ANN UAL R EPORT
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC
.\LFliKI) MUDGP: & SON, CITY PRINTEIiS, 34 SCHOOL STREET.
City Document. — No. 114.
eiTY OF BOSTON
TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
In Board of Aldermen^ November 25, 1867.
Laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
Attest : S. F. McCLEARY, City Clerk.
CITY OF BOSTON.
Public Library, Boston, November 21, 1867-
His Honor Otis Norcross, Mayor of the City of Boston :
Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, the
Fifteenth Annual Report 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, 1863.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLES C. JEWETT,
Secretary of the Board of Trustees.
FIFTEENTH ANNUAL EEPOKT
TRUSTEES or THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
In obedience to the requisitions of an Ordinance concerning
the Public Library, passed October 20th, 1863, the Trustees
have the honor to submit to the City Council their Fifteenth
The activity noticed in the last Annual Report, in all branches
of the library service, has continued without intermission during
the present year. The amount of labor performed has increased,
and the difficult task of insuring that each department should
fully meet the demands made upon it, so that none of the interests
of the institution should suffer to the inconvenience of the public,
or to the detriment of its own operations, has, so far as practi-
cable, been performed. The year of which we have now to
make report necessarily includes six months of the term of our
predecessors in office, and comprises the record of a new organ-
ization of the Board by the City Council, as well as of the
important changes made by the present Trustees in the economy
of the Library.
Of the large class of facts relative to the institution in which
the City Council and the community have a direct interest, a
full narration is given in the Report of the Examining Committee
accompanying this Report. This Committee, appointed under
the sixth section of the Ordinance, consists of five citizens at
b CITY DOCUMENT. —No. 114.
largo, witli a mcinl^er of the Board of Trustees as Chairman.
The Committee for the present year are Alfonso Bowman, Esq.,
C. W. Freeland, Esq., C. D. Homans, M. D., Herman J. Warner,
Esq., and Rev. R. C. Waterston, with Justin Winsor, Esq.,
as Chairman. Their Report (Document A) will be found
to contain ampler statistics of the circulation and use of the
books and periodicals than have hitherto been in the possession
of the institution. These statistics have been derived from the
new system of circulation, from which such large results were
hoped at the time of the last Annual Report. The various
recommendations of the Committee deserve the careful attention
of the City Council, and will hereafter be made the subject of
examination on the part of the Trustees.
The Report of the Superintendent (Document B) is also
appended. Like the document of the Examining Committee, it
will be found full of figures and facts to indicate the uses of the
books and periodicals. It likewise fulfils the requirements of
the third section of the Ordinance, that there should be made
known to the City Council, annually, "the condition of the
Library, the number of books that have been added during the
past year, with an account of its receipts and expenditures."
The tables, classifying the books of the Lower Hall, giving the
number of duplicates upon its shelves, and showing the wear of
this department of the Library during nine years, will be found
important by all persons interested in lending libraries.
On the 31st December, 1866, an Ordinance was passed by the
City Council, increasing the number of the Trustees, and changing
their tenure of office. It doubled the representation from the
Common Council, and added one to those selected from the
citizens at large, making a new Board to consist of nine instead
of seven members. It also arranged, in conformity with the
management of other city institutions, that the citizens elected at
large should serve for a term of three years, two being chosen
each year. This measure was evidently designed to give per-
manency and character to the Board, and to secure the services
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 7
of competent and reliable men in the administration of this great
trust. It is, indeed, possible under the Ordinance, to elect five
new members in the Board each year — but this probably was
not the intention of the City Council.
It will be remembered, that for several years great difficulty
had arisen in consequence of the want of power on the part of
the Trustees to punish individuals abusing or destroying the
property of the Library. To meet this emergency, the Legisla-
ture passed at its last session a general " Act for the Preservation
of Books and other Property belonging to Public Libraries."
The penalties under this law are sufficiently severe. No prosecu-
tions under it have yet been necessary, and none may be neces-
sary; but it is of the last importance to every public library
that its guardians should have authority sufficient to protect the
property placed in their charge for safe keeping.
The causes which led to the new registration of the persons
using the Library, are stated at length in the Report of the Ex-
amining Committee and of the Superintendent, It is only proper
to add here that the measure was adopted upon the unanimous
vote of the Board, after careful deliberation. Already a large
number of persons have registered, and we have yet to learn of
any one deserving and entitled to the use of the Library, who has
been excluded thereby from its privileges. If there be any de-
serving persons, who have no friends or acquaintances, and yet
are desirous to use the books or Reading Room, let them promptly
make known their necessities to the Trustees. As the Library is
intended for the freest use of the greatest number of people, who
ought to use it, it is obvious that more books can be circulated,
if they are so protected as to go only into the hands of those
who will take care of them, and return them at the proper time
to the Library.
It has not been expected by the Trustees that a new registra-
tion, including a system of reference, would relieve the Library
from all losses. Immunity from loss can only result from actual
security given, either from the names of responsible persons
o CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
agreeing to make good possible loss, or from the actual money
deposit of the value of the book loaned. But it may fairly be
concluded that any system which will tend to exclude notoriously
dishonest people from the Library, will diminish the number of
books lost or stolen. Since the opening of the Lower Hall, over
6000 l:)ooks have disappeared from the shelves, either lost, stolen,
or worn out. It is probable that more than one-half of these
were worn out, but the proportion absolutely lost through the
unfaithfulness of borrowers, it is now impossible to fix: here-
after it will be exactly known.
During the year new editions of the " By-Laws relative to the
Trustees and Officers of the Library," and of the " Rules and
Regulations for the use of the Public Library," have been printed.
In the first of these, such alterations were made as would adapt
it to the newly enlarged Board. The number of Standing Com-
mittees has been increased, the duties of all more exactly speci-
fied, and changes arranged in the work committed to the charge
of the various principal officers of the institution. This has
been done with a view so to distribute labors and responsibili-
ties as to meet all the demands upon the library service, and to
render, so far as practicable, the details of administration har-
monious and complete.
Only one important alteration in the Rules and Regulations
needs notice here. The Trustees, after observation of the fre-
quenters of the Library, desirous that its benefits should be extended
as widely as possible, diminished by two years the limits of the ages
of admission to the Reading Room and to the uses of the Library.
The results, so far, have justified the change. A large class ot
readers has been added, and of an age when a good book makes
a more lasting and decided impression than upon maturer minds.
A book remaining unused and idle upon the shelf does not fulfil
the purpose for which it was produced, and the largest use con-
sistent with the safety of the property must be the steady aim
in any successful management of a great public library.
Grateful mention is made in tlie Report of the Superintendent,
PUBLIC LIBRARY. »
of the various benefactions to the institution. Among these,
special notice should be given to the busts of Mr. Everett by-
Thomas Ball, presented by the subscribers to the Everett statue,
and to that of Mr. Motley, by Richard S. Greenough, due to the
generosity of Mr. Thomas B. Curtis. The increasing number
of works of art in the library, has had recent attention from
the Trustees. No provision was originally made in the library
building for their preservation or exhibition. The room now
used for their temporary deposit is utterly unsuited for the pur-
pose ; and in the changes consequent upon any future extension
or alteration of the present edifice, it is hoped that such arrange-
ments will be made, as may secure an appropriate position for
the statuary and paintings now in our possession, and shall
insure to future benefactors of works of art the conditions which
shall enable the student to proceed from the text-books on the
shelves of the library to galleries illustrating their contents, by
specimens of the best works of modern painters and sculptors.
Among the conveniences added to the library during the
year, the Indicator deserves the principal place. It appears to
have been instantly understood and appreciated by the borrow-
ers of our books, and has diminished, in a very marked degree,
the time of waiting in the distributing-room. Securing compar-
ative rapidity of delivery, it lessens confusion at the hours of the
greatest demand for books.
Of the other new arrangements to facilitate the use of the
books by the public, the most important is the publication of the
"Bulletin," of which one number has been issued, and with
marked success. The work owes its origin to the suggestions
of the Examining Committee of last year, who felt the impor-
tance of a readier communication with readers than the ordi-
nary processes of printing Catalogues and Finding Lists would
permit. One can hereafter procure, within a reasonable time,
and at a trifling expense, a list of all the new books added to
both halls of the Library, and the natural desii-e to obtain
10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
the last works upon any given subject will be readily grati-
Since the first opening of the Public Library, and the publica-
tion of the early reports, indicating to the public the principles
upon which it would be managed, it has gradually grown in the
general estimation. The hitherto untried experiment of opening
its doors wide to all inhabitants of the city, with the fewest
possible limitations and safeguards, during fifteen years has
had a thorough trial. The percentage of losses has been small
as compared with the whole number of books circulated. It
has been the aim of the present Board still further to extend
the privileges of the institution, due reference being had to the
certain return of the books loaned. It is, in their judgment, a
mistake to suppose that the increasing number of books lost was
of insufficient consequence, and that no restrictions were neces-
sary to prevent further losses. The very fact of immunity to
one unfaithful borrower tempts others to a like dishonesty.
To set such a snare before the young and thoughtless would be
In conclusion, the Trustees take leave to commend the Library
anew to the City Government, to whose continuous bounty and
favor it has been so largely indebted. It is now, we suppose,
in size the second institution of the kind in the country, and,
if its past prosperity shall continue, may ere long be the first.
To arrive at this result, it must keep pace with the wants of the
community, and be administered for its benefit.
WM. W. GREENOUGH,
J. P. BIGELOW,
NATH'L B. SHURTLEFF,
E. P. WHIPPLE,
JEREMIAH L. NEWTON.
Public Libraey, 19th Nov.^ 1867.
REPORT OF THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE.
The Examining Committee appointed by the Trustees of the
Public Library for tlie year 1867, ask leave to
They directed their attentian to th3
and learned that its history shows the usual experience with
public edifices, of inconveniences discovered in use that had not
been anticipated in the accepted plans. It was a condition of
Mr. Bates's original gift that the building should be an archi-
tectural ornament to the city — a provision which Mr. Everett,
two years before in a letter to the Mayor, had feared might yet
be interposed, while in his opinion the attempt at architectural
display would end in failure. Mr. Bates's condition — whatever
we may think of the way in which it was met — did not of
course forbid any of the requirements of fitness, and Mr.
Winthrop, who made the address at the laying of the corner-
stone, believed that the building, when completed, would bo found
to have few edifices of a like character, to equal it in practical
appropriateness and convenience ; and the Trustees at that time
reported that it would compare favorably with any public build-
12 CITY DOCUIMENT. — No. 114.
ing in tlio world for position, convenience and adaptation. When
the Library was dedicated, it was suggested that no disappoint-
ment should be felt, if the building should be found deficient in
some details, and that it would not be surprising if alterations
might finally become necessary. It is not strange, perhaps, that
the Commissioners, in their joint capacity, did not successfully
guard against any such future development, since libraries are
various in character, and have produced diverse experiences,
while those who have made their construction a study are not at
all agreed upon the prime necessities of their plan. Besides, a
free circulating library like this, and of its destined magnitude,
did not exist, whence the tests of actual trial could be drawn.
After the building had been occupied three or four years, we
began to hear complaints of its construction from the Examining
Committees, supported by those, who were deriving from the
management of the institution, a practical insight into its de-
"What are its Main Defects ? A want of light in some of
the alcoves of the Bates Hall, of ventilation in the lower
story, and the absence of working-rooms. Moreover, a mistake
had been made in the height of the alcoves, since movable steps
are required to reach the higher shelves, — a fault too late,
probably, now to remedy.
In the matter of light, the defect is often very inconvenient.
The needless fluting of the exterior walls, devised to afford light
to the Lower Hall, and which has not proved of use, both
enhanced the cost of the edifice, and deprived the Bates Hall of
valuable room. To reconstruct the walls now, so as to make a
straight line, would, we are informed, cost an. amount that it is
hardly desirable to expend in view of the future, if not immediate
necessity, of an additional building in the rear. It is practica-
able, perhaps, to cut through long, narrow loopholes in the outer-
most parts of the wall, in the-.two lovrei;- range* of alcoves (the
PUBLIG LIBRARY. 13
upper range being light enough) and the expense might not be
disproportioned to the benefit.
In regard to ventilation, your Committee found the atmosphere
of the lower Delivery Room invariably very bad, and that of the
Reading Room not so good as it should be, when many are occu-
pying it, particularly in the evening, when the gas is burning.
The matter, we learned, had often been investigated without any
satisfactory result. The only effectual remedy in the Delivery
Room would seem to be the removal of its present false-ceiling,
and even this might not be sufficient without some contrivance
for facilitating the draught in the flues. It is possible some arti-
ficial appliance for this end may work relief in the Reading
The need of working accommodations seems to your Committee
to be seriously felt, and the arguments for special rooms, in our
opinion, outweigh those in favor of using the galleries and
alcoves, as is now the case, for work which, it seems to us,
requires greater room and more fitting conveniences, to insure
facility and accuracy. All the labor upon the newly-received
books — the collating, the varied cataloguing, and other work ot
preparing them for the shelves — is at present done in so narrow
a space that two persons can barely pass beside the tables ; and
the room is very insufficient for assorting the books, as may be
necessary, in making proper classifications. The crowded con-
dition of this part of the gallery causes more or less confusion,
and the neighboring shelves of l30oks are exposed to an increase
of dust. In the alcoves where binding and repairing to bindings
have been done since 1863, these last considerations seem more
valid, while the workmen are necessarily put to some inconven-
ience in timing the noisy parts of their trade to intervals when
the hall is free from readers.
The large collection of pamphlets is kept in a low and dark
apartment over the Delivery Room, and their assortment and
examination -requires light as well as space. If the ceiling of
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
tlic Delivery Room, which makes the floor of this apartment, is
removed, accommodations will have to be provided for this col-
A small room in one of the rear towers is now devoted to the
British Patent Specijicalions and Reports, and its shelves can
receive but a few volumes more of a collection, which, through
the liberality of the British Government, is constantly growing.
It is probable that space must be gained by some temporary
expedient, before another room could be furnished, even if an
enlargement of the present building be deemed desirable.
The records of the institution in volumes and slips have now
reached an inconvenient bulk, if no regular place of deposit is
provided for them. At present they are necessarily disposed
in various corners and spaces, and a suitable room for their reg-
ular arrangement is to be desired.
The collection of the Fine Arts now small, is well begun, and
the time cannot be far distant, when the hall at present devoted
to their reception will be wholly inadequate.
The Reading Room at times is filled in every part, and might
well, even now, be enlarged.
The assistant, who has charge of the monetary accounts, is at
present only provided for in a much frequented passage-way,
with extemporized conveniences for the work.
There is no apartment at present furnished for the keeping
and showing of maps and large sheets oi plans or engravings.
Some of the higher range of alcoves in the Bates Hall are
now used for storing sale-duplicates of books and pamphlets;
but the increase of the Library is gaining upon those alcoves,
and some place of deposit, not now in view, should be made
ready for them, since a large library, receiving donations, must
always be burdened with such duplicates.
In the matter of shelving, a cursory examination of the Library
might seem to show that sufficient room existed for the accumu-
lations of several years to come. The building was calculated
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 15
to hold about 200,000 volumes in the Bates and 40,000 in the
Lower Hall, and it now contains about 136,000 volumes in
both, exclusive of some 35,000 pamphlets. But the measure of
further accommodation in the Bates Hall is not wholly deter-
mined by a difference of some 80,000 or 90,000 volumes.
Every large library, to be useful, must be classified, and the
classifications must be preserved locally with some degree of
distinctness. Hence it is very undesirable to allow the over-
flowings of one department to encroach on the neighboring one,
which is sure in time to eject the intruders, and cause much con-
fusion in the catalogues. Accordingly, though the shelves of the
Bates Hall will still accommodate a large accession of volumes,
not many thousands more can be received without departing
locally from the classifications so needful to make a library use-
ful. Already some inroads have necessarily been made on a
strict system. The Parker collection had, by a condition of the
gift, to be kept together, and the most eligible position for it
compelled the division of the Fine Arts collection, which is thus
inconveniently halved and put in separate corners of the build-
ing, and similar disturbances have been made in the departments
of bibliography and literary history. Of course, the Library,
in accepting other equally extensive collections, may be obliged
to take them on similar conditions. Such could not, on the
present shelves, be accommodated without the greatest disturb-
ance to the library's classifications. It seems very desirable
that a series of independent rooms should be provided, of vari-
ous sizes and suitable arrangements, to relieve the present hall
of these minor consolidated collections, and not only to lodge,
but to invite further accessions of a like character.
It has been held from the beginning that the ordinary annual
increase of the Library would be about 6,000 volumes ; and in 1854
it was reckoned, on this basis, that it would contain in fourteen
years a hundred thousand volumes. Experience has shown that,
for the ordinary increase, the calculation was nearly cprrect ; but
16 CITY DOCUMENT. —No. 114.
since, before reaching the end of fourteen years, we have fully
13G,000 volumes, the dilfercnce shows that there arc extraordi-
nary accessions, like the Parker library and the gift in books of
Mr. Bates, which are not calculable. Two more such windfalls
now would find the present shelving insufficient to receive them.
Your Committee then feel, that though there may not be pressing
need of shelf-room, but a few years can elapse before such will
be the case ; and it possibly may be, at any day.
What is the Remedy ? This state of affairs induces your
Committee to suggest the occupation at some early day of the
ground in the rear, provided for such an emergency. They will
not devise a plan, but leave that to be determined by the neces-
sities of the case, as understood by the Trustees ; but, in general,
it seems to be desirable that the ceiling of the Delivery Room be
raised to the height of the adjacent apartments, and the lower
library be moved back into the proposed new structure, which
should contain also the grand staircase (removing the existing
one) ; and by this means to secure ampler space in the lower
story of the present building for a Delivery Room, a Reading
Room, and a Fine Arts Room. The new structure need not be
costly from ornamentation within, or from exterior finish, as it is
chiefly needed for working-rooms, and for supplementary collec-
tions. The present Bates Hall would still be kept as the chief
architectural attraction of the library.
In case of such enlargement, it may be deemed best to ex-
change the present defective mode of warming the building for
the apparatus of steam or hot-water heating. Your Committee
understand, that the furnaces now in use are only kept in order
by constant repairs, and something before long will have to be
done with them, if no change in the manner of heating is made.
Your Committee would suggest that any radical change in the
Lower Hall, by which the shelf-numbers of the books Avould be
altered,. ought, if possible, to be made before the consolidating of
the Finding Lists now in progress is effected in a ne-w printed
Catalogue of that Hall. The same consideration will apply,
though not so urgently, to the Bates Hall.
Has the Increase been Satisfactory ? The number of vol-
umes in the Bates Hall as reported, Aug. 1, 1866, was of
Prince Library, not then located
Making a total then of .
Located 1866-67 .
Not yet located
Excess of duplicates received over
exchanges . . . . 191
The present number in the Bates Hall, 110,881
An actual count might fiall a trifle short of this ; first, because
about one hundred volumes are missing from the shelves, either
lost, or charged to borrowers and not yet returned ; and second,
because, in re-binding, two volumes have been in some cases put
together and now stand on the shelves as one.
In the Lower Hall the shelf-lists show that, includmg 3,002
volumes added during the past year, there have been placed in
this collection from the beginning . . . 31,802 vols.
An actual count the present year gives . 25,199 "
Deduct transfers to Bates Hall
And we have 6,243 "
which must be understood to cover all missing and worn-out
books since 1858 to the end of the last library year.
18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Your Committee reckon, tlien, for a total enumeration, not far
from 13(5,000 volumes. There is reason to believe that the Bos-
ton Public Library is destined to become the largest on this con-
tinent, while it is unequalled for its accessibility among the great
public collections of the world. It is now, we believe, only sur-
passed, as to size, in this country by the Library of Congress,
now that the Library of the Smithsonian Institution, and that of
Hon. Peter Force, have been joined to the national collection.
They calculate, at the British Museum, that 40,000 volumes will
take a mile of shelf-room, which proportion would give this
Library over three miles of occupied shelves.
To this collection of books, we must add an increase for the
year, of 7,877 iiampUets, making a total of 44,443, united to the
collection from the beginning. It must be borne in mind, how-
ever, that, say from four to five thousand of these, have been
culled from the mass as of sufficient importance to bind sepa-
rately, and are now enumerated as books. Moreover, perhaps a
thousand have been bound in groups, and an equal number
exchanged, for which there has not been received an equivalent
numerical return. Roughly, then, from this computation, the
Library may be said to contain about 35,000 pamphlets; and the
accessions of this sort the past year have been largely in excess
of any previous year, owing to the several thousand liberally
turned over to the Library by Mr. William Everett, from the
collection of his lamented father.
Your Committee consider this record of increase very satis-
Does the record op Donations show on the part of the
PUBLIC A sustained INTEREST IN THE LIBRARY? Nearly one-
half of the collection of books, and a vast preponderance — say
all but about 2,000 — of its pamphlets, have been the gift of
3,279 persons and institutions, not enumerating anonymous
donors, and counting the same source each time that it appears
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 19
on the annual return of donors. This one-half is independent of
the purchases with the interest of the trust-funds, which are, in
fact, likewise the fruit of private munificence. If we add these
to the casual presentations, it would show that the vast majority
of our books is the result of other causes than the City appro-
priations. The average yearly number of casual donors has
been about two hundred and nineteen, and the past year there
were three hundred.
Mr. Edwards, in his " Memoirs of Libraries," affirms that
" casual donation is a totally untrustworthy source for the forma-
tion of public libraries under any circumstances," but we are
glad to say the experience here is quite the reverse. Half,
indeed, of our total donations of books have come in large bulk,
but an accumulation of between 30,000 and 40,000 volumes in
lesser gifts, varying from a single volume to two thousand, is no
small benefit from casual responses to our needs. Indeed, Mr.
Edwards, who at the time was librarian of the Manchester Free
Library, so far qualifies his statement as to say, " In Boston
there has been precisely that co-operation between corporate
functionaries on the one hand, and independent citizens on the'
other, which is, I think, to be desiderated here." Your Committee
think no other large free library in the world will show so large
accessions from casual donors. We have seen no recent enu-
meration of the British Museum, but of its 540,000 volumes in
1857, only 218,000 had been given. In four of the chief free
libraries of England established under the Public Library Acts,
almost coincidently with this institution, their aggregate vol-
umes in five years amounted to 140,000, and of these only
30,000 were gifts. In the libraries of this country, that of
Harvard College is made up to a considerable extent of dona-
tions ; but as a collection for general use it is greatly inferior in
the quality of its books to ours, very deficient in recent and
current literature, and its garnering from private soui'ces shows
a much greater proportion of mere literary lumber. Private
20 CITY DOCTUMENT. — No. 114.
munificence lias rarely bestowed a more solid value in books
upon any institution, than came from the second gift of Mr.
Bates. The Astor Library is so emphatically the creation of a
single family that it is hardly to be reckoned either as a public
endowment or as the outgrowth of an ordinary private benefac-
tion. In the choice of its books, it is to be doubted if its founda-
tion was laid in any better manner than, or even as well, as ours.
The library of the Boston Athemeum is in effect a subscription
one, and has grown from private aid to be a valuable collection,
but, in the nature of the case, it does not make the same appeals
to the public interest. Subscription libraries cannot ordinarily
depend upon further private assistance than comes from the
payments naturally accruing to their treasury. The most flour-
ishing, perhaps, in the country, that of the New York Mercantile
Library, while it increased its collection by some 9,000 volumes
in 1865-66, found that only one hundred and seventy were given.
The records of tlie Boston Public Library then show, eminently,
we think, that it has invited the contributions of the public with
a success not elsewhere equalled in libraries of its character.
Do THE Bates and Lower Halls maintain relatively a
PROPER size to their COLLECTIONS ? The Batcs Hall was de-
signed to contain about five times the volumes of the Lower Hall ;
and this, with slight fluctuations, has been the proportion kept up.
It is about the ratio preserved at Manchester, between their central
library and the average of their five branch or lending libraries.
Your Committee see no reason to object to this proportion at
present, but they question if it be desirable to increase the bulk
of the Lower Hall much over its present numbers, for two rea-
sons. First, because, in a collection circulating so extensively, it
is not desirable to use galleries, if as many volumes as will
maintain a lively circulation can be shelved on a single floor ;
and, secondly, because the system of recording loans, now in
operation, will show year by year the books that are least called
for, thus pointing out at the season of each new consolidating of
the catalogue, what books can be transferred to the Bates Hall,
to make room in the Lower for the fresher publications, and
those in more active demand.
The growth of these two halls is, in the nature of the case,
somewhat determined by the relative amounts of the Trust
Funds' interest and the City appropriation ; the former, being out
of regard to the expressed or implied wishes of the donors, spent
for works of solid and permanent value, which find their place
commonly, though not always, in the Bates Hall, while the money
allowed by the City Council is entirely devoted to the demands
of the Lower Hall and the Periodical Room.
Do THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OF LEARNING IN EITHER HaLL
SHOW RELATIVELY PROPER PROPORTIONS ? In the Bates Hull, if
we exclude the Parker, Bowditch and Prince collections (which
may be put apart as characteristic in themselves, making together
over 16,000 volumes), and throw out something over 5,000 sale
duplicates, we shall have an aggregate of about 90,000 volumes,
thus far located, and they are divided in classes thus :
Periodicals and Transactions .
English History and Literature
American History and Literature
Theology and Ecclesiastical History
French History and Literature
Italian History and Literature
Mathematics and Physical Sciences
General History and Geography
German History and Literature
Greek, Latin and Philology .
Bibliography and Literary History
Other History and Literature
Metaphysics, Ethics, Social Science
12 per cent.
2 per (jent.
Political Economy .
Useful Arts ....
The accessions of the last year show, relatively, a large
increase in Theology and Ecclesiastical History ; an increase in
American history and literature, and a decrease in English and
French history and literature. The department of American
history and literature now stands to English history and litera-
ture about as ten to eleven, which, considering the extent of the
two in printed books, shows that our collection affords a more
complete examination into our national life and letters than it
does into any other, and your Committee think this extensive
garnering of our own literature and history most commendable.
If the average call for books in the two departments might be
taken as a criterion, our national history and literature might
be thought to be unduly cherished, for, of readers in the Bates
Hall, those calling for English history and literature to those
asking for American, has been for five years an average of sev-
enteen to nine. The proportions of demand and classifications
in other departments have run comparatively even, except
that the demand for works in the useful and fine arts is
probably somewhat in excess of the relative supply in that
Your Committee learn, that, from the first gathering of the
Bates Hall collection, the aim has been to make each depart-
ment of relative importance to the needs of this community, and
they cannot see that the Library is other than a- success in this
respect. They are told, that, through the instrumentality of Mr.
Ticknor, men distinguished for proficiency in special fields of
investigation were invited, early in the history of the collection,
to furnish lists of the most desirable works, and that from the
thoroughness of these returns the Library has gained much. A
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 23
special effort was made in 1857 to secure all that was rare and
valuable in books on America, and a list prepared by Mr.
Greenough was printed and distributed among dealers with
orders to buy, and about one-third of that list has not yet been
Your Committee learned that the system of the Trustees is to
establish regular agents of the Library in the chief European
book-marts, and in this capacity Mr. Henry T. Parker is em-
ployed at London; Doctor Fliigel at Leipzig; Monsieur C.
Porquet at Paris ; and Chevalier Alberi at Florence. Sums of
money are periodically placed to their credit in the hands of
Messrs. Baring, Brothers & Co., and these agents, who are
statedly furnished with lists of books to be purchased, are in-
structed to draw upon those bankers to a specified extent. The
London agent has a considerable margin allowed him to pur-
chase current books, not ordered ; and a lesser margin is some-
times allowed the continental agents for important books,
though not ordered. Invoices from the London agency are con-
stantly arriving, and those from the continent come seldom
oftener than once a year. For current literature in foreign
tongues dependence is placed upon an importer in New York,
as the most expeditious way of procuring them. Of the current
American publications all are sent for examination to the Library
by an agent, Mr. Burnham, and none are rejected but the
positively frivolous, immoral or needless. Your Committee deem
this system well devised to keep the Library supplied with a due
variety of books in all the classifications.
The Lower Hall shows naturally a very large proportion of
fiction, say 7,000 to 8,000, or about one-third of its entire num-
ber of volumes, — a proportion not relative to the demand, but
in your Committee's opinion quite large enough, as we shall later
show. There has been no strict account published of the classi-
fications in this hall since 1860, but the proportion is not per-
haps much changed since. It is not always easy to compare the
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
classifications of tvro libraries, they arc so generally kept on
diflfercut bases in some particulars ; but we should say that while
in the circulating department of the Manchester Free Library,
history and biography have a larger share of books than with
us, in the sciences and the arts the preponderance is on our
side. The percentage arrived at in 1860, regarding the classifi-
cations of this hall were as follows :
Novels and Amusing Miscellanies . 37.4 per c(
Science and Arts
Foreign Books .
Poetry and Drama
Miscellaneous History .
Since 1860 the department of Foreign books has been ad-
vanced nearly one per cent of the whole, and at present it con-
The selection seems to your Committee to be well made.
There has been no enumeration of the entire library by lan-
guages since 1863, and then there were of
59 per cent
Latin books .
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 25
It is to be expected, as the Library grows, that more and more
attention will be bestowed upon the foreign literatures, since
recourse can be prudently had to further explorations among
them, as the most desirable parts of English literature become
more and more gathered in.
Is A Due Amount of Current Literature Purchased ? It has
been the aim, as your Committee understand, to keep the collec-
tion promptly up to the times, purchasing, as a general thing,
books of long standing with what moneys are left after supplying
the current publications. This plan is subject, however, to some
conditions. The Library has, at present, in interest from the
Trust Funds, in currency about $7000, chiefly to be spent for
books of permanent value (the conditions of one of the funds
require the books to be of five years' standing), and unfortu-
nately there is but a small portion of current publications, which
a catholic judgment can pronounce in that category. The great
dependence for this end is, then, the City appropriation. For
the three years previous to the past there has been an average
yearly accession of this current description, of 1,570 volumes.
During the past year there has been received the following :
English books ...... 635
American books 1,154
Continental books printed in English . 104
Foreign books 539
Duplicates ...... 97
This is much in excess of the recent average, and of this num-
ber a larger proportion are foreign, than last year.
Your Committee learn, with satisfaction, that measures have
been taken to make known these fresh accessions, as soon as
26 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. lU.
they arc prepared for circulation. Something further was clearly
needed than the entries in the interleaved catalogues. A book
of accessions of current publications, posted week by week, fully
meets the requirement. Besides this, periodically, perhaps
monthly, a printed list of all accessions is to be distributed.
Are the Pamphlets Increasing Beyond the Present
Means of Managing Them ? The collection, as before stated,
numbers about 35,000, and such as have been assorted, are
arranged within presses, in pamphlet cases, in an alphabetical
order of their case-title, so that any pamphlet on a particular
subject is easily found. The system of assortment pursued is to
place them one by one in these cases, as the subject requires ;
and by a periodical examination of the cases, it is ascertained
when a sufficient number on one subject, or of the proper
sequence are obtained, to make a volume for binding to put
upon the shelves. In this way, some valuable accessions are
made yearly to our catalogue of books. Other pamphlets are
judged of sufficient value to bind separately, and however thin
they may be, a device in the hands of Mr. Goldsmith, the library-
binder, makes the back of sufficient breadth to receive the title
and shelf-number, without necessitating the accumulation of
blank paper within the covers.
Your Committee ascertained that this assortment is now in
such arrears that six months' labor of the usual assistant in this
department, would not more than suffice to bring them up ; mean-
while the collection is growing daily. Your Committee also
learned, that it is impossible, with the various other duties requir-
ing service in the Library, to allow this assistant more than a
fraction of his time for this labor ; and they cannot but see, that
with the present force in the Library, these arrears are becoming
more and more unmanageable, and must inevitably get into such
bulk and confusion, as to be discreditable to the institution.
Your Committee then most earnestly recommend that in the
appropriations for another year, the trustees secure, if
a distinct allowance for this department.
Is THE Management of Duplicates Judicious? In a
library of this character, duplicates are of two kinds, those
needed for the shelves to meet the demand, and those not
needed, and so held for sale or exchange.
The shelf-duplicates constitute one-quarter of the entire number
of volumes in the Lower Hall, being mostly in fiction, though in
other classes some books require, or have required them. Thus
we have of
Kane's Arctic Explorations, in 2 vols. 22 volumes.
Different editions of Tennyson
" " Longfellow
" " Whittier
Fronde's England, in 10 vols.
Motley's Histories, in 5 vols.
Fresco tt's " in 16 vols.
Bancroft's " in 9 vols.
Ecce Homo ....
Ecce Deus ....
Of the recent " Early Life of the Prince Consort," four cop-
ies were at once provided for the Lower Hall, and the English
edition for the Bates Hall, and more will be added, if neces-
It is evident that the demand for any book will slacken mate-
rially in time ] but this fact, as well as what books require more
duplicates, would not be satisfactorily ascertained, when it
depended upon observation alone. The present registration of
loans by slips brings together, at the year's end, the slips of
each book, rendering it easy to determine, where duplicates are
in excess of demand, and where more are needed. Further-
28 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
more, by the new " Indicator " it can be ascertained at shorter
intervals, say •weekly, when the duplicates of any book are
exhausted, and when the same book is so reported, week after
week, more copies can be ordered, if the character of the book
It ouglit not to be expected of a free Public Library, that in
meeting the temporary demands for a fresh book, it will compete
in the number of duplicates with a private circulating library
established for that end. This institution is not a commercial
speculation, and if five hundred copies of a popular novel are
purchased, and in a month or two not four hundred of the copies
are needed, any percentage on their prime cost, that could be
received by selling them, would entail too great a pecuniary
loss for having endeavored to meet the demands for an ephemeral
book. Where a book is really good, even in fiction, the call for
it may be measurably met, on the ground that a good novel will
always maintain a fair circulation ; but with the novels of the
day it would be bad policy commercially, and demoralizing
beside, for the city to undertake to cater to transient, though
popular literary furors. The inevitable surplusage of stale
fiction, which must follow the attempt, cannot be disposed of
profitably except by subscription libraries, and even then the
policy of smaller town and village libraries is to secure fresh
fiction, and a book that has secured a month or two probation
elsewhere, is so likely to be denominated musty, that this market
for their sales is already too abundantly supplied. Your
Committee are of the opinion that such a bartering business is
no part of the duty of a library like this ; and to follow it would
entail a pecuniary loss altogether disproportionate to any gain
that might accrue.
In the Bates Hall the duplicates are in very much less pro-
portion. Some shelf-duplicates are desirable. Two copies of
a valuable work will allow one to circulate, while the other may
be restricted. A book with autographs or manuscript annota-
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 29
tions may be of such distinct value as to require another copy
for circulation. A different edition, as distinct from a different
impression, has of course a separate bibliographical value.
The sale-duplicates are of another character, and naturally
increase yearly in a collection which grows so much from casual
gifts. In 1859, when the present building was first occupied,
there were within it 1,804 such volumes, and now there are
5,146, Exchanges are constantly taking place with other
libraries, but the process involves a good deal of labor, inas-
much as it is sought to make them book by book, so that the
name of the original donor may be inscribed in a work of cor-
responding value. During the past year there were 714 dupli-
cates added and 523 exchanged, increasing the aggregate by
191 volumes. During the war, by direction of the City Council,
duplicates in considerable numbers were sent to the military
hospitals, and some are still furnished occasionally to the City
Hospital. If ever branch libraries are established in different
parts of the city, use can be found for most of the present dupli-
cates, and those yet to be acquired, by turning them over to
these minor institutions. Meanwhile they cannot be other than
the source of a good deal of labor. To sell them at auction,
and to purchase new books with the proceeds, might seem to be
the most desirable, as it would be the most expeditious way
of managing them ; but such a course is often considered ruth-
less by donors, and to preserve an equivalent for every gift by
such a wholesale disposition would be far from easy. It is
known that fifty years ago such a course cost the British Museum
several valuable bequests ; and since they stopped this selling in
1831, it is thought that the interests of that institution have
been advanced beyond the drawback from their accumulation,
which in twenty years was so large that they had 10,000 dupli-
cates of the commoner kinds of books. Where the consent of a
donor to an exchange has been withheld, it has been found
desirable in some cases to exchange the earlier copy, if a pur-
30 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
chased one, and this has been done to some extent in regard to.
the duplicates of the Parker collection.
Are they well Devised, in Good Order, and well kept
UP ? The question of cataloguing is one of vast importance, and
it has become a very vexed oVie, though the decisiveness of a
Panizzi is little warrant for a hasty judgment from less worthy
hands. The difficulty increases disproportionately with the
growth of a library. Success, passable perhaps at best, can only
be serviceable by keeping the registration well up, which your
Committee understand to be the case with this institution. The
system here in use embodies the labor of many, and profits by
the experience of other libraries, and has been adequately de-
scribed in previous reports. The card system for an imprinted
catalogue with full titles is more and more valued with expe-
rience. In all the subsidiary cataloguing the system of this
Library seems to be as particular and diversified as is needful to
cover all details, and to enable its officers to keep well in hand
its literary forces. This reduplicated labor involves time and
money, but if it is desirable — as it certainly is — to insure and
have at command a perfect knowledge of the Library's condition,
it is necessary. Large libraries are conducted oftentimes with
but a part of this machinery, as is the case, we are informed, with
the Astor Library, but its Superintendent must often be at a dis-
advantage where ours is not. Of course, with a free circulating
library like this, these means of discovering irregularities, such
as shelf-list, etc., are much more necessary than in a collection
that does not leave the building.
The last voluminous Supplement to the prhited Index of the
Bates Hull is but a year old, and probably some years must pass
before another of equal bulk will be required. In the mean time,
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 31
new titles are entered promptly in an interleaved catalogue,
accessible to the public, besides being given, as we have before
stated, in a printed Bulletin, to be issued monthly, if required,
and being enumerated — such of them as are current issues —
in the order of accession in a " List of New Books received."
When the Finding Lists for the Lower Hall, which are print-
ing, alcove by alcove, according to the classifications, are com-
pleted, it will be practicable to consolidate the titles in a new
Index for that hall, thus dispensing with the present inconvenient
Index, with its numerous Supplements.
The new Indicator is, also, an adjunct of the catalogues. There
was a record made in 1860, for three days, of the novel-seekers
who went away without a book because every one on their cards
was out, and they proved to be three per cent of the whole.
This disappointment, as well as the need of some plan of expe-
diting the delivery, led to the device, by the Superintendent, of
this simple but effective instrument, which, if consulted, will pre-
vent such uncertainties, while, from its facilitating the process of
administration, it is to be hoped it will invite frequenters from
the classes who could ill afford the time necessary to get a book
under the old arrangement. The instrument seems liable to
error only from the failure of the attendant to turn the pin, but
this is guarded against at present by stated verifications ; and in
time it is expected its management will become almost automatic
on the part of those in charge.
Are the Records of all kinds m Good Order ? An institu-
tion conducted with so much machinery as a large library for
popular use, must have a complete system of records, or its
variety of detail does not afford the instruction for its better
management that it should. Other than the catalogues, there is
a variety of records connected with the books, such as the book
32 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
or invoices, record of " books asked for/' of exchanges and of
the statistics of circulation — all of which your Committee found
in good order. The records of the Trustees have been kept with
precision and neatness from the beginning, and are well cared
for, with the files of reports and letter books. The books con-
taining the signers for the use of the Library now occupy several
large folios, and must be of interest at some future time as auto-
graphs of our generation. One book was of interest to your
Committee, namely, that in which the officers and assistants of
the institution enter their names, with the hour and minute (if
after the regular time), in reporting for duty in the morning, and
they were pleased to observe a commendable degree of prompt-
Are the Expenditures properly cared for ? Your Com-
mittee learned that it is but two or tliree years since a set of
monetary accounts, on a thorough system, was begun in the build-
ing, and they found them very creditably kept by the assistant
in charge. Before that time there was much difficulty in appor-
tioning the books bought, to the several Trust Funds, and there
was no accurate knowledge of the general expenses of the insti-
tution to be attained except through the City Auditor. The
amount of expenditures had become too large, not to have the
means of scrutinizing the record, near at hand. There are
eighteen permanent accounts opened, covering the twelve items
of appropriations from the City Council, and the six Trust Funds,
each book bought with the income of one or the other being
carried to that fund. Besides these there is a great number of
individual and painor accounts. In the Trust Funds' accounts
for the year ending in May, we find an income of $5,760, mostly
in gold, equivalent in currency to $6,874 21 ; and at that date,
the whole of this had been appropriated for books, except
$295 59; to cover which there was in the hands of Messrs.
Baring $2,111 67, for the purchase of books.
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 33
It lias been the policy of the Trustees, from the beginning, never
to handle money, and all bills are payable to the holders on a
requisition of the President upon the City Treasury, after the
items have been examined by the Superintendent, approved by
the proper Committee, passed by the Committee on Finance, and
confirmed by the full board. The only money received in the
building is the small sums collected in fines, which last year
amounted to $364.55, and which the Librarian is charged to pay
into the City Treasury ; besides the small amounts received from
the sale of the catalogues, finding lists, etc., likewise disposed of
in the same manner.
Is THE LiBRAEY OPEN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ? The Library
proper has been open on an average for the last ten unbroken
years, 276 days, and for the past year, 277 days. It has been
kept open in one year (1860) for 297 days, which is one reason,
probably, why the daily average delivery diminished materially for
that year. 'The regulations close the Library on the fifty-two
Sundays, and on six holidays, and if to these be added two days
for any extraordinary occasions, and the month of August, we
have left 278 days, which may be considered a fair average
opening for a year. The month, that is now required for clean-
ing the building and verifying the shelf-lists, book by book, may
not have been necessary in years past. The first year in this
.building, but eleven working days were required for this pur-
pose, but then the building was new, and the shelves were much
less filled. The task of seeing that every volume of a hundred
and thirty-six thousand is in its proper place is no small one, and
the recess is not by any means a season of relaxation to the
attendants. It will be fortunate, if in coming years, this work
can be kept within the month. ' ' In libraries that do not circulate,
less time will be naturally required. At the British Museum, ten
years ago, they kept open 293 days ; any later account, since the
completion of their new reading hall, we have not seen. This
34 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
number is ordinarily exceeded in the Reference Library at Man-
chester, and they adopt there the plan of three cleaning days
each quarter ; but in addition to not circulating the books, this
Reference Library contains but a little more than one-third of
our number of volumes.
During August of the present year, the Reading Room for the
first time was not closed, (except for a brief interval while the
periodicals were removed to another room, to allow the Reading
Room to be newly painted.) It seems desirable that this should
be the case hereafter.
The staff of assistants needs periods of relaxation, and the
absence of any one regular attendant necessarily disorders
somewhat the routine of the library business. This matter is
regulated as well as is practicable by allowing as few as possi-
ble to be absent at any one time.
Is THE Library conducted so as to be as useful as pos-
sible TO ALL Classes? The institution was begun expressly
on popular grounds. Mr. Everett, in his letter to the Mayor, in
1851, called it the completion of our public school system, and
that has been a favorite designation of it ever since. In the
preliminary report of 1852 — the body of which was drawn by
Mr. Ticknor — it was wisely recommended that a beginning
should be made without any sharply defined plan, so that sug-
gestions from experience could be made effectual ; and it was
not thought well to make it at once an imposing, learned or
scientific collection, but rather to gather a library most fitted for
the masses. Mr. Ticknor — whose contributions to the Library
in time and experience cannot be overvalued — expressly says,
in a letter accompanying a valuable donation of books in 1860,
that he would " never have put his hand to the institution at all^
but with the understanding that it should be made useful to the
greatest possible number of citizens ; " and he says that for
eight years there had not been any real difference among the
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 35
Trustees on that point, nor can we learn that there has been any
Up to 1856 the system of purchases had looked to supplying
the most popular wants. The collection, which had then grown
to near 30,000 volumes, was deemed large enough to satisfy the
most reasonable demands of a general kind ; and it began to be
felt that there were particular classes of our citizens, apart from
the general body, whose wants deserved recognition. So about
that time we find that books in the foreign tongues began to be
added, and the higher departments of literature more fully de-
veloped. The donations to the Trust Funds, now accruing, in
being expended for books of solid and permanent value, served
to strengthen very materially the upper classifications; while
Mr. Bates's last munificent gift of books developed our weight in
the same direction. The time was now come when it was very
properly agreed that there was no department of learning, which
some portion of the community was not interested in ; and that
every department should be cared for to meet such requirements.
So the two distinct collections have been developed — the Lower
Hall to meet the most ordinary demands of the people, and the
Bates to serve the higher requirements of the studious classes,
or of investigators in special matters — a scheme which your
Committee can but think naturally evolved, and conducive to the
satisfaction of every mental grade, and answering the require-
ments of all the intellectual demands of the community.
There is one feature connected with the methods of purchase,
which your Committee can but consider almost unprecedented for
its liberality, though it confers a privilege that comparatively
few seem ready to take. It has always been the pleasure of the
Trustees to order any book, if a proper one, when asked for, and
not already in the collection. From 1854 to 1865, the number
of requests of this kind annually made, greatly fluctuated be-
tween 18 and 221, and in one year (1860) several thousand
notices were put in all the books delivered for a fortnight, but
36 CITY DOCUMENT. —No. 114.
it secured only 25 a])plications, and the averao-e for these twelve
years was only 117. Latterly the plan has produced better
results. Last year there were 306, and during that just past,
546, and in 95 cases the applicants had failed to discover the de-
sired books were already in the Library, and of the remainder,
260 vols, have been received, leaving 191 still on the order-
books of our agents. This privilege is an inestimable one to
scholars, and indeed to all, and it is somewhat surprising to
your Committee, that it is not more enjoyed. It is really an in-
ducement for an inquirer in any department to make Boston his
residence over any other city on this continent. It gives him,
or any citizen in need of a particular book, facilities for search-
ing the book-marts of the world, that the wealthiest can hardly
Your Committee also believe that in no other large library are
readers more expeditiously served. The catalogues are well
kept up and accessible. It can be at once known if book or
pamphlet is in the collection, and the place of its deposit ascer-
tained. In some other of the libraries about us, this is done only
with delay. It takes from six to ten minutes to get a book at
the British Museum, after the slip is handed in ; so it will be
seen that the extent of a collection must necessarily enhance the
average delay, however well organized the delivery system may
be. With some of the large libraries of the continents of
Europe, we have a startling proof of the inconvenience of a less
systematic process, in the hours that may be passed in waiting,
which are sometimes so extended that a second day's pursuit
Your Committee have heard occasional complaints from hasty
people, that the Library can be of no use to them because they
are debarred access to the alcoves, but they have forgotten, that
with a printed catalogue of subjects as well as authors, the
Boston Public Library is far more serviceable than another col-
lection might be without this aid. Students have told your Com-
mittee that at this Library they can investigate a point with far
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 37
greater expedition than they can in collections where their priv-
ileges give them the range of the alcoves, but where they have
no assistance from similar catalogues.
Dr. Cogswell, of the Astor Library, has said, in one of his
printed reports, that a free circulating library in New York was
an impossibility, and that in less than five years any collection
for that purpose in so large a city would be scattered to the
winds. Such an opinion may be extravagant, but it is clear that
no collection can maintain its usefulness unimpaired without due
restrictions, and experience has shown in Boston, that, as you
extend the privilege of such an institution, it is likely that those
classes least accustomed to books, and least influenced by that
reverence for books which is most wholesome, will be drawn in.
Yet these are not the only people who commit depredations.
Bibliomaniacs are proverbially notorious for some strangely lax
notions, and, unfortunately, bibliomaniacs are fond of mousing
in alcoves. To make class distinctions is not proper, since,
instead of a free library, you have then a library for the elect. It
is admitted that an hour's search in an alcove may in some cases
satisfy an investigator better than a much longer time at the out-
side tables ; and such access is always accorded to any one who
has a determinate literary or other consistent purpose, in the
presence of an attendant, if the request is properly made. It is
not infrequently replied that all freedom and ease of investigation
is out of the question, with such a looker-on to pass you the books.
With some temperaments this is doubtless true, but it must be
remembered that in allowing one reader a freedom from such
restraint, the Library may be of diminished value to hundreds
who come after him. Studious persons are not always the most
orderly in obeying injunctions or in returning books to their
exact place on the shelves, and their misplacements may remain
undiscovered until the annual cleaning, so that every intervening
inquirer for the misplaced book must be disappointed. This
restraint, it seems clear, though sometimes irksome, is really pre-
servative of the Library for the many to come.
o8 CITY DOCUMENT. —No. 114.
Some exception is now and then taken to the rule which keeps
from circulation rare or costly works, unless it be by the consent
of the Superintendent or of two of the Trustees. This, doubt-
less, causes delays ; but witliout these obstacles in the way of
mere curiosity or amusement, valuable architectural works for
instance would be a great deal of the time in the hands of idlers
as picture-books, and when the student of that art required them
it would be fortunate if he did not find them mutilated, or un-
cleanly, to a degree that might reasonably disturb his sense of
propriety. Such restrictions are properly made, it seems to your
Committee, for the preservation of the books /or the classes most
intercsied in them, and for whose benefit in part the Library has
been gathered. A little reflection must convince those who have
been most harassed in this respect of the truth of this.
Does the City Ordinance Relative to the Public Libra-
ry NEED Amendment? The Trustees are charged with the
management of the Library, and are properly allowed the ap-
pointment of their executive officers, inasmuch as their own good
name is largely entrusted to the fidelity of such. In assigning
duties to the various officers, they are not free to exercise fully
their own judgment, until the apportionment of the salaries goes
with the assignment. They have this liberty in all cases but
with the Superintendent and Librarian, on whom the most re-
sponsibility falls, and upon whose trustworthiness they must
depend before all others. It is eminently proper that the City
Council should fix the limit in the aggregate of all salaries, but
it seems to your Committee that it would be desirable to remove
the restraint now existing, so that the Trustees may apportion
the recompense, as well as define the duties, of all under them,
Avithin some aggregate limits.
The Ordinance of last year, re-organizing the Board of Trus-
tees, opens the way to put five new members, or a majority, into
the Board at any election — a conjunction of aflairs that might
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 39
work serious detriment to the institution in some season of tem-
porary clamor — always to be provided against at times given to
devising safeguards for the future — when the unseating of a ma-
jority of those most versed in the management of the Library may
throw the control into the hands of the inexperienced, or of those
chosen, in obedience to some passion of the hour, on other grounds
than their peculiar fitness. It seems to your Committee most de-
sirable that two successive elections should at least be required
before the predominating influence in the Board can be changed,
and this would give a portion of the final majority a year's ex-
perience before they shall decide the policy of the Board. A
majority at a single election, if given to views gathered outside
of the peculiar experience of the Library, might, it seems to your
Committee, very likely act in a way prejudicial to its interests.
It is most proper that a full representation of the City Council
should remain, as at present, in the Board, and the change must
accordingly be devised among the other members. It has been
suggested, though some objections at once present themselves, that
the term of service for those chosen from the citizens at large,
should be six years, with one electable every year. This, with
the annual three from the City Council, would secure a majority
in two years.
Is THE Circulation Satisfactory ? The number of signers
from the beginning up to the opening of the present building
was something short of 16,000. A new registration was then
ordered, and an equal number signed in a little more than a
year's time. Since then there has been a yearly increase of
between four and five thousand, so that when the year closed on
the first of August, something like 53,000 names stood on the
books. It was known that a large proportion of this number,
either from death, removal or want of inclination, did not use
40 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
the Library; and new cards were given out last year, and
including the new signers for that year, some twelve or thirteen
thousand were taken, which number must, however, be in excess
of the habitual ire(|uenters of the Library, though probably
below the number of readers, since in families a book may find
several to read it besides the card-holder. At Manchester, for
the same circulation as ours, in 1866 they had 7,339 cards in
The total number of books in use in hotli halls for the past
year was 208,963, a daily average of 754, which is larger than
ever before ; while the greatest delivery in any single day was
1,813 (against 1,534, the largest previously, in 1863), and of
this, 206 were in the Bates Hall, and 1,607 in the Lower Hall.
This heavy work comes usually in February.
Lower Hall. The number of volumes taken from the Lower
Hall, in 1859, was about 150,000; and the past year it was'^
183,714, which is very nearly the average of the last four years.
There would, probably, the past year, have been a material
increase over the previous year, but for the fact, that it was
necessary in the preparation of the " Finding Lists " to keep
two or three thousand volumes from circulation at once, and they
were oftentimes of the most popular description. The daily
average of loans the past year for the Lower Hall was 664.
We can best understand the importance of the work we
are doing by a comparison with other libraries, as far
as statistics can be used, though any comparison is open to some
qualifications. Three of the largest of the lending libraries of
the Manchester institution had, in 1866, an aggregate of just
about the number of volumes in our Lower Hall, or perhaps a
thousand or two more. These circulated very nearly the same
number of volumes, as with us for the same year, but as their
libraries were open more days, it gives Boston the advantage in
daily average of near forty, and it must be remembered Man-
chester has a population at least double that of Boston, and
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 41
■with its system of branch libraries brings its books much nearer
to a larger number of households. Nevertheless, with those
things in its favor, the circulation of the most prosperous of
similar institutions in England varied so little from ours, as to
be fairly considered identically the same.
The New York Mercantile Library has usually been consid-
ered the most flourishing of contemporary libraries with us. In
1866, it contained more than three times the volumes of our
Lower Hall (to which it nearly corresponds in character),
while its circulation for the same year fell more than 5,000 short
of ours. The last yearly report of that institution (April, 1867)
shows 90,000 volumes (to our 24,219), 206,120 issues of vol-
umes (to our 183,714), taken by 12,274 subscribers, which indi-
cates renewed exertions to extend its sphere, made effectual in
large part by a vast preponderance of fiction among its 10,000
purchased volumes for the year. It should be remembered that
more than one-third of the circulation of this New York institu-
tion (judging from the returns for 1866, not having seen this
item in the last report) is through its two branch deliveries in
different parts of the city, and also that, in a vastly larger popu-
lation, it has no effective rival.
With a system of branch libraries with us, say one in Rox-
bury, one in South Boston, and one in East Boston, it seems
probable that our popular circulation could be made far larger
relatively, than it is even now to the most successful of such
establishments at home and abroad. At Manchester, the system
is well-established and works successfully. Their central col-
lection, though considerably more popular in character than our
Bates Hall, is a reference library, and does not circulate its
books. A year ago, it contained 38,426 volumes. The five
lending or branch libraries contained in the aggregate, 39,318
volumes. The accumulation of duplicates at a central library is
always less burdensome, when there are supplemental institu-
tions among which to share them. -^
42 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Bafes Hall. The total number of volumes lent from this hall
for home use since 1 802, when the collection was first open, is
53,920, and the past year it was 13,690, the largest number of
It is not so easy to find the actual number of volumes, used in
the hull for the year, there are so many not taken into account,
as when any one by the consent of the Trustees is allowed to
make protj'acted investigations in the alcoves; and, though
record is kept of the consultations in the Patent Room, it is by
hours and applicants and not by volumes ; and, furthermore, no
record is made of the use of the excellent reference collection,
around the desk, to which the public have unrestrained access.
Independent, then, of these classes, there have been used in the
hall itself since 1862, 63,525 volumes, and the past year, 11,553
volumes, which was exceeded in 1865, when 13,090 were called
The largest number of books delivered in this hall for either
use in any one day was 206. The average daily delivery has
been 92 volumes.
Comparisons with the use to which other libraries of the
solid character of our Bates Hall are put, must be made cau-
tiously. As regards the Reference Library of Manchester, which
is a little more than one-third as large as our Bates Hall col-
lection, and shows about three times the number of users, it
must be remembered that the population which sustains it is
about twice as large, and that its only rival is the Chetham Li-
brary, one of those old monastic foundations, which is not of a
character to interfere with the success of its upstart neigh-
bor ; while within much the same area, and with a far smaller
population, the Boston Public Library must share this class
of more or less cultivated frequenters, with the collections of
Harvard College and the Boston Athenaeum. Beside this, we
in this community are uncommonly w^ell supplied with lesser col-
lections, accessible to persons making investigations, like the
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 43
libraries of the Historical Society, the Genealogical Society,
State Library, the Academy Library, the Social Law Library, the
old Boston Library, the General Theological Library, etc., so
that in the aggregate there are at least half a million volumes in
our community, accessible to the public, or reached with ease
by any one desiring to use them.
There are two other considerations to be borne in mind in
making the comparison with Manchester. First, that it does
not appear that they omit to make record of the use in pro-
tracted investigations ; and, second, that their Reference Library
is not of the high character, relative to their lending libraries,
that our Bates Hall bears in comparison with our Lower Hall.
They put upon its shelves a great deal of contemporary English
fiction, while our Bates Hall has little of this kind of literature,
except what is classic from long-established fame. Bearing in mind
that our upper collection is three times as large as their Refer-
ence Library, it will he seen how much more thorough, relatively,
we are in the higher departments, if we take a few test authors,
and put against each the number of titles in the respective cat-
alogues, including both editions and commentaries.
6 at Manchester
. 118 at Boston.
13 (vols) "
. 92 (vols) "
Turning to the Astor Library we find that, in 1860, it had
about the same number of volumes that our Bates Hall at pres-
ent possesses, but its number of volumes used was twice the
number of those used in the Bates Hall the past year. Every quali-
fication that we have used in regard to Manchester applies with
greater force to the largest city of our country, and tlie most
cosmopolitan perhaps of the world, excepting that in the Astor
44 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
enumeration, they exclude, as with us, protracted investigations,
and that in tone and quality its collection is much the same as
our Bates Hall. It should always be remembered that since the
Astor Library does not permit its books to leave the build-
ing, a considerable share of its frequenters (and very likely
enough to reduce, if they were excluded, its delivery to the level
of ours) is of the class that with us find their wants supplied in
our Lower Hall.
Ten years ago the British Museum was six times larger than
our present Bates Hall, and its daily use was twelve times ours
to-day ; but of course there are a multitude of reasons applica-
ble to a collection which of itself draws many yearly to the
greatest city of Europe.
Your Committee, then, have no reason to feel that the Bates
Hall is not doing its proportionate good. As the Library grows
and gets a national reputation it will, of course, draw investi-
gators to the city, and swell the record beyond the present. It
needs to be more generally known how excellent a working
library, in character and machinery, we have got. The fact
already mentioned, that it stands ready to provide any proper
book, if it can be found in the book marts of the world, is war-
rant that it invites the largest use. If that privilege, or the col-
lection itself, is not enjoyed to the highest possible limit, it is
owing to the public wants being in part supplied in other direc-
tions, and not to the management of the institution, since, in all
the collections with which we have compared it, much more strin-
gent regulations are in vogue.
What is the Character op the Reading in the Bates
Hall ? This hall has been open five years, and the overage
yearly use of books in the several classifications is as follows : —
English History and Literature . . 17 per cent.
Useful and Fine Arts . . . . 10 "
Americau History and Literature . . 9 "
Theology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Education
8 per cent.
Mathematics and Physics
French History and Literature
General History and Literature .
Italian History and Literature
Natural History ....
Transactions of Learned Societies
German History and Literature
Greek and Latin . . , .
Other (including Oriental) History
Law and Political Economy .
The most marked annual variation has been in the classifica-
tion, headed by Theology, which has fallen gradually from 11
percent, in 1862 to 4 per cent, in 1867. This is owing, perhaps, to
the fact, that, at the outset, special eflforts were made to interest the
clergy and educators in the Library ; and possibly, also, to the fact,
that the General Theological Library has been since established.
American History and Literature have gradually gained, owing, per-
haps, in some measure, in the historical part, to the late rebellion
fostering an inclination to learn our own antecedent history, and
possibly to the eflForts which the Library has made to secure
everything in any language relating to that rebellion. It will be
seen that the use of books in this department is not much more
than half what it is in English History and Literature, which is not
so strange, perhaps, in view of the relative extent of the two de-
partments. Nevertheless, there is doubtless a disproportionate
inclination among readers for profit to go to books and themes
of the old world. Prof Lowell, in a recent review of the Life
of Josiah Quincy, gives a statement, which he was perhaps in as
good a position as any one to make, to the effect that " it may
46 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. lU.
safely be affirmed that for one cultivated man in this country,
who studies American, there are fifty who study European his-
tory, ancient and modern."
The use of Transactions of Learned Societies has grown. The
other departments have not much varied, except that of Useful
and Fine Arts, which has greatly fluctuated.
We have no printed record of the use of books at the Astor
Library, except in 1860, and by a comparison, as nearly as can be
made, it seems apparent that with us the demand for books in the
Useful and Fine Arts and for the Transactions is more, and for
English, American and General History less, than at that New
York institution. In Law and Political Economy, the Astor finds
considerably more readers, and this is the department in least
demand with us, owing, perhaps, to the existence of the State
Library and the Social Law Library.
The records of our Patent Room collection are kept indepen-
dently, and we have no means of knowing how the use of it
compares with either of the other five sets in the United States.
The past year 197 persons used them for 248 hours; being ten
more persons than the previous year, and the same number of
hours. The fact, that at Manchester the record is by volumes,
and that the specifications are bound separately, while with us
they are bound in groups, prevents any comparison between
What is the Character of the Reading in the Lower
Hall ? Your Committee have already shown that it was through
the Lower Hall the mass of the people was sought in the begin-
ning. The preliminary report of 1852 contended, that, if the
habit of reading could be engendered, it would go on improving
in character. In 1855, it was thought there was recognizable a
demand for higher and higher classes of literature, and accord-
ingly the next year the Trustees reported that they were buying
fewer books of mere amusement and more of a higher kind, be-
ginning at this time to add some in the foreign languages. In
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 47
1859, it was reported, that only the best of the lighter class of
literature was bought. The next year there was a marked falling
off in circulation, but such fluctuations are as inevitable as they
sometimes are unaccountable. At Manchester they have experi-
enced it in much wider range than with us, and our records gen-
erally show a steady increase. At Manchester their circulation
in 1866 was no higher than it was ten years previously, yet in
the interim it had been 50 per cent, more. The records of the
British Museum show that an institution like that is by no means
sure of a steady hold upon the class that consults its treasures.
When our circulation fell off in 1860 (the average daily lendings
dropping from 588 to 508) it was thought that this effort to raise
the standard of reading, by buying fewer novels, together with
the then recent opening of private circulating libraries, was the
cause of it ; but the next year's returns showed a gain equal to
the previous loss.
In 1861, an attempt was made to ascertain what proportion of
readers sought for fiction, and two days were selected for the
test. On one there were 32 per cent, and on the other 50 per
cent, of all borrowers. Not till the past year has it been pos-
sible to reach any exact conclusion in the matter, since the slips
for the 183,000 volumes that circulated for the year, are now
arranged so as to show how many times any book was out. The
returns, as made, show what the various classifications were in
this demand ; but it must not be forgotten that this pertains to
the Lower Hall solely.
Fiction and Juveniles
Libraries, Collections, etc.
Sciences, Arts, Professions .
Drama, Poetry, Rhetoric, Belles Lettres
History and Politics
68 ^2^ per cent
48 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
The class, " Libraries, Collections, etc.," includes such sets as
Bolm's Libraries and the like, and a good proportion of its 6 per
cent, undoubtedly belongs to Fiction, so that roundly about 70
per cent, of the Lower Hall circulation is in the nature of English
Fiction, including in this, however, it should always be remem-
bered, a very large share of Juvenile books.
This large proportion for a class of literature that ordinarily
includes so much that is morbid and even pernicious, may alarm
some of the good friends of the institution, but the subject is not
to be dismissed without examination from many points ; and
your Committee are of the opinion that although they might wish
a different record, they must accept the condition as arising from
the mental tendency of the masses of the community ; and they
hope to show that the result with us is no worse than elsewhere,
and even sometimes creditable by comparison.
A very competent authority in 1860 (Wm. Chambers) classed
the cheap publications of Great Britain, as showing a montJily
issue of these grades :
Improving books .... 843,000
Exciting but not positively immoral books 1,500,000
Immoral and irreligious . . . 80,000
As these books are published for commercial speculation, it is
fair to presume they hit the demand relatively, and it will be
seen that in Great Britain the chance is about twice as good for
selling an exciting but not positively immoral book, as it is for
selling an improving book, when they are of the class of cheap
publications. The exciting class will doubtless find more
readers in the household than the improving, and it cannot be
too much to say that tliree will read the exciting book to one the
other. This, as we have seen, is above the proportion of our cir-
culation between fiction and non-fiction, and our readers are
doubtless of much the same average class that the cheap pub-
lications reach in England. It may then be taken as the normal
intellectual taste of that class j but with us the exclusion of
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 49
juveniles ought fairly to be made, before instituting a comparison,
"wliich would then be largely in our favor. The fact that the
"Finding List" for fiction was the earliest printed the past
year, thereby meeting that class of readers more openly, has
also, doubtless, conduced in some degree to raise the percentage
of the demand in this department.
Of course, as we rise into the more cultured classes, we find
the proportion of novels dwindling, though the "Saturday
Review " not long since, in giving its views on the demand for
fiction, expresses the opinion that fifty novels are now read in
England, for one that was read at the beginning of the century.
With the class of our community depending on the Boston Athe-
naeum, for instance, it would not be surprising to find that their
circulation of fiction is not equal to ours, yet it cannot be very
greatly inferior. Eichard Cumberland, in the " Observer,"
eighty or ninety years ago, testifies that it was the surfeit of
novels then beginning, that led to the frequent establishment of
circulating libraries, as a commercial speculation, though Ramsay,
in Edinburgh, had begun one on a small scale a half century before.
Yet, when these institutions are adapted to the higher classes, as is
the case with Mudie's, in London, we find that novels, though still
numerous, are not in the majority. Thus Mudie, in the ten
years ending 1 862, put upon his shelves 960,000 volumes, or seven
times as many as this building now contains. We will compare,
under a few prominent heads, the percentage of Mudie's pur-
chases, with our Lower Hall collection (as it stood in 1860 — not
much changed relatively now), and with our cii^culation in that
hall the past year ; it being borne in mind, of course, that Mudie's
purchases include a large share of such books as we would put
in our Bates Hall.
Class. Mudie. Lower Hall.
Fiction . . ,44 per cent. 37 per cent.
75 per cent.
History and Biography 22 " 21 "
Travels and Adventure 13 " 9 "
Othera . . . 21 " 33 " ■
50 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
It will 1)0 seen that our Trustees have catered loss to the
demand for fiction, than Mudic, in his commercial spirit, has
shown the demand would bear, with his far hi<>her class of
readers ; notwithstanding it is apparent that, with our Lower
Hall readers, every volume of fiction will secure seventeen
readers a year, while every volume, not of fiction, will get only
four, on an average.
It is not easy to get at any satisfactory apportionment of our
frequenters by a social or intellectual gradation, other than
as the books they take may be the measure of it. It was
thought that possibly the slight restrictions put upon the appli-
cants in the new registration now making, might serve to qualify
the number already using cards, in such a way as to represent
a class more eager to enjoy its better privileges. With that
idea, an examination was made of all the slips, showing the
entire number of books out at the end of a fortnight, after the
library opened in September, but the proportion was much the
same, or even larger, for fiction and juveniles.
Mr. Edwards, when he had charge of the Manchester Library,
after a careful enumeration, made out that three-fifths of its
frequenters were of the class of artisans, mill-workers, opera-
tives and their families, while the other two-fifths were shop-
keepers, clerks, teachers, students, school-boys, etc. It is proba-
ble that, with our frequenters of the Lower Hall, much the same
proportion is preserved among corresponding classes in our
community. By the reports of the Manchester Library, it is not
possible to say what proportion, year by year, fiction has held in
their circulation, but Mr. Edwards determined, in 1857, that it
was five-eighths of the whole, which is probably in excess of
what ours is now, if our juveniles be thrown out ; and they have,
at Manchester, a subordinate department for such readers, which
relieves of this class, in a measure, the general circulation.
It will be seen that, counting duplicates, over one-third of our
liower Library is fiction and juveniles ; and if the Trustees were
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 51
to make their purchases three-fourths of this class, according to
the demand, thus multiphdng the copies of popular fiction, they
could much, and probably vastly, increase the aggregate circula-
tion ; but it would inevitably augment the fiction-readers out of
all proportion to the other readers. It is in this way that the
New York Mercantile Library has runup its large circulation,
even among a class of subscription-readers, which must average
on a social scale above ours at the Lower Hall, and which does
not include readers of juveniles. They have latterly sought to
make their purchases meet the demand, and the result has been
that while -in 1851, 27 percent, of its purchases were novels, the
proportion has been increasing so that it is now full 75 per cent.
or somewhat more than our circulation is, including juveniles.
Your Committee, then, are not of the opinion that this large
percentage of fiction with us, is anything that need surprise or
alarm us. Good fiction is doubtless salutary, and the general
character of juvenile literature is much improved over what it
formerly was. That there are some books among the collection in
our Lower Hall which are not of the wholesomest, may be allowed ;
but a conscientious efibrt is made to exclude rigorously everything
that is of decidedly evil tendency, and of the half-morbid sort to
allow but one, or at most but a very few copies. We may say
that the best novels are seldom read in a way to do the most
good ; but that is a circumstance of course beyond any library's
control, and there is a good deal to say in favor of supplying
the masses with reading of even an inferior order rather than
they should not read at all. Some are of the opinion that much
reading of the lower grades will naturally conduce to over-satisfy
such half-formed or vitiated tastes, and divert the reader into more
wholesome ways. There are others who hold that excess only
confirms the bad tendency. We will not judge between them.
It needs must be that to most minds of a low intellectual
culture, books must be of a character attractive in subject to that
grade, or thev will not be regarded at all. Once regarded, there
52 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
is a fair chance of substituting for books attractive in subject,
tliose atti'activc in manner, thus leading to a higher range of
subjects. Take two instances : The Miihlbach novels have no
great artistic or literary merit, but they make history attractive
to an average order of minds, and the change from them to an
attractive historian is not too abrupt to be easy. The Ma}Tie
Reid books — most of them — are exceedingly entertaining in
matters of natural history, and show what an advance has
been made within a half century in preparing science for the
enlightenment of the young. The transition from such books to
attractive works on science, say such as Hugh Miller's, is not
uncommonly made. Your Committee look upon the passion for
reading as formative, and, with such influences as is hoped may
be at work in the public schools and in the family, capable of
remunerative results even at the bottom of the scale. It is not
to be expected, however, that this progressive betterment will
show itself in our statistics, for every year a new influx of
readers may take the place of those advancing, and preserve the
old ratio. Indeed, it would not be strange, if as our circulation
enlarges, there is a show of retrogression. The private circu-
lating libraries are in the way of our greatly increasing the
number of our frequenters in the Lower Hall from the higher
classes ; and we must descend lower and lower in the scale to
increase at all beyond the natural growth of the classes ordina-
rily frequenting. Such a descent must inevitably tell upon the
character of our circulation.
Your Committee were desirous of ascertaining by some test
authors and test books, the general nature of this large demand
for fiction, which included about 138,000 volumes for the year.
They present first, a tabularization of some juveniles, showing
the aggregate circulation of each in volumes.
Mayne Reid's Books 4,903
Abbott's Stories 3,521
Harpers' Story Books 2,219
Franconia Stories ..... 982
Carleton's " Winning His Way " .
Oliver Optic's " All Aboard "
" "Brave Old Salt" .
" " " Young Lieutenant "
Every Boy's Book ....
Boy's Own Book
Swiss Family Robinson
Tanglewood Tales (Hawthorne) .
will next comDare some iDODuIar novelist.
number of volumes to each, including duplicates, and the average
circulation per volume.
Cooper . . . .
Marryat . . . .
Sirams . . . .
Lever . . . .
Tom Hughes .
Miss Muloch .
Miss Yonge . .
Mrs. Charles .
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Of course, this return must be taken cautiously, as showing
the reUitive popularity of the several authors. To be accurate,
it should be certain that the Library is supplied with copies of
each relative to the demand ; and regard must also be had to
the fact, whether an author's works arc in one or two volumes,
since the return is by volumes and not by books ; and with some
of them, Miss Braddon, for instance, the number of copies was
kept purposely less than the demand.
Some unexpected developments occur with regard to separate
books. Thus, one of Cooper's least known novels ranks highest
of all his, while the " Pioneers," which his publishers say sells
the best, shows but little more than half the lendings to a
Cooper. Miles Wallingford .
Stories of the Sea .
Marryat. Midshipman Easy
SiMMS. Katharine Walton .
Lever. Charles O'Malley .
Scott. Ivanhoe . .
Tales of the Crusaders .
Chas. Reade. White Lies .
Cloister and Hearth
Very Hard Cash .
Never too Late, etc.
Box Tunnel, etc. .
Peg Wofflngton .
Clouds and Sunshine
Love me Little, etc.
Tom Hughes. Rugby .
Tom Hood. Tales
Tylney Hall .
Prose and Verse
Hawthorne. Scarlet Letter.
Marble Faun .
Twice Told Tales
Old Manse .
D. G. Mitchell. Dr. Johns
Theo. Winthrop. Cecil Dreeme
Canoe and Saddle
Trowbridge. Neighbor Jackwood
Miss Cummins. Mabel Vaughan .
El Fureidis .
Haunted Hearts .
Mrs. Hentz. Eena
Planter's Northern Bride
Mrs. Grey. Flirt
Miss Muloch. John Halifax
Miss YoNGE. Heir of Redcliffe .
Daisy Chain .
56 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Take some single, long-established works ofjiction :
Don Quixote 96
Gil Bias ........ 58
Gulliver's Travels 92
Paul and Virginia ...... 35
Tristram Shandy 21
Vicar of Wakefield 75
Miss Burney's Evelina, 9 vols 245
Take, now, a few good or popular books of recent years which
may be presumed to have lost theu' freshness :
William Ware's Tales 160
Lavengro ....... 22
Potiphar Papers 20
Elsie Venner 300
Lowell's New Priest 8
Pique . . . . . . . .140
Amber Gods 18
Alton Locke 33
Vivian Grey 16
J. P. Kennedy's books 180
Charles Auchester 77
Jane Eyre 181
Coniugsby . . . . . . .12
Sam Slick 39
Out of His Head 35
A few of the more ephemeral type :
Dunn Browne . . . . , . .30
Artemas Ward 95
Verdant Green 45
We turn, now, to the remaining quarter of our circulation,
covering other books than fiction. The circulation of French,
German and Italian books was 5,064, and these authors are
Dudevant (George Sand) . . . 11
Victor Hugo 203
Richlcr in English translations :
Walt and Vult
Poetry, brama. Rhetoric and Belles Lettres circulated 8,750 ; and
these are noted :
Tennyson, 12 vols.
Longfellow, 44 vols.
Whittier, 6 vols. .
C lough .
124, or 10 each
429, or 10 each
91, or 15 each
Sciences, Arts, Professions, etc., circulated 12,250 vols.; and
these are noted in Domestic Economy and Agr
Mrs. Hale's Cook Book, 4 copies
Mrs. Putnam's Cook Book, 1 copy
Mackenzie's Receipts, 4 copies,
Inquire Within, 2 copies .
$600 a Year, 1 copy .
How I Managed My Children, 4 copies
Copeland's Landscape Gardening, 2 copies
How to Get a Farm, 2 copies .
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
I low to Farm Profitably, 1 copy
Ten Acres Enough, 2 copies
Allen's Grape Culture, 3 copies
Rand's Parlor Gardener, 1 copy
Downing's Landscape, etc., 3 copies
Travels circulated 8,837 ; and these are noted
Kane's Arctic Explorations, 23 vo
Livingstone's Africa, 11 vols. .
Burton's Travels, 8 vols. .
Speke's Africa, 1 vol.
B. Taylor's books, 28 vols.
Crescent and Cross .
History and Politics circulated 5,425 ; and there are noted
Froude's England, 40 vols. . . . . 154
Motley's Histories, 24 vols.
Prescott's Histories, 101 vols.
Abbott's Histories, 10 vols.
Bancroft, 67 vols.
Headley's Histories, 2 vols.
Carlyle's Frederick, 10 vols.
Parkman's Pontiac .
Parkman's Pioneers .
Benton's Thirty Years, 2 vols.
These of local interest :
Frothingham's Siege of Boston
Drake's Boston .
Barry's Massachusetts, 3 vols.
Wells' Samuel Adams, 3 vols.
Loring's Boston Orators .
These connected with the late war
Nichols' Great March
Miles O'Reilly .
Coffin's Four Years' Fighting .
Greeley's American Conflict, 2 vols.
Youth's History of the Rebellion
Barnard's Peninsular Campaign
These few iheolc
d or similar works :
Ecce Homo, 4 copies
Ecce Deus, 4 copies .
Kenan's Jesus, 4 copies
Spurgeon's books, 5 copies
Ingraham's Pillar of Fire .
Ingraham's House of David
Essays and Reviews .
These few miscellaneous :
Dana's Idle Man
John Adams' Works .
Harper's Monthly, (bound volumes)
Oehlenschlager's Correggio, (Eng. transl.)
It should not be forgotten that these statistics pertain to the
Lower Hall solely ; and some of the works designated may also be
found in the Bates Hall. Your Committee cannot but sec that
here are the means, through this record of slips, of apportioning
supply in duplicates to demand, better than were at hand before
this new system was put in practice.
Is THE Reading Room Wi^ll-managed and Sufficiently
Supplied ? Until the past year there has never been any trust-
worthy record kept of the use of this department. The new
60 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
system of delivering periodicals on application, while it debars
some from a rapid survey of all as they lie upon tables, works
advantageously for the greater nmnber, secures order, and pro-
tects the property from mutilation and loss, to a degree not pos-
sible by any system of espionage. It has, accordingly, been safe
to add duplicates freely, and of 13 periodicals we now have 53
copies, and 195 single copies of other periodicals, making 208
in all. The Reading Room was opened in 1859 with 140. The
present number is divided by languages :
And by classes :
Illustrated and foreign newspapers . . 12
Commercial ...... 9
Illustrated Magazine 3
Fine Arts 3
During the past year there have been 91,832 readers of peri-
odicals and reference books, and of this number 12,348 were
females. It shows something of the ditferent constitution of so-
ciety, that of the 71,353 readers in the corresponding department
at Manchester, but 288 were females. The average number of
readers daily the past year was 254, and 283 magazines were
read on an average daily for the 289 days the room was open.
Some 60 persons, mostly strangers, enter the room daily, out of
PUBLIC LIBEART. 61
Can AnythinCx more be done to guard the Books from Mu-
tilation AND Loss ? Mr. Ticknor, in the preliminary report of
1 852, in sketching out a plan for the Library, novel in some impor-
tant respects for a public institution, and which is substantially
the basis upon which it is administered to-day, urged strongly the
desirability and probable safety of circulating the books freely
among certain classes of our community ( where the class bore
with it a kind of responsibility), without any surety but their per-
sonal recognizance ; but contemplated that it might become neces-
sary in ordinary cases to require some pecuniary guaranty. The
free libraries in England, which were about that time starting,
under the Parliamentary acts of 1850, were requiring this as a
condition, before tlieir privileges were accorded to a citizen ; and
they have retained it without any apparent check upon their
usefulness, and with much greater security to their property,
than we have enjoyed. Still, the experiment of a freer library
than the world had ever known, was not, perhaps, an ill-timed
one, and, for a while, it was thought to have been an un-
varying success, and, to this day, no pecuniary voucher is de-
A few books were reported lost, at first, in Mason Street, and
the number had increased, until the last year in that place, it
was two hundred for the year. Still, it was thought there had
been no wantonness. Li 1857, we began to hear of mutilations,
with hints at future stringency. The next year, it was thought
some degree of wantonness was discoverable. The first year
in the present building (1859), one hundred and thirty were
reported lost ; of these, forty-two were subsequently recovered,
leaving eighty-eight unaccounted for. It increased yearly, until
it had got to be annually between five and six hundred, when, at
the beginning of last year, some check was put upon it by issu-
ing new cards and recalling the old ones. Still, for the past
year, four hundred and sixty volumes are reported missing, and
of these, two hundred and ten are charged to borrowers, who
62 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
cannot be found or traced at the addresses they gave, leaving
the sad inference of premeditated fraud.
Nor is tliis a measure of the wanton damage to the books.
Mutilations and defacements are becoming common. In 1862,
the Superintendent reported, that, in his judgment, more was to
be feared from this evil than from loss ; and in successive reports
it has been dwelt upon, and the time predicted when stricter
supervision of the delivery would be necessary. There was
formerly no adequate remedy for this kind of injury when dis-
covered, and it was hardly possible with the force at command
to collate a sixth part of the books returned. Last winter the
necessary law to meet such cases of mutilation and defacement
was passed by the Legislature; and the statutes of the Com-
monwealth now ajBford a wholesome remedy in discoverable
The losses from wear and tear, if actually done in good ser-
vice, excite no unpleasant inferences. Not a few books come
into the library's possession partly worn. While in Mason Street
200 were reported worn out; and since the library has been in
the present building, the number worn out must have averaged
that yearly. The ratio will of course increase as the books are
longer in use. During the past year over 4,800 volumes have
been either rebound or had their bindings repaired, a small por-
tion of which belonged to the Bates Hall. Your Committee
cannot learn that this absolute wearing out of books is anything
more than ought to be expected. Comparing our experience with
that at Manchester, there seems to be something in our favor, pro-
vided, of course, the same degree of damage condemns a book in
both libraries. Thus the aggregate circulation at Manchester for
its first five years was about the same as ours for the first three
years in the present building, and while at Manchester 800 vol-
umes were reported worn out, with us it was less than 500. A
popular novel usually wears out two or three strong bindings
before it is condemned. Some estimates can be made of the
PUBLIC LIBRAKY. 63
wear, from the fact that one person is employed most of the time
in renewing the paper covers on the Lower Hall books.
The total number of missing and worn out hooks has been
about 6,700 volumes from the beginning ; and this, on an aggre-
gate circulation of 2,000,000, is only something over one-third
of one per cent., which is not excessive certainly. This amount
of loss is almost exactly the same that the records of tlie New
York Mercantile Library show it to have sustained, on the same
number of volumes, during its career.
What proportion of this number can be put down to abso-
lute theft or books. unaccounted for, it is not easy to ascer-
tain ; but your Committee see by the records that this most dis-
graceful kind of loss is increasing out of all proportion to the cir-
culation, which is now only 30 per cent, more than it was in
1859, while the loss in unaccounted-for books, on the best data that
can be found, is something like 300 per cent. more. This increase
does not probably show a relative increase of offenders, since a
few, by observing the impunity with which it could be done,
would naturally enlarge their range of depredations. The refer-
ence books around the desks in the Bates Hall and the Reading
Room are open to the inroads of a class of thieves, known to the
police, to exist in fraternities, so that books stolen from libraries
and shops in one large city, are transmitted to their fellows in
another to be disposed of These practices are in no small
degree doing a work of demoralization, which every consider-
ation of justice and well-being requires to be checked.
To do this without temporarily curtailing the circulation were,
perhaps, not easy. The example of Manchester showed, that
where considerable restraint had been put at the start and .con-
sistently kept up, a large circulation could be maintained. Your
Committee know that it is more difficult to impose restraints at
a late day ; but they believe it is never too late to do right ; and
the public will be sure to see that by right-doing their privileges
are more fully protected than ever.
64 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
At ^lanclicster they require two pecuniary vouchers among
the rate-payers, renewed every five years, for each applicant.
On the same circulation as ours in 1865-6, they lost but fifty-six
volumes, and they were all replaced — thirty-three by the bor-
rowers, and twenty-three by the guarantors. Beside this they
enforce pecuniary satisfaction for mutilations and defacements.
Your Committee understand that in the new registration now
in progress each applicant is required to give two referees, who
can, if need be, verify his statements. By this means, several
irregularities that might have caused confusion and loss, have
been discovered and guarded against. Your Committee believe
this restraint good as far as it goes, and trust that it will not be
found necessary to go to the limit employed at Manchester ; but
they have no hesitation in saying, that this community should
assert its right to be called quite as orderly as any other ; and
if that pre-eminence can only be secured by the pecuniary
vouchers, they should be required.
In the Bates Hall the loss has not as yet been great. There
w^ere reported last year as lost since the opening in 1862, 43;
and of these 10 have been recovered; and 18 have been added
to this number during the past year, some of which will doubt-
less be found, so that the total now gone from the shelves is 51,
beside 48 charged to borrowers and not yet returned.
In conclusion, your Committee would bespeak for the Public
Library of the City of Boston, from all quarters, a continuation
of that enlightened interest, which has in the past been bestowed
upon it with a success, that is both gratifying to this community,
and a source of admiration with strangers.
CHAS. W. FREELAND.
C. D. ROMANS.
HERMAN J. WARNER.
R. C. WATERSTON.
Public Library, Nov. 11th, 1867.
REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT.
To the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston.
Gentlemen : In obedience to the requirements of the By-
Laws, I beg leave to present to you a Report upon the condition
and increase of the Library for the year ending September 1,
In consequence of the facilities furnished by the new method
of recording loans, I had the satisfaction of presenting to you
immediately after the close of the year ending July 31, 1867, the
annual statistics respecting the growth and use of the Library
which heretofore could only be partially obtained two or three
months later. These statistics have given to the Committee of
Citizens appointed to examine the Library, much better means of
knowing accurately and fully the condition and progress of the
institution, than any of their predecessors had enjoyed. In their
Report will be found a systematic analysis of these figures, and
deductions from them of great importance.
OF THE COLLECTIONS.
In Both Halls.
. 1,465 7,769
. 7,395 104
. 337 4
Total of Accessions . 9,197 7,877 33
66 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Whole number of donors, 300.
A list of the names of donors is appended to this Report, and
It will be understood that some of the books added — most of
them donations — are duplicates, and that many of the pamphlets
have been bound and placed on the shelves as books, and a
large number of books lost and worn out since the opening of
the Library have not been replaced ; consequently the accessions
for the year cannot be added to the aggregate reported last
year, in order to find the present extent of the collection.
Among the donations for the year are several which should be
The Hon. William Gray presented at one time 417 volumes,
many of them works of importance, besides pamphlets and sev-
eral large maps and plans of special value.
William Everett, Esq., presented, besides several valuable
books, 6,829 pamphlets, some of them of much rarity, collected
by his late honored and lamented father.
The children of the late Hon. Josiah Quincy have given to the
Library a large number of the early Public Documents of the
United States Government, bound in 128 volumes folio and octavo,
collected as they were published, by their father, with indexes
and notes in his own handwriting. The importance of this col-
lection to the Public Library is very great. The set presented
by Mr. Everett was perhaps the very best in the country. He
commenced it in the earliest days of his public life, and spared
neither money nor time to make it complete. But before his day
a large number of these documents were quite beyond reach. It
is these earliest and scarcest of the government publications
which Mr. Quincy, with characteristic foresight and care, gath-
ered and guarded, and which his children have now most worth-
ily placed where they may add to the many permanent memorials
of the public spirit and high intelligence of their father.
A bust of Mr. Everett, by Thomas Ball, was presented to the
city by the subscribers to the Everett statue, with the request
that it should be deposited in the Public Library. It is placed
in the Lower room, now devoted to works of art.
A bust of J. Lothrop Motley, by Richard S. Greenough, has also
been presented by Mr. Thomas B. Curtis, and has been placed
most appropriately with the bust of Mr. Everett.
The accessions to the Bates Hall for the year may be generally
classified by subjects as follows. The classification is, however,
of books as they now stand upon the shelves. It does not include
those books which are necessarily placed by themselves, such as
the Bowditch, Parker, and Prince Libraries. The divisions in
the Lower Hall are not given. It is known, however, that they
are, all of them, of the popular class of books, and most of them
in the English language.
The whole number of books placed during the year in the
Lower Hall, is 3,002.
Classification of Accessions in the Bates Hall, 1866-67.
Bibliography and Literary History
General History and Geogi'aphy .
American History and Literature
English Histor}^ and Literature .
French History and Literature
Italian History and Literature
German History and Literature .
Greek and Latin Classics and Philology
History and Literature of other countries of Europe
Periodicals and Transactions of Learned Societies
Theology and Ecclesiastical History
Metaph^^sics and the Social Sciences
Medical Science ....
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Natural History . . . . .
Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
. 155 vo'
Prince Library 1,952
The following statement shows the number of recent publica-
tio7is included among the accessions :
English books printed in Great Britain, 635 volumes.
" " printed in America, 1,154 "
" " printed on the Continent, 104 "
Foreign 539 "
The Trustees have, by a standing invitation, — often repub-
lished, — requested persons wishing books which they could not
find in the Library, to ask for them by filling blanks furnished
for the purpose ; and the promise has been made that such books
shall, unless there is some special reason to the contrary, be
purchased as soon as possible. The number of these requests
has increased latterly from year to year. It frequently happens
that persons ask for books already in the Library. In such
cases they are immediately informed of the fact through the
mail. When a book asked for has been procured, the applicant
receives immediate notice, and is told that the volume will, be
retained five days subject to his order.
The following table shows the number of booTcs asked for dur-
ing each month of the last year, the number of them which were
found to be already upon the shelves, and the number procured :
No. asked for.
No. in Lib'y.
1866. August .... 7
" December .
. " March
" May .
V . 22
" June .
" July .
PRESENT EXTENT OF THE COLLECTIONS.
The Library contained by shelf-lists on the 1st of August,
In the Bates Hall
In the Lower Hall
The books in the Bates Hall comprise :
The general Library, classified by subjects
The Bowditch Library, kept by itself .
The Parker Library, kept by itself
The Prince Library, kept by itself
Sale Duplicates not located .
Books not located Aug. 1, 1867, (all located since)
The classification of the books by subjects, is, in the Bates
Cyclopredias 1,054 vols.
Bibliography and Literary History .... 2,585 "
lO CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
History and Geography .....
American History and Literature
English History and Literature . . - .
French History and Literature
Italian History and Literature
German History and Literature
Greek and Latin Classics and Philology .
Histoiy and Literature of other countries of Europe
and Asia .......
Periodicals and Transactions of Learned Societies
Theology and Ecclesiastical History
Metaphysics, Ethics, and the Social Sciences
Political Economy ......
Mathematics and the Physical Sciences .
Miscellaneous pamphlets ....
From which deduct books not at present on the shelves 99 "
This classification does not include the Parker, Bowditch, and
With regard to the numbers assigned to the Lower Hall, it
was remarked last year in my Report, that the enumeration in-
cluded all the books which from the beginning had been placed
there. The enumeration was, however, taken from the shelf-lists,
without regard to the lost and replaced books, of which it was
then impossible to give any satisfactory statement. It was added,
that when the re-organization, at that time only commenced, should
be completed, a more exact enumeration would be made, which
would doubtless show a considerably diminished number. This
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 71
year I am able to report the figures after the revision. It will be
seen, that, although 3,002 volumes have been placed during the
year in the Lower library, the present number of books is actu-
ally 167 less than the number reported last year. It thus appears
that 3,169 books, lost or worn out during the nine years since the
library was first opened to the public, have not been replaced.
The following table represents the present classification of the
books by subjects in the Lower Hall:
No. on shelves.
Theolog}^, Moral and Intellectual Science, Education . 1,488
Jurisprudence, Political Science .... . 270
Medicine, Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences 1,705
Useful and Fine Arts, Military and Naval Art and Sciences 599
American History and Politics 1,023
Foreign History and Politics 1,333
Poetry, Drama, Oratory and Rhetoric .... 2,268
Fiction and Juvenile Works 7,165
Libraries, (Bohns, etc.) Collections, Periodicals, etc. . 2,621
German Books 1,137
Italian Books 221
French Books 1,043
Books of Reference in the Reading Room ... 87
The number of Pamphlets reported, 1866 . 36,566
" added by purchase, 1867 . . 108
" " " " donation, 1867 . . 7,769
This enumeration includes all the pamphlets which have been
reported as added to the Library from the beginning. But more
than 5000 have been bound either separately or in volumes con-
taining several pamphlets each. By far the greater part of the
72 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
remainder are tlui)licates or odd numbers of magazines and
legislative documents, or publications of little, if of any, value.
The whole collection should be revised, and every pamphlet
of which another copy exists in the Library, or which is not
esteemed of value, be no longer included in the enumeration.
Although much has been done, it has been impossible, with the
force employed in the Library, to do all that is required for the
proper care of the pamphlets ; and the place, where of neces-
sity they are kept, is insufficient and extremely inconvenient.
The Sale Du Ucates^ August, 1866, were . . .5,141 vols.
" added, 1866-67, mostly donations 714 "
Duplicates disposed of, 1866-67 . . . . 523 "
Total remaining in the possession of the Library 5,332 vols,
USE OF THE LIBRAEY.
Notwithstanding the fact that some two or three thousand
volumes at a time have during the year been, in the Lower Hall,
retained from circulation in order to prepare the Finding Lists,
we have to report a more extensive use of the books than in any
In the Bates Hall were lent for home use, 13,696 vols.
In the Lower Hall .... 183,714 "
Total for home use . . . 197,410 vols.
Add books used in the Bates Hall . 11,553 "
The Library was open 277 days.
The average, therefore, of books used each day was 754.37
Of which, used in Bates Hall .... 91.98
The greatest circulation on any one day was on the 23d of
February, when 1,813 books were given out, and in the Lower
Hall 1,411 returned; a circulation larger by nearly three
hundred than on any previous day in the history of the Library.
These figures do not represent the use of the books of refer-
ence in the Bates Hall, nor in the Reading Room, nor the use of
large numbers of books for extensive researches, often permitted
on especial applications, nor the use of the specifications of
English Patents which have been consulted during the year by
197 persons, 248 hours.
The following table represents the jiercentage of use of the
various classes of books in the Bates Hall :
General Histor}^ and Literature
American History and Literature .
English History and Literature
French History and Literature
Italian History and Literature
German History and Literature
G^'eek and Latin Classics
Oriental History and Literature
Transactions of Learned Societies
Theology, Ethics, and Education .
Jurisprudence, Government, Political Economy
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Fine and Useful Arts . • . .
1 per cent.
As compared with the table for the preceding year, this shows
an increase of 4 per cent, in American History and Literature, of
2 per cent, in English History and Literature, and of Transactions
of Learned Societies, and of German History, and of 1 per cent,
in French History and Literature and in the Mathematical and
Physical Sciences ; and a decrease of 4 per cent, in the use of
74 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Periodicals, 3 i)cr cent, in the Useful and Fine Arts, 2 per cent,
each in Medicine and J3ibliography, and 1 per cent, in Miscella-
For the first time since the Library was opened to the public,
we have been able to obtain full and exact statistics respecting
the use of books in the Lower Hall. The record-slips of books
borrowed and returned are all preserved in the order of their
shelf-numbers, and it is possible to ascertain the number of books
on every subject borrowed, and the number of times each book
has been lent. These slips furnish a resource never before pos.
sessed for ascertaining the real wants of the public, and the
directions in which the Library may be made more useful. The
Examining Corumittee have, with much care and minuteness,
attended to the details thus furnished, and in their Report have
presented elaborate, instructive and interesting results and
deductions. The importance to the future usefulness of the
Library must be great. The facts will, some of them, perhaps,
be unexpected ; but they are facts and should be known, and
their bearing and tendency should be carefully considered, as
they fortunately have been by the Committee.
I will merely present, in this place, the general classijication of
the Loans in the Lower Hall, and refer to the ample details in
the Report of the Examining Committee.
No. of Loans.
Of Books in Science, Arts and Professions .
Poetry, Drama .....
Voyages and Travels
Periodicals and Libraries (like Bohn's)
French, German and Italian
Fiction and Juvenile Books
PUBLIC LIBKARY. 75
It was stated; in the last Report, that it was deemed necessary
to renew the cards of all persons using the Library, and that it
was hoped that by this means many of the evil practices which
had brought discredit upon the Library would be checked. Of
the eifect of the renewal, in this respect, I shall have occasion to
speak in another part of this Report. During the year, 6,990
cards were given to new applicants, and the cards of about 5,000
former signers were renewed, making the whole number of
persons who had registered their names from the first opening of
the Library in this building — 52,859.
LOSSES AND INJURIES.
The report this year of losses and injuries is full and accurate.
How far the Library has been abused is no longer a matter of
judgment and estimate, but of facts and figures. The way in
which the wrongs have been done is also in most cases known.
The point to which the measures of prevention are to be directed,
also, has become distinctly noticeable.
In the Bates Hall^ the whole number of books missing from
the beginning, to August, 1866, was ... 33
From August, 1866, to August, 1867 .... 18
Total from the beginning . . . . 51
The whole number of books charged to borrowers and
not returned from the beginning, to August, 1866,
was .......... 27
From August, 1866, to August, 1867 .... 21
Total from the beginning .... 48
Some of the missing books will, doubtless, be regained ; and
most of those charged to individuals will, probably, be replaced.
The condition of the books in the Bates Hall is generally excel-
lent. No complaints have been made of mutilations or deface-
76 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Li the Lower Hall, the accumulated losses and misplacements,
the natural wear and tear, and the many irregularities of the
unparalleled use for nine years had borne heavily upon the con-
dition of the Library, and required great labor and patience in
the revision which has been pursued under the skilful guidance
of Mr. Jillson, with the striking results here numerically pre-
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78 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
The A^'hole number of persons to whom notices were sent
b}' mail that they had kept the books borrowetl over
the fom-teeu days allowed by the Rules, was . . . 15,G52
The whole number of persons who kept their books over
twenty-one da^^s, and to whom a special messenger was
sent to regain the books 1,449
The whole number not returned at the close of the Library
Number of these recovered or accounted for . . . 105
Whole number which were taken by persons who could not
be found of which a few have been returned . . . 237
The amount paid for postage and messenger's service was $714 48
The amount received for fines and messenger's fees . $366 50
These statements show the great slackness of borrowers with
regard to the return or renewal of their books. When it is
remembered that the term of the loan may be doubled, without
returning the book to the Library, on simply requesting by note
the renewal, this amount of delinquency seems the more strange
The labor and expense of writing and sending by mail 15,652
notices to delinquents was very considerable.
Still greater were the cost and trouble of sending for books
by the messenger. He was engaged in searches often fruitless,
and even when he succeeded in regaining the book, it was fre-
quently after a long and tedious pursuit.
And, after all the labor and expenditure, the result now is that
two hundred and ten books were taken, as it would appear, with
The delinquents were not only unjust to the Library, but to
many honest frequenters of it who desired to use the books thus
withdrawn from their reach.
The time of the attendants in the Library required in tracing
these delinquencies, was a serious charge upon the funds of the
institution, while the exercise of less vigilance would have resulted
in a gTeat loss of books and a reproach which would have
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 79
rested heavily upon the generally careful frequenters of the
Library. It will be seen, also, that the fines and messenger's fees
collected are but a partial offset to the amount paid for postage
and the services of the messenger.
Were the circulation small, and the persons using the Library
few in number, it might be possible to exercise greater care in
the delivery of the books and in the scrutiny of applicants. But
in a circulation like this it is utterly impossible to do anything
more than to answer applications without questions or delays.
The reasons why so many who had borrowed books could not
be found, was, that they had registered false names or false resi-
dences. One person was ascertained to have had in use three
cards at one time taken under aliases. Several persons had
taken two cards on one name at different times. Many were
using cards of other persons improperly obtained. It appeared,
too, upon inquiry, that these evil practices had most alarmingly
These facts came gradually to the full knowledge of the Trus-
tees, as the careful methods of recording loans and following
delinquents under the new system brought them to light from
week to week. They were well considered. The cause of the
evil became clearly manifest. The registration had been too
unguarded. But it ^vas a difficult question how to apply the
remedy. To require of each applicant for cards a pecuniary
guarantee was the most obvious, the easiest, and the most com-
mon way. But it was feared that this might sometimes operate
to prevent poor but worthy people from applying. It was, there-
fore, proposed to try first a plan of requiring every one asking
for a card to name two persons who could verify his statements.
Such reference does not involve any pecuniary responsibility on
the part of the persons referred to, nor impose any trouble upon
them, nor raise any questions of delicacy in making the reference.
But such references, if required of one, must be of all. Other-
wise offence might be taken. No thoughtful person, it was sup-
80 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
posed, would object to so small a service for the public good,
when he considers that humbler people would have tl>eir pride
seriously wounded should they notice that they alone and not all
others were required to give the means of verifying their state-
ments. In this plan there seems to be the least possible trouble
to applicants consistent with probable security for the books, and
it is earnestly hoped that it may be effectual, and obviate the ne-
cessity of resorting to more stringent measures.
Objections would, of course, be made to any change, that it
would drive people from the Library, diminish the circulation, etc.
The same objections were made last year against the new sys-
tem of recording loans then introduced, and they are now seen
and acknowledged to have been entirely groundless. But, thus
far, during three months, instead of driving people away, the
registration has proceeded more rapidly than during the same
length of time when the first records were opened in this build-
ing, and the new measures are showing beneficial results. Al-
ready attempts have been detected at forging the names of other
persons upon the application-slip, and at committing various
irregularities which would have caused much trouble and ex-
pense, had they not been forestalled.
THE READING ROOM FOR PERIODICALS.
The use of the Reading Room for periodicals has never be-
fore been so large, nor its order ever so satisfactory. None of
the magazines have been stolen or wantonly mutilated. This
improvement is due entirely to the new system of placing the
magazines under the care of an attendant, to be given out on
application signed by the borrower.
I regret to state that some of the books placed for free con-
sultation in this room have been stolen. It is believed, however,
that they were nearly all taken by one person, who for. several
months has desisted from his nefarious practices here.
Whole number in the Reading Room .
Whole number of which there are duplicates
as follows :
American Phrenological Journal
Godey's Lady's Book
Dwight's Journal of Music
Every Saturday .
Harper's Bazar .
Our Young Folks
North American Review
Peterson's Magazine .
At the suggestion of a reader, a Bulletin is now placed in the
room, giving the date of reception of the last number of each
The following are the statistics of the room for the year :
Readers of Books of Reference 5^^^^^ . . . .
Readers of Periodicals and Books of Reference 5 ^^^^^ •
Whole number of readers
Number of magazines read . . . . . ,
Visitors not reading
Number of days open from August 15, 1866, to August
Average of readers per day
Average of visitors not reading
Ave- age of magazines read .......
82 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
In the Bates Hall, since the publication of the large Supple-
ment, the accessions have been made known to the public by
means of the interleaved catalogues which have been promptly-
kept up to the last books located.
The Catalogue of the Prince Library upon cards, has been
completely finished with the fulness, and it is hoped, with the
minute accuracy, which the importance of this valuable collection
demands. The part containing books relating to America, has
been copied for the press with titles abridged, but still of suffi-
cient length to render each book and edition identifiable, and the
printing has been commenced.
In the Lower Hall, the work upon the " Finding Lists " has
been pressed forward as rapidly as possible. But it has been
impeded by the necessity of fu'st revising and reorganizing the
whole collection, while, at the same time, the Library was open
to the public. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the Finding
Lists for twelve of the alcoves, containing the Departments of
Fiction, Arts and Sciences, History, and Foreign Languages, have
been published and distributed — the lists of two alcoves of
Biography, and two of Voyages and Travels are now made nearly
ready for the press, and some of the work of collation and reor-
ganization has been performed for the remaining four alcoves.
These Finding Lists have been received with much favor, and
when the printing of them shall be completed, it will be possi-
ble to commence almost immediately upon the re-publication of
the Index to the Lower Library, with all subsequent accessions,
in the form so lono; familiar to our readers.
So great were the labors of the officers of the Library during
the year, that it was found impossible to commence the publica-
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 83
tion of the Bulletin as recommended by the last Examining
Committee, before the month of October, when the first number
■was issued, containing the books received in the Library during
the month of September, and in the Lower Hall, all titles supple-
mentary to the various Finding Lists which have been printed.
These Bulletins are sold at the merely nominal price of two
cents a copy, and have been widely distributed. It is proposed
to continue them at intervals, which, if the publication proves as
acceptable and useful as now expected, may be monthly.
In each branch of the Library a Daily Bulletin is open to the
public, of all newly published books as they are received. Such
books are almost invariably made accessible to readers within
twenty-four hours after they are brought into the building.
One other means, recently adopted for the convenience of the
public, remains to be described, which has received the name of
Every borrower has from the beginning been allowed to place
upon his card applications for twenty books at one time, that
he might be the more sure of getting a book, and the visitor^
who had thus filled his card with requests, was obliged to wait
his turn for the attendant to make search, perhaps for every one
of the twenty books, to be disappointed after all. The delay
thus experienced was often greatly increased by the common
practice of visitors, which it seemed impossible to prevent, of
immediately sending back the card which had been returned
without a book, with the same numbers remaining upon it. This
state of things was long a most serious inconvenience to the fre-
quenters of the Library and a severe burden upon the attendants.
To obviate these great difficulties, the device named has been
recently invented and placed in the Library. It shows to a
borrower, at a glance, without the necessity of reference to an
84 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
attendant of the Library, whether any book sought, is, at the
moment, on the shelf or lent out ; and, therefore, renders it unnec-
essary to send in a card indicating books which cannot be
The Indicator at present constructed, applies to Alcoves 4, 7,
14, and 17, containing works of fiction and juvenile books, of
which a separate Finding List has been printed.
An upright framework is so arranged as to receive strips of
wood, one inch square and about two feet in length, placed one
above another, to represent each a shelf, and pierced with rows
of holes, say five-eighths of an inch in diameter, to contain re-
versible pins, each of which represents a book.
The shelf-number is to be found at the end of each strip. The
number denoting the order of the book upon the shelf is placed
upon each end of every pin.
The pins are reversible. On one end of each pin the num-
ber is printed in black on while ground. When the book is on
the shelf, this end of the pin is always turned outwards.
On the other end of the pin, the number of the book is
printed in white on black ground. When the book is out, this
end of the pin is always turned outwards.
The use of the Indicator seems to have been readily under-
stood even by children. It has proved already of the greatest
convenience to frequenters of the Library, and has been received
with much favor. There seems no reason to doubt that it will
prove permanently useful.
The two tables previously published, giving the statistics of
the progress of the Library are appended to this Report, and
The usual financial statement is appended to this Report, and
CHARLES C, JEWETT,
Public Library, Nov. 12, 1867.
LIST OF DONORS.
Bates, Joshua, London,
the fund of
Bigelow, Hon. John P.,
Lawi-ence, Hon. Abbott,
Phillips, Hon. Jonathan
Townsend, Mary P.,
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, per
A bust in marble of Mr. Everett, by Thomas Ball, presented by
the subscribers to the Everett Statue, through their Committee.
The pedestal in marble presented by the artist.
A bust in marble of J. Lothrop Motley, by Richard S. Greenough,
presented by Mr. Thomas B. Curtis.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Abbot, Ezra, Cambridge^
Abbot, Samuel L., M. />.,
Adams, Mrs. Susan J.,
Albany. Young Men's Association,
American B'd of Commissioners for Foreign missions,
American Peace Society,
American Philosophical Society,
American Tract Society,
American Unitarian Association,
Ames, Ellis, Canton,
Amory, Thomas C,
Andover Theological Seminary,
Appleton, John, M. D.,
Appletop, William S.,
Asta-Burnaga, Francisco Solano, Chilian Minister,
Babcock, Rev. Samuel B., DedJiam,
Baker, Nathaniel B., Adjutant General of Iowa,
Balfour, David M.,
Barlow, Francis C, Secretary of State, N. Y.,
Barnard, James M.,
Bartlett, Hon. John R., Secretary of State, R. I.,
Bates, Henry W.,
Bates, Samuel P.,
Belding, Keith & Co.,
Black, James, Lancaster, Pa.,
Bogart, W. H., Albany, N. Y.,
Bokum, Rev. Hermann, Wash., D.G., 1 piece sheet music.
Boston. City of.
Bnnrd nf Tride
P";4-TT TJ/->OT-Wl + ol
Gas Light Company,
TT/-.A'v»ri -fV^i. A rff\r\ ~\ll mn
Impartial Suffrage League,
Mercantile Library Association,
Society for Medical Improvement,
Society of Natural History,
Boutwell, Hon. George S.,
Bradlee, Rev. Caleb Davis,
Brighton. Holton Library,
Brooks, Rev. Charles, Medford,
Brown, Francis Henry, M. Z>.,
Brown, G. H.,
Brown, John Carter, Providence^ R. I.
Brown, Sam'l G., Fres. of Hamilton Col, Clinton, N.Y.,
Bullock, His Excellency Alexander H.,
Burnham, T. 0. H. P.,
Burroughs, Rev. Henry, Jr.,
Bush, Rev. Solon Wanton,
California. Academy of Natural Sciences,
Cambridge. Harvard College,
Charlestown. Naval Library and Institute,
Cheever, David W., M. D.,
Chicago. Historical Society,
Young Men's Association,
Christern, F. W., New York,
Clapp, Hon. William W ,
Clarke, Edward H., 3f. D.,
Clarke, Henry, Poultney, Vt.,
Cornell, William M., M. D.,
Cotting, Benjamin E., Roxbury,
Cotting, Miss Charlotte C,
Cutter, Charles A,, Cambridge,
Dalton, Edward B., M. D.,
Dana, Charles F.,
Dana, Richard H., Jr.,
Davis, Rear Admiral Charles H.,
Dawson, Henry B., Morrisania, N. Y.,
Delmar, Alexander, Bureau of Statistics, U. S.,
Detroit. Young Men's Society,
Divoll, Ira, St. Louis, Mo.,
Dorr, Eben Ritchie,
Dorr, Frederic H.,
Duren, Elnathan, Bangor, Me.,
Dutton, E. P., and Co.,
Eagleswood. Military Academy,
Edinburgh. Royal Society,
Eliot, Hon. Thomas D.,
Ellis, Charles M.,
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Farnham, Rev. Luther,
Farwell, Stephen T.,
Fole.y, William J.,
Forman, Rev. J. G-., Alton, 111..,
Foster, William H., Andover,
Gannett, Ezra S., D.D.,
Goldsmith, Seth, Charlestown,
Gould, Ho7i. John S.,
Gould and Lincoln,
Gray, Hon. William, Newspaper cuttings, 16 maps.
Great Britain. Commissioners of Admiralty,
Commissioners of Patents,
Secretary of State for War,
Green, Samuel A., M. D.,
Greene, George Washington,
Greenough, William W.,
Halifax, N. S. Free Library,
Hallivvell, James O., London,
Harper and Brothers, New York,
Hartford. Young Men's Institute,
Haynes, Henry W.,
Hilgard, J. E., U. S. Coast Survey Office,
Holton, Isaac F., South Maiden,
Hooper, Hon. Samuel,
Howard, Maj. Gen. O. O.,
Huber, John F., Lancaster, Pa.,
Irvine, William, Adjutant General, N. Y.,
Jarvis, Edward, M, D.,
Jenkins, Thornton N., U. S. Bureau of Navigation,
Keokuk. Library Association,
Lane, Frederick A., New York,
Langworthy, Rev. Isaac P.,
Lawrence, Abbott, 1 map.
Leigh, Dr. Edwin,
Lewis. Winslow, M. D.,
Lincoln, Hon. Frederic W., Jr.,
Lincoln, Henry W.,
Lissovski, Admiral, of Russia,
Littell and Gay,
London. British Museum,
London. Institution of Civil Engineers, 6
Royal Astronomical Societ}^ 1
Ro3^al Geographical Society, 2
Royal Society, 1
Long Island College Hospital, 1
Long Island Historical Society, 1 2
Loring, Hon. Charles G., , 1
Loring, Joseph S.,
Lousada, Marquis, 1
Lowell, Mr., , 2
Lowell. City of, ' 1
City Library, 1
Lunt, Hoyi. George, 1
MacCarthy, Denis Florence, Dublin,
McCleary, Samuel F., 1
M'CuUoch, Eon. Hugh, Sec. Treas., U. S., 1
McDougail, Hon. William, Ottawa, Canada^ 7 1
Mackie, William B., M. D., 11
Maine. Adjutant General, 8
Manchester, Eng. Free Library, 1 1
Marvin, Seldeu E., Adjutant General of N. Y., 2
Maryland Historical Society, 1
Mason, Mrs. A. B., 1
Massachusetts. State of, 1
State Library, 1
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, 1
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 2 3
May, Miss Abby W., 1 10
Meigs, Gen. Montgomerv C, Quartermaster Gen. U.S.A., 4 2
Metcalf, Hon. Theron," 4
Milan (Muncipality of), 7 7
Reale Istituto Lombardo, 19 7
Miles, C. Edwin, M. D., Eoxbury, 6
Minnesota Historical Society, 1
Minot, Francis, 3L D., 1
Minot, William, 1
Moore, Charles W., 1
Morgan, Henry J., Canada, 1
Munsell, Joel, Albany, 43
Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 2
National Association of Wool Manufacturers, 1
New Bedford. Free Public Librar}^, 2
New England Historic-Genealogical Society, 1
New England Loyal Publication Society, 10 broadsides. 1
New Haven. Yale College, 2
CITY DOCUMEIST. — No. 114.
New York. Astor Library,
V^lululUt;! Ol l^OIlilUfcrl Cc, •
Loyal Publication Society,
Mercantile Library Association,
Newburyport. Public Library,
Nicholson, Eev. Henry D.,
Odiorne, James C,
Ohio Mechanics' Institute,
Onderdonk, Henry, Jr., Jamaica, L. /.,
Otis, Miss Mary,
Parker, Henry Tuke, London,
Parkhurst, Henry M,,
Peabody, Rev. Andrew P.,
Peirce, Prof. Benj., Supt. Coast Survey, U. S. A., 1 map.
Pennsylvania. Alleghany College,
Perr}-, liev. William Stevens,
Philadelphia. Board of Health,
Philbrick, John D.,
Pickering, J. Frank,
Pim, Bedford, Commander R. N.,
Pittsburg. Young Men's Mercantile Library Associa-
Powers, Thomas H., Philadelphia,
Pratt, Rev. J. B., LL. D., Cruden, Aberdeenshire,
Providence. City of.
Butler Hospital for the Insane,
Punchard, Rev. George,
Quincy, Family of the late Hon. Josiah,
Rangabe, Bis Excellency, A. R.
Rankin, Rev. Jeremiah E., Charlestown,
Read, John Meredith, Jr.,
Read, William, M. D.,
Reiff, J. C,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Rhode Island M. W. Grand Lodge,
Rice, Hon. Alexander H., 3 maps.
Richardson, James B.,
Rimmel, Julius, London,
Rogers, John K., Treats. Boston Type Foundi-y,
Salter, Richard H., M. D., 47
San Francisco. Mercantile Library Association,
Odd Fellows' Library,
Seidensticker, James G., Chicago, ill.,
Shaw, Benjamin S., M. D.,
Sibley, John Langdon, Librarian of Harvard University,
Smith, Charles C,
Smith, Samuel, Worcester, 1
Snow, Edwin M., Providence, R. I.
Sonle, Richard, and Wheeler, W. A., 1
South Danvers. Peabod}'' Institute,
Spofford, A. R., Librarian of Congress,
Springfield. City Library Association,
Squier, Hon. E. George, New York, 1
Stevenson, Hon. J. Thomas, 1
Story, Joseph, 4
Sturgis, 3Iiss, 2
Sturgis, F. R., M. D.,
Sumner, Hon. Charles, 52
Sutton, Hon. J. Manners, Gov. of Trinidad, 1
Talbot, I. Tisdale, M. D., 1
Taunton. Public Library, 2
Thayer, Alexander Wheelock, 1
Ticknor, George, 1 newspaper. 20
Torrance, Prof. F. W., Montreal,
Townsend, Solomon D., M. D., 14
Troy. Young Mens' Association, 1
Triibner and Co., London,
Tuttle, Charles W.,
United States. Bureau of Statistics,
Coast Survey Office, 1
Department of the Interior, 63
Department of State,
Naval Observatory, 2
Sanitary Commission, 3
Upton, George B.,
Venice. Istituto Veneto, 1
Vienna. K. K. Geologische Reichsanstalt, 1
"Walley, Hon. Samuel H.,
Waltham. Public Library,
"Warner, Hermann J., 59
Warren, ILon. Charles H., - 1
Warren, J. Mason, M. D.,
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
Warren, Josiah, 14 newspapers.
Washington, Hon. Peter G.,
Washington. Smithsonian Institution,
Waterston, Rev. Robert C,
Welles, Edgar T., Clerk, Navy Department, U. S.,
Welles, Hon. Gideon, Secretary of the Navy, U. S.,
Wells, Hon. Chandler J.,
Whitmore, William H.,
Whitney, Eev. Frederic A., Brighton,
Whitney, Henry Austin,
Wilder, Burt G., S. B. M. D.,
Wilder, Hon. Marshall P.,
Williams and Norgate, London,
Wilson, Hon. Henry,
Wines, Eev. E. C,
Winthrop, Ho7i. Robert C,
Wisconsin. Institution for the Education of the Blind,
Wood, F. A., Neiv York,
Wood, Bev. Horatio, Lowell,
Worcester. American Antiquarian Society,
Free Public Library,
Worthington and Flanders,
Wright, J. J.,
Young, His Honor, Chief Justice, W., Halifax, N. S.,
PUBLIC LIBRARY. 93
Complete Files for the Year from the Publishers.
Advocate of Peace.
American Baptist Missionary Union. Missionary Magazine.
American Unitarian Association. Monthly Magazine.
Boston Daily Evening Traveller.
Boston Musical Times.
Freemason's Monthly Magazine.
Hall's Journal of Health.
London. Royal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices.
Royal Geographical Society. Proceedings.
Nation, The, New York.
New England Farmer.
Philadelphia. Entomological Society. Proceedings.
Salem. Essex Institute. Proceedings.
Student and Schoolmate.
Triibner's American and Oriental Literary Record.
Weekly Standard, Buenos Ayres.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 114.
t f f r
s s s s
"g g g "S S S 2 g
§ s y
O M O
OS CO CO
O M O
I I "S 1 1 I I
Note. — To account for discrepancies noticeable in the above table, compiled from the
Annual Reports, it should be stated that, prior to the Report of 1861, the annual statement of
the whole number of volumes was obtained by adding the accessions of the year to the
previous aggregates ; and although the numbers in both Halls are now obtained by actu-
ajly counting the books upon the shelf-lists, there still remain several sources of unavoidable
discrepancies, such as the following : Works reported at first as containing a certain number
of volumes, afterwards for good reasons bound in a different number; works reported as
duplicates subsequently exchanged for works in a different number of volumes ; pamphlets
bound separately and counted as books ; also volumes lost or worn out, but for some reason
not replaced, which disappear in the aggregates, but remain as originally reported among the
2,361 y 1 17,066
3,495 y ^52,859
Fro)n Octoher 1, 1866, ^o September 30, 1867.
Binding $3,807 03
Books . . . 11,222 21
Catalogues 3,351 66
Expense 1,716 26
Fuel 2,608 72
Furniture 594 61
Gas 1,808 37
Periodicals 1,850 35
Printing 1,879 53
Salaries 21,239 57
Stationery 1,702 17
Transportation 878 24
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 9999 06314 626 8
NOV 23 1878