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Full text of "Exercises at the opening of the James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, Conn"

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EXERCISES AT THE OPENING 



, Jame^ Blae^^tone Memorial h\iMi 



BRANKORD, CONN 



'June 17, i8p6 



NEW HAVEN: 

The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Press 

1897 




CONTENTS. 



Page 

Introductory Note, 7 

Act of Incorporation, 9 

Program of the Exercises, 13 

Address by the President of the Board of Incorpo- 
rators, Edward F. Jones, 15 

Monograph — James Bi^ackstone and his Famh,y. Hon. 

Lynde Harrison 19 

Address — ^The Library as an Educational, Force. Prof. 

Arthur T. Hadi,ey, of Yai,e University, .... 27 
Address to the Chii,dren — The Library, Branford's Crown. 

Rev. M. K. BaiIvEy, 39 

Description of the Building, 49 

Description of the Paintings in the Dome, .... 53 



2GM8S© 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Page 
The James Blackstone Memorial Library, . . Frontispiece 

Portrait of Timothy B. Blackstone, 15 

Portrait of James Blackstone, 19 

Bronze Entrance Doors, 27 

Book Stack, 29 

Reading Room, 33 

Rotunda, showing entrance to Lecture Room, ... 37 

Lecture Room, 39 

Stair Case, 43 

Corridor of the Rotunda, 45 

Paintings in the Dome, 47 

• 49 

51 

53 




INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 



The James Blackstone Memorial IvIbrary, of Branford, 
is the gift of Timothy B. Blackstone of Chicago, to his native 
town. To his purpose that nothing should be wanting to its 
completeness, and that it should be at the same time a worthy 
memorial of his father, whose name it bears, the architect's 
description of the building and the accompanying illustrations 
abundantly testify. Just what the building has cost we have 
not been permitted to know, but it is safe to say that with the 
generous endowment for the maintenance and increase of the 
library the whole gift cannot fall much short of half a million 
dollars. 

The library, a catalogue of which has been printed since the 
opening, consists substantially of the 5,000 volumes selected by 
the American Library Association for a popular library, with 
1,500 additional volumes. 

Branford, July, 1897. 



ACT OF INCORPORATION 

OF the; 
James Blackstone Memorial Library Association. 



Section i. That T. F. Hammer, Edward F. Jones, C. W. 
Gaylord, Edmund Zacher, William Regan, Henry W. Hub- 
bard, and their successors, as hereinafter provided, be, and 
they hereby are constituted a body politic and corporate by the 
name of the James Blackstone Memorial Library Association, 
to be located in the town of Branford, and by that name shall 
have perpetual succession, and may sue and be sued in all 
courts and places whatsoever ; may have and use a common 
seal, and alter the same at pleasure ; and may take, receive, 
and hold, either by purchase, gift, or devise, or otherwise, any 
estate, real or personal, which may be used, or the income 
from which shall be used for the purposes for which said cor- 
poration is established ; and it may invest, use, appropriate, 
convey, and dispose of the same at pleasure, for the purposes 
hereinafter set forth ; provided, however, that it shall not have 
power to sell, convey, mortgage, or dispose of any real estate, 
or the buildings theron, which may be conveyed to it for the 
purposes of a library, reading room or lecture hall ; and pro- 
vided fiirther , that all real estate held b3r said corporation shall 
be subject to any conditions or provisions contained in the 
deeds or instruments conveying such estate to said corporation. 

Sec. 2. The librarian of Yale University shall, ex-officio, be 
a member of said corporation. If the person holding the office 
of librarian of Yale University shall at any time decline to 



lO PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

act, the other members of the corporation ma)'- appoint the 
person who may at such time be assistant librarian of Yale 
University to act with them, until such time as the person 
holding the office of librarian shall consent to serve. 

Sec. 3. The purposes for which said corporation is created 
are to establish and maintain a public library and reading- 
room, and in its discretion a lecture hall, gymnasium, and 
rooms for purposes of science and art, in the town of Branford. 

Sec. 4. Said corporation shall have power to make and 
adopt such b5'-laws and regulations as, in its judgment, may 
be necessary for electing its officers and defining their duties, 
and for the management, safe-keeping, and protection of its 
property and funds, and from time to time to alter or repeal 
such by-laws, rules, and regulations, and to adopt others in 
their place. Said corporation may appoint and emplo}^ from 
time to time such agents and emplo5^es as its officers may deem 
necessary for the efficient administration and conduct of the 
library and other affairs of the corporation. The provisions of 
any will, deed, or other instrument by which endowment is 
given to said association and accepted by the same, shall, as to 
such endowment, be a part of this act of incorporation. The 
managers of said association shall not have power to invest any 
of its propert}' or funds, except in accordance with the pro- 
visions of an)^ instrument of endowment, or in accordance with 
the general laws of the State of Connecticut controlling invest- 
ments by savings banks, but may accept donations, and in their 
discretion hold the same in the form in which they are given, 
for the purposes for which said corporation is created. It shall 
be the dut}'^ of said corporation, b)'^ its proper officers, to render 
in the month of Januar}^ in each year, to the Governor of the 
State of Connecticut, an account of the income and expendi- 
tures of said corporation, for the year ending on the 31st of 
December preceding, together with an inventory of the assets 
and investments of the same in detail, and in the event that 
such an account shall not be so rendered the state attorney for 
the count}^ of New Haven shall have power, in the name of the 
State of Connecticut, to compel the officers of said corporation 
to file such account with the governor. None of the members 
of said corporation shall, as such members or officers of the 
same, be entitled to receive any compensation for services ren- 



OF THE JAMES BI^ACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. II 

dered for said corporation, or on account of the purposes of the 
same, but they may be allowed reasonable charges for expenses 
incurred by them in the performance of their duties. 

Sec. 5. All the real and personal estate which may be held 
and used, or the income from which shall be used by said cor- 
poration for one or more of the purposes for which it is estab- 
lished, as defined in section three of this resolution, shall be 
free from taxation. 

Sec. 6. Upon the death, resignation, or declination of any 
one of the persons named in the first section of this act, or any 
of their successors, the remaining members of the corporation 
shall select and appoint a suitable person, who shall be a resi- 
dent of the town of Branford, to fill the vacancy caused by 
such death, resignation, or declination. 

Approved March 23, 1893. 



PROGRAM. 



Public Exercises at the dedication of the James Blackstone 
Memorial I^ibrary, 12.30 p. m., June 17th, 1896. 

Opening Address, 

Edward F. Jones, President of the Board of Incorporators 
Prayer, 

Rev. Timothy DwighT, D.D., LL.D., President of Yale University 
Song — Their sun shall no more go down, . Caroi. Club, Bradford 
Monograph — James Blackstone and Family, . Hon. Lynde Harrison 
Song — Welcome to This Place, . . . Carol Club, Branford 
Address — The Library as an Educational Force, 

Prof. Arthur T. Hadley, of Yale University 
Song — " Auld Lang Syne, " .... Carol Club, Branford 
Benediction, REV. T. S. Devitt, D.D. 



Exercises for the children of the public schools were held in 
the Iyibrar>^ at an earlier hour with the following program : 

Prayer, Rev. P. G. WighTman 

Song by the Children — Hark ! the Song of Jubilee. 

Dedication Ode, Margaret T. B. Callahan 

Song by the Children — Our Holiday. 

Address— The Library, Branford's Crown, . . Rev. M. K. BailEy 

Song by the Children — America. 

Benediction, Rev. T. S. Devitt, D.D. 




TIMOTHY B. BLACKSTONE. 



ADDRESS 
By EDWARD F. JONES, 
President op Board of Incorporators. 
Citizens of Branford^ Ladies and Ge^itle^nen : 

We very much regret the unavoidable absence to- 
day of Mr, and Mrs. Blackstone, owing to arrange- 
ments made some time ago, which takes them from 
their home at a time when their presence here would 
be so gratifying to us all. 

The earliest record we have of the founding of any 
library or institution of learning in Branford dates 
back nearly two centuries, when in the year 1700 ten 
Connecticut clergymen, — as we learn from President 
Clap's " History of Yale College,"—'' met at New 
Haven, and formed themselves into a body or society, 
to consist of eleven ministers including a Rector, and 
agreed to found a college in the Colony of Connecticut, 
which they did at their next meeting at Branford in 
the following manner, namely : each member brought 
a number of books and presented them to the body, 
and laying them on the table, said these words, or to 
this effect : ' I give these books for the founding a 



l6 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

college in tliis Colon}'.' Then the trustees as a body 
took possession of them and appointed the Rev. 
Mr. Russel, of Branford, to be the keeper of the 
librar}', which then consisted of abont forty volnmes 
in folio. Soon after they received sundry other dona- 
tions, both of books and mone}^, which laid a good 
foundation. This library, with the additions, was 
kept at Branford in a room set apart for that purpose 
near three 3'ears, and then it was carried to Killing- 
worth." 

The giving of these books at Branford v/as the be- 
ginning of what is to-day the great University at New 
Haven. Whether an}'' of the books can be found to- 
day on the shelves of the Yale University Library I 
am unable to say. 

Since that early period Branford has had several 
libraries, all of which, for one cause or another, ceased 
to exist. 

Early in 1890 a few gentlemen met at the home of 
one of their number for the purpose of forming them- 
selves into a committee or association to solicit contri- 
butions for a fund to be used for building and furnish- 
ing with books a free public library. Their efforts 
were heartily seconded by our citizens generally, and 
it is pleasant to record that they met with greater 
success than perhaps might reasonably have been 
expected. 

In their endeavor to raise the necessary means for 
the building and the books with which to start a 
library, it was suggested that invitations to contribute 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAI, LIBRARY. 1 7 

for this purpose be extended to such non-resident 
natives of Branford as they felt might be willing and 
pleased to contribute to so laudable an undertaking. 

Among the number so invited was a gentleman, a 
native of Branford, of a family well and favorably 
known to many now present, a gentleman now a well- 
known and respected citizen of a great Western city, 
a gentleman well known for his great liberality and 
generosity, and, I may add, a gentleman unwilling 
his name should be inscribed on this grand structure, 
lest some might feel that it is not a public library in 
the most complete sense of the term. This gentleman, 
in replying to the committee, suggested that if it 
would be agreeable to the committee he would be glad 
to undertake to erect a building, furnish it with a 
liberal supply of books, and present it to the citizens 
of Branford, a free public library, as a memorial to his 
father, the late Captain James Blackstone. 

We meet to-day in this magnificent building to 
dedicate it to the use for which it has been erected and 
presented to the citizens of his native to^vn by the 
munificence of Timothy B. Blackstone, of Chicago, 
Illinois. 





JAMES BLACKSTONE. 



MONOGRAPH. 

James Bi^ackstone and his Family. 
By LYNDK HARRISON. 
Mr. President^ Ladies and Gentlemen : 

While tlie primary purpose of the generous donor 
of this building, and its endowment fund, is to benefit 
the people of the town of Branford, it will never be 
forgotten that it serves also as a memorial to Hon. 
James Blackstone, who spent his long life of ninet}^- 
three years in this town, where he was born, and to 
the welfare of which he devoted so much time during 
the years of his young and mature manhood. For 
nearly two centuries, the Blackstone family has occu- 
pied a conspicuous place in this community, and for 
the same length of time, representatives of the family 
have been tillers of the soil, the title to which has 
always been in a Blackstone. 

We cannot properly dedicate this building to the 
purposes for which it is intended without calling your 
attention briefly to James Blackstone, his life, his fam- 
ily, and his ancestors. He was born in Branford in 
1793, in a house located opposite that home, which 



20 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

was during nearly his whole life his residence, and 
where he died on the 4th of February, 1886. His 
first ancestor in this country was Rev. William Black- 
stone, a graduate in 161 7 of Knianuel College, Cam- 
bridge, He received Episcopal ordination in England 
after graduation, but like John Davenport, of New 
Haven, he soon became of the Puritan persuasion, left 
his native country on account of his non-conformity, 
and became the first white settler upon that famous 
neck of land, opposite Charlestown, which is now the 
city of Boston. When the Massachusetts Company 
came to New England, they found William Blackstone 
settled on that peninsula. He had been there long 
enough to have planted an orchard of apple trees. 
Upon his invitation, the principal part of the Massa- 
chusetts Colony removed from Charlestown, and 
founded the town of Boston, on land which Mr. 
Blackstone desired them to occupy. He was the first 
inhabitant of Boston, and the Colony records of May 
18, 163 1, show that he was the first person admitted a 
freeman of that town. His house and orchard were 
located upon a spot about half-way between Boston 
Common and the Charles River. A few years passed, 
and the peculiar notions the Puritans of Boston had on 
the subject of church organization and government 
satisfied William Blackstone that, while he had not 
been able to conform to the Church of Archbishop 
Laud, neither could he conform to the Puritan Church 
of Boston, and when the Puritans invited him to join 
them, he constantly declined, using this language : 



OF the; JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEJMORIAI^ I^IBRARY. 21 

" I came from England because I did not like tlie 
Lord Bishops ; but I cannot join with you because I 
would not be under the Lord Brethren." 

In 1633, an agreement was entered into between 
himself and the other settlers, in the division of the 
lands, that he should have fifty acres allotted to him 
near his house forever. In 1635 he sold forty-four 
of those acres to the company for thirty pounds, retain- 
ing the six acres upon which was his orchard, and soon 
afterwards he moved to Rhode Island, living near 
Providence until the time of his death, which occurred 
on the 26th of May, 1675. A few years after leaving 
Boston, he sold the orchard of six acres to a man 
named Pepys. He was not, in any manner, driven 
away from Boston by the Puritan Fathers, but holding 
certain ideas which did not agree with those of his 
neighbors, he concluded to move to a new location, 
actuated by similar motives to those which led John 
Davenport to leave New Haven, and go to Boston 
after the union of the New Haven Colony with the 
Connecticut Colony at Hartford. All of the accounts 
and records of the Rev. William Blackstone show him 
to have been a religious man, with literary tastes, of 
correct, industrious, thrifty habits, kind and philan- 
tropic feelings, living for several years on Boston Neck, 
and demonstrating the ability of the white man to live 
in peace with only Indians for his neighbors. While 
living in Rhode Island he frequently went to Provi- 
dence to preach the Gospel, and was highly esteemed 
by all the settlers of that Colony. In July, 1659, he 



22 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

married a widow named Sarah Stevenson, and by her 
had one son, John Blackstone. The inventory of his 
estate after his death describes him as having a house 
and orchard, 260 acres of land, interests in the Provi- 
dence meadows, and a library of one hundred and 
eight3^-six volumes of different languages. A river 
of Rhode Island and a town in Massachusetts were 
named Blackstone in his honor. 

His only son, John, married in 1692, and about 17 13 
moved to the town of Branford, where he took up his 
residence on lands south-east of the center of the towm, 
and bounded southerl}- on the sea. 

The son of this John Blackstone M-as bom in 1699, 
and died in Branford, January 3d, 1785, aged nearly 
eighty-six. His son, John Blackstone, was bom in 
Branford in 1731, and died August loth, 1816, aged 
eighty-five. The son of this last John Blackstone, 
Timothy Blackstone, was bom in Branford in 1766, 
and died in 1849, ^^ ^^^ ^S^ ^^ eighty-three. This 
Timothy Blackstone was the father of Hon. James 
Blackstone, who was born in Branford, in the old 
homestead of his father and grandfather, in 1793. 

Here were five generations of the Blackstones living 
and d3ang upon the old famil}- farm in Branford. 
All of them seem to have possessed mau}^ of the traits 
of their first ancestor in this country. They were 
noted for their force of character, industr}^, modesty, 
and marked executive ability. James Blackstone, like 
his ancestors, was a farmer. At the age of twenty he 
was elected a captain in the Connecticut Militia, and as 



OF THK JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEMORIAI, LIBRARY. 23 

sucli, commanded his company for several months, 
while serving as Coast Guard on Long Island Sound, 
during the war of 1812-15. He held at one time or 
another, during his life, the important local offices of 
the town, such as assessor and first selectman. Before 
the separation of North Branford in 183 1, the town- 
ship of Branford, as one of the original towns, was 
entitled to two representatives in the General Assem- 
bly, and on several occasions Captain James Black- 
stone, of Branford, and Captain Jonathan Rose, of 
North Branford, were the representatives of the town, 
at Hartford and New Haven. In 1842 James Black- 
stone represented the sixth district in the State Senate. 
In politics he was a Federalist, a Whig and a Repub- 
lican. His advice and counsel were sought by peo- 
ple, not only of his own town, but of neighboring 
towns, when occasions arose concerning the settlement 
of estates, or other matters where the opinion and 
advice of a man of marked good judgment were needed. 
The first time I ever saw Captain James Blackstone, 
he was pointed out to me by a resident of the town, 
as he was driving past the old public square, with the 
remark, " That is Capt. James Blackstone. When he 
rises in a town meeting and says ' Mr. Moderator, in 
my humble opinion it is better for this town that a 
certain course be taken,' the expression of his opinion 
always prevails with the majority of the voters, in the 
meeting, so great is the confidence the people of the 
town have in his judgment." His character and 
remarkable ability can be easil}^ read by any student 



24 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

of plij'siognoiii}' who will look at the admirable life- 
size portrait of him, now placed in this building. If 
his tastes had led him to a larger place for the exercise 
of his abilit}', no field would have been so large that 
he would not have been a leader among men. 

Yet here he chose to dwell, performing his part well 
through the whole of his long life. I never knew a 
man to whom the description of the good old farmer 
Israel, in Dr. Holland's dramatic poem of Bitter Sweet, 
so well applies. 

" Here dwells the good old farmer, Israel. 
In his ancestral home — a Puritan 
Who reads his Bible daily, loves his God, 
And lives serenely in the faith of Christ. 
For three score years and ten his life has run 
Through varied scenes of happiness and woe ; 
But, constant through the wide vicissitude, 
He has confessed the giver of his joys, 
And kissed the hand that took them ; and whene'er 
Bereavement has oppressed his soul with grief, 
Or sharp misfortune stung his heart with pain. 
He has bowed down in childlike faith, and said, 

" Th}' will, O God — thy ^-ill be done, not mine." 

The donor of this Library was the youngest son of 
James Blackstone. To many of you his history and 
life are well known. He left the Bast more than forty 
years ago to pursue his chosen profession. He mar- 
ried in 1868 Miss Isabella Norton, of Nonvich, and 
since that time his home has been upon JMichigan 
avenue, in that great metropolis of the West, Chicago. 
There, for over thirt}'^ years, he has managed \vith con- 
summate skill the affairs of the most successful 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAI, I^IBRARY. 25 

of all the great railroads of the West. Of him, 
his character, his generosity and his remarkably 
modest, but great ability, I am not at liberty to 
speak in this monograph ; but it is not complete 
as a memorial of James Blackstone, unless I men- 
tion briefly the other descendants. The oldest son 
of James Blackstone, George, died in 1861, never 
having been married. The oldest daughter, Mary, 
married Samuel O. Plant, and one of her daughters, 
Bllen Plant, lives with her in Branford to-day. Three 
grandchildren of Mrs. Mary Blackstone Plant, being 
the children of her daughter Sara, are William L., 
Paul W., and Gertrude P. Harrison. 

The second son of James Blackstone, Lorenzo 
Blackstone, who lived for many years in Norwich, and 
died there in 1888, had five children. The oldest, De 
Trafford Blackstone, has one son Lorenzo. The second 
child of Lorenzo is Mrs. Harriet Blackstone Camp, of 
Norwich, who has three children, Walter Trumbull, 
Talcott Hale, and Elizabeth Norton Camp. The 
second daughter of Lorenzo is Mrs. Francis Ella 
Huntington, of Norwich. The fourth child of Lorenzo 
Blackstone is William Norton Blackstone, of Nor- 
wich ; and his youngest son, Louis Lorenzo Black- 
stone, died in 1893. 

The second daughter of James Blackstone, Ellen, 
married Henry B. Plant, now of New York City. She 
died in 1861, leaving one son, Morton F. Plant, who 
is married and has one son, Henry B. Plant, Jr. James 
Blackstone's third son was John Blackstone, who died 



26 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING. 

several years ago, leaving three children, George and 
Adelaide Blackstone, and Mrs. Brama Pond. 

Sir William Blackstone, the great authority upon 
the common law of England, was a cousin in the fifth 
degree to our James Blackstone, and the portraits of 
the two men bear a marked family resemblance. 

Ten years ago James Blackstone passed to his 
reward. His influence for good still exists in this 
community, where the old New England ideas are yet 
strong, though modified by the leaven of modem in- 
dustr}^, education and thought. What degree of pros- 
perity and growth may come to this old town in the 
future, no one can foretell. There is an abundance of 
energy and intellect here anxious to press forward in 
the twentieth century in those paths of intelligence, 
sobriet}'', morality and honest industry, which assure 
good government and happiness for all. The people 
will ever cherish with thankfulness the example set 
by their New England forefathers in providing for the 
education of all the children in the common schools ; 
but the residents of this favored towm, for all the gen- 
erations to come, will congratulate themselves that 
James Blackstone lived here, and gave to them a son 
whose affection for his native town, and filial devotion 
to his father's memory, led him to place here this 
enduring monument of architectural beauty, this ever 
flowing fountain of education, culture and refinement. 





*y BCi 




BRONZE ENTRANCE DOORS. 



ADDRESS 

By Prof. ARTHUR T. HADI.EY. 

Ladies and Gentlevten : 

Our President has already described to you the 
founding, nearly two hundred years ago, of the first of 
the historic libraries, not of Branford only, but of 
Connecticut. In external circumstances there could 
be no contrast more marked than that between the 
library of 1 700 and the library which we now dedicate 
in 1896. That was for the founding of a school which 
has since grown into a college and a university. This 
is for the use of an active and stirring business com- 
munity. That was given devotedly out of poverty. 
This is given generously out of abundance. That had 
but the fewest books and appliances and the most pre- 
carious of homes. This is admirably equipped in 
everything which goes to make a library a place of 
education, and has a building of which not only the 
donor, not only the town of Branford, but the whole 
State of Connecticut may well be proud. And yet, 
when we look below the surface we find that the 
two gifts, the two libraries, were animated by the 
same fundamental purpose, and are a part of that 



28 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

educational system of which the people of Connecticut 
alwa3^s have been and always will be proud. Most of 
us can remember, amid the fragments of our forgotten 
geograph}^ lessons that we learned a list of products for 
which different states were celebrated, and if we were 
Connecticut boys or girls, we learned with pride that 
the product in which Connecticut stood pre-eminent 
was its public schools. Whatever monopoly our state 
may have once enjoyed in this respect, is now a thing 
of the past. Means of communication have been so 
rapid, interchange of ideas so full and free, that any 
improvements made in the school system of one state 
are rapidly copied by her neighbors. But there is a 
^\dder sense of the word education in which a gift like 
this enables Connecticut to maintain to-daj^ a promi- 
nence like that which she enjoyed in her school system 
one hundred years ago, an education which is not 
confined to the school, but which lasts through life ; an 
education of men and women as well as of boys and 
girls. Of education in this sense, the library, the art 
museum, and the lecture hall are no less important 
parts than is a college or a school. 

But some of you will, perhaps, ask, " Is it not a 
narrow view to take of the use of the library, to think 
of it simply as a place of learning rather than as a 
place of enjoyment?" I reply, "No." So far from 
being a narrow view of the library, to regard it as an 
educational force, it is the very broadest view possible ; 
for the modem idea of education includes ever5'thing 
that goes to make life worth living. It is not as an 



OP THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAL I.IBRARY. 29 

exponent of the narrow view of the use of the lyibrary 
that I come before you to-day, but as a representative 
of the broad view of the use of education. This is, 
perhaps, an opportune time to consider how our con- 
ception of education has widened in the past fifty years. 
In the first place we have ceased to separate, as our 
fathers once did, the work of training from the work of 
action. We have ceased to draw a sharp line between 
preparation and performance. We have come to un- 
derstand that learning and doing are parts of the same 
thing. And in the second place we have come to see 
that it is essential for the public welfare that people 
should learn to play as well as work ; that any system 
of education which looks at one of these things only 
is one-sided and partial ; that the best life is attained 
by the man who finds his freest play in educational 
work, his most e£B.cient work in enlightened and un- 
selfish playing. 

You will pardon me, I am sure, if I delay a moment 
to trace the progress of the change, or these two 
changes. Under the old idea we conceived of learning 
as a preparation sharply distinguished and separated 
from the subsequent performance. A boy went to 
school and studied arithmetic in his books, and then 
made use of its application in the counting-room as 
something quite distinct. He learned the theory of 
a few things that he would need to do afterward, and 
then, when he had finished his education, he proceeded 
to put them in practice. Now, this whole idea of 
" finishing " an education is one that we are rapidly 



30 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBUC OPENING 

getting out of ; and the sooner we get out of it the 
better. When a man has finished his education 
he has ceased to grow ; and when he has ceased to 
grow he might as well cease to live. I think always 
that the best education and the best life go hand in 
hand. Where did General Grant learn to become a 
military leader ? At West Point ? A few elements 
he learned there ; but his really great experience in 
generalship was slowly attained at Fort Donelson and 
Shiloh and Vicksburg and at Chattanooga, and these 
contributed to make him the final conqueror in the 
war. Had he allowed his education to cease, and 
had he attempted to take Richmond with only the 
knowledge which he possessed at Fort Donelson, he 
would have failed. What is true of the arts of war is true 
of the arts of peace also. I need not multiply instances. 
Every day we come more and more to rely on practice 
as the best method of teaching. Instead of learning 
our school work wholly from books, we are putting 
more action into it. Instead of doing our life-work 
without the aid of books, we are basing it on others' 
experience ; which can be gained by reading, by the 
use of libraries and museums, and by every form of 
higher culture. Under the modem idea of life-work, 
education is not a period of training to be ended ; it is 
a method of getting experience, which continues as 
long as life is worth living. 

In this experience, play as well as work must have 
its due proportion. A well-rounded man must learn 
to play as much as to work. Only in the combination 



OF THE JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEMORIAI, I.IBRARY. 3 1 

of the two things can the community realize its highest 
welfare. Now this is far from the old idea ; very far 
indeed. Our commonwealth was founded by men who, 
for the most part, made a sharp separation between play 
and work. I doubt, after what our friend, Mr. Harri- 
son, has told us, whether James Blackstone himself 
was a man of that kind, for it seems to me that his 
unwillingness to live under the tutelage of the " Lord 
Brethren " perhaps is allied to our more modem view 
of life. But for the most part the original settlers of 
New Bngland were people who thought much of work 
and little of play. 

To the Puritan the whole world was divided into two 
parts ; one trivial, the other immensely serious. They 
were prone to relegate all sport and all enjoyment to 
the former and to think that the concerns of the earn- 
est and honest men all belonged to the latter. In their 
protest against the excesses of sport they were prone 
to condemn sport itself ; as one of their critics has 
pithily said, " They objected to bear-baiting, not 
because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave 
pleasure to the spectators." 

Now, in early New Bngland there was enough to be 
done by men like these. Far be it from me to say 
anything against the heritage that we have obtained 
from our Puritan fathers. They had hostile tribes to 
conquer ; they had hostile land to conquer, as many 
of their descendants can still testify ; and, between the 
two, small wonder that the concern of the grown man 
was thought to be with work rather than play. But 



32 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

we have reached a point where we can now enjoy, not 
only the good which they achieved and which they 
gave us, but a wider range of good which was impos- 
sible for them to achieve, but which their work has 
made possible to their descendants. 

The Declaration of Independence proclaims the 
equal rights of all men to life, liberty and the pursuit 
of happiness. The two first were realized by our 
fathers. It is because they were realized by our fathers 
that we are to-day in a position to go on to the full 
fruition, and to realize the third for ourselves and for 
our children. It would have been small honor to the 
founders of New England had we used their work as 
a model to imitate instead of a foundation to build 
upon. They have given us ideas of life which furnish 
a basis that has made happiness for the people possi- 
ble. It is for us to make that general happiness a 
reality ; and it is in the work of gifts like these gifts, 
like the Blackstone Library, that we may hope for 
such realizations of what is highest and best in the 
life of America in the future. 

So much for our ideal of education and of life. 
How are we making progress toward the attainment of 
this ideal ? This is the question which we may well 
pause and ask ourselves. No single answer to this 
question will cover the whole ground. A vast number 
of things have combined and are combining to make 
the diffusion of an enlightened enjoyment possible. 
The improvement in manufacturing has done some- 
thing for it. Alodem machinery has brought within 



OP THK JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. 33 

reach of hundreds of thousands what formerly were 
the exclusive possessions of the few. Modem machin- 
ery may have concentrated production, but it has 
generalized consumption ; it has given to the poor 
man many comforts of which the rich a hundred 
years ago could hardly avail themselves. Facili- 
ties of travel have done no less than improvements 
in manufacturing. Before the invention of the rail- 
road a journey was a luxury forbidden to all except 
for the few who could travel by coach. To-day the 
railroad brings variety of scene and variety of life 
within the reach of everyone ; and apart from those 
facilities of travel, it makes a free interchange of pro- 
ducts between different persons and different places 
that of itself makes life wider and better worth living 
than it ever was before. The development of national 
sports and national games has done something. We 
are long past the time when games and sports were 
regarded as indulgences unworthy of a dignified man. 
Base ball has begun the work ; the bicycle has carried 
it much further ; both together have given to us all 
ideas of enlightened recreation and of the benefit to 
be obtained from such means of enjoyment. The 
diffusion of art work by wood-cuts like those of the 
magazines, and the diffusion of literature at a wonder- 
fully cheap price, has had its share in the educational 
work. 

All these things will help us, but they cannot do 
everything. The progress of our country must have 
its moral as well as its aesthetic side. We must have 
3 



34 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

institutions about whicli an enlightened public senti- 
ment can crystallize, so as to prevent material progress 
from hiding moral degeneracy ; institutions which 
shall prevent the comforts of manufacturing from 
degenerating into luxuries ; which shall make travel 
a means of improvement instead of a means of dissi- 
pation ; which shall make sports a training to the mind 
and body rather than a feverish basis of gambling ; 
which shall cause the art and the literature furnished 
by the periodical press to become a means of educating 
the public rather than of degenerating into worthless- 
ness. 

In such waj^s the work that can be done b}^ a public 
library is inestimable. What may we expect a founda- 
tion like this to do for the citizens of Branford ? What 
should a library do for the people who use it ? 

In the first place it can give them wider conceptions 
of enjoyment. Twenty-five years ago we used to hear 
the complaint that the American people had no idea 
of rational pleasure ; that most people associated the 
idea of a holiday with drunkenness at least, if not wdth 
breach of some of the ten commandments. We have 
passed out of this stage of thought. The various 
causes that I have enumerated have taught the people 
to enjoy themselves more rationally than the}' once did. 
But much yet remains to be done. Our enjo3''ment 
may not be as lawless and destructive as it was a 
generation ago, but it is confined in rather narrow 
channels. For such narrowness the people of Branford 
need no longer have any excuse. The library and the 



OP THE JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEMORIAI. LIBRARY. 35 

art museum, and the gymnasium and the various 
things with which the wisdom of the founder of this 
library, and the Committee of Trustees who act for 
him, have endowed this town gives the opportunity of 
enlightened diversification of enjoyment. It is here, 
I think, that the educational work of the library must 
have its foundation. 

Some people look with regret on the statistics of 
public libraries, and sneer when they see how large a 
part of the reading is fiction, and how little is a means 
of solid improvement. I cannot sympathize with this 
view. It seems to me that in beginning with fiction 
the community is beginning at the right end. The 
first important thing in making a public library a 
means of popular education, is the certainty that it 
will be enjoyed. You may be sure that enjoyment of 
one book will lead to enjoyment of another ; that the 
man or woman who starts with interest in a few books, 
provided it is a real interest, will soon come to have 
an interest in many books, and will in the end accom- 
plish far more than the one who begins library work 
with ideas of self-improvement which are too laborious 
to carry out to their completion. 

And as surely as a library fulfills this first function 
as a means of enjoyment, it will tend also to become a 
means of productive efficiency. Bvery man or woman 
works better if he or she knows how to play rationally. 
If we can use a part of our time for enlightened and 
intelligent enjoyment instead of facing the alterna- 
tive, which has so often stood before our fathers, of 



36 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

continuous drudger}- on the one hand or destructive 
and riotous amusement on the other, the gain in pro- 
ductive power to the community will be inestimable. 
As people learn to use a library they will learn to 
make their reading a help in the things that they have 
to do. They will do better work because the library 
gives them a means of contact, not merely with the 
methods of those about them, but ^vith the methods of 
all ages and all countries. They will have higher 
possibilities of achievement if their ambition is not 
bounded by a standard set by their neighbors, but is 
inspired by the high ideals of art and of literature. 

IVIore important still, a foundation like this will 
contribute to good citizenship as nothing else can. In 
this respect the library to-day stands where the public 
school stood a generation or two ago. Our fathers 
established a system of public education because they 
thought that people who had votes must know how to 
read and write and understand the elements of intel- 
lectual life. As time has gone on, the problems on 
which we have to vote have become wider. We are in 
touch with more interests. The man who can merely 
read and write has but the beginning of fitness for 
exercising a vote, when on the turn of that vote may 
hang the destinies of remote regions. To vote intel- 
ligently in our dealings with problems covering three 
thousand miles of territory, we must be in touch with 
large things and with large men ; and such touch can 
be obtained only by him who has access to the infor- 
mation books and libraries have placed within his reach. 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. 37 

In all these three things, then, in enjoyment, in 
productive efficiency and in good citizenship, we may 
regard the library as an indispensable factor. 

Enlightened Europeans who travel in the United 
States are often most impressed, — not with our scenery, 
grand as it is, not with our material prosperity, enor- 
mous as has been our advance in this respect ; not even 
with our political and social system, which is the most 
wonderful of all ; but in the fact that we can rely on 
private munificence, on voluntary gifts, for the higher 
forms of popular education. It is this which strikes 
with the utmost surprise the residents of the old world 
who have been accustomed to see so much done by the 
government that we do by private initiative. And it 
is this, perhaps, more than anything else, which 
may lead us to feel the assurance that freedom will 
continue to make progress in the future as it has 
done in the past. It shows that our rich men are not 
accumulating wealth for their own sake, but for the 
sake of what they can do with it. It shows that we 
can rely on such men to have the public interests of 
the community rather than their own personal power 
or personal enjoyment first at heart and most strongly 
in view in the direction of their lives and of their 
property. 

I have regretted with the rest of you that we could 
not have here with us the man to whom we owe this 
building and this library, and yet, Mr. President, I 
can not help feeling that his absence is in the truest 
and highest degree characteristic ; that the same thing 



38 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING. 

which made him earn his wealth houestly, and give 
it with far-sighted public purpose, has made him 
anxious to suppress rather than to bring into promi- 
nence his own personalit3\ It is in such works as 
this is and in such men as he is, that we can see the 
fruit, the best fruit, of our institutions. It is in what 
this man has done, and in what men like him have 
done and shall do, that we have the strongest assur- 
ances that our civilization is not a failure ; that Amer- 
ican freedom shall go on educating itself, educating 
the world, and giving grander results, morall}^ as well 
as materially, than the past has ever dreamed. 





LECTURE ROOM. 



ADDRESS TO THE CHIIvDREN. 

The Library : Branford's Crown. 

By the Rev. MELVILLE K. BAILEY. 

My Dear Children : 

I have to bring you a story of a mother and her son. 
She came in days long ago from a beautiful home 
across the ocean, a fair green island that was skirted 
by four stormy seas ; but she wished to go far across 
the ocean and find another home. So she came, and 
she found another beautiful home, and builded her a 
beautiful house, also by the sea. In the course of 
time she had many sons, and she loved all of her sons, 
and all of her sons loved her and were proud of her. 
Some remained and tilled the beautiful fields, and the 
smooth green meadows about her house, and some 
went out to' the seats of learning and sought wisdom 
and became distinguished, and others went away and 
put their hand to commerce, and they directed great 
enterprises, and they also became distinguished, and 
their names were widely known. At last she had a 
son who went away to a far city, and he put his hand 
to commerce, and great enterprises flowed from under 



40 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

his touch, and his fellow citizens were ver}' proud of 
him, and they put man}' rewards into his hands, and 
they honored him. After a time it came into his heart 
to return and see his mother ; so he came and visited 
her, and saw her beautiful house by the sea, and saw 
how proud she was of him, and he said I will make 
her a beautiful crown. So he called together the wise 
artificers of the land, and he bade them to make the 
most beautiful crown which their hand could fashion : 
that it should be as white as the driven snow ; that it 
should be decorated with jewels and with gold ; and 
then he would set this crown so that his mother would 
be honored by all who came that way. 

Now, children, do you ask me who is the mother, 
and who is the son, and what is the crown ? I answer, 
when you go out of the doors this da}'', when you pass 
out of these beautiful bronze doors, look about and 
you will see the mother, for our native town is the 
mother of all who are bom within her limits. This 
is the beautiful mother, with a beautiful home, who 
long ago came from her old home across the sea, and 
built this house by a more beautiful sea, and has lived 
here for many 3'ears, and has had many sons who 
have brought her distinction, and who have honored 
her by their deeds. And I need not remind 3'ou that 
the son of whom I speak is that man who this day 
gives to this town this beautiful building ; and I need 
not remind you that the crown is the building itself. 
If you have not thought of the crown, think of the 
hill on which it stands, and how it crowns all of this 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. 41 

fair town by the sea ; and look about and see there the 
crown over your heads ; the paintings which are like 
jewels ; the gilded ornaments which are like the gold 
of a crown. 

And so, to-day, Mr. Blackstone has crowned the 
• town of his nativity with an honor and a distinction 
which will be hers as long as these marble walls shall 
stand. And this day, children, is the crowning of all 
the best days that have come to Branford before this 
time. There have been many days of distinction; 
every day when a town or the citizens of a town do a 
great and noble deed is a day of crowning the town 
with honor; it was a day of distinction when our 
fathers first came, and in their courage and by their 
resolution founded this village by the sea. It was a 
day of distinction when our fathers spoke for freedom, 
for liberty ; when they declared that they were willing 
to lay down their lives in order that we might possess 
the blessings of a free country. It was a day of dis- 
tinction when, for the sake of others, the sons of Bran- 
ford went out and were willing to lay down their lives, 
and some did lay down their lives, on the field of battle 
for the freedom of their fellow men. Those were days 
of honor and distinction when our industries were 
founded. When all these deeds were done they were 
days of honor; they were days of distinction. But 
this day is the crowning of them all, for this day 
represents the finest things which can come into 
human lives. We do not labor for the sake of labor 
itself. We do not make war for the sake of making 



42 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

war, for the sake of taking other men's lives or laying 
down our lives ourselves. All of these things are 
done for the sake of something else. The town was 
founded, not merely because men loved to sail across 
the sea ; the war of the revolution was not merely that 
men might die and that they might strive ; our in- 
dustries are not founded merely that we may live, that 
we may have our daily food ; there are things more 
honorable than all these which are the crowning of 
life, and it is these which this library represents. It 
is distinguished and it is beautiful, and this day is a 
distinction and is a crown, because the library is 
dedicated to learning and to art ; and it is learning 
which crowTis life with power and crowns it with 
honor ; and it is art, it is the arts of life, which crown 
it with joy. 

And so, of all the notable days which Branford has 
had before this time, this is the crowning day of all, 
that which gives it its greatest distinction. 

And now, children, we may learn the same lesson 
as we look about the building and study its parts. I 
wonder how man}' children have studied the plan, the 
ground plan of the library, and have thought of the 
outside of it and what it all represents. If you ha^-e 
not, just think with me for a moment while I describe 
to you what the ground plan is, the idea which is ex- 
pressed by these walls of marble and this soaring 
dome ; if 3'ou take the plan and study it you find first 
there is a Latin cross. Now the cross alwaj^s stands 
for painful toil ; it always stands for the utmost labor 




STAIR CASE. 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAI< I^IBRARY. 43 

whicli man can do with body, soul and mind ; it stands 
for the greatest sacrifice which we can make for the 
sake of some noble deeds ; the cross, not for itself, as 
war and industry not for themselves, but the cross for 
the sake of something else. And the Latin cross 
stands, then, first of all, for this labor, for this looking 
fonvard to some achievement, for this painful toil. 
There is the Latin cross, which is the cross of the 
west; and the keynote of the west is power and 
authority and order. And so the Latin cross in this 
building stands for effort directed by power and 
order and authority laboring for some great end. 
Men ruling themselves, and so ruling others, and so 
ruling and conquering the world. That is the first 
thing then; the basis of this building is the Latin 
cross. 

But as you look a little further and observe the 
lines, you will see there is enlaced with it and laid 
upon it a Greek cross ; and what does the Greek cross 
stand for ? It stands also for effort, for self-sacrifice, 
for the sake of some achievement that is to come 
after ; but it stands for particular things as well ; the 
Greek cross stands for light and aspiration. Wherever 
you see that gift from the East, the far Bast, there is 
always the thought of light, of the soul having an 
illumination, of truth, of aspiration, looking up to 
the heavens and aspiring to all noble things. 

And so, enlaced with this Latin cross and laid upon 
it, is the Greek cross ; and there we have the mean- 
ing of effort, of labor, of self-sacrifice ; first, in power 



44 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

and order and authority, and tlien in light and illumi- 
nation and aspiration. 

And now, as we study a little more, what else do 
we find on the ground plan ? We find the circle, and 
as we look at the library from the outside, and as we 
come within and look again at this beautiful and noble 
and splendid dome, we find that there is the crown. 
That, my dear children, is the meaning of this whole 
building ; the Latin cross of power enlaced with the 
Greek cross of light and intelligence and illumination, 
surmounted by the crown of aspiration and achievement. 

And so there is wrought into this building all the 
meaning of the great civilizations of Europe since the 
times of history began. They are expressed here as 
if they were crystallized into some perpetual and 
beautiful shape which would teach their lesson to all 
that came after, and that represents the da}' and the 
time and the deed. The labor is all over. 

For many years the sons of Branford, the citizens 
of this town, have toiled and desired that their 
village should be crowned with some distinction ; that 
it might have something splendid and noble which 
would make it famous through all this land ; that it 
might possess something which would be worth the 
while of an}'- man to come across the sea to behold. 
They have thought about it ; they have labored for 
it ; they have passed through all the times of indus- 
try and of self-sacrifice, and at last the deed is done, 
and done, children, by Branford. Never forget that. 
Never think or feel as if it were a missionary field 



OF THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAL, I^IBRARY. 45 

which had a gift brought from outside. It was Bran- 
ford's own son, who here first breathed his native 
air ; whose fathers lived here, and whose names 
already had crowned the town with honor ; it was 
Branford's own son who went out and gave good gifts 
and did good deeds for other people, and who then, with 
the rewards which they gave him for what he had 
worthily wrought for them, came to express his pride 
in his own native village, by erecting this beautiful 
building in which to-day we are met. 

This, then, is the crown of honor of our village of 
all the days that have passed before, — not the only 
one, but the crowning crown of all. 

I spoke of the meaning : briefly let us think what 
it means to us ; if I were to ask you what the name 
of this building is you would say " The James 
Blackstone Memorial Library." It is a library, but 
it is more than a library ; it is not intended that the 
life which shall go on here of those who meet and 
assemble shall be limited to books. It is not simply 
a house where you may come and find things to 
read; it is more than that. As we go into the 
assembly hall we find there opportunities for lec- 
tures, for music, which means that we shall assemble 
socially for the highest forms of social art. The 
rotunda itself, and the paintings and the rooms about 
it express pure art, and the library has an equal part 
with all the rest. 

And so it is a building of rejoicing and of joy in 
the social life, in all the opportunities in which it may 



46 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

most nobly exhibit itself in the village life. It is the 
library and more than the library ; it is the common 
home of beauty for all the people of this town. 

A crown has jewels, and there is one peculiar thing 
about this crown : When the Czar of Russia or 
any other king is crowned, the jewels are placed on 
the outside of the crown, but in this crown the jewels 
are within ; the jewels are mthin the dome ; each pic- 
ture there is a gem of a most beautiful art ; the dec- 
oration is as the ornamentation on the outside of a 
crown ; and it signifies that we must look within ; 
that we must search and must labor and must toil if 
we would find the gems which are stored here. That 
is signified, too, by the wisdom and truth which are 
stored within the books, which are to be had only by 
labor ; which are stored awa}^ and concealed within ; 
which are not evident from without ; but for which 
we must give labor and toil. For, children, just as 
surely as many long days and years of labor went 
into the making of this building, which is the crown 
of the village life, so surely if we would crown our- 
selves with wisdom and with truth and with learning, 
we must labor and toil in the books and in the life 
wherein those are contained. 

And now, children, I hope that this day will be a 
day in your memories which will never pass away ; 
that there will linger a thought of this great achieve- 
ment, of this great deed which has been done here ; 
that all its meaning will sink into your minds ; that 
it wiirbe appreciated to the full ; that you will use 




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OP THE JAMES BI<ACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. 47 

it again and again and again ; that day after day you 
will come liere, and these lessons and these influences 
of beautiful art will sink into your minds ; and so 
you will grow more and more beautiful in your souls 
as you receive these influences, these treasures, from 
this building here. 

And finally, children, shall we not also bring a 
crown this day ? A crown has been given to us ; a 
crown has been given to the town ; it is a crown for you 
for the honor of your childhood. Shall we not render 
the crown of gratitude, the crown of honor, the crown 
of praise, the crown of affection to the noble son of 
Branford who, this day, on his mother's brow lays 
a crown which is so rich and so beautiful ? 




DESCRIPTION OF BRANFORD LIBRARY 
BUILDING. 



BY THK ARCHITECT. 



The library grounds, which are of ample size, occupy a cen- 
tral and commanding point on the main street. 

The building is designed in the purest Grecian Ionic style ; 
the architectural details being taken from the beautiful 
Erechtheion of the Athenian Acropolis. The exterior, includ- 
ing the roof of the dome, is entirely of Tennessee marble of a 
very light tone. 

The main front, the principal feature of which is a beautiful 
colonnade of fluted Ionic columns of marble, is toward the 
south. Back of the colonnade and extending its full length is 
an open loggia, reached by a broad flight of marble steps. 
Over this portico is a Greek attic story with pediment. The 
central portion of the building is two stories high, dominated 
by a graceful low dome of marble. Flanking this central 
mass on the west and east are two circular one story and 
basement wings, containing respectively the stack room and 
main reading room. 

The extreme outside dimensions of the building are 162 by 
129 feet, the plan approximating the form of a I^atin cross. 

The construction of the building is of the most permanent 
character, and is fire-proof throughout, steel beams, tile 
arches and partitions, being used. 

In the basement is located the boiler room, heating appara- 
tus, store rooms, gymnasium, bath rooms, etc. 

The main floor is devoted to the lecture hall, librarian's 
room, students' rooms, reading room and stack or book room. 
This floor is approached from the outside by a flight of marble 
4 



50 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

steps 39 feet wide, terminating at a deeply recessed loggia 
back of the Ionic colonnade. Passing this loggia and through 
a spacious marble vestible, the rotunda or central feature of 
the building is reached. The massive main entrance doors 
are of pure bronze, of rich design and weigh nearly 2,000 
pounds. 

The rotunda is octagonal in form, and the various depart- 
ments, such as reading room, lecture hall, stack room, etc., 
are centered on the axial lines radiating from the center of the 
rotunda. The rotunda is 44 feet in diameter and is paved 
with a fine marble mosaic floor, made from a special design in 
Paris. The walls, piers, arches and entablature of the 
rotunda are entirely of polished marble. 

The dome which covers this rotunda is embellished with 
large paintings, illustrating the history or evolution of book 
making. These pictures are set in panels and are each about 
6 by 9 feet. Their respective titles are "Gathering the 
Papyrus," "Records of the Pharaohs," "Stories from the 
Iliad," "Mediaeval Illumination," "Venetian Copper-plate 
Printing," "First Proof of Guttenberg Bible," "Franklin 
Press," and a "Book Bindery, 1895." The paintings are the 
work of the well known artist, Oliver Dennett Grover of 
Chicago. Mr. Grover has also painted the medallion portraits 
of New England authors, placed in the marble spandrills be- 
tween the arches. These portraits are of Longfellow, Holmes, 
Hawthorne, Lowell, Whittier, Bryant, Emerson and Mrs. 
Stowe. The large dome paintings are framed in the richly 
ornamented and gilded ribs of the dome. The rotunda is 
lighted from an ornamental skylight forming the eye of the 
dome. The extreme height of the dome from floor is fifty feet. 

Opening ofi" the rotunda to the right as you enter is the 
main reading room, 38 feet wide and 40 feet long, one end 
being circular in form. In the handsome fire-place hangs a 
portrait of Hon. James Blackstone, father of the donor of 
the building. This room is floored with marble mosaic and 
finished in oak. 

Opening ofi" this reading room are two students' rooms 
communicating with the central rotunda. The furniture of 
these rooms is from the architect's designs and is of white oak, 
to correspond with the finish of the rooms. 



OF the; JAMES BI.ACKSTONE MEMORIAL LIBRARY. 5 1 

To the left of the rotunda and directly opposite the reading 
room is the stack or book room. This room is the same in 
dimensions as the reading room, and corresponds to it in form. 
In the circular end the book stacks are placed, and set radiat- 
ing from a common center. The book stacks are of iron, of 
rustless finish, and are two stories in height. The floor of the 
second story or gallery is of slate and is reached by a central 
staircase of marble. 

Off the stack room are the librarian's room and the catalogue 
room, both of which communicate with the rotunda. The 
floors of all these rooms are laid with marble mosaic. 

The librarian's room is provided with a fire-proof vault. 

Opening from the central rotunda to the north is the stair- 
case hall, and vestibule to lecture room. The walls and ceiling 
of the hall are entirely finished in polished marble. The 
stairs to the second story and basement are of solid marble 
built self-supporting on the arch principle. 

The architraves of all door-ways, of halls, rotunda and 
vestibules are richly moulded and carved. 

The lecture room opens from this hall. It is finished in 
antique white oak, richly paneled and carved to a height of 16 
feet all around the room. The platform is set in a circular 
niche with an arched ceiling, and provided with retiring rooms 
on each side. The lecture room is 50 feet long and 40 feet 
wide, and its ceiling of elliptical form and paneled, the spring 
line of arch being from top of wainscotted walls. The room is 
well lighted by large windows in the side walls. The seating 
capacity is 350 for main floor and 50 for gallery. 

The second story of the building is reached by the marble 
staircase already referred to. At the head of stairs and open- 
ing to the right is the entrance to the lecture hall gallery. 
Immediately in front is the trustees' room, and to the left the 
hall opens on the octagonal corridor surrounding and over- 
looking the rotunda. The rotunda side of the corridor is 
protected by a marble balustrade and is surrounded b)'- eight 
marble arches, springing from the balustrade level, and sup- 
porting the dome. From this corridor and through the arches 
the best view of the dome paintings is obtained. Opening off 
the rotunda corridor are three rooms which may be used for 
art galleries. With these are connected ladies' and gentlemen's 



52 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING. 

parlors and toilet rooms. All the floors are laid with marble 
mosaic and antique oak is used for finish. 

The toilet rooms throughout the building are floored with 
marble mosaic and wainscotted with marble, and the plumbing 
is of the best modern sanitary character, all pipes exposed and 
nickel-plated. 

The building is heated b}' a combination of indirect and 
direct systems. All radiator screens and registers are of solid 
bronze from special designs. The staircase balustrades and 
finishing hardware are also of solid bronze. 

All of the windows are glazed with plate glass. 

The hght fixtures are of bronze of graceful design, and 
arranged for both gas and electric light. 

The decorations of the various rooms are in harmonious 
colors, in plain tints. 

The construction of the dome is of the most substantial 
character, being built of solid concrete and roofed with marble 
eight inches thick. 

The architect of the building is S. S. Beman of Chicago. 




I 



DESCRIPTION OF THE PAINTINGS IN 
THE DOME. 



BY THE ARTIST. 



In the decorations of the dome it is designed to illustrate 
pictorially and in a decorative way the evolution of book- 
making. The first step in this direction is presumed to be 
the gathering of Egyptian papyrus with a view to pro- 
viding materials for scroll inscriptions, which may be regarded 
as the primitive book-making of the earliest time. This first 
picture of the series of eight is entitled ' ' Gathering the 
Papyrus. ' ' 

The palm, the tall heavy reeds and the simply attired figures 
in the foreground show almost in silhouette against a warm 
sky and the reflecting surface of the river at the back, while in 
the distance rising from the level plain are pyramids tipped 
with gold by the rays of the declining sun. 

"Records of the Pharaohs," the second of the series and also 
Egyptian, shows another phase of that civilization in the 
massive architecture, the emblematic ornamentation, the calm 
dignity and consciousness of power of the dominant race. 

The picture represents an officer of the court of Pharaoh with 
an attendant guard by his side dictating from a papyrus roll 
which lies open across his knees, to a worker who is transfer- 
ing the records to the base of a monument. While in this 
panel sufficient license has been taken to preserve the artistic 
harmony and decorative composition, the detail of character, 
costume, ornament and architecture is carefully studied and 
accurately rendered from correct and acknowledged authorities. 

Number three, ' ' Stories of the Iliad, ' ' carries us from the 
land of the lotus to the shadow of the Acropolis. In the land 



54 PROCEEDINGS AT THE PUBLIC OPENING 

of the ancient Greek those legends and stories finally gathered 
together and preserved to us by Homer in the form of the Iliad 
were for ages almost sung by wandering minstrels ; committed 
to memory and transmitted from one to another, from father to 
son, from generation to generation. 

The incident taken to illustrate this period of literary devel- 
opment is that of a minstrel reciting to an interested group of 
listeners ' ' Stories from the Iliad, ' ' while one of them, a Greek 
youth with stylus and tablet, is transcribing to enduring form 
the words as they fall from his lips. 

In "Mediaeval illumination" is illustrated the illumination 
of books by white-robed monks. In the soft tones of the 
picture and the quiet earnestness of the three figures are sug- 
gested the infinite patience of those who, counting time as 
naught in living for eternity, left the world richer than they 
found it by the exquisite art which, in passing, paved the w-ay 
for much that is best in what followed it. 

In " Venetian Copper-plate Printing " is shown the begin- 
ning of the modern tendency towards mechanical reproduction. 
In comparison with ancient methods it was an extremely rapid 
and labor-saving wa}^ of working. Printing from engraved or 
etched plates with the clumsy hand press w^as very early 
brought to a high state of perfection and for certain kinds of 
work has never been superseded, nor indeed materially 
improved upon. 

The next important point in the development of the book is 
taken to be the introduction of movable type, and the sixth 
panel supposes the instant when the German inventor, Guten- 
berg, inspects the first proof of the now famous Gutenberg 
Bible as it is handed him by his assistant. His interest and 
anxiety is shared by the wife who stands at his side, and who, 
it maj' be believed, was equally anxious with him for the 
success of the undertaking. The picturesque garb of the time 
and the quaint details of the interior give local color and 
artistic life to the composition. 

The scene of the seventh picture is laid in America and sup- 
poses a printing room in which two men dressed in the costume 
of Colonial times are operating what is known as the ' ' Frank- 
lin Press," an improvement on the old-time machines of 
Gutenberg and his contemporaries. 



OP THE JAMES BLACKSTONE MEMORIAIv LIBRARY. 55 

In front of the low broad window at the back of the room is 
seated a man at a table correcting proof and in the foreground 
lies a pile of books. 

The strong daylight from the partially draped window 
touching only the outlines of the figures, throws them in strong 
relief against the warm grey of the background, and a glimpse 
of sunny sky and trees seen through the small panes, gives a 
strong note of light and color to the scene. 

The eighth and last picture deals entirely with that part of 
book-making which may be and often does amount to a fine 
art in itself. But the dress of most modern books is put on 
amid the buzzing of wheels and the clicking of machinery. 
Such a bindery is here represented as far as the artistic 
necessities would permit realistic representation. 

Shafts, pulleys and belts, steam and electricity would hardly 
seem hopeful materials from which to build a decorative com- 
position, but a careful adjustment of tones and arrangement of 
lines, together with its pictorial illustration of the subject, " A 
Book Bindery — 1895," brings it into harmony with its neigh- 
bors and makes it a fitting ending to the series. 

The paintings are the work of Oliver Dennett Grover, of 
Chicago, 







o«..^. University of California 
^nf SV^"^""^ REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 
405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 
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^rom which it was borrowed. 




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