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Boston Public Library 

1848 > 1998 





This book and its companion CD-ROM have been developed to commemorate the 
150th anniversary of the Boston Public Library— to share the treasures, resources, 
vision, history, and people of the Library with those who count on it, those who support 
it, and those for whom much of this story will be new. 

Consistent with the Library's mission to provide information and inspiration in the most 
appropriate media, this commemorative project comprises both a book and a CD-ROM. 

The printed book celebrates the original vision of the Library's founders and shows how 
the spirit of this vision is very much alive today in a Library that serves a city that has 
seen a century and a half of significant change. 

The CD-ROM provides interactive, virtual reality tours of the main Library facilities in 
Copley Square — the McKim and Johnson buildings. In a classroom, living room, or even 
at a computer within the Library, a viewer can explore the most beautiful and important 
spaces of the Library and learn about the behind-the-scenes workings of the nation's 
2nd largest public library system. And with a click of a mouse, art, architecture, and the 
people wlio make — and have made — the Library special come (almost) to life. 

Cienerating the imagery for the CD-ROM involved taking more than 4,000 digital pho- 
tographs that were then electronically "stitched" together to form ^(io-degree environ- 
ments within which a viewer can wander freely — to a particular .sculpture, down an 
impressive corridor, or ovei" to a one of a kind mural. 

The panoramic views shown on these inside covers and throughout the book are a 
byproduct of producing (he CD-ROM. Their sweep and scope underscore the richness 
and scale of the Librarv and its ireasures — then, as now, "Free to All." 

■■ '"^^ 


1 /*",53 


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\ ) 

Boston Public Library Chronology 

( >«4« 
Boston Public Library created as the first municipal- 
ly funded public library in tfie nation by an act of 
the Great and General Court of Massachusetts and 
its acceptance by the Boston City Council. 

1) The McKim Building courtyard ca. 1920. 

2) Entrance to the McKim Building m 1895. 

3) Bates Hall in the Boylston Street Library build- 
ing ca. 1870. 4) President Bernard Margolis in 
the McKim Building's newly renovated Bates Hall. 
5) Trustees of the Library during the construction 
of the McKim Building (left to right): Henry W. 
Haynes, Frederick 0. Prince (former mayor of 
Boston), Samuel A. B. Abbott (president of 
trustees), William R. Richards, and Phineas Pierce. 
Photo by Charles H. Currier, 1894, reproduced 
courtesy of the Library of Congress. 

Founding trustees issue the Library's first annual 
report. Upon the Objects to Be Attained by tt\e 
Establishment of a Public Library: Report of the 
Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston. 

( '«5-l 

Library opens in the Mason Street schoolhouse. 

( 1858 
First Library building opens on Boylston Street on 
the site of the current Colonial Theater. 

( >87<> 
The first branch library opens in East Boston, inau- 
gurating the branch system in U.S. public libraries. 

( 189.-, 

The new Library, now known as the McKim Building 
for architect Charles Follen McKim, opens in 
Copley Square. 

( 1893 

With the opening of the Children's Room in the 
McKim Building, the Library becomes the first to 
offer children's services in a dedicated space. 

( ^ry> 

The first public business reference library opens 
in Boston's financial district and is named for 
Edward Kirstein, father of donor Louis Kirstein. 

( >9r)<> 

The Library becomes the first to offer special 
services to seniors. 

( 19.")" 
The Audiovisual Department opens, the first in a 

New England public library. 

Mobile library services are inaugurated. 

( '97^ 

A major addition to the Central Library, now 
known as the Johnson Building for architect 
Philip Johnson, opens in Copley Square. 

( '99- 
The Boston Public Library Foundation is created by 

entrepreneur John Cullinane. 

( '991 
Legislation is enacted expanding the Board of 

Trustees from five to nine individuals. 

( '995 

The Library offers public access to the Internet. 

( '997 
The Library's first president is appointed by 

the trustees. 

( '99« 
Boston public high schools are technologically 
linked to the Library in a first-in-the-nation initiative 
allowing students to use their school and public 
libraries with a single library card. 

© 1998 Sametz Blackstone Associates, Boston 

Dear Friends: 

As Mayor of the City of Boston, I am pleased to present this 150'*' Anniversary 
Commemorative Report in honor of the Boston Public Library. This resource tells the 
story of a great Boston~and American-institution. 

As the nation's first free public library, the Boston Public Library has played a 
vital role in the service of American democracy, fulfilling our guiding principle of 
"education for all." 

From the Main Branch in Copley Square to the 25 neighborhood branches, 
libraries play host to learning that profoundly affects our civic life. Children learn to 
read; adults learn to read; new Bostonians learn English-as-a-Second Language and study 
for citizenship; and high school students~and older adults-research opportunities for 
higher education. 

I am proud to continue the City of Boston's honorable tradition of supporting the 
Boston Public Library. It is an institution that holds a special place in the heart of all of 
the people of this city, many of whom personally step forward to generously assist the 
Library. This document itself is the expression of such a commitment to the Library on 
the part of private citizens and businesses. I am grateful for their unswerving dedication 
to this great institution. 

I hope that you will enjoy the compelling story of the Boston Public Library 
found in the pages-and on the CD-ROM-of this Commemorative Report. But even 
more so, I hope that you will be a frequent visitor to the libraries that are our common 


Thomas M. Menino 
Mayor of Boston 

^^ Printed on recycled paper 

MiiL iJ.^T...>s;. 

© 1998 Sametz Blackstone Associates, Boston 

1 »- 1 U"* L. : V Lie IVj^ jx I 


Celebrating 150 years 



the first public library in the United States, it has been an inno- 
vator since its founding in 1848, leading the entire American 
public library movement. The Library's significance over the 
last 150 years and its vital role today are grounded in the vision 
of the founding trustees. These forward-looking individuals 
articulated a plan for the Library whose broad outlines are still 
manifest today. 

(This 150th anniversary annual report uses 
the founders' plan, published in 1852 as the 
Library's first annual report, as a framework 

3'"^ for illustrating current initiatives and the out- 
look for the future. (Language from the 
^ 1852 report is rendered in this type 

style.) Despite the many obvious changes in the life of the city 
over a century and a half, this juxtaposition demonstrates how 
the founding vision remains a vibrant source of inspiration for 
the Library's work now— and for the years to come. 

An enduring 

M O 

5 « 


free public library is not only 
seen to be demanded bv the 
wants of the city at this time, but also seen to be the 
natural next step to be taken for the intellectual 
advancement of this whole community. . . . [That a 
free public library can be formed and] used to a 
much wider extent than libraries have ever been 
used before, and with much more important 
results, there can be no doubt; and if it can be done 
anywhere, it can be done here 
in Boston. . . . 

As the first public library in the United States, the Boston Public 
Library has a special responsibility to uphold and extend the vision of 
the founders into the future. This institution was created to acquire 
materials so that information could be shared by everyone in the 
community. When the Library was founded, those materials were 
print — books and newspapers. Now our purview has extended to 
include electronic publications, and we share their content just as we 
do with print. People can come here, whether or not they have access 
to computers at home or at their jobs, and use interactive materials 
or connect to people around the world. No matter what the medium, 
we continue to foster the sharing of ideas. That sharing helps build a 
sense of community, no matter how technology changes. The Library 
continues to be a place where there's plenty of common ground for 


1) Patrons enjoy the Reading Room at the first 
building constructed specifically to house the 
Library, located on Boylston Street on the site of 
the current Colonial Theater. 2) Slated for restora- 
tion beginning in 1999 is the Sargent Gallery on the 
upper floor of the McKim Building. John Singer 
Sargent devoted more than 25 years to planning 
the architectural details and painting the murals for 
this high, narrow space. While Sargent is remem- 
bered primarily for his portraiture, the artist himself 
regarded these murals as his highest achievement. 
3) Master French muralist Puvis de Chavannes 
painted the allegorical wall decorations at the top of 
the McKim Building's main staircase. The large pri- 
mary panel depicts the nine muses of Greek mythol- 
ogy paying homage to the Spirit of Enlightenment, 
while the smaller panels along the upper staircase 
represent the major disciplines of poetry, philoso- 
phy, and science. 4 > 6) The Library had two 
homes before moving to Copley Square. Shown 
here are the Mason Street School (4), where the 
Library occupied two rooms between 1854 and 
1858, and the Boylston Street building (5, 6), which 
housed the Library from 1858 until the opening of 
the McKim Building in 1895. 7) The Library's hold- 
ings include many special collections. The plates, 
letter opener, and coin shown here are drawn from 
the Joan of Arc Collection, given to the Library in 
1975 by Cardinal John Joseph Wright. The collec- 
tion contains sculpture, paintings, prints, ceramics, 
textiles, and glassware as well as more than 6,000 
volumes ranging from children's books to scholarly 
works in many languages. 8) Boston Mayor Thomas 
M. Menino reads with Boston youngsters at the 
1997 dedication of the Margret and H. A. Rey 
Children's Room at the Central Library. When Mayor 
Menino began his second term in January 1998, he 
acknowledged the central role of the Boston Public 
Library in his inaugural address, announcing an 
expansion of Library hours, so that every branch in 
the system will open on Saturdays for children and 
adults alike. 

The Internet is one of the most far-reaching technolo- 
gies of our age, and the Library is a natural place for 
people to turn in order to gain access to, and learn to 
use, this powerful medium for communicating and 
gathering information. Nationwide, only 13 percent 
of people have computers with Internet connections 
in their homes or offices, and access through public 
libraries is critical to minimizing the growing division 
between information haves and have-nots. The 
Library provides this access free of charge to all 
library card holders. At the Central Library in Copley 
Square, there are separate Internet facilities for use 
by adults, teens, and children. All branches also main- 
tain Internet connections for public use. 

As anyone who has used the Internet knows, educa- 
tion and practice are required in order to make the 
experience worthwhile, especially for those who are 
not already comfortable with computers. The Internet 
also raises significant issues about privacy, censorship, 
and the credibility and quality of information. 
Although many initially hailed the Internet for its 
potential to give people direct access to information 
without such intermediaries as librarians and 
teachers, as the medium has developed, the need 
for navigational guidance has become more and 
more evident. 


Wlien the Library was founded, its trustees certainly 
did not envision librarians as information navigators, 
but their vision was broad enough to enable us to ful- 
fill I hat role today. We supply guidance and energy to 
help people use the dynamic resource of the Internet 
effectively, without becoming discoiuaged by its chal- 
lenges or overwhelmed by the enormous, often unin- 
terpreted, quantity of information it contains. As the 
hiternet has developed, much of its most valuable 
information has become more difficult to locate due 
to the proliferation of commercial messages. The 
Library helps people become more efficient explor- 
ers, capable of mining the best of the Internet. 

At the same time, however, the Library must be mind- 
ful of its dual role as an open information environment 
and as a safe place for children to learn. The Internet 
has raised important questions about censorship, which 
are now being debated across the nation at local, state, 
and federal levels. The Library has been in the van- 
guard on this issue, developing a model known as the 
Boston Solution that offers separate tiers of Internet 
access to children and adults. Children's access is sub- 
ject to filters — -jvist as the print materials in the Margret 
and H. A. Rey Children's Room are carefully selected 
to be age appropriate — while adults have uncensored 
access. The Internet is not yet a fully mature medium, 
but we believe that the Boston Solution is a practical 
one for this stage of its development. 






May 20tli, at 7 o'clock, 

T* Mcarr JnUrr l'»r I MAV CLAIMED tH A MLATCb^B 



Tlr^ala NIairr/ by • NBMarhw«n* Jadxr *r Probair t 



1 > 3) Boston's legendary sports tradition is well 
documented in the Library's special collections. 
These photos from the McGreevey Collection show 
(left to right) the Boston Americans, the predeces- 
sors of the Red Sox; the 1900 infield for the Boston 
Nationals, later the Boston Braves and now the 
Atlanta Braues; and the Boston Americans, winners 
of the 1903 World Series, with their competitors 
from Pittsburgh. 4) Library users take advantage of 
Internet access at the Central Library, which has 12 
computers dedicated to Internet connections for 
adults, teenagers, and children. 5 > 8) The corner- 
stone of the McKim Building is laid with pomp and 
ceremony in 1888. 9) The McKim Building begins 
to assume its now-familiar shape. 10) This photo of 
Arthur Fiedler (center), legendary conductor of the 
Boston Pops for 50 years, is part of the Allen A. 
Brown Music Collection. The collection, originally 
given to the Library in 1894, now contains more 
than 40,000 books, scores, and manuscripts, 
together with such ephemera as reviews, concert 
programs, and photos. 11) This 1854 poster is 
part of the Library's extensive collection of antislav- 
ery materials — books, documents, artifacts, and 
the papers of such abolitionist leaders as Wendell 
Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison. 

Free to all 

here can be no doubt that such 

reading ought to be furnished 
to all, as a matter of public policy and duty, on the 
same principle that we furnish free education, and 
in fact, as a part, and a most important part of the 
education of all. . . . it is of paramount importance 
that the means of general information should be so 
diffused that the largest possible number of persons 
should be induced to read and understand ques- 
tions going down to the very foundations of social 
order, which are constantly presenting themselves, 
and which we, as a people, are 

'■ ^ than it did 150 years ago. We serve the broadest possible audience 

constantly required to decide, in a very complex world, in our community, we spealt about 140 lan- 
guages. That's literally Arabic to Zulu, an incredible amount of diver- 
sity, not just in language but also in the cultural, political, religious, 
and social perspectives that people in this city embrace. We need a 
much greater range of materials than ever before, and new ways to 
help people make effective use of them. The question now is: How do 
we equip people with the tools and resources that they need to inte- 
grate all this potential learning into their own lives, knowing that their 
lives are structured very differently than those of our users over the 
last century and a half? 

Today, the Library needs a much more diverse collection of materials 

and do decide, either igno- 
rantly or wisely. 


V '^ «i^^^^ 

1) Library patrons take advantage of ttie bookmo- 
bile. The Library began to offer mobile services in 
1970. 2) Tfie General Library houses the largest 
collection of world language books in Massachusetts. 
The collection, which includes works in more than 
40 languages— including Esperanto! — is available 
through the branch system and to other local 
libraries through interlibrary loan. 3 > 6) The 
Library's McKim Building is one of the great monu- 
ments of American civic architecture, its character 
defined by its fundamental design and works of art 
that embellish it inside and out. The current S65 mil- 
lion restoration and renovation overseen by the 
Boston architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson 
and Abbott looks to the future by preserving this trea- 
sure for generations to come. The current work also 
anticipates future needs by adding 100,000 square 
feet of public space in a new lower level, replacing 
infrastructure, and incorporating new telecommunica- 
tions technology. The McKim Building is shown in this 
group of photos (top to bottom) ca. 1895, in daylight 
and at night ca. 1920, and with the newly con- 
structed Johnson Building in 1974. Photo 6 by 
Nicholas Nixon. 7) A couple attends a program of 
The Never Too Late Group at the Central Library — 
established in 1950, this is the nation's longest-run- 
ning library-sponsored program for older adults. 
8) The card catalog in Bates Hall, shown ca. 1912, 
was the public's original gateway to the Library's 

The words "Free to Ail, " carved in stone over the 
main entrance of the McKim Building, testify to 
our fimdamental commitment to serve all possible 
users. Within 20 years of its founding, the Library 
inaugurated the first branch library system in the 
nation in order to increase access. East Boston, at 
the time the most remote part of the city, was desig- 
nated as the site of the first branch, which opened 
in 1870, followed by South Boston in 1 872 and 
Roxbury in 1873. .\s independent towns, such as 
Hyde Park, were annexed to the cit)', their libraries 
became branches. The Library now has 25 neigh- 
borhood branches (with another to be built in 
AJlston) and one business branch in the financial 
district, putting a branch library within minutes of 
nearly every resident of Boston and making the 
branch system the largest per capita in the nation. 

In 1 998 as in the nineteenth century, we serve an 
important fimction in helping immigrants learn 
English-language skills. Since 1992, the Library 
and the volunteer organization City-Wide Friends 
of the Boston Public Library have collaborated in a 
literacv program for adults new to English. This 
English as a Second Language (ESL) initiative 
relies on volimteer tutors recruited and trained by 
the City-Wide Friends and on study materials and 
meeting space provided by the Library. 

The ESL program ciurently has 85 active tutors, 
each of whom commits six to nine months to tutor- 
ing following a 12-hour training coiuse. Students 
who have participated represent 45 countries and 
range in age from 19 to over 70. More than 100 
adults are now waiting to be paired with tutors. In 
response to this unmet demand, the City-Wide 
Friends sponsors English conversation groups held 
each month at the Central Library and selected 
branches. These groups, where people gather to 
speak English with one another in an informal, 
volunteer-led setting, average about 40 enthusiastic 
speakers at each session. 


1 1 



^ J 

■■■■H^^L >. MJ^^^^^^m 

Branch libraries pictured: 

1) Adams Street, 1950s 
4) Codman, ca. 1910 
7) Parker Hill, 1930s 

2) Jeffries Point, 1930s 
5) West End, 1890s 
8) South End, ca. 1910 

3) West Roxbury, 1930s 

6) Connolly, 1936 

9) Egleston Square, 1950s 

1) Marilyn Rodriguez (shown in photo 
sequence) and Barbara Findley (not pictured), 
library assistants at the Connolly Branch in 
Jamaica Plain, are on the front lines of the 
Library's effort to be accessible to all its con- 
W V stituencies. "The first job of the library is to 
make people feel welcome," Marilyn 
Rodriguez says. "Even if we don't have the 
information they're looking for, or in a lan- 
guage they can read, they'll keep coming 
back if they feel comfortable here." Barbara 
Findley is acutely conscious of the need to 
serve everyone. "Jamaica Plain is an incredi- 
bly diverse neighborhood," she observes. 
'About 30 percent of our users speak no 
English and about 65 percent are native 
Spanish-speakers. But as big as our Hispanic 
community is, it's not the whole story. We've 
got African Americans, Indians, Chinese, 
Japanese, people from Eastern Europe, and 
others straight from Ireland. I make it a point 
to learn to say at least 'Hi, how are you?' to all 
of tfiem in their own languages. It's a small 
tfiing, but it makes a difference." 

2 > S) Photos from the Library's Leslie Jones 
Collection document elements of Boston life that 
would otherwise be lost (from left to right): 
Chinatown ca. 1930, a North End hot dog stand in 
1937, an elephant at the Franklin Park Zoo in 1929, 
and a mounted policeman in about 1930. The family 
of Leslie Jones, a photographer for the Boston 
Herald Traveler, donated this collection of his pho- 
tographs to the Library after his death. 6) The Hyde 
Park Branch Library is currently undergoing a nearly 
S7 million renovation with new construction that will 
double the size of the present building while provid- 
ing the community with state-of-the-art technology, 
new meeting rooms, expanded children's facilities, 
and increased exhibition space. The project is 
scheduled for completion in September 1999 to 
coincide with the centennial of the original Classical 
Revival structure. 7 4 8) From the beginning, news- 
papers have been an important part of the Librar/s 
collections. Shown here are the former newspaper 
reading room in the McKim Building (8) and the cur- 
rent one in the Johnson Building (7). 

Life-long learning 

S ^■ 

O 3 

hy should not this prosperous 

and hberal city extend some 
reasonable amount of aid to the foundation and 
support of a noble public library, to which young 
people of both sexes, when they leave the schools, 
can resort for those works which pertain to general 
culture, or which are needful for research into any 
branch of useful knowledge?. . . The trustees sub- 
mit, that all the reasons which exist for furnishing 
the means of elementary education, at the public 
expense, apply in an equal degree to a reasonable 
provision to aid and encourage the acquisition 
of the knowledsfe required to 

^ ^ learn what they want to know about the world. We provide that edu- 

COmplete a preparation for cation formally, through activities such as lecture series and authors' 

1 • p r ■ . readings. But education also happens every time someone picks a 

active lire or to pertorm its 

' book off a shelf and opens it. And it happens every time someone 

duties. walks up to the readers' assistance desk and says, "I want to learn 

about oceanography. I want to learn about archeology. I want to learn 
about baking bread." We encourage and guide people in using the 
Library to get closer to their dreams, or at least to improve their next 
loaf of bread. 

For many people, the Library serves as their university, the place they 


We support adult learners in varied ways. The 
Dudley Literacy Center, at Roxbury's Dudley 
Branch, includes a computer lab equipped with 
software to facilitate adult literacy and basic educa- 
tion, together with books, magazines, and video- 
and audiotapes geared to adults who are learning 
to read. are essential services in a commu- 
nity where information needs are very high, and 
the results can be dramatic. There are actual cases 
of people first visiting the Dudley Literacy Center 
unable to read, and in a few months progressing to 
the point where they are not only reading, but writ- 
ing their resumes. 

Sometimes people who have been schooling them- 
selves at the Library decide they want to pursue 
a formal education. It is a natiual step for them 
to take advantage of the Higher Education 
Information Center, located at the Central Library. 
The center offeis individualized help in aptitude 
testing and skills assessment and in applying to 
schools or career training programs. 

Business people were among the first adult learners 
to take advantage of the Library, and as early as 
1918 the trustees urged the formation of a business 
branch in the financial district. This branch 
became a reality in 1928 when businessman and 
Library trustee Louis E. Kirstein gave a building to 
house it. The branch, which opened in 1930, was 
an immediate success, serving an average of more 
than 400 readers a day, and more still as the 
Depression proceeded. Serving small and large 
businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individual 
investors, the branch subscribes to print and elec- 
tronic reference materials — periodicals, manuals, 
and directories, many of them too costly to be prac- 
tical purchases for individuals or businesses. 

1) Many people have expressed their gratitude to 
the Library for giving them the means to educate 
themselves long after their formal schooling ended, 
but none with such far-reaching results as John 
Deferrari. Born in the North End in 1864 to Italian 
immigrant parents, the young Deferrari left school 
at the age of 13 and followed his father into the 
fruit-peddling business. By the 1890s, he owned the 
Quality Fruit Store adjacent to the Library's earlier 
home on the site of the Colonial Theater. At that 
time, he began to use the Library to learn about 
investing in securities and real estate. By the age of 
28, Deferrari left the fruit business to devote him- 
self to his investments, continuing to take advan- 
tage of the information available at the new Copley 
Square Library and later the Kirstein Business 
Branch. As an elderly man, he decided to make the 
Library his beneficiary; he is shown here in 1948 
with the portrait the Library commissioned to 
acknowledge his generosity. At his death in 1950, 
John Deferrari left the Library 3850,000 with com- 
plex provisions that called for developing the princi- 
pal to fund a new wing for the building. This gift was 
realized with the construction of the 1972 addition 
of the Johnson Building, which houses the Central 
Library's circulating collechon. 2) The Library's 
programs — including lectures, readings, workshops, 
conferences, and book discussion groups — draw a 
wide cross-section of adult learners. 3) The dra- 
mahc expanse of the stacks in the Johnson Building 
provides a graphic sense of the materials the 
Library makes available for life-long learning. 4) The 
Library's neighborhood branches have a tradition of 
intensive use by people seeking information long 
after they have left school; pictured here is the 
South End Branch in 1928. 5) The specialized 
resources of the Kirstein Business Branch are a 
magnet for adult learners. 

Books to borrow 

s » 
o = 
a a 

opies should be provided in 

such numbers, that many per- 
sons, if they desire it, can be reading the same 
work at the same moment. . . . Additional copies. . . 
should continue to be bought almost as long as they 
are urgently demanded, and thus, by following the 
popular taste. . . we may hope to create a real desire 
for general reading; and, by permitting the freest 
circulation of the books that is consistent with their 
safety, cultivate this desire among the young, and in 

.1 r •!• J ^ ^1 r- 'J Our Stock in trade is bool<s being checked out and returned across 

the lamilies and at the hresides 

of persons in the cit)'. 

the counter. With that simple transaction, based on a free library 
of the greatest possible number card, people use the Library to help accomplish all sorts of things: to 

entertain themselves, to learn, to get new jobs, to build new homes 
or renovate old ones, to fix their cars, to invent. The Library's most 
critical function is lending books to people every day to help them in 
fulfilling their aims. It's a simple idea, but as powerful now as it was 
150 years ago. You come in to this collective resource, find what you 
need, present your library card, take books home, and use them to 
make your life better in whatever way you define. And the magical 
part of it is that when you find what you need, it might turn out to be 
something you never imagined needing— like a good laugh. 

1) Readers can browse through the open stacks in 
the Johnson Building, which houses the General 
Library's circulating collection — more than six miles 
of shelving containing books and audiovisual materi- 
als for library-card holders to borrow. 2) In the 
Johnson Building, books are processed for distribu- 
tion to the General Library and the branches. While 
processing is conducted at this central location, the 
choices of books are made by individual librarians 
throughout the Library system. 3) Horses and bug- 
gies queue up outside the McKim Building to deliver 
books to the branches, ca. 1912. 4) The audiovi- 
sual collection at the Central Library includes music 
on audiocassette and CD; audiotapes tor world lan- 
guage and English as a Second Language instruc- 
tion; books on audiocassette; and more than 6,000 
videotapes, with an emphasis on titles that are not 
generally available for commercial rental. 

Lending books: from the perspective of 1998, most 
people take thai function for granted as the mis- 
sion of a public library. But at the Boston Public 
Library's founding, it was a revolutionary concept. 
The 1852 trustees' report is highly specific in its 
insistence that the Library not only lend books, but 
that it provide multiple copies of popular works 
available for circulation. 

This attention to the tastes of our users still informs 
our acquisition process. The collection is devel- 
oped branch by branch, a highly autonomous 
process that is unusual in public libraries. Each 
week, the shelves of the inspection room of the 
Central Library are stocked with all the new titles 
in adult fiction and nonfiction distributed by the 
major publishing houses in the nation. Dining 
the week, the librarians from the General Library, 
the Research Library, and all the branches visit 
Copley Square to browse through this bookstore- 
equivalent, to handle the books and read sections, 
and to decide what they want to order for their 
readers. For any book, a librarian may decide to 
order one copy, multiples, or none at all. This 
same process is followed on separate schedules for 
children's and young adult books, world language 
publications, and reference works, with variations 
for periodicals and nonprint materials. Librarians 
actually inspect the books, in addition to using 
second-hand sources such as reviews and authors' 
tours. This process contrasts with the centralized 
ordering process followed by most public libraries, 
and it results in strong, imique, and reader-driven 
collections throughout the city, selected by librari- 
ans who truly know their communities and their 


1 & 2) The Library draws users of all ages and 
Interests. 3) The South End Branch is small, so 
library assistant Deborah Madrey has gotten 
to know her readers during her four years 
there, just as she did at Uphams Corner for 10 
years before that. These branches both have 
many regulars who come in every few weeks 
and take out armloads of books. "/ enjoy 
learning what they like and helping them 
choose things to read," she observes. "When 
people are looking for suggestions, I ask them 
about books or authors they've enjoyed in the 
past. Sometimes I'll even suggest something 
I've read myself, especially if they're fans of 
romance novels and adventure stories." 
4*7) The check-out process is the central trans- 
action between a reader and the Library. Shown 
here are the lobby of the Johnson Building (4) and a 
reader checking out books there (7). S) A book cart 
In the McKim Building courtyard facilitates summer 
reading, ca. 1923. 6) The Library's popular book 
discussion groups — like this one at the Connolly 
Branch in Jamaica Plain — cover a diverse selection 
of classics and contemporary works. 


■ . . 


^m 1 



After the selection process is complete, the books 
are ordered through the Central Library. They 
arrive at the loading dock by truck and travel by 
freight elevator to the Technical Services 
Department, where they are catalogued. It is here 
that a book truly becomes a "library book," gaining 
its familiar, sturdily bound transparent overjacket, 
its back pocket, its embossed mark reading "Public 
Librarv of the Cit\' of Boston," and its barcode for 

Our lending activity is staggering in its volume. Last 
year, more than 2.2 million items were checked out 
and taken home by Library users — more than the 
combined number of all circulating items in the 
Central Library and all branches at that time. 

Books for 

X a 

S "= 

O 3 
0! =! 

ooks that cannot be taken 

out of the Library, such as 
Cyclopaedias, Dictionaries, important public docu- 
ments, and books, which, from their rarity or 
costliness, cannot be easily replaced. . . . The last 
class of books to be kept. . . consists. . . of periodical 
publications. Like the first class, they should not be 
taken out at all. . . but they should be kept in a 
Reading Room accessible to everybody; open as 
many hours of the day as possible, and always in the 
evening; and in which all the books on the shelves 
in every part of the Library 

^ ^ ■^ was to create a comprehensive research collection, including unusual 

should be lUrnished tor and expensive works that were beyond an individual's ability 

1 r 1 . . • to acquire. The Library would collect for the good of the whole com- 

perusal or tor consultation to 

*■ munity. We have continued this focus, while expanding our concept of 

all who may ask for them. . . . community beyond Boston to include scholars from all over the world 

who consult our research collections. Whether you're researching 
egrets or existentialism, the Library can help. We have among our 
resources some enormously rare and valuable things— manuscripts, 
books, and online databases that no one could individually have 
access to, but which the Library, as a community enterprise, makes 
available to all. Everyone benefits, because everyone is enriched by 
the depth and breadth of this communal resource. You don't have to 
be doing full-fledged research — if you have a burning question about 
Mo Vaughn's batting average or El Nino's effect on last year's rainfall, 
you can probably find the answer by calling our telephone reference 

At the Library's founding, one of the fundamental ideas of the trustees 



1) The Great Fire of 1872, photo by J. W. Black 

3) Public viewing of Sacco and Vanzetti, 1927, from the 

Leslie Jones Collection 
6) Coasting on Boston Connnnon, ca. 1930, from the 

Leslie Jones Collection 

2) Plymouth Hospital, nursing school class of 1911 
4) African-American workmen in the early 1900s 
7) New England Telephone switchboard, 1922, photo 
by E. E. Bond 

5) Joe DiMaggio at Fenway Park, 1939, from the 
Leslie Jones Collection 

8) A 1946 dinner with (left to right) an unidentified 
priest, Boston fi/layor James Michael Curley, 
Congressman John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Kennedy's 
grandfather, former Mayor "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald 

1) Fred Allen, radio's funniest social satirist, worked 
as a stack boy at the Library— where his father was 
a bookbinder— while attending Boston High School 
of Commerce for Boys. As a youngster, Allen was 
fascinated by vaudeville, where he got his start in 
show business. His personal ties with the Library 
prompted him and his widow, Portland Hoffa Rines, 
to leave his papers to the Library. The Fred Allen 
Collection comprises scripts, correspondence, and 
photos. 2) The Library has one of the world's 
largest collections of fore-edge painted books, 
whose front edges contain painted images that dis- 
appear when the books are closed. 3) The conser- 
vation of books and other works on paper requires 
many painstaking steps. 4) The Library houses the 
books of John Adams, the second president of the 
United States and a native of Massachusetts. The 
Adams Collection was deposited at the Library in 
1894 and makes this institution the nation's only 
public library that is also a presidential library. The 
more than 3,000 volumes in the Adams Collection 
represent the intellectual tastes of an 18th-century 
gentleman-politician, and they include Greek, 
Roman, and European classics and works on law, 
history, philosophy, and science. Equally important 
to scholars as the works themselves are the numer- 
ous marginal notes, annotations, and signatures 
they contain. 5) Historian David McCullough has 
used the Librat7's research collections for 
more than 30 years, consulting books, manu- 
scripts, newspapers, prints, and paintings. He 
Is currently working with the Adams Collection 
tor his forthcoming book about John Adams, 
WW Abigail Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. "Boston 
is the best of all places to research 18th-cen- 
tury America, and the Adams Collection is 
remarkable — for the books themselves, and 
for John Adams' amazing marginal notes, in 
which he carried on debates with authors," 
David McCullough explains. "To have materiaf 
/;ke this available free to anyone with a serious 
interest is an attainment few cities anywhere 
can match. It's especially important to me, 
because I'm an independent scholar, without 
the access a university affiliation provides. 
One of the main reasons why / became a 
trustee of the Library is to help ensure that its 
research collections are preserved for the 
next generation." 6) The Rare Books and 
Manuscripts Exhibit Room in the McKim Building 
contains the Adams Collection. 

The Research Library in the McKim Building is the 
repository for the Library's comprehensive 
research collections. The Depailmciit of Rare 
Books and Manuscripts offers a prime example of 
the kinds of unique and valuable materials the 
Library preserves, exhibits, and makes available for 
study. The varied holdings of this department 
include the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed 
in the American colonies; Shakespeare's first, 
second, third, and fourth folios; the library of 
President John Adams; rare autographs; the 
correspondence of New England abolitionists; 
papers relating to the legal defense of Sacco and 
Vanzetti; and the papers and memorabilia of 
comedian Fred Allen. 


With such collections, the function of preservation 
for continued use is of paramoimt importance. 
In recognition of this role, we formed the 
Conservation Department in 1982, the second 
such facility in a major American public library. 
The Conservation Department makes it possible for 
the Library staff and researchers to have access to 
fragile or damaged materials that might otherwise 
not be available for study. The department works 
with boimd books and other works on paper from 
the Library's special collections, many of which are 
unique or irreplaceable, to stabilize and restore 
them. Items may require cleaning or repair or 
special housing in order to be handled or displayed, 
and acid may need to be removed in order to 
preserve the paper itself. The Conservation Depart- 
ment's first projects were the restoration of the 
Adams Collection, manuscripts of the American 
Revolution, and the papers of early American 
scientist and astronomer Nathaniel Bowditch. 
The department's staff also offers advice to the 
genera! public for maintaining collections of 
books and papers. 






, 1 


\ i 





1 1 


1) The Microtext Department makes such fragile, 
bulky documents as newspapers and genealogical 
records available to researchers in formats includ- 
ing microfilm, microfiche, and microcard. 

2) Sinclair Hitchings presides over the Library's 
Print Department. Containing over 700,000 prints, 
drawings, and photographs, this department is 
among the largest public collections of its kind in 
the nation. 3) The Dwiggins Collection contains the 
work and correspondence of William Dwiggins 
(1880-1956), a multifaceted illustrator and 
designer. Shown here some of the many mari- 
onettes Dwiggins created for the puppet plays he 
staged for neighborhood children at his home in 
Hingham. 4) A sample from the Wiggin Collection is 
Les Fiacres IParavent a quatre feuilles), an 1899 
color lithograph by the pnntmaker Pierre Bonnard 
(French, 18671947). 5) This 1861 print, Tribute to 
Gen. Winfield Scott, Commander of the Union 
Forces, from the Americana Collection, is thought to 
be by Currier & Ives. 6 & 7) The Print Department 
houses the Boston Pictorial Archive, a treasure-trove 
of historical photos. In these examples from 1926, 
Emerson College students exercise in the Library's 


Starting young 

a = 

s to the terms on which access 

should be had to a City Library, 
the Trustees can only say, that they would place no 
restrictions on its use, except such as the nature of 
individual books, or their safety may demand; 
regarding it as a great matter to carry as many 
of them as possible into the home of the young. . . . 
the Trustees would endeavor to make the Public 
Library of the City, as far as possible, the crowning 

1 r ^ r r^- ^ The founding trustees envisioned the Library as a continuation of 

fflory oi our system oi City 

^ ■' ^ ^ Boston's school system, a relationship that has grown even closer 

Schools. . . . over 150 years. And today's trustees have organized an education 

committee including representatives from the Library and the schools 
to further this relationship. The Library maintains an active partner- 
ship with the Boston public schools, and with private and parochial 
schools as well. These partnerships serve children and youth directly, 
and they introduce young people to the idea that learning is an excit- 
ing, life-long process. When children first encounter Maurice Sendak 
or Curious George", not only do they make a new friend — they dis- 
cover a stimulant for learning, for activity, and for the process of 
imagination itself. Reading is a way of entering a larger world. 



1) School programs bring students and teachers to 
the Library together. 2) This line drawing from the 
Boston Pictoral Archive shows two eager young 
readers at the West End Branch. 3) Story hours, 
shown here at various branches over time, are a 
beloved Library tradition. 4) Curious George- him- 
self attended the 1997 dedication of the Children's 
Room at the Central Library as the Rey Children's 
Room in honor of the late authors Margret and Hans 
A. Rey, creators of the Curious George" series. 
5) Gabe Escoto of Roslindale got involved with 
the Picturing Our World program at the sug- 
gestion of his librarian at West Roxbury High 
School. During the winter and spring of 1997, 
Gabe, then a sophomore, worked on a mural 
that is now installed at the West Roxbury 
Branch. "There was a group of about 10 of us 
working with Karen Duff, a librarian at the 
West Roxbury Branch, and David Levine, a 
professional artist from Brook/ine," Gabe 
explains. "We brainstormed about how we 
would portray the city. It was a real group 
process, which is different from the way I think 
about art. It was a challenge to work together 
to produce the mural, but it felt really good to 
go to the unveiling at Copley when it was fin- 
ished." Soon after the mural was completed, 
Gabe started two new projects— taking art 
lessons at the Harriet Tubman House in the 
South End and working as a part-time library 
assistant at the West Roxbury Branch. 

WTien the McKim Building opened in 1895, the 
Boston Public Library became the first library ever 
to offer services to children in a specially desig- 
nated space. The Children's Room contained 3,000 
books for the use of young readers, and the space 
was doubled in size only three years later. In 1902, 
the Library introduced storytelling, now a staple 
of virtually all children's library programs. Today, 
story hours are popular throughout the Library 
system, and some branches feature pajama story- 
times in the early evenings, when youngsters and 
librarians alike appear in the best possible attire 
for listening to stories. 

The Library offers children's programs targeted 
at all developmental levels. Reading Readiness 
serves preschoolers and kindergartners, exploring 
concepts a child needs to master before learning 
to read, such as numbers, colors, shapes, and sizes. 
The prograiB, which operates at the Central 
Library and all 25 neighborhood branches, is 
led by a children's librarian and a musician. 
Reading Readiness is funded by the Richard and 
Susan Smith Family Foundadon, sisters Carol 
Goldberg and Helene Kaplan, the Cabot Family 
Charitable Trust, and the Keel Foundation. 

We actively promote summer reading among young 
readers ages 5 to 1 7 through the Read Your Way to 
Fenway program, supported annually by Boston 
Public Library Fotmdation board member John 
Harrington and the Boston Red Sox. During the 
summer, students who check oiu books at their 
local branches receive entry forms on which they 
list the last three books they have read, explaining 
their favorite choices. In 1997, Read Your Way to 
Fenway went to Fenway Park on August 10, with 
1,250 enthusiastic readers — and baseball fans — in 

Some of the Library's most exciting programs are 
collaborations with high schools. Farlier this year, 
we introduced the joint library card program, a 
first-in-the-nation initiative that enables students in 
Boston public high schools to use both the Boston 
Public Library and their high school libraries with 
one library card. Now, students can access the cata- 
log of the Boston Public Library online from their 
school libraries and \'iew their school library cata- 
logs from the Central Library or any branch. This 
project is yet another way to reinforce the concept 
of the Library as a life-long learning resource. We 
are collaborating with the schools in other ways as 
well, such as developing joint reading lists. Our 
librarians visit schools and introduce teachers, stu- 
dents, school librarians, and administrators to the 
full scope of our resources. One important aspect 
of the program is helping students tap into all the 
technological resources that the Library has, many 
of which are accessible from their school libraries. 

The Library also engages in broad outreach, 
including Pictiuing Our World (POW), an after- 
school program geared toward adolescents and 
their needs in such critical areas as competence 
and achievement, creative expression, literacy, and 
positive social interactions with other young people 
and adults, hi 1997, POW, which was fimded by a 
grant from the Boston Fotmdation, focused on the 
creation of a mtual, a video promoting library ser- 
vices for teens, and a decorative tile frieze as well as 
photography, creative writing, and dramatics. 

1) Since 1895. the Library has served children with 
special services and programs. Today, the offerings 
extend from a chance for parents and children to 
spend a quiet moment together to reading promo- 
tion programs such as Read Your Way to Fenway. 

2) The new Margret and H. A. Rey Children's Room 
at the Central Library was renovated through a gift 
from the internationally acclaimed children's author 
Margret Rey. Cocreator of the Curious George" 
series, Margret Rey pledged Si million to the 
Library on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, 
months before her death in December 1996. This 
gift also enabled the Library to refurbish the well- 
worn children's rooms in all branches and to aug- 
ment youth programs and children's collections. 

3) In addition to serving children, the Library main- 
tains a noted collection for the study of children's lit- 
erature from 1870 to the present. The collection, 
which includes 157,000 items and is continually 
adding new materials, is named in honor of Alice M. 
Jordan, the founder of children's services at the 
Boston Public Library and a pioneer in the field of 
children's librarianship. The Jordan Collection cov- 
ers a comprehensive spectrum of books for infants 
to young adults in English and foreign languages, 
representing 100 countries. It includes both clas- 
sics and popular titles to reflect trends in children's 
publishing over time. 4) In 1895, the Boston Public 
Library opened the first children's library space in 
the nation, pictured here ca. 1929. 5) Computer 
and Internet access are important parts of the 
Library's offerings for children. 6) Audiovisual 
resources are nothing new at the Library, as this 
1920 photo of students listening to a Victrola at 
the North End Branch proves. 


So "Feir and soflly" Joh 

But John he cried in voin; 
That trot became a gallop a 
In spite ol curb and rein. 

So Hooping down, as neetU he 
Who cannot sii uprighi, 
Ht p'tpei ittc tnaoe wiOi 

his hand*. 
And eke with all hu mighi. 

be Mia hone, who never in Ihal ion 
Had handled been before. 
What thing upon ho back had 
oon. 1 KOI 

Did wonder more and more, 

Timl Away went Gilpin, neck or 

naught ; 
t>oth Away wcnl hat and wig; 

1 Helmledreamedwhenhesetowt 
or runninsiuchariE. 


Focus on 
the future 

S ^ 

O = 

he old roads, so to speak, are 

admitted to be no longer suffi- 
cient. Even the more modern turnpikes do not sat- 
isfy our wants. We ask for rail-cars and steam-boats, 
in which many more persons — even multitudes — 
may advance together toward the great end of life, 
and go faster, farther and better, by the means thus 
furnished to them, than they have ever been able to 
do before. . . . What precise ''' '""""^ '^ ' """^ '"'*^' '° ' " ''"''' ^"""^ '"' '''"^'"^' 

continually adapting to new circumstances. Technology is a good 

plan should be adopted for example— in 1998, the focus is on the Internet, but the Library has 

1 i'i • • ^ continually incorporated new technology. Since our founding, we 

such a library, it is not, per- 

^ have added paperbacks, pocket books, and resources on microform, 

haps, possible to settle before- mlcrotext, microfilm, and microfiche. We have adapted to different 
1 J T... ■ .^1 ■ contexts for magazines and newspapers and incorporated film, 

hand. It is a new thing, a new 

audiotapes, and videotapes. Now we have gone on to collect more 

Step forward in general educa- dynamic media in the form of online resources, from CDs to full text 

1 ^ r ^ online. The idea of technology and its impact is not new, but with the 

tion; and we must reel our way 

^ internet, the process of change and adaptation has become more 
as we advance. rapid, and the public demand has increased dramatically. As we 

continue to add formats and media, we cannot neglect our print and 
manuscript collections. Our challenge is to preserve existing 
resources while adding new ones so that our collections will continue 
to represent the full range of knowledge and expression, from 
Babylonian cuneiform tablets to the latest e-zine. 



1) Jackie Robinson and Sam Jethroe, ca. 1953, from the 

Leslie Jones Collection 
4) Augustus John etching of William Butler Yeats, 1907 
7) Rembrandt etching and drypoint, 

Christ Heafing the Sick. ca. 1649 

2) Mary Cassatt print 

5) Daniel Chester French doors to the McKim Building 

8) Photo of an ad for a black-owned restaurant, ca. 1920 

3) Abbey Room 

6) Yosemite Valley photo by Carleton Watklns, ca. 1860 

9) Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, 

photo taken at Fort Mojave on the Colorado River 

by Alexander Gardner, 1869 

1) Computers and Internet access represent the 
latest technology the Library has adopted in its 
150 years. 2) Katherine Dibble, the Library's 
supervisor of Research Library services, and 
Gunars Rutkovskis, assistant director for 
resources and Research Library services, help 
carry out the Library's commitment to com- 
prehensive collections and to collecting for the 
future because it is not possible to say now 
what will be important tomorrow. As Katherine 
tw Dibble explains, "As an individual, you proba- 
bly toss out your old phone book when the new 
one arrives on your doorstep. But the Library 
keeps all the Boston telephone directories, so 
if you wanted to find who had telephones the 
first year that t/ie telephone company pub- 
lished a directory, you could. You could trace 
people from directory to directory to see how 
often they moved, or you could determine in 
which neighborhoods telephones first prolifer- 
ated. Even the most mundane publication has 
stories to tell and insights to yield." 3) In the 
Newspaper Room In the Johnson Building, research- 
ers ferret out information that other kinds of 
sources are not likely to contain, such as advertise- 
ments and obituaries. 4) The Library has incorpo- 
rated into its collections such artifacts as this 
commemorative gold medal presented to George 
Washington by the U. S. Congress for his victory at 
Dorchester Heights in 1776, which ended the 
British occupation of Boston. 

5) In Its history, the Library has weathered its share 
of controversy. This statue of a mythological bac- 
chante — or follower of Bacchus, the Roman god of 
wine — caused a fervor when it was presented to the 
Library as the centerpiece of the courtyard fountain 
by architect Charles Follen McKim. McKim eventu 
ally withdrew the gift, giving the statue to the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The artist, 
Frederic Macmonnies, benefited from the notoriety 
and sold copies of the statue. One of these copies, 
cast from the original plaster model, was eventually 
donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 
Inspired by the renovation of the McKim Building, 
the MFA and the Library worked together to arrange 
for a copy of the MFA Bacchante to be cast for the 
courtyard by sculptor Bob Shore. With the contro- 
versy safely at rest after a century, the bacchante 
will once again grace the fountain when the restora- 
tion of the courtyard is complete. 

In addition to incorporating new technology, the 
Library has come to serve new constituencies over 
its 150 years. The founding trustees, for example, 
did not think of the elderly or people with varied 
physical limitations as special categories of library 
users, but these groups have become important 
Library constituencies. 


In 1930, we became the first public library to cre- 
ate programs specifically for elderly users with the 
inauguration of the Never Too Late Group, now 
the longest-running library-sponsored program in 
the country for older adults. The Never Too Late 
Group, which is open to anyone aged 60 or over, 
meets weekly from October to June at the Central 
Library. It offers varied and informal programs of 
particular interest to seniors, and it is comple- 
mented by senior offerings at branch libraries. 
Other senior services include the collection of 
large print books, which can be borrowed through- 
out the branch system, and multimedia kits that 
help older people invoke and share memories 

among themselves or with younger people in set- 
tings such as senior centers, nursing homes, and 
youth service agencies. Our mobile services, begun 
in 1970, bring books and other materials to peo- 
ple, including the elderly, who cannot easily visit 
the Library. 

The Library's Access Center provides special tech- 
nologies and individualized assistance and training 
to enable Library users with physical disabilities to 
use our resources. Included in access services are 
Braille books and Talking Books, both on loan 
from the Braille and Talking Book Library at the 
Perkins School for the Blind; periodicals in Braille; 
videotapes that offer closed captioning and 
American Sign Language interpretation for deaf 
and hard-of-hearing people and narrative descrip- 
tions for blind and visually disabled people; large 
print books; periodicals and reference materials 
relating to disabilities; and reading and printing 


1) The Print Department sponsors changing 
exhibits throughout the year in its Wiggin Gallery, 
Boston's only full-time, free public art gallery. 
2 > 7) The scope of the Print Department's 
Collections is illustrated by such varied works as a 
1971 drawing by American artist Marianna Pineda 
(2); 19th-century European masterworks by Goya 
(3), Toulouse-Lautrec (4), Gauguin (5), and Daumier 
(6); and a 1924 lithograph by American artist 
George Bellows (7). 8) The Abbey Room, where 
books are delivered to readers in the Research 
Library, is shown before (right) and after its restora- 
tion. This room is adorned by a series of murals 
collectively titled The Quest for the Holy Grail. 
Edwin Austin Abbey, an American artist who lived 
in England, based these paintings on Alfred Lord 
Tennyson's Idylls of the King, a 19th-century 
retelling of the legends of King Arthur and the 
Knights of the Round Table. 9) One of the Library's 
greatest treasures is the Bay Psalm Book, the first 
book published in the American Colonies, which 
was printed in Cambridge in 1640. 10) On May 8, 
1998, the Boston Public Library Foundation closed 
a month-long celebration of the 150th anniversary 
of the Library with a grand dinner raising more 
than $1 million for the ongoing revitalization project. 
The evening began with a reception in Bates 
Hall, followed by the dinner under a tent in 
Copley Square. 

The Library's founders knew better than to plan in 
great detail for an unknown future. They could 
not, for example, have envisioned that the McKim 
Building, which opened nearly 50 years after the 
creation of the institution, would become a destina- 
tion for visitors from around the world because of 
the quality of its architecture and decorative arts. 
We recognize our responsibility to preserve and 
interpret this landmark building and the museum- 
quality collections of books, manuscripts, and arti- 
facts it contains. The Library offers visitors a pro- 
gram of tours, given by trained volunteer guides, 
highlighting Library history and the art and archi- 
tecture of the Central Library, hi addition, the 
Associates of the Boston Public Library, an active 
friends' group, presents outreach programs and 
special events — such as the annual Literary Lights 
dinner — to raise the visibility of the Central 
Library. The Associates also provides support for 
exhibitions drawn from the Library's collections. 


A tradition 
of support 

I M 

s ^ 

O 3 

ith aid to this extent on the part 
of the city, the Trustees beUeve 
that all else may be left to the public spirit and liber- 
ality of individuals. They are inclined to think 
that, from time to time, considerable collections of 
books will be presented to the library by citizens 
of Boston, who will take pleasure in requiting 
in this way the advantages which they have 
received from its public institutions, or who for 

more universal than 

public improvement. 

^1 1 • In 1998, the context of giving has become much 

any other reason are desirous 

it was 150 years ago. The public at large, not only wealthy individuals, 
of increasing the means of wants to support the Library, and we welcome each contribution. At 

the same time, there are doubters who say, "This is a public library. 
The founders created it as municipal institution, supported with taxes. 
Why can't the Library meet its needs with that governmental 
support?" The answer is a simple one: the demands for service are 
greater than ever before — measured in numbers of users and in the 
complexity of their needs and expectations. And the requirements 
for an educated constituency are greater than what those public 
resources currently support. Our founders believed that individuals 
would support their effort. They were right, and we are grateful that 
so many individuals and businesses are continuing that tradition today. 


In 1992, the tradition of private support for the 
Library was extended and strengthened tiy the for- 
mation of the Boston Public Library Foundation. 

Charged with raising fimds to support the revital- 
ization of the Library, the Foundation has in six 
years raised more than $24 milHon from individu- 
als, corporations, and foimdations, and it has 
attracted dozens of local leaders to serve on its 
board of directors. 

1) In 1852, Joshua Bates, a senior partner of the 
London investment banking firm Baring Brothers, 
read the newly published report of the trustees of 
the Boston Public Library. This powerful document 
caught Bates's imagination, reminding him of his 
early days in Boston, when he had educated himself 
during the evenings by reading the wares in a book- 
shop whose owners were generous to an aspiring 
young clerk. Bates realized at once how a truly pub- 
lic library could help many more young people and 
promptly pledged 550,000 — the equivalent of SI 
million today, which he later increased to $100,000 
— to buy books for the fledgling institution, on the 
condition that it be free to all users. This generous 
gift, together with others in the early years, pro- 
vided the inspiration for ongoing private support of 
this public institution, 2) Continuing in the tradi- 
tion of Joshua Bates and other early support- 
ers of the Library are those who are now 
making new programs and the restoration of 
the landmark McKim Building possible. 
Elisabeth Davis, an avid reader and gardener, 
has made a gift in honor of her late husband, 
Stanton, to bring the Library's inner courtyard 
back to its original beauty. Structural work on 
the courtyard is now in progress, with land- 
scaping to follow in 1999. Elisabeth Davis has 
affectionate personal memories of the Library 
— as a young Wellesley College graduate, she 
worked at a branch in Roxbury and at the 
• V KIrstein Business Branch. "/ remember how 
much / enjoyed living on Beacon Hill and walk- 
ing across the Common to the bustle of down- 
town," she recalls. "It was in the midst of the 
Depression and I shelved books, earning $14 
a week. I've always loved reading and books 
and Boston, so now I'm especially pleased to 
be able to help the Library." Here, sculptor 
Lloyd Lillie shows the bas-relief tablet pictur- 
ing Elisabeth and Stanton Davis and the photo- 
graph he worked from. The tablet will be 
Installed in the courtyard to commemorate the 
Davis gift. 

3) Another recent gift is the John D. Merriam 
Collection, an endowed collection of thousands of 
prints, drawings, and photographs left to the Library 
by the Boston collector for whom it is named. 
Shown here is Architectural Fantasy: Baroque and 
Gothic personified, laughing at Bauhaus, a ca. 1930 
pen and watercolor drawing by Heinrich Kley. 

4) Among the innovative notions in the 1852 
trustees' report was its call for "a Reading Room 
accessible to everybody; open as many hours of 
the day as possible. . . ." Bates Hall, the mam read- 
ing room in the Copley Square McKim building, is a 
monumental architectural space, 218 feet long, 
42-and-a-half feet wide, and 50 feet to the crown of 
Its arches. In 1997, Bates Hall was reopened after 
a 12-month renovation that restored its original 
beauty and incorporated new technology. 

The Library is fortunate to have many loyal and 
enthusiastic supporters. Thou.sands of individuals 
have responded to our fundraising appeal with 
membership gifts ranging from $25 to $1,000. 
Larger contributions, such as a $1 million gift to 
restore the magnificent courtyard within the 
McKim Building, are speeding the of 
particular initiatives. 

While a majority of the contributions support physi- 
cal enhancements, many other gifts have been des- 
ignated for programming and technological needs. 
Teresa Heinz and Peter Lynch have endowed our 
Collaborative Schools Program with Boston's pub- 
lic, parochial, and private schools. Thousands of 
children are enjoying new and expanded youth 
programs each year thanks to revenue generated 
from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation 
Children's Endowment. NYNEX, Raytheon, 
Millipore, BankBoston, and other corporations 
have underwritten advancements in technological 
resources and services, an area of vital importance 
to all Library users. 

With all we have accomplished, there is still much 
left to do. The ongoing restoration of the McKim 
Building demands additional support. Enhancing 
the services and facilities of the branch libraries, 
whose needs vary greatly, is a major priority. We 
need funds to complete the cataloguing and preser- 
vation of our special collections, unique on the face 
of the globe, so that future generations can enjoy 
these singular treasures. In addition, the rapid pro- 
liferation of advanced technology has challenged 
us, as it has all libraries, to provide the best of 
today's learning tools to our users. 

For 1 50 years, many partners in the public and 
private sectors have helped the Boston Public 
Library deliver on the promise "Free to All." The 
Boston Public Library Foundation looks forward 
to a future of condnued partnership on behalf 
of America's first free public library. 



Forward from today 

The current trustees of the 
Library reflect the diversity of 
the community the Library serves. They include scholars and teach- 
ers, business leaders, and community activists. Perhaps more than 
anyone else, the trustees maintain a constant awareness of the 
need to extend the vision of the Library's founders into the future. 
What do the trustees see as they look fonward from today? 

The Library will pursue its mission as an educational resource that 
is free to all, assuming an even greater social role as a welcoming, 
community-based meeting ground for ideas and projects of all 
km6s. This role will emphasize the importance of the branches. 
Users will come to the Library with ever more diverse needs 
and interests, so understanding disparate backgrounds and per- 
spectives and communicating effectively to many different con- 
stituencies will grow as priorities. 

Throughout the institution, the Library will become more and more 
collaborative, using its resources in concert with those of other 
organizations to create programs that enhance learning in new and 
sometimes unexpected ways. The leaders of the Library must be 
ready to deal with constant and accelerating change. Technology 
will continue to develop, changing the role of librarians as the 
Internet has today. 

These predictions for the Library's future show how the current 
trustees are building on the vision of the founders and on a century 
and a half of accomplishments. 

Boston Public Library 
Board of Trustees 

Joseph E. Mul!ane\-,Jr. 

Pamela Seigle 

Vice Chair 

President's Administrative Cabinet 
IVIembership Directory 

Bernard .\. Margolis 

Frank .■\ltieri 

Acting Assistant to the Director 

Systems and Services 

Bruce K. Cole 

Chief Financial Ofjicer 

Katherine Dibble 

Supervisor oj Research Library Services 

All Diinphy 

Public Relations Officer 

June Eiselstein 
Assistant to the Director for 
Community Library Services 

Ruth Kovval 

Regional Administrator, BMRLS 

Lesley Loke 
Assistant Director 
Community Library Ser'vices 

Jamie McGlone 

Staff Office) for Special Projects 

Cvnthia Phillips 
Assistmit to the Director for 
Community Library Services 

Joe Raker 

Coordinator of Technical Services 

Dana Rizzotti 

Program Development Analyst 

Veronica Rock 

Head of Human Resources 

Gunars Rutkovskis 

Assistant Director for Resources and 

Research Library Services 

Joseph Sarro 

Superintendent of Library Buildings 

Boston Public Library 
Department Heads 

Janice Chadbourne 
Fine Arts 

Gail Fithian 
Government Doniments 

Bill Grealish 
Humanities Reference 

Dorothy Keller 

Interlibrary Loan 

Dolores Schueler 
Kirstein Business Branch 

Charles Longley 

Diane Ota 

Music Reference 

Sinclair Hitchings 
Print Department 

Roberta Zonghi 

(Acting Head) 

Rare Books and Manuscripts 

Marilyn McLean 

Science Reference 

Mary Frances O'Brien 
Social Science Reference 

Sallv Beecher 
Telephone Reference 

Community Library Services 
Department Heads 

Fran Majusky 
GL Adult Services 

Catherine Clancy 

GL Young Adult Services 

Paula Hayes 

GL Children 's Services 

Stephen Olson 
Audiovisual Semices 

William M. Bulger 
Libby Lai-Bun Chiu 
v. Paul Deare 
Donna M. DePrisco 
Berthe M. Gaines 
David McCullough 
William O. Tavlor 

Jeff Cramer 
Circulation 6f SItelving Services 


Boston Public Librat7 Foundation 
Board of Directors 


Kinin C. Plielan 
Chairmini of llii' Board 
Kxeciitive Vice Presideni 
Meredith & Grew, Inc. 

Prudence S. Crozier 

Vice Chair 

Trustee, Welleslev College 

Nader F. Darelishori 

Vice Chair 

(Chairman, President & CEO 

Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Jeffrey B. Rudnian, Esq. 
Chairman ofDinvlopmenl 
Partner, Hale and l^orr 

James S. DiStasio 
Chairman of finance 
Managing Partner, Ernst & Yoinig 

Kitryn M. Wilson 


Paula Alxary 
Hotfman Alvary Sc Co. 

Joel B. Alvord 

President & Managing Director 

.Shawmut Capital Partners 

The Honorable 
Thomas F. Birmingham 
President of the Senate 
Commonwealth of Ma.ssachusetts 

Arnold Bloom, Esq. 
Bloom & VMiitkin 

Diane Bodman 

Leo R. Breitman 
Chairman & CEO 
Fleet National Bank 

Michael E. Bronner 
('hief Executive Officer 
Bronner, Slosberg and Humphrey 

Robin A. Brown 
General Manager 
Four Seasons Hotel 

Wayne A. Budd, Esq. 
Group President of N. E. 
Bell Adantic 

William M. Bulger 

Universit\' of Massadiusetts 

Lewis Burleigh, Esq. 
Day, Berry & Howard 

(ireg C. (^arr 
Prodigy, Inc. 

James F. Cleary 
Advisory Director 
PaincWcbber, Inc. 

William F. Connell 
C;hairman &; CEO 
Connell Limited Partnership 

G. Drew Conway 
President Sc CEO 
Renaissance Worldwide, Inc. 

Diddy Cullinane 


Black &■ Wliite Boston 

John J. Cullinane 


The Cullinane Group 

V. Paul Deare 


Public Affairs and Comminiication 

Stephen C. Demirjian 
Senior Vice President 
Westfield Capital 

Donna M. DePrisco 

DePrisco Diamond Jewelers & Co. 

Lawrence S. DiCara, Esq. 
Peabody &; Brown 

Gerard F. Doherty, Esq. 

Ed Eskandarian 
Chairman & CEO 
Arnold Communications 

Katherine W. Fanning 
Adjunct Professor 
Boston University 

The Honorable 
Thomas M. Finneran 
Speaker of the House 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

Robert P. Fitzgerald 
Associate Director 
International Insurance 

Charles J. Fox 
Vice President 

Robert B. Fiaser, Esq. 
Chairman (Retired) 
Goodwin, Procter & Hoar 

Berthe M. Gaines 


Boston Public Library 

Carol R. Goldberg 


The AVCAR Group, Ltd. 

Jerome H. Grossman, M.D. 
Chairman S: CEO 
Health Quality LLC 

L. Carl Gustin 
Senior Vice President 
Boston Edison Company 

John I„ I lai rington 

Trustee & Executive Director 

The Yawkey Foimdation 

Ri( hard 1 lartei, Esq. 
Bingham, Dana & Gould 

Alice Hennessey 

Special Assistant lo the Mayor 

Elizabeth B.Johnson 

Hubert E. Jones 
Senior Fellow 
McCormack Institute 

Barbara R. Jordan 



Paul A. La Camera 
President &: General Manager 
WCVB-TV Channel 5 

Charles R. LaMantia 
President & CEO 
Ai thin D. Little, Inc. 

Peter S. Lynch 
Vice Chairman 
Fidelity Management & 
Research Company 

Irma S. Mann 

Chairman & CEO 

Irma Mann Strategic Marketing, Inc. 

David McCullough 

Beth Pfeilfer McNay 
President & CEO 


Cathy E. Minehan 

President & CEO 

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

Sandra O. Moose 
Senior Vice President 
Boston Consulting Group 

Joseph E. MuUaney.Jr. 
Vice Chairman (retired) 
Gillette Company 

Paul C. O'Brien 


The O'Brien Group. Inc. 

John J. O'Connor 
Managing Partner 
Coopers & Lybraird 

Kendra O'Donnell 
Principal (retired) 
Phillips Exeter Academy 

Ronald P O'Hanley 

Chief Operadng Officer 

Mellon Global Asset Management 


Thomas W. Payzant 
Boston Public Schools 

David E. Place, Escj. 
Choate. Hall & Stewart 

Robert ('. Po/t'ii 

Presideni & CEO 

Fidelity Management & Research (x>. 

Neil L. Rudenstine 
Harvard Univcisity 

George A. Russell. Jr. 
.Senior Vice President 
State Street Bank 

Michael R. Sandler 
Chairman & CEO 
EduVentures, Inc. 

Elaine Schuster 
Continental Wingate 

Pamela Seigle 


Reach Out To Schools 

Wellesley College 

William N. Shiebler 


Putnam Mutual Funds 

Susan F. Smith 

Chairman - National Advisory 
Council of Dana Farber Women's 
Cancer Program 

Micho F. Spring 


Bozell/Sawyer Miller Consulting 

Ira Stepanian 

Chairman & CEO (Reured) 

Bank of Boston 

Jacquelynne Stepanian 

Earl Tate 
President & CEO 
Staffing Solutions 

William O. Taylor 


The Boston Globe 

Joan D. Wheeler 
Russian Gallery 

Boston Public Library Foundation 

Blake Jordan 

Director of Developvient 

Tara Evin 

Public Relations Coordinator 

Valerie Ketton 
Office Manager 


Dedicated to the advancement of learning 

The Boston Public Library Foundation gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the follmmng who have contributed 
$2^,000 or more toward the revitalizatwn of the Boston Public Library. (As of August 1, ig^8) 

31 MIL 

The Boston Globe Foundation 

Stanton and Elisabeth Davis 

The Kiesge Foundation 

Members of the Jordan and Taylor Families 

John D. Merriam 

Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund 

Hans A. and Margret E. Rey 

$500.000 — $999,999 

The Jordan Charitable Foundation 

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation 

David G. Mugar 

Rosemary and Joseph Mullaney 

Coopers & Lybrand LLP 

Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust 

Diddy and John Cullinane 

Helene R. Cahners-Kaplan and Carol R. Goldberg 

The Estate of Esther Lissner 

Eastern Enterprises/Boston Gas Company 

Fleet, Trustee of the Alfred E. Chase Charity Foundation 

Susan Fried and Jeffrey Rudman 

Harcourt General Charitable Foundation 

Goodwin, Procter & Hoar 

KPMG Peat Marwick 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 

Polaroid Corporation 

Rosalyn and Richard Slifka 

The Stride Rite Charitable Foundation 

WCVB-TV', Channel 5 

$250.000 - $499,999 

Houghton Mifflin Company 

Teresa Heinz 

New England Telephone/NrVNEX 

Richard and Susan Smitli Family Foundation 


Cabot Family Charitable Trusts 

Drew and Kim Conway/Renaissance Worldwide 

Fleet Bank 

The Gillette Company 

John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company 

The Henry Luce Foundation 

Carolyn and Peter Lynch 

Raytheon Company 

The Mabel Louise Riley Foundation 

Shawiiiut Bank 



A. U. Bird Trust 

Vernon and Marion Alden 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MA, Inc. 

Birmingham Foundation 

The Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund 

William F. and Margot C. Connell 

Jane and John Fitzpatrick 

Hale and Dorr 

Charles Hayden Foundation 

Keel Foimdation 

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company 

Mellon Trust/The Boston Company 

Amelia Peabody Foundation 

The Harold Wliitworth Pierce Charitable Trust 

Putnam Investments 

Maria and Ray Stata 

State Sueet Bank and Trust Company 

Millipore Corporation 

Barbara and Patrick Roche 

The Yawkey Foundation 

$50. C 

Arnold Communications 

Arthur D. Little, Inc. 

Associates of the Boston Public Library 

The Baring Foundation 


The Boston Foimdation 

Boston University 

Frank Bowman 

Barbara and Jim Cleary 

Frank W. and Carl S. Adams Memorial Fund, BankBoston, Trustee 

Boston Edison Company 

Bushrod H. Campbell and Adah F. Hall Charity Fund 

Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser 

Cabot Corporation Foundation 

Gregory C. Carr 

Prudence and William Crozier 

Day, Berry & Howard 

The DePrisco Family 

Electronic Data Systems 

Ernst &: Young LLP 

Genzyme Corporation 

The Germeshausen Foundation 

H.J. Heinz Company 

Litde, Brown & Company 

Rosemary and Caleb Loring 

Mellon Trust/ Alice P. Chase Trust 

Northeastern LIniversity 

The Parthenon Group 

Anne and Kevin Phelan 

Susanna and David Place 

Elaine and Gerald Schuster 

Jacquelynne and Ira Stepanian 

USTrust Bank 

(n-Kind Gifts 



AK Media 

Arthur D. Litde, Inc. 

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of MA, 

Boston Consulting Group 

Coopers & Lybrand LLP 

Electronic Data Systems 

Hale and Dorr 

Houghton Mifflin Company 

NYNEX-New England 

Sametz Blackstone Associates 

WCVB-rV, Channel 5 




Arnold Communications 

Jonathan L. Barkan, Communications for Learning 

Boston Red Sox 

Clarke and Company 

The Cullinane Group 

The Four Seasons Hotel 

Global Graphic Management 

John P. Pow Printing 


Boston Public Library 

Fiscal 1997 Annual Report 

Total expenditures 




A) Salaries and wages 

City of Boston 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

State Aid 


Library of Last Recourse 

Federal/State/Private Grants 

Total salaries and wages 

$1 5,560,690 






1. 238,470 












B) Books and other library materials 

City of Boston 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

State Aid 


Library of Last Recourse 
Trust Fund Income 
Federal/State/Private Grants 

Total books and other library materials 

















C) All other expenses 

City of Boston 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

State Aid 


Library of Last Recourse 
Trust Fund Income 
Federal/State/Private Grants 

Total all other expenses 


















Grand total (A, 8, & C) 


t'3 1.944.02 


Associates of the Boston Public Library 
The Baring Foundation 

The Boston Foundation 
Boston University- 
Frank Bowman 
Barbara and Jim Cleary 

1 ne (^uinnane oroup 
The Four Seasons Hotel 
Global Graphic Management 
John P. Pow Printing 




Boston Public Library 

700 Boylston Street 

Boston, Massachusetts 021 16 

Boston Public Library Foundation 

376 Boylston Street 

Suite 503 

Boston, Massachusetts 02 116