TRUSTEES OP THE PUBLIC LIBMRY.
1 8 G 4 .
J. E. FARWELL & COMPANY, PRINTERS TO THE CITY,
37 Congress Street.
City Document. — No. 92.
®a^ii mw ©©^"ircDSJc
TRUSTEES OP THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
In Board of Aldcrmeti, December 5, 1864.
Laid on the table, and 1000 copies ordered to be printed.
Attest : S. F. McCLEARY, City Clerk.
CITY OF BOSTON.
Public Library, 3 December, 1864.
His Honor Frederic W. Lincoln, Jr., Mayor of the City
of Boston : —
Sir : I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, the
Twelfth Annual Keport of the Trustees of the Public Library,
prepared in obedience to the fourth section of the Ordinance
relative to the Public Library, passed on the 20th of October,
Your obedient servant,
CHARLES C. JEWETT,
Secretary of the Board of Trustees.
TWELFTH ANNUAL EEPORT
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
In obedience to the fourth section of the Ordinance
of 20th October, 1863, in rekition to the Public Li-
brary, the Trustees submit to the City Council their
The Ordinance directs that a Committee shall be
annually appointed by the Trustees, consisting of five
citizens at large with a member of the Board to act as
chairman, who shall be invited to examine the Library
and make report of its condition. The members of the
Committee for the present year are Rev. H. W. Foote,
Wm. F. Fowle, Esq., A. A. Gould, M. D., J, L. Lit-
tle, Esq., and Thomas Minns, Esq.; the Hon. W. W.
Clapp, Jr., acting as chairman. The Report of this
Committee, with that of the Superintendent of the Li-
brary, respectively marked A and B, is herewith sub-
The Trustees refer with satisfaction to these reports
as affording a comprehensive and detailed view of the
present state of the institution, and as containing full
6 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
information with respect to its several departments, its
administration, and tlie practical results attained. They
are not aware that further explanations are needed, on
the part of the Trustees, in reference to any of these
points. They will only remark, in general, that they
believe no public library in the world could furnish an
account of operations, in some respects so satisfactory,
particularly in the number of persons resorting to it and
enjoying its benefits. An average daily resort of about
one thousand persons coming to the Library for liter-
ary purposes, occasionally swelled to two thousand, in
addition to those who come from mere curiosity, the
Trustees take to be wholly without a parallel in the
history of similar institutions.
The most important occurrence of the year is the
decease of the munificent benefactor of the Library,
Joshua Bates, Esq., of London. On the receipt of the
tidings of this event, resolutions were unanimously
adopted by the Trustees, expressive of their feelings on
the melancholy occasion, and of their respect for his
memory. A copy of these resolutions, marked C, ac-
companies this Report, but gratitude demands of the
Trustees a more particular reference to the career and
character of one justly recognized by them as the
Founder of the Institution.
Mr. Bates was born at Weymouth, in the neighbor-
hood of Boston, in 1788, the only son of Col. Joshua
Bates of that place. The family was among the first
that emigrated from the parent country to New Eng-
land, the name appearing among the settlers of Ply-
mouth County as early as 1633 ; and it has held a
respectable position in the community from that time
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 7
to this. At the age of fifteen, Mr. Bates entered the
counting-house of William R. Gray, Esq., the oldest
son of the Hon. William Gray, well remembered as the
first merchant of New England, in the last generation.
Mr. Bates's aptitude for business and solid qualities of
character soon attracted the notice and secured the
confidence of Mr. Gray, Sen. After leaving the count-
ing-house of Mr. William E. Gray, on becoming of
age, Mr. Bates formed a connection in trade with a
former shipmaster in Mr. William Gray's service.
The commercial world was at that time in a very
critical state. The British orders in Council, and the
French Imperial decrees, had swept the neutral com-
merce of the United States from the ocean, war was
impending and was soon declared, and the house of
Beckford and Bates, young beginners, was one of
thousands that went down in the crash. None but
the most solid fortunes were able to withstand the
pressure of the times.
This seemingly disastrous commencement of his ca-
reer, was in reality the starting-point of his prosperous
fortunes. It in no degree impaired Mr. Gray's con-
fidence either in his intelligence or probity, and he was
before long sent by him to Europe, as his general
agent, for the superintendence of his aff'airs. Mr. Gray
was at that time the largest ship-owner in the country,
having usually between thirty and forty square-rigged
vessels afloat. It will readily be seen that the trust re-
posed in his agent, not yet thirty years of age, was of
the most onerous and responsible character. Fixing
his head-quarters at London, he visited the ports of the
Continent, whenever the arrival of Mr. Gray's vessels
g CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
required his presence. It need hardly be said, that
nothing short of great general intelligence and un-
usual business capacity would have been adequate to
the management of affairs so extensive and compli-
cated, to the satisfaction of his employer.
It was on a visit to Havre, to superintend the dis-
posal of two cargoes of cotton, that an incident took
place, which gave a new direction and a decisive shape
to Mr. Bates's career. It is worthy to be placed on
record, as a very instructive example of the importance
of such demeanor and conduct, on the part of those en-
tering life, as are calculated at once to inspire the con-
fidence of persons more advanced in years. Having
applied to an American house at Havre, to know if
they would make any deduction from the usual com-
mission on the consignment of the expected cargoes,
Mr. Bates was answered in the negative. He then
went, with the same application, to the Havre branch
of the house of Hope & Co. There his appearance and
conversation produced so favorable an impression, that
a considerable reduction of the usual commission was
promised, on condition that Mr. Bates would remain
and give his personal aid in the disposal of the cotton.
After this agreement was entered into, Mr. Bates stated
that he had demanded the reduction from no selfish
motive, as he was compensated by a fixed salary, and
that all the benefit of the abatement would accrue to
Mr. Gray. The heads of the house, having supposed
that he was bargaining for himself, were of course
most favorably impressed with the integrity of the
agent, in appropriating to the benefit of his prin-
cipal, what, with a less scrupulous morality, he could
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 9
— and they, perhaps, had thought he would — re-
tain for himself. In the course of the conversation
he had incidentally remarked, that, in the interval be-
fore the arrival of the vessels, he should like to pass a
few days at Paris.
There was present in the counting-room, during the
interview, a person advanced in years, who, though
apparently absorbed in reading a newspaper, had in
reality listened to the conversation. It was M. Peter
Caesar Labouchere, related by marriage to the Baring
family, and the senior member of the great house of
Hope & Co., at Amsterdam. Highly pleased with
the appearance and demeanor of Mr. Bates, who
had expressed a wish to visit Paris, whither he
was himself going, M. Labouchere proposed to him to
take a seat in his post-chaise. The three days' journey
afforded ample opportunity for cultivating the acquaint-
ance so auspiciously commenced between the veteran
merchant and the young American ; and when they
parted in Paris, M. Labouchere said to Mr. Bates, that
if, at any future time, he found himself in need of
counsel or aid, they should not be wanting. An as-
surance like this, made by the head of one of the
first commercial hpuses in Europe, was well cal-
culated to inspire the person to whom it was addressed
with a generous ambition, and lofty views of success in
life. It also proves, in a very striking manner, that
Mr. Bates must, in his manners and conversation, have
carried with him an all-powerful letter of recom-
An opportunity soon occurred of putting the sin-
10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 02.
cciity of !M. Labouchere's offers to the test. The
fiiihire of Mi\ Samuel Williams, the wealthy American
banker and merchant, in London, in 1826, created a
very desirable opening for any successor possessed of
adequate capital. Mr. Bates felt himself competent to
the place in every other respect, and wrote to M.
Labouchere for his counsel, as to the expediency of at-
tempting to take advantage of this occurrence. M.
Labouchere advised him to await awhile the develop-
ment of affairs, but, in order to enable him to take ad-
vantage of any contingency, placed to his credit with
the Barings, the sum of twenty thousand pounds. A
partnership was soon formed between Mr. John Bar-
ing (the son of Sir Thomas) and Mr. Bates, and the
American business passed rapidly into their hands.
This connection lasted two years, when Mr. John
Baring and Mr. Bates were admitted as partners to the
house of Baring Bros. & Co., of which in the course
of time Mr. Bates became the senior member, and
in which he acquired. his colossal fortune.
The importance of this connection in the commer-
cial world needs no comment. It may be sufficient to
say, that Mr. Bates sustained himself, in the new and
responsible position, to the entire satisfaction of his
associates, and eminently to the advantage of his
countrymen having business relations abroad. His sa-
gacious foresight contributed largely to carry the house
triumphantly through the crisis of 1837; and on more
than one important occasion he was examined by par-
liamentary committees. To enumerate his acts of kind-
ness to individuals would be to repeat the names of a
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 11
very considerable number of the American travellers in
Europe. The house of the Barings having been the
bankers of the United States from the organization of
the Government, with the exception of a short period
under Presidents Jackson and Van Buren, the judg-
ment of Mr, Bates, as an intelligent and patriotic
American citizen, was of course highly important, in
conducting the correspondence of the house with the
A full biographical memoir of Mr. Bates would form
a very instructive work for young men entering on a
business life, but would greatly exceed the limits of
this Report. To one important incident of a public na-
ture, allusion may properly be made. The diplomatic
intercourse between the governments of the United
States and Great Britian, since the peace of 1815, had
become encumbered with a multitude of pecuniary
claims of the citizens of either country against the
government of the other. Many of these were of a
complicated character. As it was of course impossible
to subject them to legal adjudication, they formed a
constant source of disagreement, and often of unpleas-
ant correspondence, between the two governments,
usually with no ofher result than that each successive
minister at London and Washington, was required to
take up and study the various questions de novo, gen-
erally leaving them, where they were left by his prede-
cessor. In the last winter of Mr. Fillmore's administra-
tion, a movement was made, in the Department of State,
to remedy this evil. The American minister in Lon-
don (Mr. Joseph K. Ingersoll) was instructed to propose
a joint commission for a settlement of all these claims.
12 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 'J2.
This overture was readily embraced by Great Britain,
and a convention was promptly negotiated. It pro-
vided for the appointment of a commissioner and agent
on each side, and for the choice of an umpire to decide
the questions on which the commissioners might dis-
agree. Ex-President Van Buren, then in Florence,
was, in the first instance, selected as umpire, and he
having declined the appointment, the choice fell on
The claims submitted to the commissioners were
over one hundred in number. Many of them required
but little investigation and were soon disposed of, while
others, though clear as to principles, were rendered
doubtful and difficult by conflicting and uncertain tes-
timony. A third class involved important questions of
international law, and had been strenuously contested
between the two governments for nearly thirty years.
The amount claimed ran into the millions, but was re-
duced by the awards to about $ 600,000, which was
about equally divided between the two countries. It
devolved upon Mr. Bates as umpire to decide the most
difficult cases, and this delicate office was performed by
him, it is believed, to the satisfaction of both govern-
ments. Some of his decisions contain compendious
discussions of important questions in the law of na-
tions, and show the extent, to which a clear judgment,
aided by practical knowledge of aff'airs, though without
professional training, may be trusted for a sound opin-
ion even on questions that involve theoretical diffi-
His personal character, wealth, and connection with
the house of the Barings (of which the senior mem-
PUBLIC LIBKAKY. 13
ber, Mr. Alexander Baring, was raised to the peerage
as Lord Ashburton, in 1835) gave Mr. Bates facility of
access to the highest circles of English society. He
had, however, as little leisure as taste for fashionable
life, and his habits and manners retained unimpaired
the simplicity of his earlier fortunes. He greatly rel-
ished the intercourse of an intelligent select circle, and
was never happier than in dispensing a generous hos-
pitality alike to natives and foreigners. Among his
near neighbors, at his country house at East Sheen, was
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who dehghted to bring his
lofty and often paradoxical generalizations to the
touchstone of Mr. Bates's sterling common sense and
practical discernment. The present Emperor of the
French, during his exile in London, was much in the
intimacy of Mr. Bates, who entertained a very favorable
opinion of the future sovereign, not yet clothed with the
prestige of success. It is equally to the credit of Louis
Napoleon that, in the apogee of his fortunes, he won
the esteem of a man like Mr. Bates, and that their
friendly relations survived his elevation to the throne.
A great sorrow clouded his domestic relations in
early life. His only son, while passing the holidays
with a schoolmate in the country, was killed by the ac-
cidental discharge of his companion's gun. Mr. Bates's
only daughter, the wife of Mr. Sylvain Van de Weyer,
for many years and still the Belgian Minister in Lon-
do^, survives her father.
Reflecting honor as a countryman on his native State,
and upon this community in which he passed his early
years, it is nevertheless as the founder of the Public
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
Library, that Mr. Bates possesses his highest title to the
grateful remembrance of the citizens of Boston.
It would not probably be easy to fix a date to the
first suggestion of a public library in this city. It was
an idea sure to present itself to the minds of reflecting
persons, with the increase of population and wealth,
and it was a subject of serious consideration in public-
spirited circles above thirty years ago. In 1843, in re-
turn for a present of books, which had been sent from
Boston to the Municipal Council of Paris, a number of
valuable works were received from that distinguished
body, through M. Vattemare, in pursuance of his sys-
tem of international exchanges. From that time up
to the year 1852 committees on the subject of a public
library were appointed, and donations of books and
money made and promised by several individuals, which
resulted in the collection of a moderate number of vol-
umes deposited in an upper room in the City Hall.
These books were not allowed to circulate among the
citizens at large, and little use was made of them on
In February, 1852, the attention of the City Govern-
ment w^as called to the subject by a special message
from Mayor Seaver. This message was referred to the
Committee 'on the Library, who, on the 29th of April,
submitted a Report, in conformity with the recommen-
dations of the Mayor. A Librarian and Board of Trus-
tees were now elected, and the Trustees were " re-
quested to report to the City Council upon the objects
to be attained by the establishment of a public library,
and the means of effecting them." The report of this
Committee was made on the 6th of July, and in Au-
PUBLIC LIBRAKY. 15
gust following, the rooms on the ground floor of the
Adams School-house, in Mason Street, were granted for
the . use of the embryo institution. The collection of
books in the possession of the city, was, however, as
yet too inconsiderable to make it worth while to re-
move it from the City Hall, and open it to the public
A copy of the Report just mentioned was trans-
mitted with other city documents to the House of the
Barings, with whom the City Government was then
negotiating the water-loan, and it attracted the notice
of Mr. Bates. He saw in it the opening for the foun-
dation of a public library in the City of Boston on prin-
ciples somewhat novel, and which would afl'ord to
young men those means and opportunities for improv-
ing their minds and passing their leisure hours profit-
ably, of which he had himself sorely felt the want in
his youth. He accordingly, by a letter addressed to
the Mayor, of the 1st of October, 1852, announced his
willingness to make a donation, which would enable
the city " to establish the library at once." It was in
the following terms.
London, 1 Oct. 1852.
" Dear Sir : I am indebted to you for a copy of the Report
of the Trustees of the Public Library for the City of Boston,
which I have perused with great interest, being impressed with
the importance to rising and future generations of such a Li-
brary as is recommended ; and while I am sure that, in a liberal
and wealthy community like that of Boston, there will be no
want of funds to carry out the recommendations of the Trustees,
it may accelerate its accomplishment and establish the Library at
once, on a scale to do credit to the city, if I am allowed to pay
16 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
for the books required, which I am quite willing to do, — leav-
ing to the city to provide the building and take care of the ex-
The only condition that I ask is, that the building shall be
such as to be an ornament to the city, — that there shall be a
room for one hundred to one hundred and fifty persons to sit at
reading-tables, — that it shall be perfectly free to all, with no
other restrictions than may be necessary for the preservation of
the books. What the building may cost, I am unable to es-
timate, but the books, counting additions during my lifetime, —
I estimate at $ 50,000, which I shall gladly contribute, and
consider it, but a small return for the many acts of confi-
dence and kindness which I have received from my many
friends in your city.
Believe me. Dear Sir, very truly yours,
BenjajVIIN Seaver, Esq., Mayor of the City of Boston.
This offer was gratefully accepted by the City Gov-
ernment, and Mr. Bates, having been requested by the
Trustees to allow his generous donation to be funded,
and the interest only to be expended in the purchase of
books of permanent value, cheerfully gave his consent
to this arrangement, and by a letter of the 10th March,
1853, authorized the Mayor to draw upon him for
The requisite preparations being completed, the
Reading Room was opened in Mason Street, in March,
1854 ; and in a few weeks the Library, with a printed
Catalogue, was opened for the circulation of books.
These arrangements were all understood to be tem-
porary and provisional. On the 27th Nov. 1855, the
City Council adopted an Ordinance, creating a Board of
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 17
Commissioners for the erection of a library building in
Boylston Street, and on receiving information that it
was in satisfactory progress, Mr. Bates, by a letter of
the 6th Sept. 1855, announced his intention, in addi-
tion to his former donation, " to purchase and present to
the city a considerable number of books in trust," for
the purposes of the Public Library. The intended
amount of this second donation was not indicated, but it
actually reached the sum of $ 50,000. The corner-stone
of the new building was laid on the 1 7th of September,
1855, and on the same day and month of the year
1858, the Eeading Room was opened in it. On the 17th
of December following, the Library was opened for use,
with a Catalogue only of the Lower Hall. The formal
dedication of the edifice took place on the first of Jan-
uary, 1858, and in July, 1861, the Catalogue of the
books in the Upper Hall — a work of immense labor
— being completed, the entire Library was opened to
It is not the purpose of the foregoing sketch to nar-
rate in full the history of the Library, which is recorded
in greater detail in the Appendix to the account of the
Dedication. It is here intended only to set forth Mr.
Bates's connection with the establishment of the Institu-
tion. From the facts stated it will be seen, that his
original endowment of $50,000, gave the first effective
impulse to the foundation of the Library on its present
broad basis, and, with his second donation to the same
amount, so far transcends in importance all earlier gifts
of books or money, however liberal, as to entitle him to
be considered the Founder of the Institution. As such
the Trustees have recognized him, in their resolution
18 CITV l)OCUMKx\T, — No. 92.
above referred to, unanimously adopted on receiving
information of his decease, and as such he will be
gratefully remembered by the citizens of Boston in all
In concluding this Report, the Trustees are happy in
being able again to bear witness to the diligence and
fidelity of those connected with the administration of
the Library. It will be readily inferred from the num-
ber of those who visit the Institution, of the books bor-
rowed and returned, and of the new volumes added to
the Library, that a vast amount of work is daily per-
formed within its walls. The Trustees are satisfied
that in no public institution is it performed with
greater punctuality and cheerfulness, or with more
Respectfully submitted by
^ J. P. BIGELOW,
NATHL. B. SHURTLEFF,
WM. W. GREENOUGH,
W. W. CLAPP, Jr.,
P. T. JACKSON.
Public Library, November 26, 1864.
* When this Report was prepared, the interesting pamphlet containing the
" Tribute to Joshua Bates by Boston merchants," had not been seen by the
REPORT OF THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE.
The Committee of Examination, appointed to make the
Annual Examination of the Library, have attended to a duty
which it is pleasant to discharge, there being so many evidences
of the good which the institution is accomplishing under the
guidance of gentlemen who, appreciating the liberality of
the City Council, and the responsibility reposed in them by
beneficent donoi's, labor with unceasing zeal to build up, for the
benefit of the present and future generations, this great temple
of literary culture and mental improvement.
The statistics furnished by the Superintendent, supply us
with the gratifying fact that, notwithstanding the unsettled con-
dition of the public mind, incidental to civil war, the demands
upon the Library are yearly increasing ; many, no doubt, finding
on its shelves the means of alleviating those pangs which are
caused by the absence in the field, of husbands, brothers, and
sons. Each day some gratifying incident occurs, illustrating
the great power for good which this Library is accomplishing ;
and when it is known that on the average nearly a thousand per-
sons each day enter its portals, to take out or consult books, or
read the periodicals, it is evident that the institution is already
accomplishing a mission, and has to-day attained to a position of
usefulness which was not anticipated at so early a date in its
history by those most sanguine at its inauguration. We may
congratulate the city upon the freedom which is afforded to
every resident to enjoy, to the fullest extent, the advantages
which are sought for within its walls ; for no public library, with-
in our knowledge, is opened to applicants more hours in the day,
20 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
or lias attained to so wide a popularity among those who fre-
([ucnt it. The system of obtaining books is simple, and but
little time is required to secure the volume desired. The Read-
ing Room, which is one of the most attractive departments, is
appreciated, affording to the poorest artisan the opportunity,
which would otherwise be confined to the rich, to consult the
weekly and monthly record, foreign and domestic, of the pro-
gress making in arts, sciences, and manufactures ; often en-
abling an humble mechanic to obtain information of some new
discovery in mechanics, or some new principle applicable
to the industrial pursuit in which he is engaged, before it has at-
tracted the attention of his employer. The current intelligence
of the day flows into the minds of the people, giving new im-
pulses to the brain and quickening the best energies of men ; and
it is, therefore, on this account, that we recommend that the
Reading Room should be made the receptacle of all magazines,
at home and abroad, which may prove sources of literary enter-
tainment, or, what is still more valuable, contribute to the well-
being of the laboring classes, by bringing constantly before them
the news which has a direct bearing upon the avocations in
which they are engaged.
There is, perhaps, an erroneous impression, too prevalent in
our community, that there is necessarily an incompatibility in
creating a Library of Reference, and in making a collection of
books which shall be valuable to scholars, and at the same time
giving to the Library that class of books termed " popular,"
which are supposed to be most in demand. In the manage-
ment of this Library, a wise course has been pursued ; for, while
it has been the aim of the Trustees to meet the demand for
popular books, they have not omitted to place on its shelves
volumes which give it a paramount and ever-increasing influ-
ence. The beneficence of its donors enables the Trustees to
seek in every market of the world those volumes which are
considered standard authority upon all subjects ; while the gifts
of friends are daily enriching its Catalogue with volumes that.
PUBLIC LIBRAEY. 21
within a few years, will only be found within the walls of this
and similar institutions. The Library is not so rich in some de-
partments as might be wished ; but when we remember its small
beginning, and look at what has already been accomplished, we
have abundant assurance that it only requires time to make
good all present defects. The Trustees have, indeed, made most
excellent use of the resources at their command ; but we cannot
forbear expressing the hope that the liberality of the city, or of
public-spirited individuals, may enable them to procure at an early
day an ample collection of those books in the department of
bibliography, greatly needed by the guardians of the Library
to aid them in their official labors.
We find much to commend in the system adopted for receiv-
ing, recording, and cataloguing the books which are purchased
for the Library ; and it is with pleasure that we approve the steps
now taken, to open in proper form, a set of books, giving with
accuracy the financial condition of the various funds.
The cleanliness which marks every department, from cellar to
attic, reflects credit upon the janitor. We trust that, at no very
distant day, the much-needed improvement may be made of
substituting steam-heating apparatus for the present coal fur-
naces, the advantages being very manifest in a building devoted
to such purposes as this.
Congratulating the City Council upon the gentlemen and
ladies, who so faithfully fulfil their important duties, that any
change in any of the heads M^ould be an almost irreparable loss,
we respectfully submit this Keport.
W. W. CLAPP, Jr., Chairman,
HENRY W. FOOTE,
W. F. FOWLE,
A. A. GOULD,
JAS. L. LITTLE,
Public Library, November 11, 1864.
REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENEENT.
To THE Trustees of the Public Library of the City
OF Boston : —
Gentlemen : In compliance with a requirement of the
* ' By-Laws relative to the Trustees and Officers of the Public
Library," I have the honor to present to you a Report upon
the condition and increase of the Library during the year
ending the first of September, 1864.
I am happy and proud to be able, this year as last, to preface
the details which it is my duty to present, with the general state-
ment, that during the continuance of the vast national struggle
upon which this city has so nobly lavished her choicest gifts,
there has been no diminution of interest in the Public Library,
but on the other hand progress, at an increasing rate, in all
that pertains to its material prosperity and its educational use-
During the year, 6,226 books, 2,939 pamphlets, 367 maps and
charts, 887 separate papers, 29 engravings, and a lithographic
stone, containing designs relating to the life of Franklin, have
been added to the Library.
Of these, 1,081 books, 2,772 pamphlets, 224 maps, and all
the other articles enumerated, are due to the liberality of 219
individuals and societies. A list of the donors Is appended to
this Report, and marked AA.
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 23
The number of books purchased during the year, is 5,145.
This is above the average for former years.
Among the donations, I would especially mention the con-
tinuation of the magnificent and important work often alluded
to in former Reports, the specifications and drawings of English
patents, published and presented by the Commissioners of Patents
of Great Britain ; two hundred and five charts, from the U. S.
Coast Survey, the value and importance of which have been
enhanced to us by the care of the Superintendent, Dr. Bache,
and the assistant, Mr. Hilgard, in completing our set, and fur-
nishing us with interesting notes relative to the details of this
great national work ; the donation of pamphlets, some of which
are rare and curious, by Mrs. Lunt, of Quincy ; and, particularly,
a unique and valuable collection of books, 1 60 in number, rela-
tive to the Provencal language Snd literature, presented by Mr.
Ticknor. This collection, besides the scarce and costly works of
Bastero, Gatien-Arnould, and others, equally rare, comprises 74
volumes of the < ' Recueil " of the ' ' Academic des jeux floraux "
at Toulouse, published between the years 1732 and 1863.
This publication was commenced in 1696, and has been contin-
ued (generally one volume a year), but with some interrup-
tions, till the present time. So large apart of a complete set it
is extremely rare to meet with in any library. Indeed, I can
find no record of another set as full.
PRESENT EXTENT OF THE COLLECTIONS.
The Library contains at present, —
Books in the Upper Hall (henceforward, by order of the Trus-
tees, to be known and designated as Bates
Hall, in honor of the founder of the Li-
brary), • 93,342 volumes
In the Lower Hall, .... 23,592 «'
Total, . . . . . 116,934
24 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
These are all bound volumes, but above 2,000 of them are
pamphlets of consequence, sei)arately bound, and 5,11G are du-
plicates and odd volumes, placed by themselves, to be exchanged
Besides these, the Library possesses a large number of unbound
pamphlets. According to the enumeration continued from year
to vear, after deducting those separately bound, the present col-
lection numbers 31,837. Many of these are odd numbers of
periodicals, and numerous copies of the same publications.
The superfluous copies have been taken out and assorted, and the
remainder are conveniently arranged, and are made available by
an alphabetical list on slips, upon each of which the location of
the pamphlet is noted, so that it can be readily found. Many
of them are duplicates of pamphlets already bound, because they
are important, and placed as books in the Library. More than
1,500 of the most valuable historical and biographical pamphlets,
and vrorks of Boston authors , have during the year been selected
out to be separately bound.
Of the duplicates reported last year, several hundred have
been exchanged for valuable works, which have been credited to
the donors of the books disposed of. Some three hundred du-
plicates have also been added to the list. But the aggregate
reported this year is smaller than that of the last year. A list
of the duplicates has been printed, not including, however, the
imperfect sets of periodicals, and the odd volumes. Opportuni-
ties are frequently occurring for exchanges of a few volumes at
a time, but it is difficult to dispose of large numbers of books in
this way. Few libraries possess among their duplicates any
considerable number of books not already on our shelves. The
process of negotiation, of assigning to donors books of equal
value with those presented by them, and of making the requisite
entries in our Accessions Catalogue, is a slow one, and, during
the progress of printing the large Supplement, now in press, it
is almost impossible to bestow upon a system of exchanges the
requisite amount of labor. The books, however, though not
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 25
accomplishing their legitimate purpose of usefulness, are not at
present troublesome. We have shelf-room for them. They
are so placed that any one of them can readily be found, and the
printed list affords every needed facility for disposing of them as
opportunities may occur.
Books which are duplicates of those abeady in the Library
are constantly presented ; generally, of late, with the understand-
ing that they may be disposed of in any way most advanta-
geous to the institution. If sold, the proceeds would have to be
paid into the City Treasury, and could not be employed in pro-
curing other books to be credited to the donors. In view of the
difficulties of making exchanges, and the constant accumulation
of books which it is not expedient to retain, I would suggest the
propriety of requesting from the City Government permission to
sell, by private sale or by auction, books not needed, and to use
the money thus obtained in purchasing other books to be credit-
ed to the persons through whose liberality these purchases have
been made. This seems but justice to the original liberal do-
Besides the books and pamphlets Included in the preceding
statements, and a number of engravings, broadsides, and other
articles, the Library contains about 500 maps, most of which are
modern and important.
USE OF THE LIBRARY.
During the year, 4,758 applications for cards to take out
books have been answered, making the whole number of per-
sons who have signed the promise to obey the rules of the Li-
brary, and who have thus acquired the right to enjoy its privileges,
35,239. The number of new signatures is larger than in any
year since I860.
The number of lendings of books for home use was 184,035,
a number considerably larger than in any preceding year. The
number lent from the Upper, or Bates Hall, was 7,468 against
26 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
5,222 for last year. The number used in the Hall, 11,057,
against 7,124, last year. It should be stated, however, that the
statistics of last year covered a period of only 10 months. The
Reading Room has been frequented as heretofore.
The average daily circulation throughout the year was 664
.34. The largest reported any previous year vs^as 643.56. The
largest circulation in one day was 1,424 on the 27th of Feb-
ruary. This is larger than on any preceding day in the history
of the Library, except the 1st of March, 1862, when 1,517
books were given out; and the 7th of February, 1863, when
1,534 lendings were reported.
There were, on an average, throughout the year, 302 daily
visitors in the Reading Room, and 202 in Bates Hall, making,
with those who came to borrow books for home use, an average
daily number of 1,128 frequenters of the Library. On some
days it has been ascertained that more than two thousand persons
have come to the Library for literary purposes, besides those
who came from mere curiosity.
These results are truly gratifying. They show that the suc-
cess of the Library is not attributable to transient interest in a
new experiment, but to the fact that it was founded upon a
widely felt need of such a resource for general popular educa-
tion and culture.
The following statement shows the relative use of different
classes of books in Bates Hall, during the year : —
English History and Literature .
Useful Arts and Fine Arts
Theology and Ethics
American History and Literature .
French " " . .
Mathematical and Physical Sciences .
General History ....
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 27
Natural Histoiy • .... 4 per cent.
Greek and Latin Classics . . . 82 " "
Oriental History and Literature . . . 3i " "
Bibliography . . . . . . 3 *' "
Italian History and Literature ... 2^
German " " . . 2
Transactions of Learned Societies . . 1^
Miscellaneous ...... f
LOSSES AND INJURIES.
The number of books reported as missing from the Lower
Hall, is 432. I regret to notice that this is above the average
of former years. Of the 234 reported as missing last year,
39 have been regained. The amount collected in fines is
In examining the collections in Bates Hall, 15 books were
found to be missing from their places, and they have not yet
been accounted for. Only two of them had been charged to
visitors during the year. The annual scrutiny of the Library
is very close and careful, and it seems scarcely possible that a
loss can occur without being noticed. Still, books are occa-
sionally misplaced and forced in behind others, where they re-
main a longer or shorter period undiscovered. Most of the
books now missing are, it is believed, thus misplaced. The ab-
sence of a few of them, however, cannot well be accounted for
in this way, and leads to painful suspicions. The public are
excluded from the alcoves, and no one has been admitted to
them except under circumstances which seem to preclude the
possibility of theft. It is true that the books missing are none
of them rare, or of much pecuniary value, but it is very un-
satisfactory, under the strict police of this Hall, to lose a single
book, however unimportant it may be.
The books lent from this Hall have almost without exception
28 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
been used w'ltli eare, and the whole collection is in excellent
I regret to say, that the appearance of the books in the Low-
er Hall does not show the improvement I had hoped for, in the
carefulness of their treatment by borrowers. I apprehend
that the time may come when it will be necessary to make more
stringent regulations for the distribution of the books, and to
adopt some measures for detecting those persons who deface
and mutilate this portion of the public property.
The real cost to the city of replacing the books lost and ren-
dered unfit for use is not indeed large, and almost any restric-
tions will, it has been feared, operate to the disadvantage of the
innocent, and of many for whose benefit it is most desirable to
care. Still, the continuance of discreditable practices on the
part of borrowers, and their full extent should not be concealed,
nor should it be supposed that the evil is irremediable.
I have thought it might be well to employ for a time, a suffi-
cient number of persons, to examine carefully in some one al-
cove selected for the trial, every book, both before it is lent out,
and after it is returned, till some of the borrowers who persist
in disregarding their own honor and the public rights, are dis-
covered. I am not prepared to recommend this measure at
present, but I have deemed it my duty again to call attention
thus formally and emphatically to the subject, in the hope that
the necessity of any measure of the kind suggested, may yet be
A Supplement to the Index of the Lower Hall has been
printed, containing the additions for the year. A new edition
of the Index to the Upper, or Bates Hall, has also been printed
from the original stereotype plates.
The new Supplement for this Hall is now in the press. The
printing, owing to various unavoidable delays, was at first very
slow, but it is now proceeding more rapidly. This Supple-
PUBLIC LIBRAEY. 29
ment will be more than half as large as the large original Index.
Numerous additions have been made to it since the printing was
commenced. More than 1,500 pamphlets, which have been se-
lected from the mass, as important enough to be bound, are re-
corded in this Index. These comprise all we possess of tracts
published by Boston authors, or relating to the affairs of the
When this Supplement is finished the whole Library, both in
the Bates and Lower Halls, except books that may be received
during the progress of the printing, will be entered in the
printed Index. This is very important for the public, and for
the free use of the Library. But the Index to the Lower Hall
will remain in the original publication of 1858, and no less than
seven Supplements to it. It seems necessary that these should
be combined in one alphabet, and this task should be commenced
as soon as possible after the publication of the large Supplement
for Bates Hall. The public convenience requires it.
It is unnecessary perhaps to add, that the Card Catalogue,
which is the basis of the printed Index, and of what is most
important in the administration of the Library, has been regular-
ly kept up to the last accessions ; so also have the Accessions
Catalogue, and Shelf-lists. In short, no arrears in any part of
the library- work have been allowed to accumulate.
It is very seldom that an important establishment of any
kind rises in a few years from small beginnings to a magnitude
like that of the Public Library, without finding it indispensable
to revise some of its early arrangements, or even to adopt entire-
ly new systems of administration. The great and rapid develop-
ment of this institution was, however, anticipated from the first,
and most of the plans were wisely made, as far as was possible,
so as to be capable of unlimited expansion. The importance
of this forecast can hardly be over-estimated.
30 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 92.
In consequence of the great increase of work in many
branches of the service, it has been found necessary during the
last year, to make a new division of labor, but it has been a
mere change in administrative details, and does not involve any
substantial modifications of plans of organization.
The system of keeping the accounts has, however, long been
found ill-suited to furnish the information often suddenly needed.
The whole plan has, therefore, been remodelled. It is believed
that the one now adopted will be found in every way convenient
and satisfactory, and that it will meet the demands of the in-
stitution in its Ifirgest expansion.
Throughout the year the persons employed under my direc-
tion have faithfully and with zealous interest performed the
labors assigned to them, the amount of which can only be fully
appreciated by those, who, having had experience of such work,
can examine the results here attained.
I will only add, in conclusion, that the good order which has
characterized the institution from the first, has in no case been
interrupted during the last year. Among the throngs who dally
visit the Library, no cases of wanton injury or Intentional rude-
ness have occurred, — no avoidable noise even, except very rare-
ly an unconscious loudness of voice on the part of a visitor
has been heard. Entire stillness is of course Impossible In
large halls with marble floors, filled often with deeply interested
visitors, and where the business of delivering and receiving
books, of answering inquiries, and of performing many of the
practical operations of the Library, must be continually con-
The usual statement of accounts Is appended to this Report,
and marked BB.
CHARLES C. JEWETT, Superintendent.
Public Library, 18 October, 1864.
LIST OF DONORS.
Bates, Joshua, London . . . . . $ 50,000
Bigelow, Hon. John P. .... 1,000
Franklin Club . - . . . "^ . . . 1,000
Lawrence, Hon. Abbott .... 10,000
Phillips, Hon. Jonathan 30,000
Townsend, Mary P 4,000
The interest of these donations, with the exception of that of
the Townsend Fund, (which is invested in a mortgage at six
per cent.,) has been paid in gold at the rate of five per cent,
Adams, Rev. N., D. D.,
Adams, Mrs. Sarah M.,
Agassiz, L., Prof., Cambridge,
Albany Female Academy,
Albany Young Men's Association,
Allan, George H.,
Allen, Joseph H.,
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester,
American Anti-slavery Society,
American Baptist Missionary Union,
American Education Society,
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia,
American Unitarian Association,
Anonymous, 1 Pap
CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 92.
Appleton, ^Y. S.,
Balfour, David M.,
Barnard, Hon. Henry, Hartford,
Barnard, James M., 6 Papers.
Bartlett, Hon. J. R., Providence,
Bates, Samuel P., Harrisburg, Pa.,
Biddeford Public Library,
Black, James, Lancaster, Pa.,
Boston, City of,
Boston Gas Light Company,
Boston Provident Association,
Bogart, W. H.,
Bond, George P.,
Bowdltch, H. L, M. D.,
Bradlee, Pev. Caleb Davis,
Buckingham, Joseph T., Sons of.
Burgess, Rev. Ebenezer,
Burnham,T. O. H. P.,
Burroughs, Rev. Henry,
Butler Hospital for the Insane, Providence,
California, Adjutant-General of,
Cama, M. H.,
Capen, Mrs. Lemuel,
Cavalcante, S. Albuquerque, through J. McMullen,
Chambers, George, E., Philadelphia,
Charlestown Public Library,
Child, Henry Dorr, 8 Maps.
Christ Church, Longwood,
Christern, F. W., New York,
Cincinnati Mercantile Library Association,
Clark, Roxanna M.,
Cleveland, Charles D.,
Coggeshall, W. T.,
CoTcord, S. M.,.
Congregational Board of Publication,
Coxe, Samuel N.,
Cozzens, William C,
Cranch, William G., Washington,
Curtis, Thomas B.,
Daley, Hon. C. P., New York,
Dana, R. H., Jr.,
De Vries, Ibarra & Co.-,
Dorr, James A., New York,
Draper, Warren F., Andover,
Dyer, Thomas S.,
Edinburgh Royal Society,
Essex Institute, Salem,
Everett, Hon. Edward,
Farwell, J. E. & Co.,
Foley, William J.,
Foster, Hon. L. S.,
Fuller, R. F.,
Garrison, Wendell Phillips,
Gay, Mrs. George,
Great Britain. Commissioners of Patents,
Green, Samuel A., M. D.,
Greenouo-h, W". W.,
Hague, William, D. D.,
Hale, George S.,
1 ancient Paper.
Hall, Charles B.,
Hall, W. W.,M. D.,
Harvard Colleoe, Cambridge,
Haskins, Rev.^D. G.,
Hilgard, J. E., Washington, D. C
Holland, Rev. F. W.,
Homans, J. Smith, New York,
Hooper, Hon. Samuel,
Huntington, Rev. F. D.,
Indiana, Adjutant-General of,
Ives, William J., Buffalo,
CITY DOCUMENT. - No. 92.
Kentucky, Adjutant-General of,
Ladrcyt, E. jNL,
Langworthy, Rev. Isaac P.,
Lawrence, Abbott, 10 Papers.
Lawrence, T. B., 1 Map.
London, Corporation of,
London. Koyal Society,
London. Koyal Astronomical Society,
London. Royal Geographical Society,
Loring, Charles G.,
Loring, F. W.,
Loring, J. Spear,
Lowell, City of,
Lowell City Library,
Lunt, Mrs. William P., Quincy,
McCleary, Samuel F.,
Manchester Free Library,
Massachusetts, State of,
Massachusetts Sabbath School Society,
Massachusetts Horticultural Society,
Mitchell, E. L.,
Morgan, Henry J., Quebec,
Moore, C. W.,
Murdock, A. W. and W. A., Lithographic stone
containing designs illustrating the life of Franklin
Myers, Hon. Leonard,
Napoleon III, Emperor of the French,
New Bedford Public Library,
New York, Adjutant-General of,
New York Bellevue Hospital, Medical College,
New York Chamber of Commerce,
New York Mercantile Library Association,
New Nation, Publishers of. New York, 18 Papers.
Olmstead, J. W.,
(3nderdonk, Henry, Jr., Jamaica, L. I.,
Owens, S. M.,
Parker, Henry T.,
Parker, iMrs. Lvdia D..
Parker, Theodore, Library of,
Peabody Institute, South Dan vers,
Perkins, Augustus T.,
Perry, W. S.,
Pennsylvania Institute for the Instruction of the Blind,
Philbrick, John D.,
Phillips Academy, Andover, Trustees of,
Picard, William, Cadiz,
Potter, Hon. E. R., Kingston, R. I.,
Providence, City of,
Punchard, Rev. George,
Punchard, Miss K. M.,
Quebec Literary and Historical Society,
Ramsay, Cyrus, M. D.,
Renard, Dr., Moscow,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Rhode Island Grand Lodge of Masons,
San Francisco Mercantile Library Association,
Saturday Express, 12 Papers.
Schenectady. Vassar Female College,
Searle, George W.,
Seffar, Hon. Joseph,
Shaw, Dr. B. S.,
Smith, C. C,
Snow, Edwin M., M. D.,
Sokovnin, Captain, Russia,
Spencer, W. V.,
Storer, H. R., M. D.,
Streeter, Sebastian F.,
Sumner, Hon. Charles,
Thomas, J. Nichols, Providence, R. I.,
Thompson, Newell A.,
CnV ])t)(;i"MENT.~N(). U2.
Bureau of Navigation ,
Coast Survey, 205 Charts.
Department of State,
Library of Congress,
Navy Department, Wm. Faxon,
Navy Department, 10 Maps.
Thurston, G. H.,
Tincker, Mary Agnes,
Tohnan cSc Co.,
Toner, J. M., M. D.,
Torrey, J. G.,
Treadwell, Prof. Daniel,
Upham, William P.,
Upton, George B.,
Vienna, K. K. Geol. Reiohsanstalt,
Walley, Hon S. H.,
Warren, Hon. C. H.,
Warren, J. M., M. D.,
Warren, William, Brighton,
Warren & Co.,
Washington. Smithsonian Institution,
Wells, Rev. E. M. P.,
Whipple, E. P.,
Whitney, Rev. Frederic A., Longwood
Wilson, Hon. Henry,
Winthrop,. Hon. R. C,
Wisconsin, Adjutant-General of,
Worcester Free Library,
Worthington & Flanders, Pub. of the Traveller,
Wriy:ht & Potter,
For one year, from Sept 1, 1863, to August 31, 1864,
Binding, . . . .
. $1,141 42
Books, American, $4,690.18;
foreign books, $8,423.31,
Catalogue, . . . .
Fuel, . . . .
Furniture and Fixtures,
Gas, . . . .
. • . 12,192 90
AUOI'TED BY THK TRUSTKKS, ON RECEIVING NOTICE OF THE DEATH OF
JOSHUA BATES, Esq.
At a special meeting of the Trustees of the Public Library on
the 13th Oct. 1864, the President laid before the Trustees a copy
of a letter from Thomas Baring, Esq., M. P., to S. G. Ward,
Esq. of this city, agent of the house of Messrs. Baring Bros.
& Co., containing information of the death of Joshua Bates,
Esq., the senior partner of the house, at London, 24th of Sept.
last ; whereupon, on motion of the President, it was
Resolved, unanimously, That the Trustees of the Public Library
have received, with the sincerest emotion, the tidings of the death of
their honored and beloved countryman, Joshua Bates, Esq., a man
known and respected in both hemispheres, and whose loss will not easily
be supplied in Europe or America ; whose character, in all respects pure
and exemplary, was marked equally by the most endearing domestic
and social qualities, and by that clear intelligence, sound judgment,
executive force, and sterling worth, which enabled him not only to
achieve extraordinary success in life, but to render important services
to his fellow-men in the widest fields of action.
The Trustees, with gratitude to his memory, look back upon the
numberless acts of disinterested service, personal kindness, and unsoli-
cited generosity, extended during his long career to his countrymen
abroad, and they contemplate with pride and thankfulness his important
agency in preserving and strengthening the ties of good will between
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 39
the kindred countries. Especially in tlie trying times which have come
upon us, they honor the pure patriotism which glowed in his heart
and guided his conduct, rebuking disloyalty and rebellion, and counter-
acting, in no small degree, the sinister foreign influences employed in
the unworthy attempt to break down the nationality of the United
That, as a duty incumbent peculiarly on the Trustees, they desire, on
this occasion, to commemorate the liberality of Mr. Bates, in the en-
dowment of the Boston Public Library, in which he was actuated by
the earnest desire that his fellow-citizens of Boston, in all coming
time, should enjoy those early advantages of mental culture, which
fortune denied to him ; and while the Trustees bear in grateful remem-
brance the bounties of a long list of Patrons of the Institution, they
cheerfully accord to him, as by far its largest benefactor, — both for
the magnitude and judicious appropriation of his gifts, and for the
deep interest which he took in its prosperity from the outset, the name
and honors of the Founder of the Boston Public Library.
Resolved, That in consideration of the great value of Mr. Bates's
donations in money and books, the large hall of the Library be hence-
forward known and designated as Bates Hall.
Resolved, That a copy of this tribute to the memory of our munifi-
cent Founder be transmitted to the family of Mr. Bates, and to the
house of Messrs. Baring Bros. & Co., with the assurance of our sincere
Resolved, That these proceedings be conspicuously entered upon the
Eecords of the Library, and that the Secretary be requested to cause
a separate copy of the letters of Mr. Bates, and all other documents
pertaining to his endowment, to be made, that the same may be held in
distinct and perpetual remembrance.
Resolved, Thafa copy of these proceedings be communicated to his
Honor the Mayor, for the information of the City Council.
A true copy, — Attest :
C. C. JEWETT, Secretary.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 9999 06314 626 8
NOV 23 1878