Skip to main content

Full text of "Annual report"

See other formats

DOCUMENT 15 — 1976 


of the 


For the Period Endmg June 30, 1975 









Director, and Libraritin 

City Document No. 15 

To the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library: 

As Director, and Librarian, T have the honor to submit 
my report for the year July 1, 1974, to June 30, 1975. 

Highlighting this year's activities were the events 
honoring the nation's Bicentennial. Poet Archibald 
MacLeish delivered a Bicentennial commemorative poem, 
"Night Watch in the City of Boston," to an audience 
in the Lecture Hall. It was the first event of "Literary 
Boston," a program jointly sponsored by the Library and 
Boston 200, consisting of exhibits, special publications, 
and a series of programs. Other events included in the 
Literary Boston series were a poetry reading by David 
McCord; a discussion, "The Articulate Adams Family," 
by Lyman Butterfield and Daniel Aaron; and a discus- 
sion on publishing in Boston with Edward Weeks, 
Richard McAdoo and Ellen Ballon. Special exhibits also 
continued the Bicentennial theme. "Boston: A State of 
Mind, a 300-Year Dialogue Between Author and Audi- 
ence," the central exhibit is housed in a 16-foot diameter, 
plexiglass drum in the Great Hall. "Going Down to 
Boston: Some Writers and Their City," a fifteen-minute, 
slide-tape show on literature in Boston, is being screened 
at regular intervals in the Lecture Hall. A series of 
portable panels. "Contrasts," on various Boston literary 
figures is also on display. 

In celebration of the Bicentennial the Boston Public 
Library proclaimed freedom from fines on overdue 
material if the material was returned between April 16 
and May 31, 1975. The "amnesty" resulted in the 
return of hundreds of overdue books. 


Services to patrons in branch libraries and in the 
General Library continued actively for all age levels, 
both in direct guidance of individuals as well as through 
group activities. Circulation of books in the Central 
Librarv continued on an upward trend; circulation in 
branch libraries, which in past years has been showing a 
downward cuive, dropped in 1974-75 for total branch 

Boston Public Library 5 

libraries less than one-half of one percent; in eleven of 
twenty-five branches there was actually an increase in 
books circulated. 

Attendance at library programs proved substantial. It 
is estimated that more than 75,000 patrons participated 
in or attended group activities and programs in branch 
libraries. Many thousands more attended Central Li- 
brary events. Approximately 5,000 people entered the 
Central Library through the Bovlston Street entrance 
each day. 

Mobile services of the Boston Public Library con- 
tinued to provide extensive outreach to two groups of 
patrons: those whose residences are not convenient to 
branch library locations were served by Bookmobiles; 
and homebound individuals or residents of nursing homes 
were served by a Homesmobile. These services resulted 
in a circulation of more than 129,000 books during this 
fiscal year, more than 10 percent of the total branch 

For children, activities included film programs, story 
hours, activities for pre-school children, summer reading 
events, and special observances for Children's Books 

Young adults were offered film programs, book discus- 
sion experiences, and participation in the Library's pub- 
lication program. A group calling themselves CYAM 
(Concerned Young Adults of Mattapan) constructed an 
ingenious crossword puzzle, "Black Profiles," as part of 
the Mattapan Branch Library's young adult program. 

For adults, several activities and programs were 
offered, and film screenings remained popular with adult 
as well as other age-level audiences. Never Too Late 
groups were sponsored in ten branch libraries. The 
Especially for Women and Parents Discussion groups 
continued to draw enthusiastic attendance. 

Three branches (Charlestown, South Boston, Faneuil) 
mounted popular arts and crafts festivals which exhibited 
the works of neighborhood artists and drew large numbers 
of viewers. 

Other activities and programs held at the Charlestown 
Branch Library included an exhibit of eight historical 

6 City Document No. 15 

colonial flags illustrating the evolution of the first Stars 
and Stripes. The Central Library and the Roslindale 
Branch Library hosted a preview of the Metropolitan 
Opera's Verdi Festival in Sight and Sound by William 
D. Miranda, opera columnist and lecturer. 

The twenty-seventh annual awarding of the Mary U. 
Nichols Book Prizes was held at the North End Branch. 
Rafaela Fabrizio and Anthony Sirignano were the award 
winners, and David McCord, poet and essayist, gave the 
address at the ceremony. 

The first annual American exhibition of children's 
books from abroad, Children's Books International, took 
place from May 27 to June 27, at the Boston Public 
Library. The exposition promoted the acquisition and 
use of foreign-language books as a necessary dimension 
for libraries. The exhibit items were gathered by the 
Combined Book Exhibit, Inc., of New York from pub- 
Kshers and publishers' associations abroad. Children's 
Books International opened with a reception on June 1, 
followed by a two-day program on June 2 and 3 com- 
prised of symposia, lectures, panel discussions, slide-tape 
presentations, and films. Experts in many facets of 
children's literature around the world participated. In 
attendence at the symposia were representatives from 
several hbrary journals and children's departments in 
Wge pubKc Ubraries. 

In addition to the two-day symposium, numerous 
special programs took place including storytelling in 
original languiages, noontime screenings of international 
films, games, and puppet shows at both the Central 
Librai'y and branches. The exhibit itself included more 
than 3,000 books from more than forty nations; the 
Boston Public Library acquired a copy of each of the 
books on display. A slide-tape, guided tour facilitated 
independent viewing of the displays. An unusual poster, 
designed by staff" artist Rick Zonghi, was produced and 
on sale in the Pubhcations Office. 

In another special program for children in the Central 
Libraiy an hour-long sequence of films entitled "Magic 
and Fantasy" was presented. The films shown were 
both animated and Uve action. This event was part of 

Boston Public Library 7 

the Magic Lantern Children's Fihn Program, a project 
of the University Fihn Study Center, and was partially 
supported by the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and 
Humanities. In February and March the Children's 
Room of the General Library held celebrations every 
Saturday featuring story houis — Pan African stories; 
tales for Valentine's Day; musical performances: City 
Mouse-Country Mouse, and Musical Adventures of Jack 
and Jill; film showing of "National Velvet" and slides 
about the Black heritage; and a "plant-in" presented by 
the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Every Tues- 
day, combination programs featuring storytelling and 
crafts were held in the Children's Room. 

In recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the Horn 
Book Magazine, the Library presented a month-long ex- 
hibit of rare children's books and books for children 
created by local poets, authors, and illustrators. In a 
series of lectures Paul Heins, editor of The Horn Book, 
spoke on the fifty-year history of the magazine; Sinclair 
Hitchings, keeper of prints, spoke on illustrations for 
children and "The Art of the Picture Book;" and Au- 
gusta Baker, coordinator emeritus of Children's Services, 
New York Public Library, gave a lecture on, "The 
Changing Image of the Black in Children's Literature." 

The Young Adult Department sponsored a creative 
writing workshop for young people. Guest speakers 
were David Macaulay, author of Cathedral and City; 
John Keller, children's book editor at Little Brown and 
Company; David Moran, managing editor of the Boston 
Phoenix, and Louis Sasso, contributor to several poetry 
magazines and assistant to the director here at the 

The Never Too Late Group conducted a number of 
notable programs this year in the weekly calendar of 
activities. They included a lecture by William Pierce 
Randel, author of The American Revolution: A Mirror of 
the People, in celebration of National Library Week and 
another lecture, "India and Her Art," by Henry A. 
Tate, head of adult programs. Department of Public 
Education, Museum of Fine Arts. The Great Decisions 
discussion group held regular meetings throughout the 

8 City Document No. 15 

year. Among their topics of discussion were foreign 
affairs questions based on background information in 
booklets published by the Foreign Policy Association. 

One of the most extensive programs initiated by the 
Library was the Music Americana series. This well- 
attended program illustrated through lecture-recitals the 
development of music performance and publishing in the 
United States with particular emphasis on New England. 
The monthly series opened with a concert by the Chorus 
Pro Musica. Alfred Nash Patterson was the conductor 
for the program which included the works of William 
Billings and Charles Ives. Other concerts included: 
Michael Boriskin, pianist; Bill Billings: Boston tune- 
smith; Sideroads of American Music by the Multiphonic 
Guild; The Cambridge Chamber Quartet; Joe Yal and 
the New England Blue Grass Boys; The Gospel Singers, 
Twelfth Baptist Church, Roxbury; Max Morath; Vir- 
ginia Eskin, pianist; and Julia Sutton: Music and Dances 
of Colonial America. 

Black History Month was celebrated again in February 
with a series of films, lectures, and special events. The 
program at the Central Library featured a lecture by 
Jean M. McGuire, executive director of METCO; a dis- 
cussion by Dr. Adelaide Hill Gulliver, director of Afro- 
American Studies at Boston University; and an exhibit 
titled "New England Blacks in the American Revolu- 
tion." At the South End Branch Library a unique five- 
man jazz ensemble played the compositions of a local 
community composer, Leo Whitlarge, entitled "Sound- 
Spaces." "Artists and Art Talk," a discussion and 
demonstration on the use of varied materials and methods, 
was presented in celebration of Black History Month at 
the Egleston Square Branch Library. 

The Library and the Irish American Cultural Institute 
cosponsored a program, "Irish Fortnight," in March. 
The program consisted of various lectures focusing on 
such topics as Irish politics, music, literature, and the 
Irish in America. A notable event in the Italian-Ameri- 
can community of Boston took place at the Library 
when the Italian Culture Commission of the Grand 
Lodge of Massachusetts, Order of Sons of Italy in Amer- 
ica, presented the Boston Public Library the first of a 

Boston Public Library 9 

series of forty-eight commemorative medals which honor 
Italians and Italian-Americans who have made a major 
contribution to the welfare and progress of America over 
the past 200 years. The Marchese Franco Faa Di Bruno, 
Italian Consul General; the Bight Beverend Edward G. 
Murray, president of the Board of Trustees; and Mrs. 
Josephine Tanner of the Italian Culture Commission, 
were part of the program at which Adolph Caso, educator 
and author, presented the medals to the Library. 

Contemporary Jewish folk music, performed by a 
three-member group of Brandeis University students, 
was presented by the Library during a Chanukkah con- 
cert. The group performed popular Israeli songs, new 
works by young American composers, and original 

In addition to its extensive services in the area of 
print materials, the General Library Services Division 
administers a growing collection and service center for 
audio-visual materials. Over the past twelve-month 
period there has been a 10 percent increase in film circu- 
lation in the Audio-Visual Center. Statistics for fiscal 
year 1975 follow: 

Film Circulation — Community, 12,398; Library, 
21,321; School, 4,768; Church, 1,525; Total, 40,012. 
There has also been a remarkable increase in record 
circulation: from 121,329 in fiscal year 1974, to 139,560 
in fiscal year 1975, and an increase in the use of record- 
and tape-listening facilities by the public. 

In 1975 the video taping of major programs within 
and outside the Central Library began in earnest. Along 
with these new operations, new programming (during the 
first six months of 1975 a total of 570 hours of program- 
ming took place in the Central Library) necessitated 
audio and video recording and duplicating for preserva- 
tion. In order to implement these changes the procedures 
of the department and the duties of the staff have been 

"The Golden Age of German Cinema" was one of the 
many film programs organized by the Audio-Visual De- 
partment. This series was cosponsored with the Library 
by the Goethe Institute of Boston. 

10 City Document No. 15 

The Boston Public Library was chosen as a recipient 
for a humanities fihn program from the National Project 
Center for Film and Humanities which consisted of five 
films on freedom and responsibility. The films explored 
the conflicts man faces with those powers seeking to 
govern his activities (man vs. state, conscience vs. duty, 
individuality vs. common good) from the time of Socrates 
to modern-day America. 

The publications program of General Library Services 
continued to be responsive to the needs and interests of 
all age levels. Notable among publications of General 
Library Services was the new edition of the Program 
Resources Directory, invaluable for its listing of organ- 
izations and groups which provide speakers, films, ex- 
hibits, and other program resources. Publications for 
children included a booklist, "Stepping Stones to Better 
Reading," and for voung adults, "Listen to Me" and 
"And Ain't I a Woman." 

The fifth edition of the Film Catalog was published 
during the past year. The 227-page catalog has a new 
format and lists over 3,500 16mm films and 8mm tech- 
nicolor cartridges and was produced by a computer. 

Conditions of the Central Library building (parts both 
old and new) and the branches have been conscientiously 
improved over the past twelve months. A "skyhook" 
was installed in the Great Hall to facilitate bulbing and 
to permit repainting of the skylight area, from which 
paint had been peeling. To provide independent air 
conditioning in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Depart- 
ment a separate unit was installed. Efforts to improve 
the conditions in the staff cafeteria were aided with a 
questionnaire sent to all members of the staff. Service 
Systems, Inc. is under contract to supply and maintain 
the vending machines located in the cafeteria. The 
former staff lounge, located between the courtyard and 
the Johnson building has been painted in preparation for 
the opening of the new publication and sales area. 

CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training 
Act) employees, working under the Public Facilities De- 
partment, cleaned and painted the exterior iron and 
metal work of the McKim building; painted various 
areas of the McKim building under the supervision of 

Boston Public Library 11 

Library staff; worked in the carpenter's shop repairing 
furniture, fabricating bookcases, and erecting storage 
bins for the city Building Department plans and blue- 
prints. Replastering large areas of deteriorated plaster 
was done in all stacks and corridors of the McKim 

The interiors and exteriors of Adams Street, Faneuil, 
North End, Parker Hill, South End, and West End 
branches were painted by CETA employees. CETA 
carpenters made necessary repairs at the Connolly 
Branch, Hyde Park Branch, and Parker Hill, and CETA 
plasterers removed and replaced deteriorated plaster at 
the Connolly, Faneuil, and Parker Hill branch libraries. 

A fire broke out at the Allston Branch Library in 
October. The Allston Branch is in a second-floor loca- 
tion, access to which is inconvenient for the handicapped 
and elderly; new rental quarters are continually being 
sought. Considerable damage resulted from a fire at the 
Lower Mills Branch Library caused by an outside elec- 
trical wire; the Library's maintenance staff is to be 
praised for their fine response to the emergency. 

Other building activity among branches includes: 
much vandalism — particularly window breakage — at 
Brighton and Charlestown branches; transfer of the old 
Charlestown Branch Library to the custody and control 
of the Public Facilities Department; installation of a new 
roof on Grove Hall Branch ; installation of a new sprinkler 
system at the Washington Village Branch, closed because 
of fire damage since 1972. Several other items are still 
awaiting the attention of the Boston Housing Authority 
before the Washington Village Branch can be reopened. 

Plans for the branch building program progressed well. 
A site was chosen for the new Codman Square Branch 
Library on Washington Street in Dorchester; this is the 
area occupied formerly by the Pierce School. The new 
Codman Square Branch will be larger in size than the 
regular neighborhood branch; the collection size will be 
70,000 to 80,000 volumes, and parking for the branch 
will be provided. It is hoped that the branch will be a 
focal point for the entire Dorchester area. The architect 
chosen for the project, Eco Tecture, Inc., has made 
rapid progress on the drawings. 

12 City Document No. 15 

In September of 1974, the first group of bids for the 
new Dudley Street Branch Library were opened; they 
exceeded estimates b\ $500,000. In April, 1975, the 
plans were rebid and, because of the change in the eco- 
nomic climate in the construction field and the cost of 
materials having gone down, the low bid was much 
lower than the 1974 bids; the contract for construction 
was awarded. In June the ground was broken for the 
new branch. 

The new Lower Mills Branch Library will be con- 
structed on an old school site which has been turned 
over by the School Department. Paul Carroll is the 
architect chosen to design the branch. 

Following the sudden death of John M. Carroll, 
assistant director for General Library Services, the review 
of General Library Services undertaken by Mr. Carroll 
continues. The total branch organization is being 
studied and evaluated with particular attention to 
staffing patterns and to restoration of more responsibility 
and decision-making at the branch level. Plans are 
under way to fill the position of Supervisor of Branches. 


The renovations necessary to complete relocation of 
departments within the Research Library were accom- 
plished over the past year. In July the reference and 
reading room for music and fine arts opened for service 
in their new quarters in the West Gallery. A new ele- 
vator was opened to facilitate accessibility of these de- 
partments. The quarters that had previously been used 
by the Music Department were refurbished and estab- 
lished as the Charlotte Cushman Room. The Charlotte 
Cushman Room houses materials on the theater and was 
set up as a result of a gift from the Charlotte Cushman 
Club in Boston. The Government Documents Depart- 
ment was also relocated in July to the area which housed 
the old Newspaper Room. The area was freshly painted 
and the terrazzo floor cleaned and polished; the brick 
fireplace, covered over for so long, has been exposed. 
The two adjacent rooms, formerly the Periodical Read- 
ing and Reference Rooms, have been converted to work 
and stack space for Government Documents. 

Boston Public LtBRARY 13 

In March Rare Books and Manuscripts opened its 
new quarters to the pubHc in the Johnson building. The 
only entrance to this department is at the end of the 
West Gallery. An exhibition area was opened adjacent 
to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department and 
this area also includes the William Addison Dwiggins 
Room and the Serge Koussevitzky Exhibition Area. Also 
in March, the Science Reference Department occupied 
its new quarters in what used to be the Lecture Hall, 
and the corridor connecting the second floors of the Re- 
seEUch and General Libraries was opened to the public. 
In June Social Science Reference moved into the area 
vacated by the Science Reference Department; after that 
area had been completed by the end of the summer of 
1975, the transfer of the Research Library Catalog from 
the Chavannes Gallery and the Abbey Room into the 
EJliot Room (which formerly housed the Government 
Documents Department) will take place. With the com- 
pletion of this move, the Puvis de Chavannes Gallery 
and the Abbey Room will be restored to their original 
state and the planned departmental relocations within 
the Research Library concluded. 

The Patent Collection, which has long been housed at 
Emmanuel College and Newton College, was moved to 
the Central Library and shelved in the seventh-floor, 
stack area on steel shelving which had previously been 
installed at the Long Island facility. The Boston Public 
Library is one of the eighteen libraries in the United 
States currently receiving United States patents on de- 
posit from the Patent Office. The Patent Collection 
dates back to 1790. 

Within all departments of the Research Library there 
has been much activity related to programming, exhibits, 
special services, or publications. 

The Library's exhibits and programs dealt with a 
variety of cultural and historic topics. "An Evening 
with Charles Bulfinch" honored the architect Bulfinch, 
who as a boy witnessed the British occupation in 1775. 
The symposium was organized by Charles Hammond, 
Sinclair Hitchings, and Paul Swenson. The format included 
Bulfinch drawings and manuscripts, Pendleton and 
Buford lithographs, and photographs by Samuel Cham- 

14 City Document No. 15 

Among the exhibits in the Wiggin Gallery were 
"Micossi: Graffiti," and "Back Country and Sea's Edge" 
featuring the works of Thomas Nason and Stow Wengen- 
roth. An exhibit titled "The Graphic Art of George 
Bellows" included the artist's portraits, landscapes, and 
figures. Other exhibits were: Landscapes by Conley 
Harris; Drawings by Barbara Swan; David McCord — 
The Poet as Collector; Fine Art Lithography in Boston; 
North End Forever. 

In addition to the Wiggin Gallery exhibits, there were 
also exhibits in the Sargent Gallery, among which were 
"Victorian Boston: Links in Arts and Letters" and 
"Mexican Medley." 

A panorama of clay sculpture was displayed in the 
Boston Room of the Library during the month of March. 
The artist was a young local woman named GOGO. 
Her collection consisted of a group of stark white figures, 
most of which were made especially for the exhibit. 

The Library hosted two archaeological lectures this 
year. Dr. Maria Guiseppina Cerulli spoke on "New 
Archaeological Research in the \ esuvian Area," and Lily 
Kahil presented a lecture on the "Images of Artemis" 
with illustrations accompanying the lecture including 
artistic representations and interpretations of Artemis, 
the Olympian Goddess of the Hunt. 

The third annual Maury A. Bromsen Lecture in 
Humanistic Bibliography was titled "New Englanders in 
Nova Albion: Some Nineteenth Century Views of Cali- 
fornia." Dr. James D. Hart, an authority in the field 
of American Literary History, was the speaker. The 
second annual Cushman lecture was given by William 
Morris Hunt on "Where Have All the Theaters GoneP" 
This lecture is the result of a gift to the Trustees of the 
Library in 1973 of the assets of the Charlotte Cushman 
Club. In June of 1975 the Charlotte Cushman Club 
donated four volumes of guest books of the Charlotte 
Cushman Club of Boston, which contain the names of 
several hundred actresses and actors and other persons 
associated with the theater, from 1927 through 1959, and 
the titles of plays and musical shows in which they 
participated, often with the home address of the regis- 
trant given. 

Boston Public Library 15 

"Two Hundred Seventy Years of Monumental Letter- 
ing" was the topic for the second annual, William Addi- 
son Dwiggins Lecture. The speaker, John Benson, is a 
member of the Society of Printers and Managing Partner 
of The John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island. 
His talk dealt with the history of monumental lettering 
and its present state as an art form. 

In February the Boston Public Library was designated 
as the first "N.E.H. Learning Library" by the National 
Endowment for the Humanities and was awarded a grant 
in support of its "Boston: An Urban Community" pro- 
gram. This educational program is aimed at a diverse 
audience of prospective learners and present and former 
students; it includes group and individual learning 
sequences of lectures, discussion meetings, film showings, 
interpretative demonstrations, and individual study guid- 
ance sessions and is of great value to citizens throughout 
the Boston community. An advisory committee was 
appointed to oversee the program by selecting the topics, 
and for evaluation and recruitment. Members of the 
advisory committee are David J. Hall, director of Ameri- 
can Studies Program at Boston University; Douglas 
Jones, lecturer in History at Lowell State College; David 
H. Fischer, chairman of History Department at Brandeis 
University; Thomas O'Connor, professor of History at 
Boston College; Barbara Miller Solomon, senior lecturer 
in History and Literature at Harvard University; Sam 
Bass Warner, professor of History and Social Sciences at 
Boston University; and Alan Weinblatt, professor of 
-English at Boston College. 

Paul M. W^right was appointed the program director 
of the NEH Learning Library in February when the 
series were first offered. Thomas O'Connor taught a 
sequence entitled "Bibles, Brahmins, and Bosses: Leader- 
ship and the Boston Community;" the other sequence 
offered in February and March featured Gerald Bern- 
stein, professor of Art History, Brandeis University and 
was entitled "Boston's Architecture: From First Town- 
house to New City Hall." Two of the lectures in the 
sequence on Boston's architecture were open to the pub- 
lic. James O'Gorman, an authority on Richardson spoke 

16 City Document No. 15 

on "Richardsonian Boston" and Geihart Kallman, who 
designed the new Boston City Hall, spoke on the new 
City Hall. 

For April and May of 1975 the following courses on 
the emergence of Boston were offered. "Family Life in 
Boston: From Colonial Times to the Present" with 
Nancy F. Cott. professor of History, Yale University; 
and "Shaping the Boston Landscape: Drumlins and 
Puddingstone" with George K. Lewis, Department of 
Geography, Boston University. 

The Print Department was very active in making 
loans of prints to museums, universities, and the media, 
a partial listing of which is: Fogg Art Museum; Currier 
Gallery, Manchester, New Hampshire; Boston Globe; 
Channel 7; Channel 56; Indianapolis Museum of Art; 
Smithsonian Institution; Yale University Art Gallery; 
Museum of Afro- American History; French Library; 
Boston 200; Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Linds- 
borg, Kansas; Metropolitan Museum of Art; National 
Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Amon Carter Museum 
of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas. The important 
purchases made by the Print Department include three 
original color etchings "Colloredo and North Italian 
Alps," "Gulf of Trieste," and "Leukos Mountains, from 
the Sea" by Mario Micossi; three original pen and wash 
drawings "New Growth of Freedom," "Punch Autumn," 
and "Honest John" by Leslie G. Illingworth; two char- 
coal drawings by Conley Harris — "Broken Fence" and 
"Grey Day, Brave Boat Harbor, Maine;" portfolio — 
Erasmus "In Praise of Folly"; ten signed prints by 
Fritz Eichenberg; and four posters by Clementine Dufau, 
Georges de Feure, Jean Pal, and Henri de Toulouse- 
Lautrec purchased from Lords Gallery in London, 

The Boston Public Library received a LSCA grant for 
1974 in the amount of $100,000 to further the "discovery 
and exploration of the history of Massachusetts cities and 
towns through the preservation and study of local news- 
papers." The grant was used to purchase and microfdm 
nineteenth-century, Massachusetts newspsipers, to pre- 
serve these records of local history which might otherwise 
be lost. 

Boston Public Library 17 

On January 13 the Boston City Council passed a 
resolution "to create an archive for the records of the 
City of Boston." The majority of the records of the 
city have been transferred to the Library; these include 
city assessor's records and building plans and blueprints 
of Boston, the records of which are in the Boston Build- 
ing Department. With the aid of personnel employed at 
the Library under the Comprehensive Employment and 
Training Act (CETA) these blueprints were organized 
and housed in the seventh-floor, stack area. CETA 
personnel were also involved in a project to revise and 
edit the Research Library catalog. 

Beginning January 1, the Library was assigned as 
recipient of PL480 Arabic materials. The PL480 pro- 
gram, administered by the Overseas Operations Division 
of the Library of Congress, provides for the purchasing, 
servicing, and distribution to selected libraries and re- 
search institutions in the United States of current publi- 
cations from countries in which the United States gov- 
ernment has local currency funds derived from the sale 
of surplus agricultural products. This assignment was 
transferred from Boston College to the Boston Public 
Library, and with it came the transfer of the Arabic 
materials, some 15,000 volumes, which Boston College 
had acquired under the program. Khalil Mahmud, 
deputy librarian of Ibadan University Library in Nigeria, 
joined the administrative staff of the Library for six 
months to organize the PL480 material and review the 
Arabic holdings of the Boston Public Library and the 
consortium libraries. 

The Kirstein Business Branch at 20 City Hall Avenue 
is a specialized subject reference department of the Re- 
search Library which has long served the downtown 
business and financial community with its extensive col- 
lection of directories, reference books, journals, and docu- 
ments. In order to broaden its resources and strengthen 
its services, the Kirstein Business Branch acquired sev- 
eral major reference tools in microfilm: complete lOK 
and annual reports of all companies listed in the New 
York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange 
from 1967 and the D-U-N-S Account Identification Ser- 
vice. To better meet the specialized needs of the com- 
munity it directly serves, the Kirstein Business Branch 

18 City Document No. 15 

ceased to maintain a circulating collection of books for 
home reading purposes in order to concentrate on its 
subject reference function. 

The archives and collection of old music owned by the 
Ilandel and Haydn Society of Boston. Inc. were given 
to the Trustees of the Library to be maintained and 
preserved as part of the permanent research collection. 
Under the will of the late Samuel Chamberlain, artist, 
etcher, photographer, and author — and longtime friend 
of the Boston Public Library — a group of forty original 
drawings were bequeathed to the Boston Public Library. 
This bequest includes brickwork pencil drawings as well 
as pen and ink drawings of various scenes. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Holt of Honolulu, Hawaii, pre- 
sented the Library with an outstanding collection of 
prints, drawings, and maps from Northern Africa, 
Gibraltar. Turkey, and India. 

The Library was the recipient of gifts from approxi- 
mately 475 donors; these donations included 17,751 vol- 
umes, plus 142 cartons of books, and fifty bundles of 

A number of booklists and other publications were 
produced by the Library. The Boston Public Library 
compiled and published a series of reading lists pertaining 
to the television series, NOVA. The Library also co- 
sponsored a NOVA program this year which included 
, thirteen films follow ed by discussions. The thirteen bibli- 
ographies were compiled and annotated by members of 
the Science Reference staff. Suzanne K. Gray, head of 
Science Reference, prepared the material for publication 
in book form. 

A pamphlet reprinted by the Library was "Postal 
Service in Boston 1639-1893" by Carol Wihelm Ernst. 
This includes a commentary by John Alden, keeper of 
rare books. 

The Lithographs of Stow Wengenroth by Ronald and 
Joan Stuckey, with essays by Albert Reese; Sinclair 
Hitchings, keeper of prints; and Paul Swenson; and a 
foreword by Philip J. McNiff is the most recent art book 
to be published by the Library. The book contains 
numerous illustrations of the artist's work, including 
materials which have been exhibited in the Library. 

Boston Public Library 19 

In commemoration of the Bicentennial, the Library 
pubhshed a broadside of Archibald MacLeish's poem, 
"Night Watch in the City of Boston," which was written 
for the opening event of Boston's Bicentennial celebration. 

Also published was the second Bromsen lecture, "The 
Delights of a Rare Book Librarian," by Frederick R, GofF. 

Two new members have been added to the Greater 
Boston Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries: 
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was voted a 
full member, and the University of Massachusetts Medi- 
cal School in Worcester was admitted as an affiliate 
member. Throughout the past year the Board of Direc- 
tors has been at work on a constitution and bylaws for 
the consortium. A user handbook has been prepared and 
distributed to all registered consortium borrowers to 
provide users with a brief introduction to each con- 
sortium library. It includes such basic information as 
the address and phone number of the library, hours of 
service, regulations for borrowing, and a list of depart- 
ments or branch libraries. The special subject strengths 
and unique collections of each library are mentioned 
briefly. Volume 1, Number 1 of the Consortium News- 
letter was published in November of 1974; two subsequent 
issues were published prior to June of 1975, and this 
Newsletter will now be produced regularly. 

Other topics of discussion concentrated on by the 
Board of Directors were photocopying policy, joint pur- 
chase of various materials, the Boston Public Library's 
newspaper project, Arabic holdings in consortium librar- 
ies, and membership policy. The committees of the 
consortium — Cataloging, Goals, Reader Services, and 
Selection /Acquisitions — have been meeting throughout 
the year to discuss various aspects of consortium activity. 
One project undertaken by the Reader's Services Com- 
mittee focuses on improved access to the major microform 
collections at the consortium libraries as part of an effort 
to improve service by providing in-depth descriptions of 
large, important, microform collections. Several com- 
mittee members of the Selection/Acquisitions Committee 
assisted the Boston Public Library on a German mono- 
graphic series project, the main purpose of this review 

20 City Document No. 15 

was to provide a means to gauge the general collecting 
profile of the several libraries, rather than any specific 
evaluation of individual titles. 

The consortium sponsored a symposium on Libraries 
and Resources for African and Afro-American Studies in 
March. Featured speakers were James Armstrong, li- 
brarian of the African Studies Library at Boston Uni- 
versity; J. O. Dipeolu, university librarian at the Univer- 
sity of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; Khalil Mahmud, Deputv 
librarian. University of Ibadan, Nigeria; and Dorothy B. 
Porter, curator (1930-1973), Moorland-Springarn Col- 
lection, Howard University, Washington, D. C. 

The Union List of Serials Currently Received was 
published in two formats : an alphabetical title listing and 
a subject arrangement by Library of Congress classifica- 
tion; this represents the combined current serial holdings 
of all consortium member libraries, except the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology. This publication was 
accomplished with Library Services and Construction 
Act (LSCA) funds. 

An important factor in increased cooperation among 
consortium libraries is the regular exchange of materials. 
This year a daily delivery truck from the Boston Public 
Library to all Boston area consortium members has been 
established. In addition, there is a courier service be- 
tween the University of Massachusetts/ Amherst and the 
Boston Public Library. 

The expanded facilities of the Boston Public Library 
are of interest to librarians both foreign and domestic. 
Representatives from major public libraries throughout 
the country were given tours of the Central Library 
complex ; some of which were the Chicago Public Librar;y , 
the Public Library of Los Angeles, and the Dallas Public 
Library. From abroad thirt>' members of the Japan 
Library Association toured the Central Library and 
branches for two da>s while on a trip to study the activi- 
ties of American libraries; twenty-five architects from the 
Soviet Union stopped by for a brief tour; a group ot 
librarians, architects, and the Minister of Public Works 
of The Hague, Netherlands, toured the new building in 
preparation for a new royal library ; other librarians were 

Boston Public Library 21 

from England, Ireland, Mexico, Iran, Nova Scotia, 
Quebec, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Malta, and 
Nigeria. Of particular note was a visit hy a group of 
about thirty librarians in November from Europe, Asia, 
and Africa en route to the 1974 Conference of the Inter- 
national Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) in 
Washington, D. C. 


Bruce A. Beal was elected chairman of the associates 
of the Boston Public Library on December 12, 1974, and 
Mrs. Frances H. Howe was elected vice-chairman. The 
size of the executive committee increased from five mem- 
bers to nine; the committee met regularly. Four sub- 
committees of the executive committee of the associates 
were established: Membership — to concentrate on pro- 
motion of membership ; Program — to plan programs of 
the associates; Publicity — to provide information to the 
public about the resources and activities of the Library; 
and Special Projects — to explore voluntary service to 
the Library by members of the associates. 

At the March 3 meeting of the executive committee, 
three members of the staff of the Library made presenta- 
tions on their areas of activity. Y. T. Feng, assistant 
director, explained the function of the Research Library 
and emphasized the importance of the Boston Public 
Library's relationship to the rest of the library commu- 
nity and also the interrelationships between its special 
departments and disciplines. Mary Heneghan, regional 
administrator, discussed the plan of service of the Eastern 
Massachusetts Regional Library System, its purposes, 
organization, services, and financing. Sinclair Hitchings, 
keeper of prints, described some of the special collections 
of the Library and suggested that a project group of 
associates volunteers, under staff guidance, could carry 
out surveys that would describe and report on the Li- 
brary's diversified children's book collections or the vari- 
ous theater collections. Mrs. Eldredge and Mrs. Howe 
began visiting the special collections departments to see 
the kind and variety of the collections, before such a 
volunteer group is established. 

22 City Document No. 15 

The associates and members of the Charlotte Cushman 
Club celebrated the opening of the Charlotte Cushman 
Room on November 8, 1974, with talks by Mrs. Charles 
Innes, president of the club, and William Morris Hunt. 

One of the major events sponsored by the associates 
in the past year was the Serge Koussevitzky dedication 
program consisting of a lecture followed by a reception. 
Speakers, honoring the famed Boston Symphony Con- 
ductor, were Mr. Richard Burgin and Mr. Aaron Cop- 
land. The dedication program formally opened the 
Serge Koussevitzky Exhibition Room. Mrs. Olga Kous- 
sevitzky, who was present, was appointed honorary 
curator of the Koussevitzky collection. The Kousse- 
vitzky Collection, donated by the widow of Serge Kous- 
sevitzky, consists of his honorary degrees from eleven 
colleges and universities, twenty awards and citations, 
caricatures of Dr. Koussevitzky, programs, recordings, 
books, and musical scores, as well as gifts of bowls, 
vases, and other memorabilia presented to Dr. Kousse- 
vitzky throughout his lifetime. 


The Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library System 
provides service to the region's member libraries in adult, 
young adult and children's services through its staff of 
regional service librarians and operates with a plan of 
service developed and approved by member libraries. As 
a result of meetings held throughout the year to discuss 
the plan of service, the regional office staff now also 
provides services and resources in the areas of adminis- 
trative and technical services. Michael Dygert, formerly 
director of the Winthrop Public Library in Winthrop, 
Massachusetts, joined the Eastern Regional staff as 
regional services librarian for Administrative and Tech- 
nical Services. 

The EMRLS received LSCA (Library Services and 
Construction Act) funds for additional programs as fol- 
lows: $75,000 for reference collections; $100,000 for books 
to strengthen circulating collections of the headquarters 

Boston Public Library 23 

Library with an emphasis on ethnic materials; and 
$150,000 for audio-visual materials with an emphasis 
placed on children's films. During the year there have 
been improvements in regional audio-visual, film service. 
Personnel provided by Eastern Regional staff and mem- 
ber librarians conducted reference workshops on choosing 
and ordering the reference books which were obtained 
with LSCA funds. 


Staff members have been primarily concerned with 
professional duties within the context of regular library 
programs and services ; yet some of the staff participated 
in extracurricular professional activities. Lloyd Jameson, 
coordinator of Government Documents and Newspapers, 
participated in a panel presentation of the Federal Docu- 
ments Conference held in Storrs, Connecticut, and Ellen 
Eisenstein served as a Boston Public Library liaison per- 
son and regularly attended the NELINET Task Force 
on Government Documents. Theresa Cederholm at- 
tended a seminar on Art Exhibition Catalogs in New 
York City. Edwin Sanford attended the meetings of the 
Organization of American Historians in Boston. Paul 
McCallion attended the Institute on Library Services to 
the Business Community, sponsored by the federal gov- 
ernment. Y. T. Feng, assistant director, was awarded 
an honorary degree. Doctor of Humane Letters, from 
New England College. 

John J. Connolly, associate director of the Library, 
retired on December 31, 1974, after over fifty years of 
dedicated service. On January 10, 1975, the Trustees 
appointed Mr. Connolly as honorary keeper of the 
Trustees' Library "as a pledge of our affection and 
memory." A fund was also established in Mr. Con- 
nolly's name to provide a lasting memorial of his many 
contributions to the Boston Public Library. 

On September 24, 1974, Alice E. Hackett, coordinator 
of processing, retired from the Library after forty-six 
years of service. Branch Librarian Geraldine Altman of 
the Jamaica Pledn and Connolly Branch Libraries retired 
on December 20, 1974, after many years of service to the 

24 City Document No. 15 

Library. Mildred C. O'Connor, coordinator of social 
sciences, retired on June 18, 1975, after forty years at 
the Library. 

The Library was saddened by the death of Frank W. 
Buxton, former trustee. Mr. Buxton was on the Board 
of Trustees of the Public Library from 1928 to 1961, and 
served longer than any other trustee. He died at the 
age of ninety-six. Former Trustee Erwin D. Canham 
and Trustee Sidney R. Rabb participated in the funeral 
service ceremonies for Mr. Buxton. 

A John M. Carroll Fund was set up in honor of the 
late John M. Carroll, assistant director, to acquire ma- 
terials relating to the history and culture of Boston. 

At the eighth annual recognition ceremony for Library 
employees who have completed twenty -five years of ser- 
vice, the following staff members were honored: Arthur 
Burke, Clifford L. Fay, Jeanne M. Hayes, William R. 
Lewis, Ruth V. Marshall, Ellen M. Oldham, Euchd J. 
Peltier, Sadie M. Rotondo. 


Director, and Librarian. 

Boston Public Library 


Table 1. Circulation 









Central Library 




Kirslein Business Bran 

ch . 8,509 



Adams Street . 








Bookmobile Service 








Charlestown . 




Codman Square 




Connolly . 




]']ast Boston . 




Egleston Square 








Fields Corner . 




Grove Hall 




Hyde Park . 




Jamaica Plain 




Lower Mills . 








Mt. Pleasant 




North End 




Orient Heights 




Parker Hill . 








South Boston . 




South End 




Upharas Corner 




Washington Village 


— t 

— t 

West End 




West Roxbury 




Hospital Library Servic 

e 24,985 



Multilingual . 




Total, Branch Libraries 




Total, Entire Library . 




♦Ceased circulation of materials May, 1975. 


JBrauch closed due to fire, August 12, 1972. 


City Document No. 15 




Films and lilm strips 
Recordings .... 




Totals .... 








Interlibrary loans 




Table 2. Growth of the Library 




General Library: 
Volumes added . 
Volumes withdrawn . 




Total on hand 




Research Library: 
Volumes added . 
Volumes withdrawn . 




Total on hand 




Total book stock . 




Boston Public Library 








Films 5,267 















Lantern slides 








Pictures . 








Prints and drawings 




Projected books 








Microfiche (sheets) 




Microfilm (reels) . 




Microprints (boxes) 




Aperture cards .... — ■ 



Table 3. Cataloging Statistics 




Volumes processed 
New titles cataloged 




Original cataloging . 
NUC cataloging 
LC cataloging 
Rare book cataloging 










Recordings .... 
Cassettes .... 





Table 4. 





Volumes bound 







3 9999 06315 049 2 

City Document No. 15 

.22 o^ 


.22 OS 

a> OS 


(M O 

in <M 

t^ so 

r^ t- ON t- ON 

o o in in <N 

P— I r-H en (M (M 

O iC IC 

o ^ cn 
o Ln CO 
oin X 

'* in 

o cno 

O O (N 

in ><o OS 

in rH CO 

o in in 

in OS 

t- CO 

Sd rt c c 

- Q, Ctt, 


in fo m en so 

(M (N en CO <N 

in en »# •*__ (N 
so' in OS csf M 

m r- ^ CO •* 

O t- i-H r-l 

so r-l 

OS t~- o in in 
so OS ■* in e^j 
f^os CO so esi^ 
en OS «-f OS csT 
in OS OS M ■»# 

OS t- !— I 

^ '2 
3 3 

s, aC^ 

CO C C «'*i 

«^ C.2 ■ 





in f— 1 


iM Oi 







■* 1— 1 

so in o so 
m m (N rH 

m ■* o ■^ 

rH esl_i 

Csf r-T 

O so OS t- 



in o ^ so 
rn (M o^ o_ 


o'o'csf f-' 
en t- M 1— 1 



3 4J 

•• o*^ I 
S'.S'cS o 
i» CO C C 

— o'-i 

" G '^ 

P « -w <r. 

0-- CO d: