was continued and extended. TTie libra-
rians have visited many of the schools and the visits have uni-
formly resulted in a large number of new registrations.
The reference work for adult users of the branch system is
increasing. The libraries constantly seek to attract more men
and women readers. Closer contact with the big industries of
the neighborhood has been an outstanding feature of the year's
activities. Suitable book collections have been deposited in
many factories, and the attention of the working people has
been called to the library by posters, notices and personal visits.
Posters placed in stores have attracted many strangers to the
library. The use of electric signs, **movie" advertisements and
news notes in the local papers have become more general during
the year just ended.
"There are three kinds of readers," one of the reports justly
and keenly says, "those who love to read, those who need to
read, and those who have to read." It is safe to say that the
branches did their best to develop one large circle of readers:
those for whom reading is a pleasure and a spontaneous impulse.
Notes from the separate branch libraries follow:
Allston. There is a constant demand for new fiction. The
present quarters are too small to accommodate the public, which
is growing. The branch needs more shelving, and the walls
need painting. The gain in circulation was 4, 1 07.
Andrew Square. The year was a busy and successful one.
The branch has been entirely renovated, much to the comfort
and apparent satisfaction of the public. Several hundred new
registrations were received, and the circulation increased 18,578.
More new Polish books are needed.
Bo'^lslon Station. This is the library nearest to four gram-
mar and three primary schools. Since posters have been placed
in the store windows, strangers in increasing numbers visit the
library and apply for books. The gain in circulation was 6,668.
Brighton. Every year the branch serves more and more
foreign children. Primers and easy books are especially in de-
mand. The greatest gain in the circulation has come from
juvenile non-fiction. Half of the readers are adults. They
ask for fiction, but the supply is not large enough. The gain in
circulation was 4,434.
Charlesiotvn. The district has, with perhaps one exception,
the largest number of transient residents served by any branch
library. \K'ith every ship that docks for repair work, the library
has a new group of readers. Strangers in the city, they find the
library immediately, and use it freely until their ship sails. Oc-
casionally the same people return within two years, renew their
cards and tell of libraries at other ports. The lecture hall was
more used this year than at any time since the year of its opening.
There was a loss in circulation of 2,105.
City Point. This section has an extensive foreign population,
the largest group being Italians; then follow Lithuanians, Ar-
menians, Belgians, Jews, Dutch and Czechs. By registration
and the distribution of "easy" books, the library has endeavored
to further the Americanization process among them. Many of
the foreign adults, hardly able to express their needs in English,
ask for copies of the classics in their native tongue. Their
buoyancy, optimism and appreciation of library privileges give
an impetus to the work. The gain in circulation was 4,896.
Codman Square. It is difficult for the outsider to realize how
much high school pupils use the library; they come morning,
noon and night. Many adults also require individual attention.
There was a gain in circulation of 9,719.
Dorchester. The shelf-list is under careful revision. Many
old books, which had not been off the shelves for years, were
transferred to the Central Library. The circulation of the past
year shows an increase of 7,798.
East Boston. The Branch has a splendid building and an
excellent collection of books, but the number of staff-workers
is insufficient. The gain in circulation was 4,975.
Faneuil. The number of juvenile readers is much larger
than ever before. This does not imply, however, that the branch
lacks adult patronage. TTie eldest constant reader is a man of
103 years. The increase in circulation was 2,060.
Fellotves Athenaeum. The gradual change in the population
from native-born Americans to Poles, Letts, Jews, Russians,
Italians, etc., creates a demand for more books in the native
tongues of the foreign-born. The stacks are, unfortunately,
closed, and this influences the circulation. People would take
out more books if they were allowed to browse among them.
Loss in circulation, 7,452.
H'^de Parl^. With a high school next door, several large
grammar schools and many college students in the district, there
is an unusual opportunity to increase the usefulness of the library.
Unfortunately the staff has been too small to do more than the
routine work. There was a gain in circulation of 7,2 1 8.
Jamaica Plain. So many writers, artists and teachers live in
this district that the librarian plans to make a section for the
works of Jamaica Plain authors. Two hundred and five teach-
ers reside in the district, ninety-six of whom are registered card-
holders. Gain in circulation, 4,052.
Jeffries Point. This is eminently a children's library. Only
about one-quarter of the books issued are for adults. There are
a few Italian fathers who come to the library, but their wives ap-
parently do not find time to read. Gain in circulation, 4,932.
Lower Mills. This is primarily a residential section, with
comparatively few industries. Parents often come to supervise
their children's registration and to talk over the selection of books
for the use of the boys and girls. Gain in circulation, 8,224.
Mattapan. The quarters are inadequate for such a growing
library. Much more could be accomplished with a larger book
collection and more assistants. The demand is for the better
type of books. Gain in circulation, 7,202.
Ml Bowdoin. During the greater part of the afternoon, the
library is crowded with pupils from the neighboring schools. A
larger space for adults is much needed; in spite of crowded con-
ditions, 41 per cent of the circulation is adult, showing a gain of
8 per cent over last year. Gain in circulation, 15,858.
Mt. Pleasant The library is in close co-operation with the
schools. One of the teachers in the Parochial School has been
recently transferred to Halifax, N. S., and writes from there:
"One great regret is mine: we have no library for children. I
wish I could send to you as last year and get some of those
charming books. But the land of Uncle Sam is far away . . .
Loss in circulation, 869.
Neponsei. Most of the patrons are old residents, — families
who have lived here for generations. While in most of the other
districts the children carry home books for their parents, here the
parents come in to select books for their children. Gain in cir-
North End. The library does not give the people food,
clothing or other material comforts, but it does give a zest for
life and a joy in living. The ideal location of the branch, bring-
ing the library into close contact with the schools and social
agencies of the district, has helped greatly in accomplishing this
end. So far as circulation is concerned, the branch continues to
be a children's library; 88 per cent of the books are issued to
children. The adult room, however, is well patronized. The
circulation shows a gain of 1 0,970.
Orient Heights. The young people like to come to the li-
brary, for they know that they can get what they want. But
the attitude of the older people is different, mainly because the
place is unattractive. If the branch had a larger room and more
satisfactory equipment, the demands on the library would be
much greater. Loss in circulation, 3,660.
Parker Hill. Last spring the librarian visited the schools,
and it is worth noting that from one school alone she received
one hundred and fifty new registrations. The work with the
nurses of the hospitals in the vicinity has materially increased.
Reference work is a vital part of the service. Loss in circula-
JRoslindale. This year a children's room was established,
which has proved a marked success. The gain in circulation is
Roxbur]) Crossing. The activity of the branch has increased
in all its phases. This is due in part to the addition of many
new books and to the opening of a new adult room. Many of
the adult patrons now prefer to stay and read in the library.
The reference work takes an increasing amount of time. Gain
in circulation, 1 ,958.
South Boston. Nearly every nationality is represented in the
district. The library has plenty of books on citizenship, but
should have larger collections in foreign languages. There are
about 28,000 children of school age in the vicinity. The libra-
ry is destined to be of vital significance, but in the present quar-
ters the proper extension of the work is impossible. The library
has been functioning in the same leased rooms — one flight up
from the street — for more than fifty-one years. There is a cry-
ing need for a new and independent library building. Gain in
South End. The library has just completed its first year in
the new Municipal Building. The removal was accomplished
without closing the branch, and with no inconvenience to the
public. The whole effect of the new quarters is agreeable, rest-
ful and homelike. Many who came at first only to look around
the building are now constant users of the library. In contrast
to most of the branches, the majority of the readers are adults.
The library is in touch with the big industries of the vicinity,
and has availed itself of every opportunity for publicity which
might enlarge its field of usefulness. Gain in circulation,
T^ler Street. The neighborhood is most cosmopolitan and
heterogeneous. There are a great many Jews, Italians, Syrians,
Irish and Greeks, with a scattering of Armenians, Lithuanians,
Poles, and Chinese. The library has tried to get in contact with
the latter and the little Chinese children come to the library in
appreciable numbers. Members of the staff speak a number of
the languages of the district, which is a great help in gaining
new registrations. In the reference room every seat is taken
almost every night, by high school students. Gain in circulation,
Upharns Corner. A more adequate children's room and
more trained assistants are the greatest needs of this branch. Loss
in circulation, 10,526.
Warren Street. This is a large Jewish centre. The new
arrivals, coming from Russia or Poland, are anxious to acquire
English as a step toward becoming citizens. The ambitious
Russian Jev/, who has read the works of Tolstoi, Turgenev and
Dostoevski in the original, often asks for the same books in En-
glish. There are calls for Italian, and recently for Hungarian
books. There are five elementary Hebrew schools and two
Hebrew colleges in the district. Most of their students visit
the library. The book collection comprises 8,000 volumes, and
last year the circulation showed an increase of 13,494.
West End. The library district is a small city in itself, only
about half a square mile in territory, but with a population of
over 70,000 inhabitants. The West End can boast of a rail-
road terminal, a magnificent Esplanade along the Charles River,
a picturesque Ghetto, a convent, a jail, a clinic, a playground.
The library, once a church, is architecturally beautiful, an his-
toric landmark, quiet, dignified, yet active within. The con-
stituency is most heterogeneous. As a result of the re-arrang-
ment and re-classification of the books, the collection is a fairly
live and workable one, and better rounded out than ever before.
The estimated number of visitors is about eight hundred a day;
the gain in circulation was 1 1 ,797.
West Roxbur]). This is a reading community. There are
eight circulating libraries and about twenty book clubs in the
vicinity of the branch. The library has an excellent picture
collection, much used not only in the schools, but also by artists.
Normal Art students, etc. Gain in circulation, 6,229.
LECTURES AND EXHIBITIONS.
The course of free lectures was given without change as an-
nounced in the autumn. As customary, the lists of lectures
given under the auspices of the Library and of various civic and
other associations, as well as the list of public exhibitions held
at the Central Library from the fall of 1 923 through the spring
of 1924, may be found on pages 71-76 of the Appendix.
The Central Library Lecture Hall was used every week-day
evening, with the exception of Thursday, by the Division of
University Extension. The Division also used the hall on Fri-
day mornings and Tuesday afternoons, and on six Saturda}'^
mornings for lectures in French, in co-operation with the Alliance
Frangaise and the Salon Frangaise de Boston. This year, as
usual, the Ruskin Club held its fortnightly meetings on Monday
afternobns. On the alternate Mondays during the fall, a course
of ten lectures on "Building a Better Citizenship," by Rev. J.
I. J. Corrigan was held under the auspices of the League of
Catholic Women. The hall was used by the New England
Poetry Club on the second Wednesday of the month for a series
of six open meetings to which the public was welcomed. Fre-
quent use of the Lecture Hall has also been made by organiza-
tions holding public meetings, or annual meetings open to the
As suggested last year, the addition of a motion picture equip-
ment would greatly add to the popularity of the lecture courses
and would open a large field for educational work with children.
An attractive series of courses was planned for the benefit of
employees of the Library during the season 1923-24. Four
courses, each running throughout the entire scholastic year, were
offered, two arranged through the Division of University Ex-
tension of the State Department of Education, and two given
by members of the Library staff. They were as follows :
1. Modern Continental Writers, open to the public, in three series (30
lectures in all), by Prof. Robert E. Rogers of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, whose courses in English and American
literature have proved so valuable to members of the staff and the
general public during the two years past.
2. Elementary Italian, given by Miss Eleanor M. Colleton of the Han-
3. Work with Children, given by Miss Alice M. Jordan, Supervisor of
Work with Children.
4. Reference Work, second course, continuing the work of the previous
year, given by Mr. Frank H. Chase, Reference Librarian.
The registration of library employees at the opening of the
courses was promising: Modern Continental Writers, first ten
lectures, 34 employees, second ten, 2 1 , and third ten, 1 4 ; Italian,
30; Work with Children, 1 2 ; Reference Work, 15.
The appeal of Prof. Rogers's course, which offers an unusual
opportunity for acquaintance with recent European literature,
has been wide and the lectures have been attended by assistants
in a number of other libraries, as well as by a large number of
the general public. The course in Italian meets a long-felt want
in enabling library employees to acquire the knowledge of an
additional language, both as a resource in the performance of
their duties and as a preparation for the language examination
required for promotion. The courses in Work with Children
and in Reference Work are given on alternate Thursday morn-
ings and are a valuable means of adding to the usefulness of a
number of the branch assistants.
REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS,
In order to improve the ventilation of the public Lecture Hall
in the Copley Square building, a new ten-horse power air wash-
ing machine, with electric fan and the necessary connections with
air shafts, has been installed. The lighting of the West Gal-
lery in the Special Libraries Department has been improved by
the installation of fifteen 300-watt indirect ceiling fixtures.
During the past twelve months a complete new equipment has
been placed in the men's public lavatory, as well as in the lava-
tories used by the men and women employees of the Central
Under contract dated June 2, 1923, the Library Bureau
installed the two remaining tiers of steel stacks in the Annex to
the main library building. The work was completed and ac-
cepted on January 12, 1924. The additional floors provide
about two and a half miles of shelving, with capacity to house
over 1 00,000 volumes. The heating and lighting contracts are
now under consideration and it is expected that the equipment
will be completed early in the new fiscal year. A special appro-
priation of $50,000 was allowed for this important extension of
During the fall a new boiler was installed at the West End
Branch. The interior of this attractive building, the old West
Church edifice, a landmark of the West End, has been freshly
painted throughout. Major or minor improvements, consisting
of painting, increased shelving, better lighting, etc., have also
been made at Andrew Square, Flyde Park, Mattapan, Mt.
Bowdoin, Parker Hill, Roslindaie, Roxbury and V/est End.
RETIREMENTS AND DEATHS.
Chapter 521 of the Acts and Resolves passed by the Legis-
lature of Massachusetts, 1922, entitled "An Act providing re-
tirement allowances based on annuity and pension contributions
for employees of the City of Boston or of the County of Suffolk,"
became effective for city and county employees on February 1 ,
1923. It creates the Boston Retirement System and provides
for the retirement of those employees who grow old or who are
injured in service, and for aid to the dependents of any who may
be killed in the service. The plan also furnishes a method of
automatic saving to those who do not remain long enough to
receive retirement allowances. All persons who entered service
after February I, 1923, automatically became members of the
retirement system, as a part of their contract of employment.
Under the operation of this law eighteen employees of the
Library Department were retired during the fiscal year 1 923-24.
Included were Otto Fleischner, Assistant Librarian (retired
April 30), entered service 1891 ; John Murdoch, first assistant.
Catalogue Department (retired March 31), entered service
1896; Elizabeth Ainsworth, Librarian, Hyde Park (retired
April 30), entered service 1896; Helen M. Bell, Librarian,
Fellowes Athenaeum, Roxbury (retired May 31), entered ser-
vice 1878; Emma G. Capewell, Librarian, Mattapan (retired
September 30) , entered service 1 892 ; Mary A. Hill, Librarian,
Dorchester Lower Mills (retired April 30), entered service
1875; Elizabeth T. Reed, Librarian, Dorchester (retired April
30) , entered service 1 873 ; Mary P. Swain, Librarian, Jamaica
Plain (retired April 30) , entered service 1877; Isabel E. Weth-
erald. Librarian, Mt. Bowdoin (retired April 30), entered
service 1896; Maud M. Morse, Assistant, Branch Issue Divi-
sion (retired June 30), entered service 1877; Ellen A, Eaton,
First Assistant, South Boston (retired March 31 ), entered ser-
vice 1873; Alice M. Wing, First Assistant, East Boston (re-
tired April 30), entered service 1873; Catherine T. Donnelly,
Sewer, Bindery Deparment (retired July 31), entered service
1908; Lucy E. Soule, Sewer, Bindery Department (retired
April 30), entered service 1891 ; Charles W Karlson, Elec-
trician (retired May 31), entered service 1896; John P. Ma-
lone, First Assistant Engineer (retired April 30) , entered service
1 895 ; Charles W. Murphy, Assistant, Engineer and Janitor
Department (retired October 25), entered service 1904; and
Mary F. Mullen, Matron, Central Library (retired May 31),
entered service 1905.
With regret are noted the following deaths while in service:
on December 2 1 , Nellie A. Stone. First Assistant, Hyde Park
Branch, who entered service in 1 891 ; and on March 1 3, George
Zittel, Engineer, Central Library, who entered service in 1891.
As was pointed out in the report of a year ago, "the time has
come when the Library either must lose its scholarly standing or
must fail to serve the great reading public in its call for recrea-
tional reading and the less solid books of non-fiction," unless in-
creased funds are at the disposition of the Board of Trustees.
Instead of being among the three or four notable free public
libraries of the United States, the Boston Library must be content
to drop into the second class of these institutions of learning.
There is need of money, not only for books of all kinds, but for
extended service to the public through new branches, for equip-
ment of a more modern nature, especially in the Central Library,
and for a greater number of assistants, adequately trained for the
professional positions in a great educational institution.
The Director has the privilege of extending for the last time,
with feelings of regret, his appreciation of the devoted service
given to the Library through many years, by those ex-members
of the staff whose employment came to an end during the year
under the Boston Retirement System. A report will seem in-
complete without making special mention of the worth and ser-
vice of Mr. Otto Fleischner, associated with the Library since
November 23, 1891, and Assistant Librarian from January 12,
1900, until his retirement on April 30, 1923.
On October 26, 1923, Dr. Frank Herbert Chase, who en-
tered the service of the Library on October 2, 1911, and had
been Custodian of Bates Hall Reference Department since
May 19, 1916, was appointed to the newly created position of
"Reference Librarian, with charge of all matters pertaining to
the use of books and such other executive work as may be en-
trusted to him by the Director." It is a pleasure to commend
the zeal and interest shown by Mr. Chase in his new position.
I wish also to acknowledge the loyal support during the year
of the Chiefs of Departments, the Branch Librarians, and the
members of the staff generally throughout the library system.
The credit for the effective work of the Library is theirs, indi-
vidually and collectively.
Charles F. D. Belden,
TABLES OF CENTRAL AND BRANCH CIRCULATION.
1 1 5,062
• . * .
West End .
Dor. Lower Mill
> • * •
• . • •
• . • .
• • • •
. . . .
*Renamed Fellowes Athenaeum in 1923.
The net gains and losses in circulation are presented, apart
from the totals, in the following form:
1918-19 loss from preceding year ........ 46,402
1919-20 gain over preceding year ........ 272,679
1920-21 gain over preceding year ........ 148,044
1921-22 gain over preceding year ........ 223,870
1922-23 gain over preceding year ........ 96,338
1923-24 gain over preceding year ........ 153,877
USE OF BOOKS.
CIRCULATION FROM CENTRAL BY MONTHS.
February, 1923 . . 33,845
1 1 ,962
January, 1 924
DISTRIBUTION OF TOTAL CIRCULATION.
a. Direct ......
b. Through Branches ....
c. Schools and Institutions through
Branch Department .
City Point .
Dorchester Lower Mil
• • * .
North End .
South End .
West End .
• • • >
■ • • •
• • • •
. • . •
These figures are condensed into the following :
Books lent for home use, including circulation through
schools and institutions.
From Central Library (including Central Library books issued through the
From branches (excluding books received from Central Library) .
Central Library circulation (excluding
schools and institutions) :
Direct home use ... . 344,970
Through branches and *reading rooms 1 1 1 ,067
Branch Department circulation (ex-
cluding schools and institutions) :
Direct home use
From branch collections
From *reading rooms .
Schools and institutions circulation (in-
cluding books from Central through
the Branch system)
■f Hitherto known as Roxbury Branch. * Classed as branches in 1923-24.
Under the inter-library loan system with other libraries the
following use of books for the purpose of serious research is
shown for two successive year :
Volumes lent from this Library to other libraries in Massachusetts
Lent to libraries outside of Massachusetts
From libraries in Massachusetts
From libraries outside of Massachusetts
Totals 552 554
Borrowed from other libraries for use here ..... 28 35
The classified "home-use" circulation of the branches and
reading rooms was as follows, for two successive years:
Fiction for adults .
Non-fiction for adults
Juvenile fiction .
At the Central Library the classified
shows the following percentages:
FIcrion 47.86+ 47.9
Non-fichon 52.13+ 52.1
BOOKS ACQUIRED BY PURCHASE.
For the Central Library:
From City appropriation
From trust funds income .
For branches and reading rooms:
From City appropriation
From trust funds income .
By Fellowes Athenaeum (for
*Classed as branches in 1923-24
Of the 1 ,283 volumes acquired by the Fellowes Athenaeum
during the past year, 1 , 1 78 were purchases, 73 were gifts, and
32 were of periodicals bound.
The following statement includes the accessions by purchase
combined with books received by gift or otherwise:
Accessions by purchase (including 1 1 78 volumes
by Fellowes Athenaeum) . . . . .
Accessions by gift (including 73 volumes for
Fellowes Athenaeum) . , . . .
Accessions by Statistical Department .
Accessions by exchange . . . . .
Accessions by periodicals bound (including 32
for Fellowes Athenaeum) . . . .
Accessions of newspapers bound . . . .
Catalogued (new) :
Central Library Catalogue
. . .
The number of volumes shelved and thus made available for
public use, taken from the report of the Shelf Department, is
Placed on the Central Library shelves during the year:
General collection, new books (including continuations) .... 20,910
Special collections, new books and transfers . . . . . . 2,194
Books reported lost or missing in previous years, but now found, transfers
from branches, etc. . . . . . . . . . . 1,493
Removed from Central Library shelves during the year:
Books reported lost or missing, condemned copies not yet replaced, trans-
fers, etc 10.086
Net gain. Central Library .......... 14,511
Net gain at branches ........... 9,436
Net gain, entire library system ......... 23,947
The total number of volumes available for public use at the
end of each year since the formation of the Library is shown in
the following statement:
Volumes in entire library system
Volumes in the branches and reading rooms
These volumes are located as follows :
City Point .
*Hitherto known as Roxbury Branch.
North End .
South End .
Orient Heights .
Upham's Corner .
Warren Street .
West End .
West Roxbury .
THE PRINTING DEPARTMENT.
Requisitions received and filled ....
Card Catalogue (Central Library) :
Titles exclusive of automatic reprint .
Cards finished (exclusive of extras) .
Card Catalogue (Branches) :
Titles (Printing Dept. count) ....
Cards finished (exclusive of extras) .
Blank forms (numbered series) ....
Forms, circulars and sundries (outside numbered series)
Catalogues and pamphlets .....
Number of volumes bound in various styles .
Magazines stitched ......
Volumes repaired ......
Volumes guarded .......
Maps mounted .......
Photographs and engravings, &c., moimted
Library publications folded, stitched and trimmed .
THE LECTURES OF 1923-1924.
All lectures, except those marked with an asterisk (*) were
illustrated with lantern slides.
id Mrs. Edwin Stodola
Famous Mothers of History. Mr.
and Mignon Rounds Gowan.
Oct. 8. *Art. Hulda Geist.
^American Poetry. Harriette Fletcher McKinnon. (Ruskin
Oct. 1 4. Columbus Day as a Get-Together Holiday. Frank Chou-
teau Brown. (Boston Conservation Bureau.)
Oct. 1 8. Sunny Italy in Art and Story. Mrs. James Frederick Hopkins.
Oct. 21. *The Story of Joyce Kilmer. Rev. William M. Stinson, S.J.
Oct. 22. *The Spirit of Recent Poetry. Rev. Henry Hallam Saunder-
son. (Ruskin Club.)
Oct. 25. The Evolution of the Garden. Mary Harrod Northend.
*A SHaker-peprian Tcrccnfenarv and its Significance. E.
Charlton Black. (Drama League Course.)
Wild Life in the Blue Mountain Forest. Ernest Harold
Sunny Hours in Sunny Spain. Francis Henry Wade, M.D.
Seal Fishing in the Arctic: a Personal Experience. George
English Cathedrals: their Architecture, History and Le-
gends. Emily M. B. Warren, A.R.B.A., B.W.S.
1 2. ^Industrial Arts Developed by John Ruskin. Mrs. May Smith
Dean. (Ruskin Club.)
14. *Emilv Dickinson. Robert Silliman Hillyer. (New En-
gland Poetry Club.)
Camping in our National Forests. Philip W. Ayres. (Field
and Forest Club Course.)
*William Byrd and his Contemporaries. Sarah M. Gough.
Ancestor Hunting in England. J. Gardner Bartlett.
"Our City of Boston Today." Hon. Michael J. Murray,
(Boston Conservation Bureau.)
*The British Poets. Charles Hammond Gibson. (Ruskin
*Reading of Shakespeare's "King Henry IV, Part I." By
members of local Shakespeare Clubs. (Drama League
What Pictures to see in America. Martha A. S. Shannon.
Imperial India. John C. Bowker, F.R.G.S.
*Agassiz and Ruskin — Interpreters of Nature. Rev. Davis
Wasgatt Clark, D.D. (Ruskin Club.)
Imperial India. John C. Bowker, F.R.G.S.
*Amv Lowell. S. Foster Damon. (New England Poetry
Dec. 1 3. Skyline Adventures. Walter Collins O'Kane, A.M. (Field
and Forest Club Course.)
*Bells and Bell Ringing. Mrs. Arthur A. Shurtleff.
*Music: Arranged by Mrs. Arthur H. Davison. Christmas
Message. Mrs. Minnie Meserve Soule. (Ruskin Club.)
The Passing of the Old West. Lt. Col. Charles WelHngton
*"The Light of the Star." A Christmas Pageant. By the
Community Service of Boston.
27. ^Christmas Reading: "The Story of the Other Wise Man,"
by Henry Van Dyke. F. Beatrice King, assisted by
Jean Wood Lynch.
Dec. 30. ^Message of Music, or the Art Work of the Future. Mme.
Jan. 3. Raphael Sanzio, Prince among Painters. Charles Theodore
Jan. 6. The Making of a Picture. Philip L. Hale, A.N. A.
Jan. 9. '^Edwin Arlinstcn Robinson. Abbie Farwell Brown. (New
England Poetry Club.)
Jan. 10. Tip Top Times in the Mountains: Two Weeks Hiking on
White Mountain Trails with the Field and Forest Club.
Rev. Charles W. Casson. (Field and Forest Club
Jan. 1 3. *What Women are doing for Music. Mrs. William Arms
Jan. 14. *What's What in Books. John Clair Minot. (Ruskin Club.)
Jan. 1 7. "Boston in the Next Twenty-Five Years." His Honor, the
Mayor, James M. Curley. (Boston Conservation Bu-
Jan. 20. *The Contemporary Movement in the French Theatre from
Antoine to Copeau. Samuel M. Waxman, Ph.D.
(Drama League Course.)
A Trip to Palestine. Anton Hanania.
Adventures of a Sage Brush Tourist in Wyoming. (W.
*Ruskin in the Life of To-Day. Rev. Joseph P. MacCarthy,
Ph.D. (Ruskin Club.)
The Wonders of the Heavens. Rev. Manly Bacon Towns-
^Pirandello and the Modern Itahan Theatre. Robert E.
Rogers, A.M. (Drama League Course.)
The Wonderland of America. Mrs. Arthur D. Ropes.
* 105th Anniversary of the Birth of John Ruskin. Dr. Pay-
son Smith. (Ruskin Club.)
Abraham Lincoln. Guy Richardson.
*The Causes of the American Civil War: Lincoln and Web-
ster. Joseph Whipple. (Ruskin Club.)
Feb. 1 3. *Sarah Teasdale, "H. D." (Hilda Doolittle Aldington) and
Edna St. Vincent Millay : their Treatment of the Theme of
Love. Joseph Auslander. (New England Poetry Club.)
Feb. 14. The Appalachian Mountain Club Huts and their Relations
with the Trampers. Milton E. MacGregor. (Field and
Forest Club Course.)
Feb. I 7. *Organs and Choirs of Greater Boston. Henry C. Lahee.
Feb. 21. A Program for Washington's Birthday. Charles F. Read.
(Boston Conservation Bureau.)
Feb. 24. ^Shakespeare's Response to "What the Public Wants." John
Livingston Lowes, Ph.D.
Bonn'e Scotland: the Land of Broom and Heather. Mrs.
Arthur D. Ropes. (Ruskin Club.)
The World in its True Colors: a Travel-Talk. Helen
Messinger Murdoch. F.R.P.S.
Expressionism in the Theatre. Albert H. Gilmer, A.M.
(Drama League Course.)
Italian Gardens. Robert N. Cram.
*Books and Life. Horace G. Wadlin, Litt.D.
Around the Bay of Naples. Ellen C. Page. (Ruskin
*Carl Sandburg. Amy Lowell. (New England Poetry
The Call of the Mountains. Le Roy Jeffers. (Field and
Forest Club Course.)
*Master Music for Young People. Malcolm Lang.
Our Guardians of Life and Property. Speakers from the
Boston Fire and Police Departments. (Boston Conser-
^Fundamentals in the Theatre, Old and New. F. W. C.
Hersey, A.M. (Drama League Course.)
*The Value of Critical Literature. Henry Austin Higgins.
Browning and Ruskin: Prophets of the Twentieth Century.
Agnes Knox Black.
The Bible in Stained Glass. Joseph G. Reynolds, Jr.
Gothic Grandeur: how Rheims Cathedral was built. Rev.
William M. Stinson, S.J.
*Igor Stravinsky: "Le Sacre du Printemps." Laurence V.
Recreational Opportunities of Boston. Mrs. Eva W. White.
(Boston Conservation Bureau.)
^Robert Frost. Norreys Jephson O'Conor, A.M. (New
England Poetry Club.)
The Revelation of Spain. Ralph Adams Cram, Litt.D.,
William Blake's Interpretation of the Book of Job. S.
Joan of Arc: the Genius of Patriotism. Mrs. James Fred-
erick Hopkins. (Ruskin Club.)
Southern Utah and the High Sierras: Our New National
Parks. George H. Browne, A.M.
*Music of the Passover: a Program for Easter. Henry
Gideon, A.M., and assistants.
*The Art Ruskin has given us. Roval B. Farnum. (Ruskin
PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS. I923-I924.
May "Home Sweet Home" Centennial exhibition of music editions.
Bernhardt Wall's series of etchings "The Russian Players in
America" and a collection of prints illustrating the Moscow
Art Theatre Players in their Boston repertory.
Shakespeare First FoHos and Quartos.
Loan collection of Czecho-Slovakian glassware and other art hand-
work, lent by W. V. Slocum and others. Views of Czecho-
Slovakian cities ; books and music illustrating national costumes,
June "See America First" a collection of artistic photos of American
scenery by Thomas Ellison.
Books and prints on Freemasonry.
July Sir Joshua Reynolds, born July 16, 1723. Books, color prints,
collotypes and photos illustrating his work.
Aug. Views of Old New England. Historic houses, etc.
Canadian Pacific Railway color posters.
Sept. Fifty books of 1923.
Oct. "The Holy Experiment" — color reproductions of Violet Oakley's
murals in the Pennsylvania State Capitol.
Reproductions of drawings by Old Masters in the Uffizi.
Bibliographic exhibition commemorating the Tercentenary of
Shakespeare's First Folio.
Nov. "The Holy Experiment," resumed by request.
Emily M. B. Warren's original water-colors of English church
Photos of English cathedrals and abbeys.
Works of Saint Augustin (manuscripts and incunabula).
Unpublished letters of Emily Dickinson.
Dec. Views of India.
Color prints of the Nativity and the Madonna — a Christmas
New books suitable for Christmas gifts.
Reproductions in color of designs for Sevres porcelain.
Sir Isaac Newton's works in older editions.
Jan. Color prints of Raphael's Madonnas.
White Mountain scenery.
Franklinlana — manuscripts, rare editions, old prints, etc. from
the Library's collection.
Feb. The Wonderland of America (photographs).
"House Beautiful" cover-design competition.
"Round the World," photographs by Helen M. Murdoch.
Mar. Views of Italian gardens.
Beadle collection of dime novels, lent by Dr. Frank P. O'Brien.
Tributes to Franklin, collected by the N. Y. Chapter of Sons
of the American Revolution.
Stained glass (cartoons and examples), loaned by Reynolds,
Francis & Rohnstock.
Centenary of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (books and manu-
History and art of Ireland.
April Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
Tributes to Charles William Eliot on his ninetieth birthday.
Original designs for picture-play settings, "The Thief of Bagdad."
Byron centenary exhibition of rare editions.
LIST OF IMPORTANT GIFTS AND GIVERS.
The following list comprises a selection of the more important
gifts of the year with names of the givers :
Academia das Sclencias de Lisboa. Ten volumes, publications of the
Academy, including four volumes of a series commemorating the fifth
centenary of the capture of Ceuta.
Alden, Frank W., New York. The descendants of Daniel Alden, who
was sixth in descent from John Alden. Private edition. 1923.
Ambassade de Belgique, Washington, D. C. Le grand voyage du Roi
des Beiges aux £tats-Unis d'Amerique. Par Frank Ansel. Bruxelles.
Berg, Francis J. Cyclopedia of engineering. Chicago. 1920, 21.
7 V. Standard American Locomotive Engineering. Chicago. 1907.
Boston City Messenger. Boston, 1822 — 1922. The story of its gov-
ernment and principal activities during one hundred years. By John
Koren. Boston. 1 922. 35 copies.
Boston Real Estate Exchange. Assessed value of real estate in Boston.
Bourdillon, Mrs. Agnes, Oxford, England. Preludes and romances.
London. 1908; Moth-wings. London. 1913; A lost God. Il-
lustrations by H. J. Ford. London. 1891 ; Aucassin & Nicolette.
An old French love story. By Francis W. Bourdillon. 1897.
Bradford, Gamaliel, Wellesley Hills. Damaged souls. By Gamaliel
Bradford. Boston. 1923.
British Museum. The fall of Nineveh. A newly discovered Babylonian
chronicle in the British Museum. Edited by C. J. Gadd. London.
Buker, Horace, Rockford, 111. Fifty-five copies of the Rockford Re-
public (1922), containing a series entitled "The Cradle of Baseball,"
by Horace Buker.
Codman, Miss Martha C, Washington, D. C. The journal of Mrs.
John Amory (Katherine Greene) 1775—1777. With letters from
her father, Rufus Greene. Edited from manuscripts by Martha C.
Codman. Privately printed. Boston. 1923.
Conservatoire Royale de Musique, Bruxelles. Catalogue descriptif &
analytique du Musee instrumental du Conservatoire. Par Victor
Charles Mahillin. Numeros 1 a 3300. Gand. 1893-1922. 5 v.
Cook, Theodore Andrea, London. Leonardo da Vinci, sculptor. An
illustrated essay on the Albizzi Madonna, formerly known as the
Signa Madonna, carved by Leonardo in 1478. By Theodore Andrea
Cook. London. 1923. Sent at the request of Mr. John S. Sargent.
Covey, Arthur S., Pelham Manor, N. Y. Nine photographs of the
mural decorations painted for William Filene's Sons Co. by Arthur
Critchett, C. H. Nineteen directories of New England cities and towns.
For the Information Room.
Crosby, Mrs. Stephen Van R. Seventy-nine volumes of miscellaneous
works and 60 numbers of periodicals.
Dexter, George B. The lure of amateur collecting. By George Blake
Dexter. Boston. 1923.
Dixon, Willis Milnor, Los Angeles. Kith and kin. Containing genea-
logical data of the families Dixon, Andrus, Battin, Beal and others.
By Willis M. Dixon. Los Angeles. 1 922.
Drama League of Boston. 375 volumes and 133 numbers of periodi-
cals. This gift comprises, in books of plays, the work of seventy-five
authors represented in ninety-eight different titles, all standard and
largely modern, in acting editions with stage directions; in periodicals,
current numbers of The Theatre Magazine and the Theatre Arts
Magazine and the publications of the Drama League.
Eaton, Miss L. W. Scrap-book of programs of Boston theatres, 1876-
Edes, Mrs. Henry H., Cambridge. Annals of the Harvard Class of
1852. By Grace Williamson Edes. Privately printed, Cambridge.
Fowle, C. H., Williamstown. Yankee Doodle, 1846-1847; Sunday
Mercury, 1848 and 1871; New York Ledger, 1855-1856; New
York Mercury. 1 859.
Gallagher, Sears. Two etchings by Sears Gallagher: Fishing boats, T
Wharf; In the Fenway.
Gould, Miss Susan C. 1 07 autographed photographs, portraits of cele-
brated people, presented to Elizabeth Porter Gould.
Gray, Roland. 200 volumes, miscellaneous works, 92 books for the
blind and 50 numbers of current periodicals.
Great Britain. Patent Office. Patents for inventions. 108 volumes.
Green, Mrs. Georgia R. Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States his-
tory. From 458 A.D. to 1 907. 1 v.
The Grolier Club, New York City. A descriptive catalogue of the first
editions in book form of the writings of Percy Bysshe Shelley, based
on a memorial exhibition held at the Grolier Club, from April 20 to
May 20, 1922. By Ruth S. Grannis. New York. 1923.
Hale, Philip. Three volumes for the Music Collection.
Harper, Henry Howard. Letters and poems of Queen Elisabeth (Car-
men Sylva). With introduction by Henry Howard Harper. Boston.
1920. 2 v.; Pope's Epistle: Eloisa to Abelard. With introduction
and notes by Henry Howard Harper. Original copperplate etchings
by W. H. W. Bicknell. Boston. 1923. Both printed for members
of the Bibliophile Society.
Heartman, Charles F., Metuchen, N. J. The Cradle of the United
States. Contemporary broadside, pamphlets and books pertaining to
pre-Revolutionary troubles, the War of Independence and the adoption
of the Federal Constitution. Described by Charles F. Heartman.
1 00 copies printed.
Hills, Frederick S., Albany. Genealogical notes on the Smock family in
the United States. Compiled by John C. Smock. Albany. 1922;
New York State men. James H. Manning, editor. Albany. 1922.
8 parts. Portraits; New York State women. James H. Manning,
editor. Albany. 1 922. 2 parts. Portraits.
Howland, Gerald S. Have faith in Coolidge. By Eugene M. Weeks.
Boston. 1923. Twenty copies.
Johnson, Frederick. Genealogical tables of the Johnson family. To-
gether with additional facts, etc., relating to the same family. 1893.
Jonnesco, Madame Marie, through Frederick A. DePilis, New York City.
Roumania. By Madame Marie Jonnesco. Introduction by Queen
Marie of Roumania. New York. 1923.
Kennedy, Miss Mildred. 758 photographs, various subjects, including
photographs of foreign architecture.
Lebon, Charles, former Professor of French in the English High School.
2 1 9 volumes of French history and literature by French writers of
eminence. This collection is especially strong in the history of France
and includes, besides many others, the historical works of Michelet,
Lamartine, Sainte-Beuve and Bossuet. There is also an interesting
group of books relating to Moliere and an edition of the Complete works
of Moliere not possessed by this library ; an edition of Ronsard's Works
in ten volumes, published in 1 604, and Anthology of French poetry,
1 752—1 866, in four quarto volumes.
Lee, Joseph. 1 06 volumes, miscellaneous works.
Leonard, Clarence E., Yonkers, N. M. The Fulton-Hayden-Warner
ancestry in America. By Clarence E. Leonard. New York. 1923.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Trustees. Robb DePeyster Tytus Memo-
rial Series: The tomb of Puyemre at Thebes. By Norman de Garvis
Davies. New York. 1922. 2 v. Sent at the request of Mrs. Ed-
ward J. Tytus.
Morss, Mrs. Everett. I 35 volumes of miscellaneous works, including a
number of volumes of fiction and 86 periodicals.
Moycr, James A. Introduction to music appreciation and history. By
Dorothy Tremble Moyer. Boston. 1923. 2 copies.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Catalogue of the Indian collection in the
Museum. By Ananda Coomaraswamy. Boston. 1923.
National Shawmut Bank of Boston. The port of Boston, Prepared
by the National Shawmut Bank. Boston. 1923. 38 copies.
New York State Shorthand Reporters' Association, Brooklyn. Proceed-
ings of the Association, 24 volumes (completing the Library file).
O'Connell, William, Cardinal. Sermons and addresses of his Eminence
William, Cardinal O'Connell, Archbishop of Boston. Boston. 1922.
O'Reilly, Rev. James T., O.S.A., Lawrence. Controversies between
Royal Governors and their Assemblies in the Northern American
Colonies. By John F. Burns, O.S.A. Privately printed. Boston.
Page, L. C, & Co. Eight of their publications, including The new
Poland, by Nevin O. Winter. Boston. 1923.
Page, Walter Oilman. Eight photographs from paintings by Walter
Peirce, Mrs. Helen M., Northport, Me. Two volumes of material in
manuscript and print relating to the recruiting of Massachusetts troops
in the Civil War. One volume consists of correspondence chiefly be-
tween Brigadier Oeneral Richard A. Peirce and Governor Andrew and
Edwin M. Stanton. The second volume contains a collection of
General and Special Orders issued at the Headquarters of the Adjutant
General, Boston, 1863-1864. This valuable and unusually complete
file of General Orders and of war-time correspondence has been placed
in the 20th Regiment Collection.
Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix, Ariz. Twenty-five photo-
graphs of scenes in East Central Arizona, including farms and vine-
yards, the Roosevelt Dam, the two great canals and the City of Phoenix.
Quaritch, Bernard, London. A catalogue of books printed in Europe
during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. London. 1923; A cata-
logue of English and foreign bookbindings offered for sale by Bernard
Quaritch. London. 1 92 1 .
Quincy, Mrs. Josiah H. Framed picture for West Roxbury Branch.
The panorama of the Great Wall of China.
Rossi, L. Melano. Storia letteraria d'ltalia scritta da una Societa di
Professori. Milano. 1897. 9 v. ; Storia politica d'ltalia scritta da
una Societa di Professori. Milano. 1897. 9 v.
Royal Academy of Sciences of Amsterdam. Summaries of scientific
work in the fields of oceanography, meteorology, etc., in the Indian
Archipelago and adjacent islands. 6 v.
Sayler, Oliver M. The story of the Moscow Art Theatre, 1898-1923.
Introduction by Oliver M. Sayler.
Schenkl, J. Pauline, Estate of. Seventy three volumes, by Lytton, Schil-
ler, Scott, Thackeray and others.
Schirmer, G., through Mr. O. G. Sonneck, New York. Six volumes of
music, folk songs and operas. For Brown Collection of Music.
Schmitt, Albert Felix. The Albert Felix Schmitt exhibition held at the
galleries of the Boston Art Club, 1 92 1 , and 22 photographs of paint-
ings by A. F. Schmitt.
Sonneck, O. G., New York. Studies in song. 6 pieces. By O. G.
Sonneck. For the Brown Collection of Music,
Sprague, Phineas Warren. (Through C. F. Libbie & Co.) The
Spragues of Maiden, Massachusetts. By George Walter Chamberlain.
Privately printed. Boston. 1923.
Second Battalion Armory, New York. Second Battalion, Naval Militia,
New York. Outline history, 1897-1922. (New York, 1922.)
Shepley, George L., Providence. A Rhode Island slaver. Trade book
of the sloop Adventure, 1 773—1 774. From the original manuscript
in the Library of George L. Shepley. Providence. 1922.
Tudor, Mrs. Frederick, Jr. Photograph of painting of Rear Admiral
Charles Stewart, U. S. Navy, by Sully.
Tuesday Shakespere Class. (Through Mrs. Josiah Quincy.) The let-
ters of Horace Howard Furness. Boston. 1922. 2 v. For West
U. S. Shipping Board: Emergency Fleet Corporation. Planning a trip
abroad. Edited by Edward Hungerford. New York. 1923. Thir-
ty-five copies for distribution in Branch Libraries.
Vassar College Library. Vassar mediaeval studies. Edited by Christa-
bel F. Fiske. New Haven. 1923.
Vocational Committee of the Boston Branch of the American Association
of University Women, through June R. Donnelly. A check for ten
dollars to be expended in the purchase of material on vocations.
Walsh, Hon. David I. Speeches of Hon. David I. Walsh, U. S.
Senate, 1919—1922. Autographed copy.
Warner, Joseph B., Estate of, through Roger Warner. Collection of
books, miscellaneous works. 302 volumes.
Waterman, William C, Estate of. A painting by his brother, Marcus
Waterman, entitled "Hayfields" (July).
West Roxbury Woman's Club. Six volumes, including The life and
letters of Walter H. Page. By B. J. Hendrick. 2 v. ; The life of
Christ. By Giovanni Papini. For West Roxbury Branch.
Whiting, Miss Lilian. 226 manuscript letters written to Miss Whiting,
many from Boston authors, to be added to the Kate Field Memorial
Collection, established through former gifts of Miss Whiting.
Dr. Williams' Trustees, London. Author catalogue of additions to Dr.
Williams' Library, in the years 1900—1921. Cambridge. 1923.
Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington, N. C. History of the
I 1 8th Infantry, 6th Brigade. 30th Division, U. S. A. Operations in
Belgium and France, 1917—1919.
Wright, Henry B., New Haven. Yale University. The Centennial
celebration of the founding of the Yale Divinity School, October,
1922. New Haven. 1922.
OFFICIALS OF THE LIBRARY.
Director, Charles F. D. Belden.
Reference Librarian, Frank H. Chase.
Executive Secretary, Delia Jean Deery.
Auditor, Adelaide A. Nichols.
Bates Hall Centre Desk, Patent and Newspaper Department: Pierce E.
Newspaper Division, Frederic Serex, Assistant in Charge.
Patent Division, William J. Ennis, Assistant in Charge.
Bindery Department: James W. Kenney, Chief.
Branch Department: Edith Guerrier, Supervisor of Branches.
Central Branch Issue Division, Alice V. Stevens, Assistant in Charge.
Branch Binding Division, Marian A. McCarthy, Assistant in Charge.
Shipping Division, Robert F. Dixon, Assistant in Charge.
* For Branch Librarians, see page 82.
Catalogue Department: Samuel A. Chevalier, Chief.
Card Division, T. Francis Brennan, Assistant in Charge.
Editor of Publications, Mary H. Rollins.
Shelf Division, William G. T. Roffe, Assistant in Charge.
Children's Department: Alice M. Jordan, Supervisor of Work with
Children's Librarian, Central Library, Mary C. Toy.
Engineer and Janitor Department: Henry Niederauer, Chief.
Information Office: John H. Reardon, Assistant in Charge.
Issue Department: Frank C. Blaisdell, Chief.
Ordering Department: Theodosia E. Macurdy, Chief. <
Periodical Room : Francis J. Hannigan, Assistant in Charge.
Printing Department: Francis Watts Lee, Chief.
Registration Department: A. Frances Rogers, Chief.
Special Libraries Department: Winthrop H. Chenery, Chief.
Fine Arts Division, Walter Rowlands, Assistant in Charge.
Technical Division, George S. Maynard, Assistant in Charge.
Music Division, Richard G. Appel, Assistant in Charge.
Barton -Ticknor Division, Zoltan Haraszti, Assistant in Charge.
Statistical Department: Horace L. Wheeler, Assistant in Charge.
Stock Room: Timothy J. Mackin, Custodian.
Allston, Katherine F. Muldoon.
Andrew Square, Elizabeth McShane.
Boylston Station, Edith R. Nickerson.
Brighton, Marian W. Brackett.
Charlestown, Katherine S. Rogan.
City Point, Alice Murphy.
Codman Square, Elizabeth P. Ross.
Dorchester, Edith F. Pendleton.
East Boston, Laura M. Cross.
Faneuil, Gertrude L. Connell.
Fellowes Athenaeum, Mary E. Ames.
Hyde Park, Grace L. Murray.
Jamaica Plain, Katie F. Albert.
Jeffries Point, Margaret A. Calnan.
Lower Mills, Nazera Tradd (acting).
Mattapan, Marion C. Kingman (acting).
Mt. Bowdoin, Beatrice M. Flanagan.
Mt. Pleasant, Margaret H. Reid.
Neponset, Ellen C. McShane.
North End, Mary F. Curley (acting).
Orient Heights, Catharine F. Flannery.
Parker Hill, Mary M. Sullivan.
Roslindale, Annie M. Donovan.
Roxbury Crossing, Katrina M. Sather.
South Boston, M. Florence Cufflin.
South End, Margaret A. Sheridan.
Upham's Corner, Mary F. Kelley.
Tyler Street, Theodora B. Scoff.
Warren Street, Beatrice C. Maguire.
West End, Fanny Goldstein.
West Roxbury, Carrie L. Morse.
Accessions, 2, 28-33, 51, 68-69.
Administration and finance, 19-20.
Allen A. Brown Music Library, 31, 42.
Allston Branch, 54.
Andrew Square Branch, 16, 54.
Balance sheet, expenses, 11, 13; re-
ceipts, 10, 12.
Barton -Ticknor Room, 42-43.
Bates Hall, Centre Desk and Reference,
Bindery, 20. 21-22, 71.
Books, 20—21 ; accessions, 28-33, 76-
81; circulation, 17, 28-33.
Boylston Station Branch, 55.
Branches, 3, 14-19, 50-60; circula-
tion, 50-51 ; reports, 52-60.
Brennan, Thomas Francis, appointment
as Chief of Card Division, 34.
Brighton Branch, 55.
Business Branch, 4.
Card Division, creation of, 34.
Catalogue and Shelf Department, 33-
Charlestown Branch, 55.
Chase, Frank H., appointment as Refer-
ence Librarian, 64.
Children's Department and Work with
Children, 20, 22-23, 44-50; instruc-
tion, 61 , reorganization, 47—49.
Circulation, 2, 3, 17, 19, 28-33, 43,
City Point Branch, 15, 55.
Codman Square Branch, 55.
Connolly, Msgr. Arthur T., elected
president, 1 .
Director, 1, 8, 20; report of, 28-64.
Dorchester Branch, 15, 55-56.
East Boston Branch, 16, 18, 56.
Employees, 19,81-82; instruction, 24-
25, 60-61 ; retirements and deaths,
Examining Committee, members of, 8;
lecommendafions of, 26-27; report of,
Exhibitions, 43, 60, 75-76.
Extension Service Committee, 37.
Faneuil Branch, 56.
Fellowes Athenaeum Branch, 56.
Finance, balance sheets, 10—13; trust
funds, 6, 7, 10-12.
Fine Arts Department, 41-42, 43.
Fleischner, Otto, retirement of, 5, 6,
Gaston, William A., appointed trustee,
Gifts and bequests, 4, 76-81.
Government Documents. (5ec In-
Haraszti, Zolfan, 42.
Hyde Park Branch, 16, 56.
Information Office, 39-40.
Jamaica Plain Branch, 56.
Jeffries Point Branch, 16, 56.
Kirstein, Louis E., elected vice presi-
Lectures, 60, 71-74.
Librarian. (5ee Director.)
Library Life, 36.
Library staff. (5ee Employees.)
Lower Mills Branch, 16, 56.
Mattapan Branch, 16, 32, 57.
Mt. Bowdoin Branch, 16, 57.
Mt. Pleasant Branch, 57.
Music Division, 42, 43.
Neponset Branch, 57.
Newspaper Room, 20, 38.
North End Branch. 18, 57.
Open Shelf Room. (See Information
Orient Heights Branch, 16, 57.
Parker Hill Branch, 16, 58.
Patent Room, 38.
Periodical Room, 20, 40-41.
Printing Department, 20, 21-22, 71.
Reading Rooms. (See Branches.)
Registration Department, 33.
Repairs and improvements, 3, 61—62.
Roslindale Branch, 58.
Roxbury Crossing Branch, 16, 52, 58.
Roxbury Branch. (See Fellowes Alhe-
South Boston Branch, 18, 58.
South End Branch, 16, 58; new quar-
Special Libraries, 22, 41-44.
Story Hour, 44-46.
Teachers' Room, 20, 47.
Technology Division, 42, 43.
Trust Funds, expenditures, 10, 12; re-
ceipts, 1 I : statement of, 6, 7.
Trustees, organization of, 1 ; report of,
Tyler Street Branch, 17, 59.
University Extension Courses, 25-26,
Uphams Corner Branch, 17, 59,
Warren Street Branch, 16, 59.
West End Branch, 16, 17, 18, 59.
West Roxbury Branch, 59-60.
Central Library, Copley Square. I
Branch Libraries, February I, 1924.
North End Branch, 3a North Bennet St. .
South End Branch, Shawmul Ave. and West Brookline St
West End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St. .
Tyler Street Branch, Tyler, cor. Oak St. .
Brighton Branch, Academy Hill Road
Allston Branch, 138 Brighton Ave
Faneuil Branch, 100 Broohs St. .
Charlestown Branch, Monument Square, cor. Monument Ave,
Dorchester Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St. .
Codman Square Branch, Washington, cor. Norfolk St.
Upham's Corner Branch, Columbia Road, cor. Bird St.
Lower Mills Branch, Washington, cor. Richmond St.
Matlapan Branch, 7 Babson St. ,
Mount Bowdoin Branch, Washington, cor. Eldon St.
Neponset Branch, 362 Neponset Ave. .
East Boston Branch, 276-282 Meridian St. .
Jeffries Point Branch, 195 Webster St.
Orient Heights Branch, 1030 Bennington St.
Hyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winthrop St
Jamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St.
Boylston Station Branch, Depot Square
Fellowes Athenaeum Branch, 46 Milmont St.
Warren Street Branch, 392 Warren St. .
Mount Pleasant Branch, Dudley, cor. Vine St.
Parker Hill Branch, 1518 Tremont St.
Roxbury Crossing Branch, 208 Ruggles St. .
South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway .
Andrew Square Branch, 396 Dorchester St. .
City Point Branch, Broadway, near H St. .
West Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St.
Roslindale Branch, Washington, cor. Ashland St. .
Area of City (Land only) 45.60 Square miles.
Population (Census of 1920), 748.060.
BOSTON PUBLIC UBRARV
3 9999 06314 663 1