PRICE 10 CENTS
AN UNSOLICITED TESTIMONIAL FROM MRS. AMELIA E. BARR, AUTHOR OF " FRIEND
OLIVIA" AND OTHER NOVELS.
Cberrg Croft, Cornwall Ibcigbts,
Cornwall*on=1buo6on, in. H>.,
January n, 1895.
MESSRS. DOLIBER-GOODALE Co.
It gives me pleasure to assure you that in the
case of my invalid daughter, Mellin's Food has
done more even than it promises to do for invalids.
She was emaciated and unable to digest any nour-
ishment until we tried Mellin's Food, upon which
she has rapidly recovered health and strength.
However, I write you mainly to say that I
hlVP /'iic/~ % /~vw>ra/-i in A/I ~'l
Are the only instruments which contain the celebrated screw
strings, by virtue of which they do not require one-quarter
as much tuning as any others made, thus reducing incon-
venience and expense of keeping to a minimum.
Prominent American musicians speak freely in its praise:
W. H. SHERWOOD. Beautiful instruments, capable of the finest
grades of expression and shading.
WILLIAM MASON. They possess a tone full and sonorous, and at
the same time of sympathetic and musical quality.
GEO. W. CHADWICK. The tone is very musical, and I have never
had a piano which stood so well in tune.
The Mason & Hamlin
have received the highest possible awards at all the great
World's Expositions since Paris, 1867. They are the only
American Organs which have ever obtained the highest award
at any great European Exposition. World famous authorities
favor them :
FRANZ LISZT. Matchless, unrivalled; so highly prized by me.
THEODORE THOMAS. Much the best, musicians generally so
No. 146 BOYLSTON STREET, BOSTON, MASS.
(Opposite Common, near Park Square.)
X. SCHARWENKA. No other instrument so enraptures the player.
Fully illustrated catalogue, containing descriptions of over one hundred
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THE PUBLICATIONS OF
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UNCLE SAM'S CHURCH ; His CREED, BIBLE,
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BEHIND THE ARRAS: A BOOK OF THE UN-
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IF JESUS CAME TO BOSTON. $0.50.
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HOWE, MRS. JULIA WARD.
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THE WHITE WAMPUM : A BOOK OF INDIAN
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TRILBY, THE FAIRY OF ARGYLE. Translated
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REVOLUTIONARY CALENDAR FOR '96,
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THE VIOL OF LOVE. Poems. Published in
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SAN MARCO IN VENEZIA (LA BASIL-
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IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
The best thought on leading Art principles and the most practical
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various ages have been collected and collated in the form of a series
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These text-books with accompanying models and materials make
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youngest school children, the teaching being in harmony with the Kin-
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They cover the elements of clay modeling, color, and the three
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Particulars regarding these publications, known as the Prang
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Literature, Science, Art, and Politics,
HORACE E. SCUDDER.
What the Cleveland Plain Dealer, of Sept. /, 1895,
says about The Atlantic:
"It is an interesting problem for the reader of literary tastes to study whether a
magazine, purely literary in its topics and their treatment, like the Atlantic Monthly, can
hold its own in the present fierce competition among the monthlies. While others are
seeking to increase their circulation by an ever increasing profusion of illustrations, by a
feverish hunt for " catchy " subjects, or by successive reductions in price, depending on the
reduced returns per copy from sales being more than made up by the increased rates for
advertising, the Atlantic pursues its way along the serene heights above the tumult of the
fierce struggle for popularity and becomes more distinctly literary as its contemporaries ap-
proach more nearly the character of the Sunday newspaper. The question of interest to the
public and of importance to the publisher is whether such a course can be pursued with
profit, or without actual loss. In the interest of good literature it is sincerely to be hoped
that it can. There is something restful to the eye in the fresh clean pages of the Atlantic,
the clear typography unbroken by pictures, good or bad, that divert attention from the text
and too often make it of such subordinate consequence that it is read hastily or goes altogether
unread. It is pleasant to run down the table of contents and find no echo of the " fad "
of the hour, no undignified pushing and elbowing to reach a conspicuous place and catch
the popular attention for the moment. To take up the Atlantic after looking over the
heterogenous mass of magazines of today is like passing into a cozy alcove in a quiet corner
of the library after passing through the crowded newspaper reading room with its continual
rustle of papers and noise of arriving and departing feet."
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Lindsey (William). Apples of Istakhar: small quarto, $1.50.
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formed by interwoven
spread, with their
clustered fruit, round
part. On the body of
skin of a panther, a
the god of Wine; and
of satyrs, exquisitely
vicinity of Tivoli,
chased by Sir William
bassador at the Court
was in turn bought by
Warwick. It is of
in shape, and capable
It has two handles,
vine branches, which
elegant leaves and
the whole of the upper
the vase appears the
well known emblem of
above are some heads
is the thyrsus, or vine-
clad spear of Bacchus. It is placed in the greenhouse in the pleasure grounds of Warwick
Castle. A fine replica of this vase may be seen at
China, Crockery and Glassware Merchants,
8g, 97, <?j> Franklin Street, Boston.
Abram French Co.
NEW PUBLIC LIBRARY
COMPILED BY HERBERT SMALL
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY
C. HOWARD WALKER AND LINDSAY SWIFT
THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY . 3
FACADES . . . . .5
PRINTERS' MARKS . . .9
BOYLSTON-STREET ENTRANCE . . 14
ENTRANCE HALL . . . .18
PERIODICAL ROOM . . . .20
CATALOGUE ROOM . . . .20
GRAND STAIRCASE . . . .20
INTERIOR COURT . . . .24
STAIRCASE CORRIDOR . . .27
CHAVANNES PAINTINGS . . .27
BATES HALL 28
CARD CATALOGUE . . . .33
POMPEIAN LOBBY . . . .34
DELIVERY ROOM . . . .35
ABBEY PAINTINGS . . . .36
LIBRARIAN'S ROOM . . .44
TRUSTEES' ROOM . . . .44
VENETIAN LOBBY . . . .46
CHILDREN'S ROOM . . . .48
PATENT ROOM . . . .49
NEWSPAPER ROOM . . . .50
PRINTING OFFICE AND BINDERY . 50
SARGENT HALL AND THE SARGENT
PAINTINGS . . . .51
Music ROOM . . . . .62
THE SPECIAL LIBRARIES ' .64
PHOTOGRAPHING ROOM . . .65
ARCHITECTURE OF THE LIBRARY 66
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LIBRARY 71
COPYRIGHT 1895 BY CURTIS AND COMPANY
BOSTON 6 BEACON STREET
CURTIS AND COMPANY
THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY,
BY HERBERT SMALL.
THE MAIN ENTRANCE.
THE new building of the Boston Public Library, the pioneer
in the United States of free libraries supported by general
taxation, and still the most important of all American
libraries, may be called without much fear of contradiction the most
beautiful library structure in the world, as it certainly is one of
the noblest and most beautiful public buildings in this country.
Primarily, of course, it was designed to house, conveniently and
accessibly, the great collection of books which the city had been
accumulating for nearly forty years, but it was also designed to
express in a fitting manner the significance of that collection in the
intellectual life of the city to be, in a word, a work of art, complete
in every feature, and, as such, testifying, as has well been said, " to
the confidence which the American people have come to feel in the
public library as a branch of education."
It occupies, as is fitting, the central and most conspicuous position
NOTE. For much of the information contained in this Handbook the writer is
indebted to the officials of the Library, who have been most generous and courteous
in their assistance, as well as to those connected with the past administration of the
Library or concerned with the construction and decoration of the building. Through
their assistance he has been enabled to present a considerable amount of informa-
tion never before published. Much has already been written about the new build-
ing, both in the magazines and the daily press, and from these sources he has freely
drawn such information as seemed most interesting. He desires in this connection
to acknowledge his special obligations to Mr. Abbey's Quest of the Holy Grail, and
to Mr. Sylvester Baxter's article on Mr. Sargent's paintings, contributed to Harpers
Weekly.' H. S.
Pubik st n m Copley square, the most important square in the city. Facing upon
Library. Dartmouth street the Library extends back along Boylston street and
Blagden street on either side ; its rear wall overlooking the yard of
the Harvard Medical School. It is surrounded by some of the most
notable buildings in Boston, including, besides the Medical School,
Trinity Church, the masterpiece of the late H. H. Richardson, the
best known of American architects ; the Museum of Fine Arts, next
to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the best in the country;
and, across Boylston street from the Library, the Old South Church,
the home of the society whose former home, the Old South Meeting-
House in Washington street, is a landmark of American history.
It is fair to say, however, that Copley square has become the cen-
tral spot in the social life of Boston, rather as the result of a series of
accidents than by any regular plan. Even now, in spite of the char-
acter of the buildings it contains, its appearance is by no means what it
ought to be, but it is probable that within a few years a definite scheme
for beautifying and, so to speak, systematizing it, will have been carried
out. A plan for doing this, the joint work of Mr. C. Howard Walker
and the late Arthur Rotch, has already been recommended to the city
government by the Boston Society of Architects. It calls for a sunken
garden to take the place of the present grass-plots after the old
Italian fashion, with marble balustrades and flights of steps, trees,
shrubbery, a fountain, and statuary. One advantage of this garden,
sunk as it is to be below the level of the square, will be to increase
the apparent height of the Library. Most critics think that seen from
a distance it now looks too low, although it is really a fairly high build-
ing, about as high as the ordinary six-story building, for example.
The garden, also, will help relieve the slightly monotonous effect of
the fagade as seen from the foot of the square. Viewed from the side-
walk, especially from the corner, the Library justifies its most enthusi-
astic critics, but, as one goes farther from it, the unvarying quality of
the arcade, which is the main feature of the fagade, becomes more and
The Library was founded in 1852. Its growth and development
were rapid and sure, and in 1880 the old building in Boylston street,
opposite the Common, contained more than three hundred thousand
volumes. It was in constant danger from fire, and it was impossible
much further to extend its accommodations. The Commonwealth,
therefore, with great liberality, granted a piece of land for a new
building, and this land, together with an additional purchase by the
city, forms the present site.
It was not until 1887, and after considering a number of different
plans, however, that the trustees of the Library decided upon the
architects the New York firm of McKim, Mead & White. Of the
three gentlemen composing this firm, it should be said, the senior
member, Mr. Charles F. McKim, was the actual architect, designing The Boston
the building from cellar to roof-tree. Library.
The corner-stone was laid November 28, 1888. The building was
completed, at a total cost, exclusive of the land, but including all
decorations contracted for, of $2,368,000, in February, 1895, and was
thrown open to the public for use in March. The building was
erected under the supervision of the board of trustees, an incorporated
body, consisting of five members serving without pay, and having full
powers of administration. The board which was in omce during the
period of construction, consisted of Mr. Samuel A. B. Abbott, presi-
dent; Mr. Henry W. Haynes, Mr. Phineas Pierce, Mr. Frederick O.
Prince, and Mr. William R. Richards. No city ever had more public-
spirited servants. They were almost continuously subjected to clam-
orous and ignorant criticism, but they persevered unswervingly to the
end, to be rewarded by the verdict, not of the city only, but of the
whole country, in their favor.
The immediate model of the Public Library was the Bibliotheque
Ste. Genevieve in Paris, the architecture of which, and therefore of the
Public Library, is in the style of the Renaissanqe derived, that is,
from Rome, and, primarily, from Greece. The Library, then, is a
classic, and a classic surrounded on every side by buildings which are
not classic, but picturesque. The result is, as Mr. Walker shows in
another part of the Handbook, that the peculiar classic qualities
severity, and horizontal as opposed to perpendicular effect dominate
the square more effectually than if the architects had chosen to enter
into a more direct competition by erecting another picturesque building.
The Library is two hundred and twenty-five feet long, two hundred Exterior
and twenty-seven deep, and its height from the sidewalk to the top
of the cornice is seventy feet. The material used is granite, quarried
at Milford, Massachusetts grayish-white to the first glance of the
eye, but seen more attentively, especially in certain side lights, densely
sprinkled with a delicate pink. It was at first intended to construct
four granite facades, but as sufficient land could not be secured to
warrant this, the rear wall was built of brick. Brick, however, has the
advantage of being a better guard against fire, and will also be more
convenient to handle when the future growth of the Library calls for
The main facade, looking east over Copley square, is in two stories,
the lower heavily and plainly built, the rusticated masonry with its
conspicuous joints suggesting rather a high basement than an ordinary
lower story; and the upper arcaded for its whole length with thirteen
magnificent window-arches. Above is a rich cornice ; above that a
purple-tiled roof showing dark brown in the full sunlight the
slope of which hints at the Interior Court within. The entrance is by
three arched doorways, and a low granite seat runs the entire length
Exterior ^ ^6 ^ a ^ G ' Add that the whole is raised upon a broad granite
platform, necessary to give a dignified elevation above the flatness of
the square, and the more salient features of the exterior have, perhaps,
In front of the platform, low buffer-posts of granite are scattered at
intervals along the edge of the sidewalk. The tops of the larger and
more conspicuous of these posts are carved with low-relief eagles
" with wings displayed, cheeky," to quote the technical description of
heraldry, with which they originated. They are taken from similar
posts at the foot of the staircase of the Piazza di Spagna in Rome,
where they were used as the arms of a noble Roman family.
The The platform extends entirely round the three facades of the build-
atthe ing, becoming on the south side the sidewalk of Blagden street. Else-
where three steps high, the platform rises six steps in front of the
main entrance. Here, one at either corner, are two large pedestals,
now vacant, but for which Mr. Augustus St. Gaudens, the eminent
New York sculptor, is at work on two groups of bronze statuary.
The design of these groups is not yet definitely* settled, but it is prob-
able that they will be disposed in the following manner: on one side
a single male figure representing Law, flanked by two female figures
representing Power and Religion ; on the other side a male figure
representing Labor, flanked by two female figures representing Art
and Science. All the figures are to be seated, and of heroic size ; that
is, if standing they would be about nine feet high. For these groups
Mr. St. Gaudens is to receive $50,000.
The soffits of the three entrance arches are carved with a double row
of deep resetted caissons, or panels. Each arch is closed with heavy
wrought-iron gates of a greenish finish. Above, on either side of the
arches, are large branched candelabra, four in number, of wrought
iron identical in color with the gates, and carrying clusters of lanterns
for electric lamps. The keystones of the side arches are very richly
carved, and on the keystone of the centre arch is sculptured the hel-
meted head of the Roman Minerva, the work of Mr. St. Gaudens and
Mr. Domingo Mora, a New York artist, whose best-known work in
Boston is the series of emblematical statues in the hall of the new
Court House. Immediately above is the inscription, " Free to all."
Higher up, but below the arcade, runs a Greek fret, topping the heavy
stonework of the lower story.
The three window-arches over the entrance are occupied, below the
windows themselves, by the seals of the Library, the City, and the
Commonwealth, sculptured in pink marble from Knoxville, Tennes-
see. These, also, are by Mr. St. Gaudens, although the seal of the
Library, which occupies the central position, was originally designed
for the trustees by Mr. Kenyon Cox, the well-known illustrator, his
design being used wherever the seal occurs in other parts of the
building. Mr. St. Gaudens, however, has here adapted it with a good e ture
deal of freedom, as indeed was necessary in transferring it froma atthe
... ., ,-,- 111-1' 1 /- Entrance.
metal die to a marble tablet. Two nude boys, holding the torches of
learning, act as " supporters " to a shield which bears an open book,
and the dates in Roman numerals of the founding of the Library and
the incorporation of the board of trustees 18521878. Above the
shield is the motto, Omnium Lux Civium. Below are two twisting
dolphins, introduced by Mr. Cox to signify the maritime importance
of Boston. The background is filled with laurel branches.
To the right is the seal of the City, with its conventional view of
Boston from the harbor the symmetrical slopes of Beacon Hill
crowned with the dome of the State House, the dome which Dr.
Holmes called " the Hub of the Universe." The motto is Sicut
Patribus Sit Deus Nobis.
To the left is the seal
of Massachusetts, with
its familiar Indian, and
the motto, Ense Petit
Placidam sub Libertate
Quietem. Mr. Cox's dol-
phins recur in both seals,
but oak leaves are sub-
stituted for laurel.
The elaborate arcade
of the front turns both
corners (the corners
themselves having the
appearance of broad
piers, as the capital ornament is extended to the ends of each
the three fagades) and continues along Boylston street to the end,
and along Blagden street to the plain but dignified entrance of
granite leading to the portion of the building containing the admin-
istrative offices of the Library ; beyond which, or along the great
book-stack, it is merely indicated, all ornament being abandoned.
The arcade proper, therefore, is but six arches long on Blagden
street, while in front, as has already been said, it comprises thirteen,
and on Boylston street eleven, arches. The arches of the front
are very deep, and their soffits are decorated with resetted caissons ;
the side-arches are much shallower, and are not panelled. The
piers of the side-arcades are also broader, especially on Boylston
street, than in front. All these thirty arches are alike in general
effect, however, and all contain wooden grilles of the same size and
design. The lower portions of all, moreover, except of the three
which contain the seals, are filled with memorial tablets inscribed
with the names of the greatest writers, artists, and scientists of
THE LIBRARY SEAL.
Arcade history, especially of American history, and of the best-known
American statesmen and soldiers. These names were intended in the
first place as a decoration, but they serve also as a sort of " roll of
honor" made up, it may be interesting to note, under the eye of
two of the most eminent American men of letters. 1
But in this whole arcade only fifteen arches contain full windows,
the thirteen on Dartmouth street and the first, two on Blagden street,
all of which light the large main reading room. The others are either
The Names i There are four accidental duplications Rabelais, Aristophanes, Whitney, and Maury. The
inscribed complete list, in order from the Blagden-street entrance, is as follows :
on the Greene, Knox, Wayne, Taylor, Scott, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Meade, Thomas, Galvani, Volta,
asa es. Ampere, Oersted, Faraday, Guericke, Torricelli, Mariotte, Rumford, Titian, Domenichino, Velas-
quez, Hogarth, West, Hippocrates, Harvey, Hunter, Jenner, Bichat, Anaxagoras, Montaigne,
Hobbes, Bayle, Wolf, Kalidasa, Ariosto, Herrick, Milton, Cowley, Palladio, Jones, Wren, Bulfinch,
Sterne, St. Pierre, Chateaubriand, Irving, Winthrop, Palfrey, De Tocqueville, Hildreth, Ticknor,
Duffendorf, Mansfield, Camden, Erskine, Curtis, Prescott, Macaulay, Bancroft, Motley, Parkman,
Vitruvius, Bruneleschi, Ghiberti, Bramante, Michael Angelo, Peruzzi, Cellini, Bede, Froissart, Claren-
don, Hume, Hallam, Massillon, Edwards, Channing, Parker, Robertson, Chillingworth, Bossuet,
Tillotson, Fenelon, Barrow, Calvin, Melanchthon, Mather, Swedenborg, Wesley, Wycliffe, Erasmus,
Tyndale, Luther, Elioi, St. Paul, Origen, Chrysostom, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Moses, Pythagoras,
Confucius, Mencius, Mohammed, Herodotus, Thticydides, Cassar, Plutarch, Josephus, Polvbius,
Livy, Nepos, Tacitus, Gibbon, Zeno, Socrates, Plato, Theophrastus, Neander, Winckelmann,
Niebuhr, Grote, Pindar, Hortensius, Virgil, Xenophon, Aristoile, Epictetus, /Esop, Grimm, Ander-
sen, Rabelais, Phidias, Praxiteles, Donatello, Canova, Thorwaldsen, yEschines, Demosthenes,
Pericles, Lucan, Greenough, Flaxman, Wedgwood, Palissy, Choate, Shaw, Story, Hale, Kent, Gaius,
Justinian, Suetonius, Martial, Ulpian, Coke, Blackstone, Brougham, Chatham, Fox, Marshall, Par-
sons, Greenleaf, Henry, Grotius, Adam Smith, Vattal, Selden, Galileo, Herschel, Kepler, Lalande,
Laplace, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Somerville, Maria Mitchell, South, Watt, Stephenson, Ark-
wright, Ericsson, Evans, Galen, Discorides, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, Fulton, Morse, Whitney,
Maury, Apelles, Persius, Giotto, Guido, Giorgione, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Tintoretto, Vero-
nese, Durer, Claude Lorraine, Van Dyck, Matsys, Murillo, Rubens, Rembrandt, Holbein, Poussin,
Correggio,Sangallo,Sansovino, Homer, Sappho, Anacreon, Aristophanes, Simonides, Horace, Ovid,
Marcus Aurelius, Juvenal, Dante, Tasso, Boccaccio, Metastasio, Leopardi, Hesiod, Theocritus,
Menander, Piautus, Firdusi, Camoens, Manzoni, Spinoza, Addison, Steele, Swift, Carlyle, Lamb,
Sidney, Defoe, Bunyan, Martineau, Walton, Arnold, Ascham, Chapman, De Quincey, Fairfax,
Johnson, Worcester, Caxton, Ames, La Bruyere, Rabelais. Racine, Montesquieu, Audubon, De
Candolle, Cuvier, Darwin, Buffon, Hooker, Humboldt, Linnaeus, Browne, Condillac, Agassiz,
Agnesi, Arago, Bentham, Berkeley, Columbus, Cabot, Da Gama, Raleigh, Berzelius, Gay-Lussac,
Lavoisier, Regnault, Bach, Beethoven, Cherubini, Palestrina, Haendel, Haydn, Mendelssohn,
Meyerbeer, Mozart, Gluck, Wagner, Weber, Purcell, Reynolds, Turner, Dalton, Vauban, Smeaton,
Maury, Landseer, Allston, Copley, Stuart, ^Eschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Terence,
Cervantes, Alfieri, Goldoni, Shirley, Congreve, Shakespeare, Dryden, Marlowe, Jonson, Sheridan,
Calderon, Marston, Lessing, Le Sage, Beaumont, Fletcher, Massinger, Ford, Washington, Adams,
Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, Lowell, Lincoln, Garrison,
Andrew, Phillips, Sumner, Franklin, Hamilton, Gallatin, Chase, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Everett,
W. v. Eschenbach, Hans Sachs, Klopstock, Goethe, Voss, Schiller, Richter, Uhland, Koerner,
Heine, Edgeworth, Austen, Fuller, Bronte, Geo. Eliot, Burton, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett,
Southey, Campbell, Moore, Byron, Petrarch, Chaucer, Spenser, Herbert, Butler, Taylor, Wotton,
Donne, Waller, Young, Pope, Thomson, Gray, Goldsmith, Cowper, Chatterton, Burns, Wordsworth,
Scott, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Hood, Tennyson, Browning, Freneau, Brockden Brown, Paulding,
Dana, Cooper, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Thoreau, G. W. Curtis, De Joinville, Villon, Ronsard,
Malherbe, Corneille, La Fontaine, Moliere, Boileau, Rousseau, Voltaire, De Stae'l, Beranger,
Lamartine, Victor Hugo, George Sand, Balzac, Dumas, Bulvver, Thackeray, Dickens, Lope de Vega,
Quevedo, Oehlenschlaeger, Tegner, Pushkin, Harvard, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Mann, Howe, Bacon,
Locke, Leibnitz, Reid, Schopenhauer, Descartes, Pascal, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Diophantus, Euclid,
Archimedes, Gregory, Napier, Huygens, Euler, D'Alembert, Legendre, Carnot, Lagrange, Bowditch,
Gauss, Poncelet, Peirce, Lucretius, Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Tyndall, Helmholtz, Edison,
Bell, Newton, Davy, Priestley, Rittenhouse, Bunsen, Vesalius, Sydenham, Bigelow, Virchow,
Wyman, Pliny, Werner, Wilson, Owen, Gutenberg, Daguerre, Whitney, Treadwell, Sallust, De
Comines, Guicciardini, Mariana, Strabo, Ptolemy, Vespucius, Mercator, Malte Brun, Cicero,
Isocrates, Boethius, Mirabeau, Burke, Quintilian, Longinus, Schlegel, Jeffrey, Sainte Beuve, Mura-
tori, Belknap, Guizot, Thiers, Thierry, Ranke, Curtius, Mommsen, Quesnay, Malthus, Ricardo,
Carey, Mill, Astley Cooper, Warren, Jackson, Morton, Lister, Preble, Hull, Decatur, Macdonough,
Perry, Omar Khayya'm, Pilpay, Raisanyo, Michizane, Bainbridge, Farragut, Porter, Worden.
wholly or partly walled up with Levanto marble, smaller window-
spaces being left, with no idea of regularity, but merely as occasion
requires, for lighting the comparatively small rooms within ; for it is
only in front, it must be remembered, that the Library is two stories
high ; on the other sides it is three stories high, with two mezzanine
stories in addition, the latter being lighted, however, from the interior
court around which the Library is built.
Beginning at the Blagden-street entrance, and stretching continu-
ously round the building to the end of the Boylston-street fagade, is
a line of medallions, cut in granite, one in each of the spandrels of
the window-arches. There are thirty-three altogether, and all but two
are copied from the marks or trade-devices of the early printers and
booksellers, mostly of the sixteenth century. One is the device of a
modern and American printing-house, and another is from a medal
struck in commemoration of the invention of printing. The sculptor
of them was Mr. Domingo Mora. It was at first intended to use more
of these medallions, and Mr. Mora modelled some fifty in all, including
the seals of various American and European colleges and universities.
Mr. Mora did his work directly from the originals as he found them
often woodcuts of the rudest description in the books. Any one not
acquainted with these originals would find it difficult to realize the
vigorous freedom and excellent taste with which he has translated
them from the black-and-white to the granite. Reproductions of the
whole series, from photographs of the clay models from which they
were carved, may be seen on another page, numbered consecutively
from the Blagden-street entrance. The original list of the printers
employing the marks has been mislaid and cannot be found, but by
careful searching it has been possible to identify them all, with one
exception. The marks were chosen, it should be remembered, not so
much for the reputation of the printer as for their decorative effect,
and, as a result, a number of comparatively obscure men were included.
Following is the list, in the order of the numbering of the illustra-
On the Blagden-street facade: (i.) A primitive hand-press. Inv. 1428
and 1740. On an open book the inscription Spiegel Onsser Behonde Nise,
1440 The whole surrounded by a ring of serpents. Copied from the re-
verse of a silver medal struck in Harlem in 1740 to commemorate the inven-
tion of printing in Harlem in 1440 by Lourens Koster, who disputes the honor
with Gutenberg; 1428 was another date assigned to the invention. (2.)
The curious device (which a little transliteration makes W 74 C) of William
Caxton, the first English printer, 1476 to 1491- (3-) An anchor held by a
hand reaching from the clouds. Anchora Spei. Used by Thomas Vautrollier,
London and Edinburgh, from about 1565 to 1605. Also by John Norton,
London, beginning of the seventeenth century. (4.) A pair of compasses
directed by a hand. Lahore et Constantly The best known of several
devices used by the famous Plantins of Antwerp, printers and publishers. In- p^ ter
troduced by Christopher Plantin about the middle of the sixteenth century. Marks.
(5.) An open book displayed on the breast of the Phoenix, and inscribed
with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. The motto, Renovabitiir. Johannes
Columbius, Deventer, middle of seventeenth century. (6.) An anchor held
by two hands reaching from the clouds. The Greek letters Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end, and Chi Rho,the latter the first letters of the name
of the Saviour. The motto, Concordia. Gerardus Wolfschatius, Antwerp, first
quarter of the seventeenth century. (7.) Two hands holding upright a
caduceus, on which is perched a bird. The two serpents are crowned.
Froben. The device of Johann Froben, Basle, the last years of the fifteenth
century, and the first quarter of the sixteenth.
On the Dartmouth-street facade : (8.) A cock on a stake piled as for a
Roman funeral. Cantabo Jehovae Quia Benefedt. Thomas Woodcock, Lon-
don, last quarter of the sixteenth century. (9.) Hands clasped about a
bunch of flowers. Spes Mea Christ. Antonius Bertramus, Strasburg, from
about 1585 to about 1620. (10.) The heads of four children, representing
the winds, blowing gales from their mouths. Adversis Clarius Ardet. This
is unidentified, though it may possibly be the mark of Anthoine Constantin of
Lyons, the middle of the sixteenth century, (n.) A child with a torch, sit-
ting in a frame shaped like the Greek letter Theta, the. initial of EOS, God.
Around are twined winged serpents. Guillaume Morel, Paris, 1548 to 1564.
(12.) A Pegasus. Ad Astra Volandum. Jeremiah Duemlerus, Nuremburg,
first half of the seventeenth century. (13.) A boy piping beneath a tree, beside
a stream on which he has just launched a tiny boat, .bearing a burning lamp.
The motto, Tout Rien ou Bien. Elihu Vedder's design for the Riverside
Press, Cambridge, first made to accompany his illustrations to Omar
Khayyam. (14.) Time, with a sickle in one hand and a laurel wreath in the
other. Michael Hillenius or Hoochstrate, Antwerp, about 1515 to about
I 53^- ( I 5-) Arion, standing upon the dolphin, with violin and bow. Johann
Oporin, Basle, about 1510 to 1570. (16.) The winged bust of a woman,
with three heads of a woman, an old man, and a young man. A laurel
wreath above, and a star on the woman's forehead. A book below. Usus
Me Gemiit, Melchior and Gaspard Trechsel, Lyons, second quarter of the
sixteenth century. (17.) Two kneeling boys holding up laurel wreaths.
Et Animo et Corpori. Franciscus Rampazetti, Venice, third quarter of the
sixteenth century. (18.) A griffin standing upon a globe. Rostra atque
Unguibus Urget. Jacobus Thielenus, Strasburg, middle of the seventeenth
century. (19.) A crab below, a butterfly above. Matura. Jehan Frellon,
Lyons, between 1540 and 1550. Used also by several other Lyons printers of
the same name. (20.) A serpent, coiled upon a stake, held upright in a
man's hands. Vincent. Vincentius Valgrisius, Venice, third quarter of the
sixteenth century. (21.) A mermaid with two tails. Victor a Rabanis,
Venice, about 1535 or 1540.
On the Boylston-street facade : (22.) Hercules, with his lion-skin and
club. Sic Ittir ad Astra. Henning Grosse, Leipsic, opening of the seven-
teenth century. (23.) An elm-tree, over which a vine is growing. Under
it is a hermit. The motto, Non solus. One of the many devices employed Th . e ,
by the Elzevirs of Amsterdam. First used by Isaac Elzevir in 1620. The Marks.
Elzevirs and the Alduses, whose device follows, are the most famous of all
printers, except the very first. (24.) A dolphin twisted about an anchor.
The well-known mark of the great Venetian house of Aldus, who published
books from about 1495 till the opening of the seventeenth century. Intro-
duced by the founder of the house, Aldus ManuUus, in 1502. (25.) An
eagle standing on a globe. In Virtute et Fortund. Guillaume Rouille, Lyons,
1545 to about 1590. (26.) The celestial frame, with the globe of the earth
and the signs of the zodiac. Polus Arcticus Polus Antarct. Hieronymus
Polus, Venice, last quarter of the sixteenth century. (27.) Time, with his
scythe and hour-glass. Hanc Aciem Sola Retundit Virtus. Simon de Colines,
Paris, about 1520-40. Guillaume Chaudiere, Paris, about 1565-1600. (28.)
A winged woman. Theodosius Rihelius, Strasburg, third quarter of the six-
teenth century. (29.) A Bible, richly bound, in a circle of light. Vetat
Mori. David Martini, Antwerp, early in the seventeenth century. (30.) A
shield hung from a tree, supported by two leopards, and bearing the monogram
of S V. Simon Vostre, Paris, 1486-1520. (31.) A table of books, two
horses as supporters. L-T-S. Laurentius Faber, Leipsic, 1506. (32.) A
caduceus crossed by two cornucopias. Clasped hands below. A Pegasus
above. Chrestien Wechel, Paris, 1527-54, and Andre" Wechel, his son and
successor. The device was also used by several other printers, Schleich
and Klein, for example, at Frankfort-on-the-Main in the seventeenth
century. (33.) A stork. Vigilat nee Fatiscit. Marcus Amadorus, Venice,
Above the arcade is a narrow frieze, bearing on each facade of TheFrie
the building an inscription
On the Dartmouth-street side : THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY
OF BOSTON. BUILT BY THE PEOPLE AND DEDICATED TO THE
ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING A.D. MDCCCLXXXVIII.
On the Boylston-street side: THE COMMONWEALTH REQUIRES
THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE AS THE SAFEGUARD OF ORDER
And on Blagden street: MDCCCLII. FOUNDED THROUGH THE
MUNIFICENCE AND PUBLIC SPIRIT OF CITIZENS.
Above the frieze is a noble cornice, fitly, and superbly crown-
ing the facade. It is, indeed, one of the triumphs of American
architecture. Before the walls had reached half their height the
architects, in order to obtain a more exact idea of the final result,
made a plaster model of one corner of it to erect upon a scaffolding
in the proper position. The model was repeatedly modified until at
last they were satisfied they had got the right effect of light and
shade, enrichment, and proportion.
The upper portion of the cornice is ornamented with a row of lions'
heads, the whole topped by a very elaborate copper cresting, colored
an antique green, the motive of which, as in the seals over the
entrance, is the regularly recurring dolphin. The sky line of the roof
is enriched with a second copper cresting, also colored green, but of a
different and more showy design, and terminating at the corners of
the building in handsome metal masts.
THE BOYLSTOX-STREET EXTRAXCE.
The entrance from Boylston street is especially beautiful, and
through it one may obtain a charming glimpse into the Interior Court.
It is composed of three arches, designed and ornamented like those of
the main entrance, but much less elaborately (the sunken panels of the
soffits, for example, being without rosettes), and like them is closed
with wrought-iron gates, above which depend handsome wrought- iron
lanterns. This entrance is intended chiefly as a porte cochere, although
to the right there is a door admitting to the bindery and printing-office,
as well as to the Newspaper Reading Room and the Patent Room up-
stairs, and through the Patent Room, indeed, to the main portion of
the building. The arches to the left carry the driveway into a small
paved yard, with high granite walls and a handsome plaster ceiling,
extending through to the court proper, from which it is separated by
two arches closed with frames of glass. The driveway is guarded at
the corners of the platform by two large pedestals, richly ornamented
with carving, and surmounted by globes sculptured with eagles.
The Library is open to the public from nine o'clock in the morning
on Wednesdays and two in the afternoon on Sundays, until nine
o'clock in the evening during the summer, and until ten during the
colder months. Books are not issued, however, after nine, the extra
winter hour being intended merely as a convenience to those reading
and studying in the building.
DOORWAY IN THE VESTIBULE.
vestibule The triple-arched entrance on Copley square leads into the Main
Vestibule, and thence by three doorways into the Entrance Hall.
The vestibule floor, walls, and vaulted ceiling is entirely of pink
Knoxville marble, the floor inlaid with patterns of brown Knoxville
and Levanto marbles. At either end are deep niches, the heads of
which are carved with a pattern of curious diamond-shaped orna-
ments. Above the doors to the Entrance Hall are pedestals for
busts against carved backgrounds composed of wreaths and branches
of oak, laurel, or palm leaves. The doonvays are exactly copied from
the entrance of the Erectheion or Temple of Erectheus on the Acropolis
of Athens, and are eventually to be closed with bronze doors modelled
in low relief by Mr. Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Min-
uteman in Concord.
Kntram ^ ie Entrance Hall is low and broad, and leads to the magnificent stair-
Haii. case of yellow Sienna marble which carries the visitor to the main rooms
of the Library on the floor above. It has no windows, but is lighted
from the windows of the Grand Staircase and from the entrance arches.
Corridors run from it to the right and left, leading to the Periodical
Room, the Catalogue Room, and the Interior Court. It is divided
into three aisles by heavy piers of gray Iowa sandstone, three on each
side. The side walls are of the same material, with deep niches. The
ceiling is vaulted, with domes in the side bays, and is covered with a
marble mosaic, the pattern of which, in the centre aisle, is a trellis bear-
ing a vine. In the main aisle, in the penetrations of the arches between
the piers, are the names of six illustrious Bostonians Peirce, Adams,
Franklin, Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow. In the pendentives of
the domes are the names of twenty-four more Bostonians, arranged
in groups of four to a dome the theologians, Channing, Parker,
Mather, and Eliot; the reformers, Sumner, Phillips, Mann, and Gar-
rison ; the scientists, Gray, Agassiz, Rumford, and Bowditch ; the
artists, Allston, Copley, Stuart, and Bulfinch ; the historians, Park-
man, Motley, Bancroft, and Prescott ; the jurists, Webster, Choate,
Shaw, and Story.
The floor is of white Georgia marble, inlaid in the centre aisle with
brass intagsia, including the symbols and signs of the zodiac. Near
the entrance is an inscription in brass letters, commemorating the
founding of the Library and the erection of the new building.
Farther on is the Library seal, and near the stairs the names of the
men most prominently connected with the founding and early his-
tory of the Library Bates, Bigelow, Everett, Ticknor, Quincy,
Winthrop, Jewett, Vattemare.
condors The Interior Court may be reached by taking either of the two
corridors which lead from the Entrance Hall. Both are wainscoted
in Italian marble, and the walls are covered with a simple Pom-
peian decoration of broad panels of Pompeian red, with light yellow
and much narrower panels, ornamented with the masks of Comedy
or Tragedy, between. The prevailing color of the borders is olive.
Off the corridor to the left is a coat-room, framed in sandstone ; and
next to it an elevator which may be taken for the reading and
delivery rooms on the next floor, or for the special libraries on the
Off the corridor to the right are toilet-rooms for men and women.
At the turn of the corridor is the door to the Periodical Reading Room.
The room is large and well proportioned, and occupies the north-east
corner of the building, lighted by the windows of the basement story.
Periodical The wainscoting is of red brick, and the walls are plastered white.
Room. A row of five columns, covered with white plaster and resting on
high bases of brick, extends the length of the room, supporting a
slightly arching ceiling of terra-cotta tiles.
The Library subscribes to about fifteen hundred periodicals, pub-
lished in all parts of the world. The current numbers of about a third
of these are displayed on convenient racks and tables of oak, from
which they may be taken without the necessity of applying to the
attendant. The others and the back numbers of all are kept in the
drawers of oak cases in a second room opening from the Periodical
Room proper. When enough numbers have accumulated they are
removed to be bound.
A gallery runs along the two inner walls of the room, from which
on the west side opens one of the rooms of the mezzanine story. In
this room as well as in the gallery and along the walls below are shelved
the bound volumes of all the periodicals analyzed in Pooles Index.
The At the south-east corner of the building, reached, that is, from the
Roon^f"' left-hand corridor, is the Catalogue Room, finished like the Periodical
Room, and of the same size. The catalogue department is the most
important in the Library. It not only has the supervision of the
card catalogue, and the various finding lists which the Library so
frequently issues, but it also from time to time prepares special bibli-
ographies of the greatest value, which have gained for the Library all
over the world the reputation of being a learned institution of the
first class, and have won for it the first position among American
libraries in this branch of work. Many of these appear in the Bulle-
tins which the Library publishes quarterly. Next to the Catalogue
Room is the Ordering Room, in which the business of ordering,
examining, and listing all new additions to the Library is carried on,
it being the department where the business of the Library in so
far as the Library is concerned in buying books is transacted.
Neither the Catalogue Room nor the Ordering Room are open to the
public. Through the gallery of the Catalogue Room, both are within
easy reach of the administrative offices and special rooms for
maps, the accommodation of students, etc. contained in the lower
The The Entrance Hall, although sufficiently lighted, seems almost
staircase, gloomy in comparison with the splendor of the Grand Staircase. The
connection between the two is by a deep triumphal arch, in archi-
tectural style a part of the Entrance Hall, and in color of the Staircase
Hall. It is quite within bounds to say that the staircase is unequalled
in richness and magnificence by anything in the United States. It
serves at once to convey to the visitor the true intention of the building
tells him, that is, that he is within a building which is none the less
a palace for being the property of the people and not of a king.
Grand The treads are of eckallioii, an ivory-gray marble quarried in France,
staircase. anc j mottled with fossil shells. The walls are sheathed in yellow,
richly variegated marble from the neighborhood of Sienna, Italy.
Saffron, topaz, and, indeed, half-a-dozen shades of yellow, blend in
a surface of indescribable richness of effect, softened by a tender light
which seems to permeate the very substance of the material. The
staircase ascends straight up, broad and easy, for half its height, then,
separating to the right and left, and turning the corner of two large
pedestals bearing couchant lions, ascends again to reach the Staircase
Corridor, from which it is separated by an arcade, also of Sienna
marble, consisting of five arches supported on graceful Corinthian
columns resting on the posts of a low parapet.
The marble used in the opening arch of the staircase is almost pure
yellow. As one climbs the stairs, however, it is more and more
deeply veined with black, until at last in some of the upper slabs there
is almost as much black as yellow. Advantage has been taken of this
rich veining to increase the effect of the general color effect by
arranging the slabs in correspondence with each other sometimes
almost complete so that the slabs on one side match those on the
It took several years to obtain the marble used in the Staircase Hall.
Very many slabs were rejected as not suitable to the color scheme.
At one time it looked as if it would be impossible to get a sufficient
supply, for the only quarry from which it could be had was owned by
a monastery, which was unwilling at the time to reopen it, and was
only induced to do so by the personal persuasion of a member of the
board of trustees, who visited Sienna for that sole purpose.
In either wall of the opening arch is a small niche, and the soffits of
the arch are ornamented with a double row of richly carved caissons
of echallion. The floor of the landing is inlaid with hexagonal and
diamond-shaped patterns of red Numidian marble from Africa. The
lions are carved from single blocks of Sienna marble, which, being un-
polished, look, instead of yellow, almost gray, although they have been
waxed in order to bring out as much as possible of their native tone.
They are the work of Mr. Louis St. Gaudens, a brother of Mr. Augustus
St. Gaudens, and are the memorials of the officers and men of two
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiments that to the right of
the Second, and i.hat to the left of the Twentieth. On the pedestals
are inscriptions in bronze letters. Several years ago the trustees inti-
mated to a number of the military organizations in the city that they
would be glad to receive from them and place in the Library suitable
memorials of their fallen comrades, to be a part of the decoration
of the building. The lions are a result of this informal invitation.
The ceiling of the Grand Staircase is of plaster, cream-color and
light-blue, divided into large resetted caissons with borders orna-
mented with Renaissance modelling. The effect of the arcade is
carried entirely round the hall, the arches resting on Corinthian
pilasters, thus giving space in the middle of the wall over the landing
for three large windows, and, at the ends of this wall and in the side
walls, for plaster panels, eight in. number, of the same size as the
From the landing of the Grand Staircase heavy oak doors, with
deep panels richly carved, lead out to a balcony overlooking the
Interior Court, one of the most beautiful spots in Boston. In the
centre of a well-kept grass plot a fountain plays every day during
the warm season into a rectangular basin bordered with white marble
and lined with a marble mosaic. The walls, of a yellowish-gray brick
and Milford granite, seem higher than those of the exterior on
account of the narrowness of the
space they enclose. The wall
of the Grand Staircase projects
well into the court, and along the
other three walls runs a beautiful
arcaded promenade, the arches,
columns, and cornice all of pure
white marble, over which is a
white marble parapet running be-
tween square posts set directly
over the columns. This arcade
is an almost exact fac-simile of
the arcade of the first story of the
Cancellaria Palace in Rome.
No one should leave the Public
Library without going into the
Interior Court, for the effect from
below is even more beautiful than
from the balcony. The inner wall of the promenade is granite, sparely
pierced by windows, an upper and a lower row, those in the latter
being protected by iron bars. The ceiling is of plaster and vaulted.
The floor is of red brick edged by a wide border of white marble.
The marble is from Georgia and Tuckahoe, New York, the latter
being used only in the columns, and is all of a wonderful dead white-
ness, even when polished, as pure as snow. Along the wall at regu-
lar intervals are low oak benches, so that on warm days the court may
be used as an open-air reading room.
As has already been said, the court may be reached from either of
the Entrance Hall corridors. Both doors, though plain, are remark-
ably beautiful, with circular windows above. Another door, at the
north-west corner, leads to the Bindery. In the north wall two arches,
already mentioned, separate the arcade from the driveway. On either
PANEL OF CEILING OVER GRAND STAIRCASE.
side of the projection of the east wall the court runs into a bay paved
with red brick and white marble, where it is proposed some day to
place a statue. One of them may be the bronze statue of Ralph Waldo
Emerson which it is understood Mr. Daniel C. French, the sculptor of
the bronze doors of the main entrance, is to make for the Library.
In the fountain is to be the nude bronze statue of a Bacchante, or
priestess of Bacchus, the work of Mr. Frederick MacMonnies (the
sculptor of the statue of Nathan
Hale, in New York, and of the
great fountain of the World's Fair
in Chicago), and given to the Li-
brary by the architect, Mr. Charles
F. McKim. The figure is about
life-size, and represents a girl
laughing, as she trips along, at a
baby who sits in the fold of her
left arm and reaches towards a
bunch of grapes which she is dang-
ling above him. The whole figure
is full of life and joyousness. It
was first exhibited in Paris, and
was so much admired that the
French government, unable to pur-
chase the original, ordered a replica
to be made for the galleries of the
Large terra-cotta pots made in
Italy, and ornamented with heavy
festoons, are scattered about the
court meant some day to hold
bay-trees, and to be distributed in a
more orderly fashion, most of them
between the columns of the arcade
or on the posts of the parapet.
Above the arcade the walls of the
court are built of unusually long
yellow-gray Pompeian bricks, with granite trimmings, the two mate-
rials being brought into a better harmony by laying the bricks in extra
heavy courses of gray mortar. The wall may be divided for con-
venience of description into three sections : the arcade story of gran-
ite ; above that a section containing a multitude of small windows,
indicating a great variety of rooms within, but admirably arranged to
1 The photograph from which this illustration has been made is copyright, and permission to use
it in the Handbook has kindly been given by Mr. Theodore B. Starr, of New York, the American
agent for Mr. MacMonnies' bronzes.
produce an orderly effect ; and above these a high arcade, the windows ^ r i or
of which light long corridors in the top floor. The window-frames court,
are painted white. The arcade is upon simple piers of brick, resting
upon a narrow course of granite ornamented with a Greek fret, and
topped with plain granite capitals. The keystones of the arches are
granite, and in the spandrils are terra-cotta wreaths. The cornice
above the arcade is granite, with a simple metal cresting. The roof is
tiled. In the west wall three windows in the arcade lead out to hand-
some bronze balconies. Under the middle balcony is a clock.
The projection of the east wall above the balcony is in two stories,
each with an arcade of five arches, only the three middle ones, how-
ever, containing windows, the others being walled up. The arches
are borne on semi-detached columns of brick, instead of on piers.
Below the balcony, which serves to give a distinctive accent to the
whole court, is an entrance to the cellar, in which is a complete equip-
ment for the heating, lighting, and ventilating of the Library. The
air for ventilation is drawn from the Interior Court by means of an
eighteen-foot fan, capable of moving forty thousand cubic feet of air a
minute, and after being strained through cotton bags, to free it from
dust and germs, it is diffused through ducts to the different parts of the
building, entering the rooms by the gratings which the visitor will
notice in every portion of the Library. To facilitate the circulation
an exhaust fan is operated in the roof to draw out the foul air. The
effect of the system is constantly to change the air without any notice-
able draught, either inward or outward, and so thoroughly that at any
time of the year the windows may remain closed without any discom-
fort to readers. In cold weather the air passes through a hot room
before being distributed, and therefore not only ventilates but helps
heat the Library, in conjunction with steam radiators concealed behind
the woodwork in the various rooms.
Through the Staircase Corridor one enters the chief public portion J t ^ rcase
of the Library. At either end is a small lobby, in the centre of corridor,
which hangs a very large and handsome gilt lantern. The floor, both
of the lobbies and the corridor itself, is of Istrian marble with patterns
of yellow Verona. The ceiling of the corridor is vaulted, springing
on one side from the columns of the arcade and on the other from
" dummy " capitals. The wall of the Staircase Corridor, extending
between the arches of the lobbies at either end, and the panels of the
Staircase Hall are to be decorated with paintings by M. Puvis de
Chavannes, who is almost, if not quite, the most distinguished of
living French painters, and whose work in the H6tel de Ville in Paris
is thought by many critics to be one of the masterpieces of mural
decoration. The price to be paid for this series of paintings is
250,000 francs. The decoration for the wall of the corridor is already
in place. It was exhibited this last spring in the Salon of the
chavannes Champs de Mars in Paris, and was brought this fall to Boston. It
Paintings, covers the whole wall and is called by the painter, Les Muses In-
spiratrices Acclament le Genie Messager de Lumiere or, briefly, The
Muses Welcoming the Genius of Enlightenment.
The foreground is the summit of a hill, covered with grass and
heather. Slender saplings grow along its crest. Beyond is the sea.
The Genius of Enlightenment, a naked boy, occupies the centre of the
decoration, standing, that is, above the Bates Hall door. He is alight-
ing on a cloud, with wings outstretched and holding rays of light
above his head in either hand. Rising from the ground the beauti-
fully-draped Muses, five on the left-hand side, and four on the right,
float in the air, moving slowly towards the Genius, and extending their
arms or softly striking their lyres to welcome him. On either side of
the door is the statue of a seated female figure, heavily draped ; the
one on the left poring upon a book, representing Study, and the other
Bates Haii. The large public reading room, Bates Hall, is entered from the
Staircase Corridor through a small vestibule. It is named in honor
of Joshua Bates, who gave the Library in its early days a fund of
$50,000, and $50,000 worth of books. A native of Massachusetts,
he had, as a young man, lived for a while in Boston, but going to
London had risen to be head of the great banking-house of Baring
Brothers, with which the City of Boston happened at the time to be
negotiating for a loan.
Bates Hall is perhaps the noblest and most perfect feature of the
whole building. Good judges have not hesitated to pronounce it
architecturally one of the most important rooms in the world. The
little vestibule through which one passes into it is itself a triumph
on however small a scale of beauty and restfulness. It is mainly
of echallion marble, the same as that used for the stairs, with a floor of
yellow Verona and Istrian marbles. Over the side-doors, and in the
centre of the panelled ceiling, are laurel wreaths. The heavy doors
into the hall are oak, deeply carved, and the doorways to the corridor
and to the private staircases leading away to the right and left to
the rooms of the mezzanine story, contain beautiful iron gates of old
Italian workmanship in two patterns, it will be noticed bought for
the Library in Venice, where they had originally been used, probably,
in some one of the smaller palaces. Through the gate to the right,
it may be noted, one may get a view through to the iron palings of
the Fountain Alcove, and the Pompeian decoration beyond.
Bates Hall is two hundred and eighteen feet long, forty-two and a
half feet wide, and fifty feet to the crown of its arches. The barrel-
arched ceiling of plaster, tinted a cream color and a delicate green, is
divided evenly by four heavy ribs, which rest upon massive piers of
sandstone quarried in Amherst, Ohio, a soft brownish-gray in color.
Bates Haii. Between are lighter ribs, supported upon clustered piers of the same
material, but smaller. The larger ribs are ornamented with a Greek
fret like the band around the exterior of the building and the
smaller with guilloches, a regularly interwoven pattern of great beauty.
The ceiling is very deeply panelled, every other panel in an arch
containing a heavy rosette. The ends of the hall are semicircular,
with half-domed ceilings. At the north end are two pilasters, on the
face of which elaborate
arabesques have been
sculptured ; at the south
end the ribs of the dome
rest upon ''dummy"
capitals, and high, nar-
row openings in the
sandstone, filled with
very like those in the
vestibule, correspond, in
a way, to the pilasters
at the other end.
Thirteen noble arched
windows let in the east
light from Copley
I square -the same win-
dows which compose
with their arches the
magnificent arcade of
the exterior. At the
south end are two more
of these windows. All
are filled with wooden
grilles of the conven-
tional Roman pattern,
painted green a sub-
stitute for the originally
OLD ITALIAN GATE. intended bronze. At the
north end there are no
xvindows, but instead a broad panel, surrounded by a stone moulding.
It is hoped that some day this panel will be occupied by a painting
from the hand of James A. McNeill Whistler, whom many people do
not hesitate to call the greatest of contemporary painters. Along the
west wall are ten other panels corresponding in size and position to
the windows opposite which are also to be decorated in time by
eminent painters. The architects have already recommended the
names of Mr. DeForrest Brush, Mr. Frank D. Millet, and Mr. Abbott
Thayer, all of them American artists, as men well fitted to do the
next decorations to be placed in the Library, and it is likely that
the first commissions would be for these panels. And in Bates Hall,
as elsewhere in the building, it is hoped that the generosity of citizens
will do much to provide the money for the mural paintings which are
necessary to the entire completion of the architectural scheme.
. The narrow frieze running clear round the room between the piers,
contains the names, inscribed in gilt letters, of the men most famous
in the history of the world for their
achievements in literature, phil-
osophy, art, and science Laplace,
Buonarotti, Plato, Kant, Moliere,
Titian, Leonardo, Leibnitz, Shake-
speare, Cervantes, Confucius, Soc-
rates, Homer, Aristotle, Euclid,
Herodotus, Bacon, Milton, Luther,
Moses, Raphael, Dante, Cuvier,
Linnaeus, Newton, Copernicus, Ga-
lileo, Kepler, Beethoven, Hum-
boldt, Gutenberg, Goethe.
The floor of the hall is terrazzo,
crossed by paths of yellow Verona
marble. This terrazzo is a sort of
rough mosaic, made by strewing
small, irregularly shaped pieces of
marble upon a layer of Portland
cement, rolling the whole together
with heavy rollers, and finally pol-
ishing with sandstone and oiling.
In this particular case the cement
was stained yellow with coloring
matter, and the marbles used were,
for the body of the design, the
yellow Sienna and white Italian,
and for the borders, the black Bel-
Bates Hal1 -
OLD ITALIAN GATE.
Of the various entrances to Bates
Hall, that from the Staircase Corridor, and the two doorways to the* esHall
right and left, leading from the Delivery Room and the Children's Doorways.
Room respectively, are the most noteworthy. Over the main entrance
is a beautiful little balcony of Indiana limestone, much lighter in color
than the Ohio sandstone, richly sculptured with Renaissance orna-
ment. It is the most elaborate piece of carving in the building, almost
the entire surface being covered. The balcony is reached through a
door off the staircase which leads up to Sargent Hall. Above this
Bates Haii ^ oor a hemisphere, crossed by the belt of the signs of the zodiac, is
Doorways, cut in high-relief upon the sandstone wall. The doorways to the
Delivery Room and the Children's Room are alike. Both are of black
Belgian and Alps green serpentine marble, Corinthian columns with
copper capitals supporting the ponderous architrave and cornice.
They offer a strong contrast a contrast hardly harmonious to the
quiet color-scheme of the rest of the room. Each cornice, however,
is intended to be the pedestal of a white marble bust, and when
these busts are in position (as they are not at the present writing)
the contrast will be somewhat toned away. The doors themselves of
these two entrances are covered with buff-colored pigskin.
Bookcases Bookcases of English oak, standing about ten feet high, of hand-
some, simple construction, and erected on a base of red Verona
marble a fossil marble curiously mottled entirely line the east
and west walls and north end of Bates Hall between the sandstone
piers, except where interrupted by the Renaissance mantels of red
Verona marble and carved sandstone in the west wall, and by the small
windows, with their delightful overlook upon Copley square, in the east.
At the south end a panelled oak wainscoting of the same height is
substituted for the bookcases. Above the bookcases, as well as over
the wainscoting at the south end, is a belt of plaster regularly inter-
rupted by the piers tinted a robin's-egg blue. The visitor will notice
the curious grain of this belt, which was obtained by the pressure of
a bull's hide. The semicircular ends are screened off from the rest of
the hall by bookcases of the same height as those along the walls, and
built, like them, of oak, but richly ornamented with carving. The
opening through the centre of each screen still allows the eye to
sweep the hall from end to end, although for the full effect of this view
one must go to the photographs taken before they were put up.
These bookcases contain about six thousand books of reference not
exclusively encyclopaedias, dictionaries, and the like, but very largely
a collection of the most useful works in the more popular departments
of learning; science, the fine arts, political economy, history, literature,
theology, law, etc. The encyclopaedias are shelved at the north end,
and the dictionaries at the south. Visitors, whether or not citizens of
Boston, may freely use any of these volumes they choose, although
none may be taken from the hall.
Accommo. Bates Hall accommodates from two hundred and fifty to three hun-
Readers. dred readers. There are thirty-three heavy tables of American oak,
twelve feet long, and three and a half broad, supported on handsome
claw-foot standards. Each table is provided with eight chairs, al-
though at least two more to the table could be added without any
appreciable discomfort. The chairs are of hickory, painted black, and
are patterned after a familiar old-fashioned model. Each table is
numbered, and by adding the number of his table to the green slip
used in taking out books for hall use, the reader may have his volumes Accommo-
& , ' / dation for
brought to him directly, without the need of waiting for them in the Readers.
Delivery Room. When the pneumatic tubes at the south end of the
hall are in working order, the Bates Hall reader will not be obliged
to go to the Delivery Room even to present his slips, but may give
them to an attendant to be sent immediately to the stack through
these tubes. All the Bates Hall tables are provided with a couple of
handsome bronze standards for electric lamps. The more general
illumination of the hall is from the tall lamps of wrought iron and
bronze, placed in front of the piers.
At the south end is the card catalogue, with eight hundred thousand e p m!
. . . Catalogue.
cards contained in the drawers of thirteen handsome oak cabinets.
The average is about two and a half cards to the book, counting as one
book the two or more volumes of a single work. The catalogue is what
is called a dictionary catalogue, arranged alphabetically, according to
subject, title, and author. One of the publications of the Library says,
on this point: "A multiplication of cross-references is a fundamental
idea of the system. This necessitates, of course, the disadvantage of
turning from one part of the catalogue to another, but there is a
certainty of getting a clew somewhere." The cards are secured in
the drawers by means of brass rods, which pass through them, and
the drawers are intentionally made small in order that they may be
taken out and consulted on the low tables provided for this purpose,
thus preventing the practical monopoly of a large number of cards by
a single person.
The cards give the title (usually in full), the shelf-number, and, in
some cases, an analysis of the contents of a book. In applying for a
book the shelf-number is written on one of the slips which the Library
provides for that purpose, together with the name and address of the
applicant. If the book is desired for use in the building a green slip
only is required ; if for use at home a brown slip, which must be ac-
companied also by one of the registered cards issued, as a rule, only
to citizens of Boston.
Two or more shelf-numbers annexed to a single title mean that the
Library possesses duplicates of the book. Stars prefixed to the shelf-
number mean that the use of the book is restricted one star that
the book may be taken out only by the permission of the officer in
charge at the delivery desk ; two stars, that it is not allowed out
of the building under any circumstances; and three stars that it
may go out only by permission of the librarian or his immediate
The busts ranged about Bates Hall are all labelled. Of the men
thus commemorated, Thomas Gold Appleton, who presented to the
Library, in 1869, the collection of engravings formed by the late.
Cardinal Antonio Tosti, was most widely known as a wit his most
Bates Haii. celebrated saying being, " All good Americans go to Paris when
they die " ; William W. Greenough was for thirty-two years a trustee of
the Library, during twenty-two of which he served as president of the
board ; Hugh O'Brien was a mayor of Boston, and during his term of
office active in helping secure the new building to the city. The busts
of Bates and Ticknor are on either side of the main entrance, and
stand on very beautiful pedestals, probably late Roman, of cipolino
marble, the same as that used in the Temple of Antoninus and Faus-
tina in the Roman Forum, and in the columns of the Church of Santa
Maria Maggiore, but which can no longer be obtained.
As is necessary, the connection of Bates Hall, the most important
room in the Library, with the other portions of the building is very
intimate. Besides the three entrances already described, there are, at
the south end, a smaller door leading more directly from the Catalogue
to the Delivery Room, and two doorways leading through the wains-
coting, one to the Catalogue Room down-stairs, and the other to the
special libraries on the floor above. At the north end is another
doorway, leading through the bookcases to an elevator, used for bring-
ing up the heavy volumes of periodicals shelved in the Periodical
Room. Besides these various doors, the hall is connected by telephone
with all parts of the building. There are twenty-three telephone
stations altogether in the building, and three of them are in Bates
Hall, one each at the south and west ends, and one at the desk
opposite the main entrance.
e The Delivery Room leads from the lobby at the south end of the
pompeian * *
Lobby. Staircase Corridor. The lobby is decorated in the manner of Pom-
peian wall paintings. The decoration, like that of the corridors lead-
ing from the Entrance. Hall, is the work of Mr. Elmer E. Garnsey, a
New York painter, and one of that company of artists who achieved
such distinction by their decorative work in the buildings of the
World's Fair in Chicago.
Like the lobby at the other end of the corridor, the Pompeian
Lobby, except for the opening arch, which is sheathed with Sienna,
is framed in Amherst sandstone, resting upon a base of Istrian
marble. To the right is the elevator well, through an arch closed
with a frame of glass, backed with yellow silk curtains. To the left
is an alcove containing a high sandstone niche in which is a drinking
fountain, the water falling continually from a grotesque bronze mask
into a broad shell of echallion marble. Against the side walls, on a
low marble step, are heavy oak settees, one on either hand. Over
the settee to the left the alcove is open, with iron palings, through
which, as has already been noted, one may look into the vestibule of
The color most used in Mr. Garnsey's decoration is Pompeian red,
arranged in panels, which rest upon a band of slate-color ornamented
with loose bunches of hyacinths, and are bordered with bands of eian
yellow decorated with rich arabesques of a conventional Pompeian Lobby,
pattern. Narrower and simpler borders are used to follow the lines of
the arches. The ceiling of the alcove is light-gray and the dome of the
main portion of the lobby is blue. In the pendentives of the dome
are medallions containing, respectively, a tragic mask, a caduceus, two
crossed torches, and a lyre. On the right-hand wall of the alcove is
a small panel containing the figure of Bacchus pouring a stream of
wine from a horn to a cup, symbolizing knowledge flowing from the
divine source to the mind of man. Other decorations of the alcove
are sea-horses and comic masks.
Mr. Garnsey's decoration, like that of Mr. Smith in the opposite
lobby, is painted directly upon the plaster of the wall. The other
mural decorations in the Library are on canvas attached by pasting.
The Delivery Room, in which books are applied for, given out, and |!, e iver
returned, may be called, on account of the richness and luxury of Room,
its ornamentation, the most sumptuous room in the Library. The
ceiling is heavily raftered and painted in the deepest tones of blue
and purple ; the doorways and mantel are heavy and elaborate, and
are constructed of richly colored marbles ; the high wainscot is of
light-colored oak, in strong contrast with these and with the ceiling;
and above it, along two sides of the room, are the glowing colors
of the first five paintings in Mr. Edwin A. Abbey's series of decora-
tions illustrating the Quest of the Holy Grail.
The room is sixty-four feet long by thirty-three wide. The floor is
tiled with Istrian and red Verona marble. The light comes from win-
dows looking out upon Blagden street and from a glass door leading
to the roof of the arcade of the Interior Court. The marble door-
ways are three in number. Two lead into Bates Hall and the third
is the entrance from the Staircase Corridor. All are of the same pat-
tern and of the same materials rouge antique, a deep, blood-red
marble, without veining; and a beautifully variegated red and green
Levanto, a finer grade of the same material which is used to close the
window spaces of the exterior arcade. Corinthian columns of
Levanto, with bases and capitals of rouge antique, support rouge
antique and Levanto entablatures very similar in design to those in
Bates Hall, but less heavy and elaborate.
The entrance from the corridor is by double doors of oak. The
doors to Bates Hall are covered with pigskin. Between the last two
doors in the middle of the east wall, that is is a magnificent
mantel, eleven feet high and entirely of rouge antique marble, with a
massive, projecting entablature, the whole polished with the utmost
brilliance and richness of effect, or elaborately carved with Renais-
sance ornament. In the middle of the high, polished lintel is a laurel
wreath with flying streamers containing the date, 1852.
Delivery Opposite the mantel is the opening of the Delivery Alcove, where
Room. t-h e business of distributing and receiving books called for or returned
is carried on. In front is the long oak delivery desk, on either side
of which are slender electric-light standards of iron, supported upon
the backs of two large tortoises of white marble, antiques procured
The wainscot is about eleven feet high, handsomely panelled, and
with Corinthian pilasters supporting a high cornice. A low oak seat
upon a broad step extends along portions of it, adding strength and
solidity to the whole.
The ceiling is of wood, originally finished in the same light color
as the wainscot, but now painted so dark, especially in comparison
with the rest of the room, that it distinctly catches the eye. The
ceiling proper is purple, against which the dark-blue beams support-
ing it show green. The sombre effect of the whole is only slightly
relieved by picking out the beams with red, but it must be borne in
mind that the color scheme of the room is not yet complete. The
wainscot is to be darkened, and both it and the ceiling are to be
enriched with gilding, to match the gilt mouldings and pilasters in
which Mr. Abbey's pictures are framed. When this is done and the
remainder of Mr. Abbey's decoration is put up it is hoped that the
general effect will be much improved.
Jjjbe, Mr. Abbey's pictures are five in number, occupying the entire
Paintings. S p ace between the wainscot and the ceiling, on the west and north
walls of the room. 1 All are eight feet high, therefore, but their length
varies from that of the fifth picture, extending the whole length of the
north wall, or nearly thirty-three feet, to the six feet of the first.
They contain over one hundred life-sized figures, and are the result
of four years' antiquarian research and labor of the brush. For the
whole decoration Mr. Abbey receives $15,000.
Mr. Abbey has been known for a number of years as the skilful
and graceful pen-and-ink artist whose illustrations of the lighter
phases of the earlier English literature were quite unequalled in
their special qualities of airiness and delicacy. His decorations for
the Public Library, therefore, being an attempt of the most ambi-
tious kind, came as a complete surprise to the greatest portion of the
In engaging him to decorate the walls of the Delivery Room the
trustees allowed him all possible freedom in the choice and tieatment
of his subject. It is of his own free will, therefore, that Mr. Abbey
has chosen to paint the history of the Quest of the Holy Grail, a
legend which, whatever its first source, came early to be considered
'Mr. Abbey has copyrighted his paintings; it has been impossible, therefore, to include the
variety of views of the Delivery Room which the publishers had hoped to present. Thanks, how-
ever, are due to Mr. Abbey for permission to use the picture on the opposite pae;e.
Abbey as an episode of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the
pamtmgs. R ounc i Table ; that is, of a story which, originally Celtic, has yet so
largely pervaded the British Isles that in some sort it may be said
to occupy (or rather, perhaps, to have occupied, in times of more
romantic feeling than our own) a position among the English-speak-
ing races, whether from a Teutonic or Celtic stem, similar to that
which the Homeric histories occupied among the Greeks.
The story, in its present form, is not, of course, the original tale of
Arthur, who, according to the strictest evidence, is a very doubt-
ful figure, but it is compounded of many stories, of which that of the
Holy Grail is one, and shows the influence of many stages of human
thought developed from the ancient British patriotism which made
Arthur the champion of Celtic freedom against the Teutonic inva-
sion ; from a vast amount of Celtic mythology, pre-Christian and pre-
Arthurian, going back, indeed, to the earliest period of thought ; from
the teachings of the early Christian church, bringing its own faith and
ideals, yet not entirely subduing the old heathenism, and often con-
tent, indeed, if it could put its own interpretation upon pagan sym-
bolism ; and, finally, from the chivalry of the middle ages, enlivening
the whole with the movement of knight-errantry.
The pagan survivals are the most curious. Thus, in the Quest of
the Holy Grail, the properties of the magic stone, the sight of which
fed the beholder, are retained in the Grail, or cup, from which Christ
drank at the Last Supper. Again, when the hero first sees the sacred
vessel he fails to obtain it because he fails to ask the question re-
quired an essentially pagan situation which every reader of fairy
tales will remember.
It was during the hundred years between the middle of the twelfth
and the middle of the thirteenth centuries, and by the French and
German romancers, that the story of Arthur was crystallized, in verse
or prose. Walter Mapes, a troubadour, thus narrated it in the Norman
court of England ; new there, perhaps, but no novelty, it rrjay be
imagined, in the hamlets of the countryside, having been told centuries
before by British mothers to their Saxon children, to spread until it
became a common possession of the whole people.
In 1479 Sir Thomas Malory compiled and translated the story, in-
cluding the Quest of the Holy Grail, into English, and his book, the
Morte D 'Arthur, issued by the first English printer, William Caxton,
still remains one of the monuments of English prose. Since then the
story has fascinated many English poets Spenser, Milton (who
long contemplated the Round Table as the subject, instead of the Fall
of Man, of the epic poem he had set himself to write), Dryden, and, in
this century, notably Tennyson, whose Idylls of the King has more
than anything else revived interest in the Arthurian legend.
Mr. Abbey's subject, therefore, in view of its origin and history, has
a certain unique appropriateness whether intended or not in e
it puts before the people of a city the chief phenomenon of whose Paintings,
future seems likely to be the blending of the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon
elements of its population, a series of paintings illustrating a legend
in which both races have a common interest, the one by virtue of
originating it, the other by incorporating it into the heart of its liter-
ature. No other subject that he could have chosen would have had
quite this significance.
It is not, however, to English literature that Mr. Abbey has gone
for his immediate inspiration, but to the French and German sources
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The legend is variously told
in these earlier romances, and Mr. Abbey has chosen and rejected in
order to produce a more orderly and effective story, but he has pre-
served throughout the main thread of the theme.
The Holy Grail, first written San-Greal the sacred cup or Sang-
real the true blood was the cup, according to the apocryphal
Gospel of Nicodemus, from which Christ drank at the Last Supper.
Pilate gave it to Joseph of Arimathea, who caught in it the blood
which flowed afresh when he lowered Christ's body from the cross.
The possession of the Grail secured to Joseph an indefinite span of
life. In time he gave it to Amfortas, the Fisher King, to be guarded
in his castle.
Amfortas sinned and was touched by the spear of Longius the
spear of the soldier who wounded the side of Christ so that he
and all his court were cast into a swoon, living a life in death,
nerveless and wasted, even without the power to have pleasure in
the sight of the Grail, which, from time to time, was carried before
them. Thus they must remain until a maiden knight, pure in body
and soul, should release them from the spell and, by achieving the
Grail, allow them to die.
The first Table of the Grail was the Table of the Lord's Supper ; the
second the Table of Amfortas, and the third the Round Table of
King Arthur. At the Round Table was the Siege Perilous, the seat
in which none but the stainless knight of the Grail might sit without
Wagner makes this knight Parsifal (Percival), but Mr. Abbey, like
Malory and Tennyson, has chosen the British hero, Galahad, the de-
scendant, through his mother, of Joseph of Arimathea.
Galahad was reared in a convent of nuns. In the first picture in
Mr. Abbey's series an angel bearing the Grail, flushing a rosy red
through the cloth which covers it, appears to the infant Galahad, held
up at arm's length by a kneeling nun. Doves fly about the angel and
one of them carries a golden censer. By the censer and the Grail
Galahad is nourished as if with food. The nun averts her face from
the glory of the Grail, but the infant holds up his hands eagerly towards
b e it. The background of the picture is blue tapestry figured with golden
Paintings. Hons and birds. 1
The second picture shows the interior of a chapel, with Galahad,
grown into youth, kneeling before the shrine. He has watched all
night, and now Sir Launcelot and Sir Bors are conferring on him the
order of knighthood, kneeling to fasten the spurs upon his feet. It is
dawn, the candles have burned down in their sockets, and the early
light is coming in at the window. Behind Launcelot and Bors the
nuns bear burning tapers. The whole interior is studied from an
ancient Celtic chapel. On the wall is the endless symbol of eternity,
and below is the picture of the crucifixion, with Longius piercing the
Saviour with the spear. Other figures are of angels and saints. The
chain armor of Bors and Launcelot is from twelfth-century models.
Everywhere are the evidences of Mr. Abbey's painstaking care in an-
tiquarian details. Galahad is robed here, as in the following pictures,
entirely in red ; Tennyson's Galahad is white-armored ; but red, says
Mr. Van Dyke in his criticism of the paintings, " is the hue of life and
love and sacrifice; red is the human color." 2
After he had been made a knight Galahad went to Gurnemanz, with
him to learn, before entering upon the Quest, the ways of the world
and the rules which governed knighthood. The third picture brings
him at last to the Round Table of King Arthur in Camelot. A figure
1 According to Malory, Galahad was the son of Sir Launcelot and Elaine, the daughter of King
Pelles, a " cousin nigh unto Joseph of Aramathie." When Launcelot first came to King Pelles's
castle, " anon there came in a dove at a window, and in her mouth there seemed a little censer of
gold. And therewithal there was such a savor as all the spicery of the world had been there. And
forthwithal there was upon the table all manner of meats and drinks that they could think upon. So
came in a damosel passing fair and young, and she bore a vessel of gold betwixt her hands ; and
thereto the king kneeled devoutly, and said his prayers, and so did all that were there. ' O jesu,'
said Sir Launcelot, ' what may this mean?' 'This is,' said the king, 'the richest thing that any
man hath living. And when this thing goeth about, the Round Table shall be broken ; and wit thou
well" said the king, 'this is the holy Sangreal that ye have here seen.' " Morte D Arthur, Book
XL, Chapter z.
After the birth of the child. Sir Bors, the nephew of Launcelot, visits King Pelles, and sees the
infant Galahad, and learns that he is Launcelot's son. " And so came in a white dove, and she
bare a little censer of gold in her mouth, and there was all manner of meats and drinks ; and a
maiden bare that Sangreal, and she said openly, ' Wit you well, Sir Bors, that this child is Galahad
that shall sit in the Siege Perilous, and achieve the Sangreal, and he shall be much better than ever
was Sir Launcelot du Lake, this is his own father.' And then they kneeled down and made their
devotions, and there was such a savor as all the spicery in the world had been there. And when
the dove took her flight, the maiden vanished with the Sangreal as she came." Book XI. .Chapter 4.
2 " At the vigil of Pentecost, when all the fellowship of the Round Table were come unto Came-
lot," a lady came to the court of Arthur and called upon Sir Launcelot to go with her a little distance
from the town. She led him into a forest and to " an abbey of nuns," where he met Sir Bors and
another knight, and " in the meanwhile that they thus stood talking together, therein came twelve
nuns that brought with them Galahad, the which was passing fair and well made, that unnethe in
the world men might not find his match: and all those ladies wept. 'Sir,' said they all, ' we bring
you here this child the which we have nourished, and we pray you to make him a knight, for of a
more worthier man's hand may he not receive the order of knighthood.' Sir Launcelot beheld the
young squire and saw him seemly and demure as a dove, with all manner of good features, that he
weened of his age never to have seen so fair a man of form. Then said Sir Launcelot, ' Cometh this
desire of himself ?' He and all they said yea. 'Then shall he,' said Sir Launcelot, ' receive the
high order of knighthood as tomorn at the reverence of the high feast.' That night Sir Launcelot
had passing good cheer ; and on the morn at the hour of prime, at Galahad's desire, he made him
knight and said, ' God make him a good man, for of beauty faileth you not as any that liveth.' "
Morte D' Arthur, Book XIII., Chapter i. It was not, according to Malory, until after the adventure
of the Siege Perilous that Launcelot knew Galahad to be his son.
all in white, with his face concealed in a hood, Joseph of Arimathea, j^
leads him to the Siege Perilous. Arthur, canopied under a splendid Paintings,
baldachin, ornamented with carved Celtic dragons and supported by
marble pillars decorated with inlays of colored marble, rises with
bowed head from his throne, gravely welcoming the young knight and
his companion. The doors and windows have been miraculously
closed. Above the table, and extending entirely round the circular
hall, is a great ring of angels, with white robes and wings, and visible
to none in the room, except it be Joseph and Galahad. One angel has
left the circle and lifts the cloth which has covered the Siege Perilous.
Before the Siege floats in gold letters, the words, " This is the seat of
Galahad." In the group to the left Bors is standing with clasped
hands. To the right of the throne is Launcelot, and crouching behind
the king are his boy cup-bearer with the wine-horn in his arms, and
the jester, Dagonet. All are awed, and everywhere the knights are
holding up the crosses of their swords. 1
The fourth subject is the beginning of the Quest. The scene is
again the interior of a church. The archbishop is pronouncing the
final benediction upon the knights kneeling in front of him, all bound
upon the adventure of the Grail. All are in armor and their spears
bear banners emblazoned with their devices. Galahad is in front, his
device a red cross ; that of Launcelot is a lion, and of Bors a fish.
The bishop with his crozier and mitre (the latter copied from the
earliest known example) is lifting up his hands in blessing. On either
side of the altar kneel the priests. King Arthur, heavy at heart on
account of the departure of his knights, kneels on the steps. Behind
the grille w r hich closes the arch to the left are Queen Guinevere and
the ladies of the court. 2
111 In the meanwhile came in a good old man, and an ancient, clothed all in white, and there was
no knight knew from whence he came. And with him he brought a young knight, both on foot, in
red arms, without sword or shield, save a scabbard hanging by his side. And these words he said,
' Peace be with you, fair lords.' Then the old man said unto Arthur, ' Sir, I bring here a young
knight the which is of king's lineage and of the kindred of Joseph of Aramathie, whereby the marvels
of this court, and of strange realms, shall be fully accomplished.' The king was right glad of his
words, and said unto the good man, ' Sir, ye be right welcome, and the young knight with you.'
Then the old man made the young man to unarm him, and he was in a coat of red sendel, and bare a
mantle upon his shoulder that was furred with ermine, and put that upon him. And the old knight
said unto the young knight, ' Sir, follow me.' And anon he led him unto the Siege Perilous, where
beside sat Sir Launcelot; and the good man lift up the cloth, and found there letters that said thus,
' This is the siege of Galahad, the haut prince.' ' Sir," said the old knight, ' wit ye well that place is
yours.' And then he set him down surely in that siege. . . . Then all the knights of the Table
Round marvelled greatly of Sir Galahad, that he durst sit there in that Siege Perilous, and was so
tender of age; and wist not from whence he came but all only by God; and said, 'This is he by
whom the Sangreal shall be achieved, for there sat never none but he, but he were mischieved.' "
Morte D' Arthur, Book XIII., Chapters 3 and 4.
2 In Malory Sir Gawaine swears that he will labor a twelvemonth in search of the Sangreal, and
most of his fellows make the same vow. " ' Alas, 1 said King Arthur unto Sir Gawaine, ' ye have nigh
slain me with the avow and promise that ye have made ; for through you ye have bereft me the
fairest fellowship and the truest of knighthood that ever were seen together in any realm of the
world ; for when they depart from hence I am sure they all shall never meet more in this world, for
they shall die many in the quest. And so it forthinketh me a little, for I have loved them as well as
my life, wherefore it shall grieve me right sore, the departition of this fellowship ; for I have had an
old custom to have them in my fellowship.' And therewith the tears filled in his eyes." The next
Abbey The fifth picture shows the first adventure of Galahad. He has
paintings, come to the Castle of the Grail and has passed into the hall of Am-
fortas and his spellbound court. Amfortas, a weak and shrivelled
old man, lies upon a high Celtic coffin. Over him is thrown a bear-
skin. His crown and sceptre have fallen from his hands, and are
lying beside the coffin as they have lain for centuries. Everything
suggests age, the architecture being of a type long unused. At the
right walks the procession of the Grail the angel holds the Grail;
two soldiers carry the seven-branched candlesticks ; Herodias, who
jeered at Christ, and is condemned to laugh forever, bears the head
of John the Baptist in a charger lifted high above her head ;
and Longius leans upon his spear. The light of the Grail shines
brightly, and Galahad, deep in thought, searches in his mind for the
meaning of these things. To achieve the Grail he has only to ask
the question, but the simplicity of his mind has been warped, though
but in the least degree, by the teaching of Gurnemanz. For a
moment he presumes to seek the answer in his own mind, and the
opportunity is lost.
Many years after he is to come again, this time to be successful;
but with the failure the series of Mr. Abbey's pictures is for the pres-
ent closed. 1
In one corner of the Delivery Room is a bulletin board on which
day the knights of the quest went " to the minister to hear their service. Then after the service was
done the king would wit how many had undertaken the quest of the Holy Grail ; and to account
them he prayed them all. Then found they by tale an hundred and fifty, and all were knights
of the Round Table. And then they put on their helms and departed, and recommended them
all wholly unto the queen ; and there was weeping and great sorrow." Morte D' Arthur, Book
XIII., Chapters 7 and 8.
1 The following note on the books in the Library which are likely to prove most useful to students
of Mr. Abbey's pictures has been kindly furnished by the Catalogue Department :
The following books will be of use in furthering acquaintance with the origin and literature of the
Holy Grail legend. Titles of other works of a less popular character are in the Card Catalogue,
under the heading Holy Grail. Shelf-numbers are affixed to books indicated below. Mr. Abbey's
paintings are described in " The Quest of the Holy Grail " on 4073.10 (plates) ; while a briefer
account, written by Mr. Henry James, has been mounted, and numerous copies of it are placed con-
venient to the pictures. The story itself is best told in prose in Malory's Morte d'Arthur. Thomas
Wright's edition (1858) is on 6576.60, and in the third edition on 4609.107 ; Sommer's reprint (1889-
91) of William Caxton's edition is on 4601.111 ; Sir Edward Strackey's revision of Caxton for
modern use (1871), is on 4537.11; and another modernized version (1892) by Charles Morris, on
2579.142. Ernest Rhys's selection for the Camelot series, of a portion of Malory covering the history
of King Arthur and the Quest of the Grail (1891), is on 2579.117 ; the last twelve books of the Morte
d'Arthur edited also by Rhys are on 4607.110; while by far the most attractive as well as the latest
edition of Caxton's version is on 4601.113. Its two volumes contain the designs of Aubrey Beardsley,
and an introduction by Rhys. Tennyson's " Idylls of the King," while keeping to the original legend
in spirit, make the story more intelligible than do the early versions. Copies are on 4560.2 (with
Dore's Illustration), 25693.100.7-9; 2562.55.5,6; Tennyson's "Holy Grail" separate is on 6568.23 ;
6568.24; 2569a.io3- A familiar but still useful work is Bulfinch's " Age of Chivalry," in which the
story is told with reasonable fulness. [2407.55.] The alliterative poem "Joseph 'of Arimathie "
(circa 1350) was edited for the English text society by Skeat in 1871, and is on 2417.55 and 6555.46.
For criticism and investigation as to the origin and signification of the tradition, see Alfred Nutt's
" Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail" (1888), on 45503.57; also Bergmann's scholarly and brief
essay (1870) on 45793.136; and G. M. Harper's paper in vol. 8 of the Publications of the Modern
Language Association, 2950.56.8, and 4602.101. The criticism of Mr. Abbey's pictures by Mr.
Henry Van Dyke, contained in Harper's Weekly for April 20, 1895, may also' be consulted with
profit. A large part of the above noted works have been placed together in the Bates Hall Reference
Library for the convenience of the public.
are pasted the titles of new publications received. The more popular ^, e h
of these are displayed in an oak case ; and in two cabinets like those in system.'
Bates Hall is a card catalogue of the fiction, the more popular history
and biography, etc., contained in the Library.
The Delivery Room is the most used of any room in the building.
During 1894 a million and a half volumes were issued to readers,
either for home or hall use. All residents of Boston over twelve years
old may obtain cards entitling them to draw books, no more than two,
however, being allowed at the same time on a single card, although
an exception to this rule is often made in the case of sets containing
several volumes. Books may be retained a fortnight, except the
latest fiction, which must be returned in a week. Non-residents, un-
less students engaged in special researches, are not permitted to take
books from the building, but may draw out for hall use as many as
they choose. The normal time required to obtain a book is about
The alcove of the Delivery Room is the busiest spot in the Library. The
rr. . . ,. , ,. , , Bookstack.
Ine most noticeable feature is the row 01 pneumatic tubes to the
left, through which the application slips are sent to all parts of the
bookstack. The stack itself comes close up to the alcove. It is in
six low stories, and is lighted on both sides, on one from the Interior
Court, and on the other from Blagden street, and reaches back to
the rear wall, where it turns the corner and extends half way down
the west side of the building, terminating at the wall separating it
from the rooms in which the bound volumes of newspapers are stored.
It is capable of accommodating well over a million volumes, which,
added to those that can be shelved on the Special Library Floor, in
Bates Hall, the Periodical Room, etc., would make the Library's total
capacity a million and a half volumes. There are now, in round
numbers, a half million, and the average annual increase is about
In the old building of the Public Library books were brought from The Book
the stack by messengers, but in a stack like the present, extending
back for so great a distance, it was manifestly necessary to devise some
other method if books called for were to be distributed to readers
without excessive delay. It was finally decided to install a book-rail-
way, over which carriages propelled by cables operated by an electric
motor might be run to the Delivery Alcove from all portions of the
stack. The idea was suggested by the cash delivery systems now in
use in most of the larger retail stores. The result has been completely
successful. Each story of the stack is equipped with an eight-inch
track running its entire length. Each track has three stations, placed
at convenient intervals ; and each station has its own carriage a low
wire basket capable of containing all but the largest books. Two
girls are employed as "runners" on each floor to carry the books
f r to the basket. When the basket is loaded it is pushed
from the station to the main track, where it grips the cable and is
carried towards the Delivery Alcove at the rate of five hundred feet
Since the stack is in six stories, only one of which is on the level
of the receiving window of the Delivery Alcove, a narrow well has
been built between the alcove and the stack, in which are five
miniature elevators, or one for each of the stack stories above or
below the level of the window. When the basket approaches the well
it automatically slips the cable, and, its speed having been gradually
slackened, it slides upon the elevator. If the elevator is " busy," the car
is held until its turn arrives. If it is not busy the shock releases a
pin, and the motor below hoists or lowers it, as the case may be,
to the window. Stopping here the carriage is tipped out and rolls
into the alcove. Returning, the process is almost exactly reversed.
As the car comes back to its station, it is again released from the
cable, and slides easily into place.
Librarian's The Librarian's Room opens from the Delivery Room, to the left of
the opening of the alcove. It is a handsome room looking out upon
Blagden street, and is finished in white marble and plaster, with a icr-
razzo floor. It is situated at the very centre of the Library's activity,
the public part of the building on one side, the books on the other, and
the administrative offices in the mezzanine story beneath. The present
librarian is Mr. Herbert Putnam, formerly librarian of the Minneapolis
Public Library. The duty of the librarian is to administer the Library,
including its twenty-two branches and delivery stations scattered in
every part of the city, in accordance with the broad lines of policy laid
down by the trustees. 1 Under him, in the central library alone, are
a hundred and forty employes.
Off the Librarian's Room is a small room in which is stored the
valuable collection of autographs recently presented to the Library by
Judge Mellen Chamberlain, a former librarian. It is especially rich
in American autographs, and altogether is one of the most valuable
and comprehensive in the country.
Trustees' Another door leads to the Blagden-street staircase, off which, also,
in the mezzanine story above, is the Trustees' Room, lighted from the
south, or Blagden-street side. The woodwork including, that is, the
ceiling, doors, and wainscoting is in very beautiful panels of cream-
color and gold, the centre of each being ornamented with a carved or
painted head or figure. It was originally part of the interior furnish-
ing of a Paris hotel of the time of the First Empire. From the centre
of the ceiling depends a richly gilt chandelier. The walls are hung
J The branches contain about one hundred and fifty thousand volumes, mostly books of a popular
character. The delivery stations are connected with the central library by a daily delivery service,
by means of which persons living in the outlying portions of the city may obtain books from the
latter without being obliged to come in town.
Trustees' with green velours, and at the east end of the room is a fireplace of
Room. gray limestone, exquisitely carved with arabesques. A slender beaded
ornament along the frieze is " undercut," although no thicker than a
pencil lead, so that a string may be tied round it. The mantel is an
original of the French Renaissance, and may be taken, indeed, as the
prototype of the various mantels designed in the Renaissance style in
the other parts of the building. Over the mantel hangs a portrait of
Joshua Bates, and on either side are original portraits of Benjamin
Franklin, one by Greuze and the other by Duplessis.
The trustees hold about $200,000 in trust, most of the income of
which is applied to the purchase of books. They present annually to
the city government an estimate of the amount required to maintain
the Library during the coming year, but they have the widest discre-
tion in expending the appropriation which is voted. In 1894 the
total expense of carrying on the Library, including its branches, was
$175,000. This was in the old building; in the new building it is
thought that at least $40,000 more a year will be needed.
Veneti Turning to the left, after ascending the Grand Staircase, one passes
Lobby. into the Children's Room through a lobby the Venetian Lobby
it may be called, from the character of the paintings which decorate
it corresponding to the Pompeian Lobby at the other end of the
The decorations of this lobby are by Mr. Joseph Lindon Smith, a
young Boston painter. The trustees were able to give Mr. Smith his
commission through the liberality of Mr. Arthur Astor Carey, a citizen
of Boston, who furnished the amount of money required.
The decorative scheme includes all three portions of the lobby
the domed central portion, the window recess, and the landing of the
staircase leading to Sargent Hall. The subject chosen is Venice, at the
height of her greatest artistic, martial, and commercial glory, her past
still untarnished by any hint of her coming decline. The subject was
suggested by the block of stone over the door, on which is carved the
Lion of St. Mark (the patron saint of Venice), supporting an open
book, inscribed with the motto of the city, Pax Tibi, Marce, Evan-
This block is one of three which were obtained in Venice, and built
into the walls of the Library. They are of the sixteenth century,
but beyond the fact that they are Venetian it is not known where they
were originally used. One occupies a corresponding position over
the doorway of the Delivery Room, and the other may be found in
the wall over against the stairway to Sargent Hall.
Mr. Smith has painted two nude boys to be the " supporters " of
this old carving, very aptly suggesting the boy supporters of the
Library seal over the main entrance. The complexion of one of these
boys is dark, and of the other fair, to typify the geographical position
of Venice to the north the fair-haired Teutons, and to the south the ySae
darker Latin races. Near the foot of the right-hand figure is a pigeon, Lobby.
a reminiscence of the hundreds which frequent the Piazza of St.
Both boys are holding up tightly woven ropes of foliage, fruit, and
flowers, painted in rich, glowing colors, which trail down on either side
of the door. They are like the borders with which Andrea della Robbia,
a Florentine artist of the fifteenth century, surrounded his enamelled
terra-cotta groups. Mr. Smith has used them to typify the festal life
of Venice, a city which, for all its wars, was never besieged during
the time of its prosperity.
It is in the lunette over the window giving out upon the court, how-
ever, that Mr. Smith has chosen to put his chief design. Here Venice,
a half nude young woman, a doge's cap lying on the ground by her
side, gives (or receives from) the Adriatic
personified as a young man, and with a trident
lying at his feet the ring of marriage, typi-
cal of that ancient custom of the city, the
annual espousal of the sea by the doge, per-
formed by dropping a ring into the Adriatic.
On the left, blessing the union, kneels St.
Theodore, the first patron saint of the Vene-
tians, clad in a suit of mediaeval armor. Be-
hind him lies the crocodile which he is reputed
in the legends to have slain. In the back-
ground is a screen, in the familiar Venetian
Gothic style of architecture.
The bright colors of this lunette are followed
out on the other walls of the recess. The
ceiling is gilded, and gold is also employed
on the walls. The Delia Robbia flower ropes
again occur. Sea-green and sky-blue are much used, as well to re-
lieve the dull tones of the Ohio limestone with which the recess is
ramed as to suggest the wide empire of Venice over the islands of
the East her horizon a meeting of sea and sky. In the niches this
idea of her sea power is accentuated by sea-shells and mermaids.
In the niches, also, is inscribed in gilt letters of a mediaeval pattern
a selection of the names of Venice's most celebrated sons in that to
the left the doges, and to the right the painters. The doges are:
Orseolo, Michieli (both Vitali and Domenico), Falieri.Ziani, Dandolo,
Morosini, Guadenico, Foscari, Barbarico. The painters are: Vivarini,
Cima, Carpaccio, Mantegna, Bellini (Gentile and Giovanni), Gior-
gione, Lotto, Tiziano (Titian), Bonifacio, Veronese, Tintoretto.
The sky-and-sea dominion of Venice is again recalled in the colors
of the dome of the central portion of the lobby, round which is
THE LION OF ST. MARK.
stretched, as a frieze, a line of galleys, the ships with which she fought
her naval battles. In the pendentives are Renaissance shields, bear-
ing the names of eleven cities of northern Italy which at one time or
another were subjugated by Venice, viz. : Belluno, Brescia, Como,
Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, Verona, Ravenna, Bergamo, Udine, and
The dome of the staircase is gilded, with a peacock in the centre,
typifying immortality. Peacock feathers also furnish the background
for the design of the pendentives an ancient Byzantine device com-
posed of the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, and the Greek mono-
gram Chi Rho. The frieze of the dome is a chain of " Byzantine
insertions," as the ornamental plaques sometimes found in the walls
of Venetian buildings are called. The designs in these insertions as
used by Mr. Smith are three in number of two birds, of two lions,
and of an eagle carrying off a rabbit.
The names inscribed in this dome are those of the Eastern posses-
sions of Venice, which influenced so much the thought and art of the
conqueror. The list is as follows: Jerusalem, Tyre, Alexandria,
Cairo, Constantinople, Sapienza, Andros, Lepanto, Cyprus, Zante, the
Morea, Corfu, Naxos, Cefalonia, Caxos, Tripoli, Gallipoli, Tevos,
Modon, Negropont, Carpathos, Cerigo, Stampalia, Candia, Scyros.
The proportions of the Children's Room leading from the Venetian
Lobby are the same as those of the Delivery Room. It is finished,
however, very plain, and with almost no attempt at decoration,
beyond the simple mantel of red Verona in the east wall. The floor
is terrazzo, and the ceiling and walls above the skirting of pink Knox-
ville are plaster. The windows look out upon Blagden street and
the Interior Court. An iron gallery runs along three sides, reached by
a winding iron staircase, and the walls are lined from top to bottom
In spite of its plainness of finish, however, the Children's Room is
one of the most interesting in the Library. As its name shows, it is a
room for the children. About thirteen hundred volumes are shelved
along the walls, all within easy reach, which they may look over and
choose at their pleasure without having to ask the permission of any
attendant. The books are mainly, of course, the better class of
"juveniles" boys' and girls' fiction and books of travel and advent-
ure written for the young. Besides these, however, there are many
volumes of a more mature character, especially illustrated books,
devoted to the popular sciences, biography, history, or travel. Large
tables are provided at which the children may sit and read by
themselves ; or if they choose, and are old enough to have cards of
their own, they may take home the books they want by charging
them with the attendant, whose sole duty it is to look after their con-
venience. Cards are not issued to children under twelve, but any boy
or girl, no matter how much younger, is welcome to take any of the chfidre
books from the shelves for use in the room. Room.
Near the window of the Children's Room is the desk where appli-
cants for cards are required to register their names, and where, also,
the publications of the Library, the Bulletins and the various cata-
logues, may be bought.
In this room, also, are exhibited a number of the more interesting
books and autographs belonging to the Library. On the wall hang
four framed documents of almost unique interest the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Articles
of Confederation, and the Address to the King, all, of course, reprints of
the originals, but followed by the genuine autographs of the men
who signed them, cut from letters and documents. Near by,
moreover, hangs one of the thirteen official broadsides of the Decla-
ration issued immediately after its adoption to each of the thirteen
original States, authenticated by the signature of the president of the
Congress, John Hancock, and attested by the secretary, Charles
Thompson. With the exception of the last these documents are a
part of the Mellen Chamberlain collection of autographs.
In a small case in front of the fireplace are shown a number of old
and curious books relating, for the most part, to early American
history. Here are the " Columbus Letter," in Latin, 1493, the book
in which the discovery of America was first announced, and for which
the Library paid $2,900; the first book relating to the colony at
Jamestown ; the first book relating to New England ; the first printed
account of Massachusetts; the "Bay Psalm Book," 1640, printed at
Cambridge in 1640 by Stephen Daye, the first book printed within the
present limits of the United States ; the first edition of the Bible as
translated into the Indian language by John Eliot, the Apostle to the
Indians, Cambridge, 1663 (the Library has also the second edition) ;
and the first book printed in Boston. Among the other books here
displayed are a number of curious volumes bearing upon the persecu-
tion of the Quakers and the witchcraft delusion.
Besides books and manuscripts the Library also owns a number of
interesting relics which have not yet been put on exhibition. The
most interesting is the gold medal given by Congress to Washington
for his successful termination of the siege of Boston, the only medal
which Congress ever voted him.
The public rooms beyond the Children's Room up the length of the The Pa
Dartmouth-street facade, that is are the Patent Room and the
Newspaper Reading Room. The Patent Room leads immediately from
the Children's Room, and like it, is finished with severe plainness,
although Mr. John Elliott, a Boston painter, is now at work in Rome
on a decoration for the ceiling. It is to be a female figure guid-
ing twenty horses representing the last twenty centuries, and the
The patent xv hole symbolizing the progress and triumphs of science during
the Christian era.
The Patent Room is surrounded by a broad gallery, comfortably
equipped with tables and chairs, from which, on the west side, a
smaller room, with the same floor level as the 'gallery, opens imme-
diately over the landing of the staircase leading from the Boylston-
street entrance. The collection of patent publications shelved in
the Patent Room is the best in this country outside of Washington.
The publications of the patent offices of the United States. Great
Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and Queensland and
Victoria in Australia, are regularly received. The files of the English
patents go back to 1617, and of the United States to 1840, though of
the complete specifications, only to 1869. The use of the collection
is about forty thousand volumes a year.
Th e The Patent Room, as has already been said, is reached also from
Reading the staircase of the Boylston-street entrance. On the other side of the
landing of this staircase is the Newspaper Reading Room, a large
room plainly finished, with a slightly arched ceiling of terra-cotta
tiles painted white. The room was at first intended as a lecture hall,
to be used in more or less close connection with the work of the
Library, but this plan was dropped when Mr. William C. Todd, a
citizen of New Hampshire, offered to give the Library during his
lifetime $2,000 a year for the purchase of current newspapers, and
to leave in his will a sum of money which would annually yield that
amount in interest.
Through Mr. Todd's generosity the Library is able to take regularly
more than two hundred newspapers. All the Boston papers are
received and a representative selection of over a hundred from other
parts of the United States. Between eighty and ninety foreign papers
are also taken, coming from the principal centres of the civilized world.
The papers are conveniently displayed, in the latest issues received,
on oak racks and tables, and may be freely consulted by visitors. The
collection is, indeed, of even greater benefit to the stranger in the
city than to the resident of Boston, in that he can find here, and in
most instances nowhere else in town, not, perhaps, his " home paper,"
but at any rate one published in the nearest important city.
The Below the Newspaper Reading Room, and reached from the Boyl-
office. ston-street entrance, is the Printing Office, a small room opening into
the Bindery beyond. The Library has done the simpler sorts of its
printing for many years, the cards of the card catalogue, for example,
and the ordinary finding lists for popular use, though it has gone out-
side for its more elaborate bibliographies and special catalogues.
Recently it has purchased a Mergenthaler type-setting machine, or
" linotype," by means of which it is hoped to keep the various finding
lists more easily up to date a peculiarity of the machine being that
it sets not by letters but by lines, which are not only easily preserved,
but can be added to and rearranged at will, so that an absolutely
complete finding list can be printed whenever needed without any
The Bindery, where the Library's binding is done, is a large room, The
extending to the rear wall of the building, lofty, and amply lighted B
from the Interior Court and Boylston street. The amount of work
done here each year is surprisingly large. In 1894 nearly fourteen
thousand volumes were bound, a large part of them being made up
of transactions, etc., received in parts, and of accumulated periodicals
to be transferred from the Periodical Room to the shelves. Each
year, also, many books on the shelves require renovation. The paper-
covered continental publications are bound abroad. Of late the
use of leather has been abandoned for cotton duck and Irish linen,
which are thought to be more durable as well as more cleanly and
economical. Besides binding proper, much work is done in backing
with linen the maps and illustrations of large and valuable books, and
in " inlaying " manuscripts in leaves of a uniform size, in order that
they may be bound and shelved as volumes a work requiring great
delicacy and skill.
The third floor of the Public Library is devoted to the valuable col- b e r a r pecial
lections of books on special subjects which have done so much to make Floor.
Boston a Mecca of American scholarship. The rooms and corridors
in which they are shelved are approached through a long, high gallery,
popularly called " Sargent Hall," after the painter who has undertaken
to decorate its walls. It is reached from the Venetian Lobby by a
straight flight of stairs, open to the hall above, leading between the
wall of Bates Hall and of the Staircase Corridor. The walls are of
Amherst sandstone, and the treads of Yorkshire sandstone, which is
slightly darker than the Amherst. A railing of Alps green marble is
attached to either wall. Half-way up a doorway leads from a shallow
landing to the balcony of Bates Hall. Looking down from this -bal-
cony one appreciates, better than from below, even, the great size of
the room. When the hall is lighted in the evening the effect from
here is remarkably beautiful.
Roughly speaking, Sargent Hall is built in about the same propor- Sargent
tions of length, breadth, and height as Bates Hall, though much smaller.
It is eighty-four feet long, twenty-three wide, and twenty-six high.
It is wainscoted in Amherst stone, the balustrade of the staircase being
of the same material, and the floor is Yorkshire. The ceiling is vaulted,
resting upon simple piers which divide the walls into broad panels.
There are no windows, the light being admitted through large sky-
lights. In the middle of the west wall low steps lead to the door of
the Music Library. Other doors, at either end of the hall, lead to the
rest of the special libraries.
iar e ent Above the wainscoting the walls are finished in white plaster, except
paintings. a t the north end, where the lunette, the adjoining section of the ceiling,
and the frieze are decorated with paintings by Mr. John S. Sargent.
In 1890, or about the time Mr. Abbey received his commission for the
Delivery Room, the trustees invited Mr. Sargent to decorate both
ends of the gallery, agreeing to pay him $15,000. A section of the
decoration now in place was shown in London, in the latter part of
1894, at the exhibition of the Royal Academy of which Mr. Sar-
gent, though an American, is an associate member, elected for the
brilliancy of his work in portraiture and was received by the critics
with extraordinary enthusiasm. In the following spring the completed
decoration was put in place in the Library. So great was the admira-
tion it excited that $15,000 more was immediately raised by popular
subscription to enable Mr. Sargent to unite his work for the ends in a
scheme of decoration which should comprehend the entire gallery.
The portion now in place is so various, so significant, and so vast in
its scope, that it is difficult to find an adequate label. Mr. Sargent
has described his complete scheme as representing " the triumph of
religion a mural decoration illustrating certain stages of Jewish and
Christian history." The subject of the present portion is, briefly, the
confused struggle in the Jewish nation between Monotheism and
Polytheism. On the panels of the east wall over the staircase, that
is the subject will be Christ preaching to the nations of the earth.
At the south, and occupying the same position that the present deco-
ration occupies at the north end, will be depicted the main features of
the symbolism which was crystallized from that preaching during the
early centuries of the Christian church. The components of the
theme, therefore, are Confusion, Unity, and Conventionality or, per-
haps better, Confusion, Unity, and Variety.
The first part, the portion now in place, consists, as has been said,
of a lunette, a frieze, and a section of the ceiling. On the rib between
the lunette and the arch Mr. Sargent has inscribed, in dark-blue let-
ters upon a gilt ground, the text of his subject; condensed from verses
21-45 of the io6th Psalm.
(21) They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt ;
(36) And they served . . . idols : which were a snare unto them. (37) Yea,
they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, (38) And shed
innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, . . .
unto the idols of Canaan : . . . (40) Therefore was the wrath of the Lord
kindled against his people, . . . (41) And he gave them into the hand of
the heathen ; and they that hated them ruled over them. (42) Their enemies
also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
(44) Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry :
(45) And he remembered for them his covenant.
In the ceiling are depicted the gods of man's fears and vain and
sinful imaginings the gods of polytheism and idolatry, for whom the |
Jews forsook Jehovah. But mingled with them are the symbols of
the beneficent influences of nature which these gods represented in
the imagination of their worshippers, and which humanized even the
vilest forms of idolatry. And in the goddess Neith, the All Mother,
whose form underlies the whole, Mr. Sargent has typified the eternal
forces, which, with their vague suggestions, first aroused the religious
instinct in the mind of man.
In the frieze are the Hebrew prophets, scorning the idols of poly-
theism and looking only to the one and unseen God for their inspira-
tion and law. In the lunette, the Jews, fallen from the true faith and
bowed in subjection beneath the Egyptian and the Assyrian, once more
beseech the mercy of Jehovah, whose arms are extended from heaven
to overturn the power of the heathen. The lunette, therefore, the
most conspicuous portion of the decoration, combines in conflict the
elements of the frieze and the ceiling, and illustrates the victory of
Monotheism over Polytheism.
The Jews, twelve in number, for the Twelve Tribes of Israel, are
huddled in a naked and despairing group in the foreground of the
picture, crouching in captivity before the sword and the scourge of
their oppressors. Only their central figure rises free to implore the
succor of the Lord ; but behind the golden yoke which presses them
down the hands of still others are raised in supplication. They have
worshipped the idols of the heathen, but behind them may be seen the
fires which they have again kindled upon the altar of Jehovah.
To the left is Pharaoh, exquisite, effeminate, but deadly cruel. In
his right hand he lifts the scourge ; with his left he grasps the hair of
the captive. On the right is the Assyrian king, duller, but with limbs
channelled and knotted to denote his enormous muscular develop-
ment. He presses down the yoke with one hand and with the other
he draws back his sword for a blow of the fullest strength. Crowded
behind the kings are figures symbolical of their religion.
But Jehovah has heard His people's cry. His cherubim fly before
Him ; their wings, a glowing crimson, conceal His countenance, but
His arms, vast and indistinct, issue from the clouds which veil His
throne to restrain the violence of the kings. The slender arm of
Pharaoh He represses with a touch, but the rude strength of the
Assyrian He holds in a grasp of tremendous power.
In the figures of Pharaoh and the Assyrian king and the monstrous
gods of their worship Mr. Sargent has carefully followed the conven-
tions of Egyptian and Assyrian art. In both countries the monarch
was represented as a being of extraordinary stature, in order to suggest
more vividly his magnificence and power. In the lunette, therefore,
the kings rise almost to the height of the decoration. The Assyrian
king is clad in a heavy robe falling in stiff folds. His beard and hair
are coarsely luxuriant, and are arranged informal ringlets. The ex- |^ r e ent
aggeration of bodily strength is invariable in the Assyrian bas-reliefs. Painting
Behind him is a heap of slain typifying the victims of former
conquests over which the Assyrian lion, heavy muscled like the
king, is advancing. On one corpse two ravens have alighted to feed.
Behind is an Assyrian god, with the body of a man and the head of a
vulture. He has broad golden wings, and carries a bow and arrows.
Following the Egyptian convention, the head and legs of Pharaoh
are in profile, while his body and arms are turned square. On his
head is the crown betokening power over Upper and Lower Egypt.
c, He wears the apron, and a corselet of gold is clasped about his body.
He holds in his hand the hair not of a single captive but of many, in
accordance with the convention which thus suggested the compre-
hensive and immediate authority of the monarch. Behind Pharaoh
is a second heap of slain, on which are perched two white vultures,
corresponding to the Assyrian ravens. The Sphinx treads upon the
dead bodies not the female Sphinx of Greece, but the male Sphinx
of Egypt, with the head of a man and the body of a lion. Behind the
Sphinx is the goddess Pasht, with the body of a woman and the head
of a lioness. She is wrapped in black and gold feathers, and mag-
nificent black and gold wings copied from Egyptian paintings
stretch from her shoulders like arms. Near her is a large fan, the
design of which is taken from the lotus.
The conventional treatment of the greater part of the lunette is re-
lieved by the comparatively realistic figures of the captive Jews. In
the ceiling there is no such relief. It is a world of idolatry, untouched
by any natural passion. The goddess Neith is represented as the
source and background of the whole. She was mother of the universe
and of all things in it, and no man might fathom the mystery of her
being. Her image in her temple at Sais, in Lower Egypt, was veiled,
and upon it was the inscription, " I am all that was, that is, and that
is to be, and my veil has been lifted by no man."
Her position in the decoration was suggested to Mr. Sargent by
two Egyptian temple ceilings. In both, the goddess borders on three
sides a central astronomical design, all portions of which proceed from
her. Her body is on one side ; her legs and arms extend from either
corner along the other two. In Mr. Sargent's decoration the dark
form of Neith completely spans the arch, her hands touching one
cornice and her feet resting upon the other. Her body is the firma-
ment, and the stars are seen shining upon her breast. An Egyptian
zodiac, separated into compartments by female figures, is her collar.
Across this zodiac an archer, the protagonist of warmth and summer,
is fighting for his life with a huge serpent coiled about the neck of the
goddess, and representing the forces of cold and winter.
The story is a development of the primaeval myth of the eternal
THE SARGENT PAINTINGS THE LEFT CEILING.
THE SARGENT PAINTINGS THE RIGHT CEILING.
largest conflict between the sun and the dragon, in which the sun is conquered
paintings, during the winter months, but conquers during the summer. In the
Phoenician mythology, Thammuz (the sun), a beautiful youth beloved
by the goddess Astarte (typifying the productive forces of nature), was
slain on Mt. Lebanon by a boar (the dragon), but by the intercession
of Astarte he was allowed to spend a portion of each year on earth.
Annually the river Adonis, which rises in Mt. Lebanon, ran red with
his blood, the signal for a period of lamentation for his death, which
was changed to rejoicing when he revived and the river again flowed
clear. From this story the familiar myth of Venus and Adonis was
In Mr. Sargent's decoration, Thammuz or, better, Adonis, for the
figure is thoroughly Greek in spirit clad in a red cloak and half in-
volved in the coils of the serpent, still shoots his arrows right into
the mouth of the monster, and drives it back far enough to uncover the
signs of the six warm months. But on the other side of the zodiac the
archer is overwhelmed and lies lifeless in the serpent's folds, together
with his lover Astarte, until spring shall return. 1
The head-dress of Neith is the Egyptian emblem of immortality,
a little globe with broad black and gold wings. Above her is the
full moon, and the sun flames in the lower part of the zodiac. Both
are her offspring. In the left-hand portion of the ceiling is Moloch,
the god of the sun and the male or generative principle in nature,
seated upon a throne. 2 His figure is the most horrible of any in the
1 Next to the Bible, Milton's enumeration of the rebel angels in Paradise Lost is the best commen-
tary on Mr. Sargent's paintings. For example :
"Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all a summer's day,
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love tale
Infected Zion : s daughters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
His eye surveyed the dark idolatries
Of alienated fudah."
Book I., lines ^6-457.
2 " Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears ;
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud.
Their children's cries unheard that passed through fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipped in Rabba and the watery plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighborhood, the wisest heart
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God
On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell."
Paradise Lost, Book /., line s 392-405.
whole decoration, gloomy, beast-like, and cruel. He is four-armed, rgent
and his head is that of a bull, with the sun immediately above Paintings,
it. In the hot countries where he was worshipped, the sun, the
giver of prosperity, is also the destroyer, bringing the harvest, but as
often parching the land with drought. It is this latter aspect of the
sun which Moloch represents. In two of his hands he is crushing human
victims, offered upon his altar to appease his wrath. In another hand
he holds a dagger, and in the fourth the Assyrian disk. Five golden
lions of the same type as the lion in the lunette rage about his
knees, typifying the fiery rays of the sun. But the kindly action of
the solar warmth is suggested together with the symbols of a blind,
destroying power. From the sun's disk above the head of Moloch
radiate long, golden beams, which pierce the blackness beneath in
every direction. Each terminates in a golden hand holding a seed
between thumb and finger an Egyptian symbol of the life-giving
power of the sun's rays.
Below Moloch is the Egyptian trinity three dusky figures copied
from the Egyptian sculptures Isis, Osiris, and Horus, the father,
mother, and son. All three were more or less immediately connected
with the worship of the sun. At their feet is a mummy, over which a
hawk, the emblem of the soul, is brooding, and immediately above
the cornice is the same winged globe that crowns the head of Neith.
Moloch represented, as has been said, the sun and the male prin-
ciple. Astarte the Ashtoreth of the Bible was the goddess of the
moon and the female or productive principle, and her figure occupies
a position in the right hand portion of the ceiling in antithesis to that
of Moloch on the left. In painting this figure perhaps the most
remarkable in the entire decoration, and the work, we are told, of a
single day Mr. Sargent had recourse to an archaic, polychromatic
statue recently discovered in Athens. For the expression of the god-
dess, however, her whole character and nature, he was indebted to the
descriptions of the moon goddess contained in Flaubert's Carthaginian
The worship of Astarte was degraded by the Phoenicians into a
lascivious and wanton rite. She is depicted, therefore, not as the
kindly and abundant mother of fruits and grains, like Ceres, but as the
goddess of sensuality beautiful, alluring, and heartless. She stands
upon the crescent, and a cobra is coiled at her feet. Around her is a
floating blue veil. The hem of her robe is richly embroidered with
gold, the ornament including figures of the sun and moon, and lions,
fishes, birds, and other emblems connected with her worship. On
either side of her are the columns used in her temples. Behind her is
the tree of life, only the pine-cones which terminate its branches, how-
ever, being visible. Through her veil may be seen, on either side of
her form, a group of three priestesses, shaking the sistrum, or rattle,
Sargent anc ^ swaying to the measure of a wanton and luxurious dance. At her
Paintings. f ee t; are ner victims, whom her lusts have lured to their ruin, a vulture
tearing at the flesh of one and a chimaera devouring the other. 1
It has already been said that the Frieze of the Prophets illustrates
the monotheistic and spiritual principles of the Jewish religion, and as
such .is an element of the conflict depicted in the lunette a state-
ment which is especially true, it will be observed, of the three aggres-
sive figures in the centre, Moses, Elijah, and Joshua. But the frieze
is also something more than this. It has been finely compared to a
Greek chorus, "interpreting and supporting the movement of a great
drama," and it also performs the function of connecting the portion of
the decoration now in place with what is to come. In the right-hand
panel the three extreme figures are exulting, in strong antithesis to
the three prophets on the opposite wall, in the sure hope of a Messiah
who shall relieve Israel of her woes, and are pointing in the direction
of the panels which, in a few years, Mr. Sargent is to decorate with a
painting of Christ preaching to the nations of the world.
The central figure of the frieze is Moses, supporting the Tables of
the Law, inscribed in Hebrew characters. Moses is considered as the
ideal and almost superhuman exponent of the divine will, and is there-
fore treated with great conventionality. His priestly garment arranged
in formal folds, contrasting with the loose robes of the other prophets,
and, above all, the golden wings of the Spirit which enfold him, are
all intended to symbolize the authority of the spokesman of Jehovah.
On the right is Joshua sheathing his sword, on the left is Elijah the
three forming a group by themselves.
The names of the prophets are inscribed over the frieze. They
are, beginning at the left and omitting the central three, Zephaniah,
Joel, Obadiah, Hosea, Amos, Nahum, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah,
Jonah, Isaiah, Habakkuk, Micah, Haggai, Malachi, and Zachariah.
Those to the left of Elijah are the prophets of despair, relieved by
one prophet of hope, Hosea (Mr. Sargent's favorite figure, it is
said), while among the prophets of hope beyond Joshua there is a
prophet of despair, Micah. Daniel bears a scroll inscribed in Hebrew
with the words, from Daniel xii. 3 : " And they that be wise shall
shine." Jonah bears a scroll inscribed with the word " Jehovah."
As will probably have been noticed, many parts of the decoration
1 " With these in troop
Came Ashtoreth, whom the Phoenicians
Called Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns;
To whose bright image nightly by the moon
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs ;
In Sionalso not unsung, where stood
Her temple on the offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king whose heart, though large
Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell
To idols foul."
Paradise Lost, Book ]., lines 337-446.
e are modelled in relief, including the entire figure of Moses, the lions
Sargent *=> '
Paintings. o f Moloch, the sun's rays, the serpent around the neck of Neith, the
zodiac, and the black and gold Egyptian wings. In this free use of
relief Mr. Sargent has made a distinct departure from the traditions
of mural painting.
Mr. Sargent's contract calls for the completion of the decoration
for the other end of the hall in December, 1897. It will probably be
a year or more thereafter before the panels of the east wall can be
covered. After that nothing remains to do but to color the other por-
tions of the walls and ceiling in such a manner as to bring the whole
into one harmonious scheme.
Libran^ cial The corridors and rooms of the Special Library Floor are lighted
Floor." from the Interior Court through the windows of the arcade previously
described. The light thus furnished is exceedingly good, perhaps
the best to be had anywhere in the building a great advantage in
rooms devoted, like these, to minute and laborious study. The col-
lections shelved on this floor are primarily for reference. Each has a
certain distinctive character, and most are devoted almost exclusively
to some one department of literature, art, or science. The plan of
separate special libraries originated in a desire to show respect to the
former owners of the collections which one by one came into the pos-
session of the Library. The plan proved useful, and in the new build-
ing has been developed into a system, including several departments
which had previously been shelved in the stack. It is, of course, a
benefit to the special student, and of advantage to the Library in that
it offers to the owner of a valuable library the opportunity to place
his books where they will be kept by themselves as a permanent
memorial to his generosity.
Libr-^ usic ^ e Music Library is one of the most attractive rooms in the
building. The ceiling is low and is arranged in beautiful arches. At
the south end is a tall mantel of white Sienna marble, veined with the
same richness as the yellow variety used in the Grand Staircase. The
frieze is sculptured with lions and bulls in low relief. The room is
entirely finished in white plaster, which will probably some time be
covered with a decoration. It was at first proposed, indeed, to make
the room a memorial to the late H. H. Richardson, the architect of
Trinity Church, shelving in it all the architectural books in the
Library, and inviting the architects of Boston to subscribe for an
appropriate decoration ; but this plan was finally abandoned.
The room now contains the valuable musical books presented to
the Library in 1894, by Mr. Allen A. Brown, a citizen of Boston. The
collection numbers more than sixty-five hundred, or, if books bound
together are counted separately, more than fifteen thousand volumes.
Most of them are handsomely bound in leather of various colors, and
in themselves are an admirable decoration of the pure white walls.
The collection is the most complete musical library in the country,
rich in rare scores, and containing a great amount of historical and
biographical material. Mr. Brown has expressed his intention of
still further adding to it, so that every year it will become more and
more valuable to students.
From both ends of Sargent Hall open large and admirably pro-
either of which
one may pass
round to the
Both rooms are
domed, and fin-
ished, like the
piers, walls, and
of the corridors,
in plain white
whole floor thus
offering a really
tion, to which
furnish the un-
cases filled with
books line the
walls of each,
the upper tiers
from an iron gallery. The tables and chairs for readers are of the
same general pattern as those in Bates Hall.
In the north domed room, or the Barton Library, as it is now called,
is a bronze statue of Sir Harry Vane, governor of Massachusetts in
1636-7, by Mr. MacMonnies, given to the Library by Dr. Charles God-
dard Weld, of Boston, in honor of Rev. James Freeman Clarke, D.D.,
the eminent Unitarian divine, who, at the time of his death, was a
trustee of the Library. The statue is of heroic size, and was " rejuve-
STATUE OK SIR HARRY VANE IN
statue ane nated," so to speak, from the portrait by Sir Peter Lely, painted in his
more advanced years. " The whole," says Prof. James K. Hosmer, the
author of the standard biography of Vane, " looks as if it might have
stepped out of a portrait of Van Dyck. He has a cane under his
arm and a sword at his side, and, though he was a Puritan, that is
all proper enough in Vane's case. When he became governor he in-
troduced a state and pomp which had not been known before. . . .
He was a beautiful youth, with a handsome face and rich attire, and I
think the sculptor did well to bring all this in." Vane, it will be re-
membered, though better known in English than in American history,
distinguished himself during his single term as governor of Massa-
chusetts, by his tolerance and liberality of mind. These qualities
served to defeat him for reelection, but he was immediately returned
to the General Court by the inhabitants of Boston, by whom he was
greatly beloved. He went back to England, however, in 1637, and
took a prominent part against the king during the Civil War, for
which he was beheaded after the Restoration, having been a firm
friend of New England all his life.
Libraries'' 1 ' ^ n ^e Barton Library are shelved the Barton, Barlow, Prince,
Lewis, and Ticknor collections. The Barton collection was formed
by Thomas Pennant Barton, of New York, and was purchased by the
Library from his widow. It numbers nearly fourteen thousand vol-
umes, and is the best in America in the department of early English
dramatic literature, its collection of works by and relating to Shake-
speare being unequalled in the world, outside of two or three of the
great English libraries. The first four collected editions of his works
the folios, as they are usually called and twenty-two of the
earlier editions of separate plays are here, with hundreds of later edi-
tions. Besides the dramatic books the collection is wonderfully rich in
fine and early editions of belles lettres generally. The Prince Library
was formed by Rev. Thomas Prince, a minister of the Old South, in
the first half of the eighteenth century, and was bequeathed by him to
the church in 1758. In 1868 it was deposited with the trustees of the
Library. It includes the Indian Bibles of Eliot, two copies of the Bay
Psalm Book, and very many other volumes of great rarity relating to
the early history of New England. The Lewis collection, given in
1 890 by the widow of the late John A. Lewis, is also of early books
relating to Massachusetts and New England. The Prince and the Lewis
collections are supplemented by the volumes of Americana almost
all of unusual rarity purchased at the sale of the library of the late
S. L. M. Barlow, of Brooklyn, in 1890 a purchase made possible by
a special appropriation by the city government of $20,000. It was
at this sale that the Library bought, for $6,500, a seventeenth-century
transcript of the early records of the colony of Massachusetts Bay
the only perfect copy known.
The Ticknor collection of Spanish books was bequeathed to the
Library, together with $4,000 to provide for its increase, by George
Ticknor, the historian of Spanish literature, and numbers at the present
time between six and seven thousand volumes. The collection in-
cludes some of the rarest of Spanish books, and ranks not only as the
best by far in America, but as one of the best in the world.
The special collections are continued in the alcoves which open
from the corridors the Parker, bequeathed by Theodore Parker, and
rich in the documents of the anti-slavery agitation ; the valuable
Bowditch collection of mathematical and astronomical books, begun
by Nathaniel Bowditch, and given to the Library by his heirs ; the
Thayer collection of extra-illustrated books, formed by four sisters,
and given or bequeathed at various times during a period of years ; the
Franklin Library of editions of the writings of Benjamin Franklin, and
of books and manuscripts illustrating his life ; and, most important
of all, the library of John Adams, second President of the United
States, bequeathed by him to his native town of Quincy, and in
1894 deposited in the Boston Library for safe keeping. It contains
about twenty-eight hundred volumes, many of them enriched with
his autograph notes.
The alcoves of the west corridor are occupied by books relating to
American history, colonial, provincial, and national. They terminate at
the south end with the Library's collection of United States documents
the best in existence and at the north end with the British docu-
ments the best in this country.
The corridors are provided with a book railway, which runs through
the galleries of the alcoves ; and a small elevator, which may be
made to stop at any story desired by simply adjusting a lever, runs
to the stack rooms below, to which slips may be sent through pneu-
matic tubes. This equipment is near the door of the south domed
room, which contains the books relating to fine arts a remarkable
collection, hardly to be equalled in America, and especially strong in
the departments of archaeology and architecture.
From an alcove in the corner a narrow iron staircase leads to the
only room above the Special Library Floor a small, but admirably
lighted room immediately under the roof, where photographs may be
made from plates or manuscripts. Its nearness to the Fine Arts
Room, which contains most of the illustrations in the Library which are
likely to be required for reproduction, is a special convenience.
ARCHITECTURE OF THE LIBRARY.
BY C. HOWARD WALKER.
BEFORE Messrs. McKim, Mead & White received their com-
mission for the Boston Public Library, there had been an open
competition, and prizes were awarded for the best designs
presented, none of which, however, proved satisfactory. The work
was then undertaken by the City Architect of Boston, and his plan
was so far approved that piles were driven upon the lot ready for
the superstructure. The design, at this time, was for a brownstone
building, somewhat of the Romanesque type, the intention, appar-
ently, being to create a building in harmony with Trinity Church.
The facade and roofs were irregular in their masses, and a very
considerable tower was a prominent factor in the design.
These preliminary statements serve to accent the careful consid-
eration the facade received at the hands of the architects ultimately
chosen. In spite of the generally picturesque character of the neigh-
boring buildings of Trinity Church, the Museum of Fine Arts, and
the Old South Church they determined to erect a building which
should be simple even to severity, and which by that very fact should
attain a monumental dignity, a supremacy, which could not be ob-
tained by a picturesque treatment of groupings or of details. The
church towers already dominated Copley square and to erect an-
other tower would only be to compete with them. The manifest
means of producing monumental effect was by accenting the horizontal
mass of the fagade. It is especially characteristic of classic archi-
tecture that its horizontal lines are strongly announced, and therefore
a classic style seemed especially appropriate for the Library front.
A pavilioned treatment, as in the Louvre and the Sorbonne, was
considered, but it was decided that pavilions would decrease the scale
of the building. The favorite treatment of Renaissance buildings, with
pilasters and engaged columns, was abandoned for the same reason.
The pavilions, which are grouped masses at the ends or upon the
axes of facades, produce the effect of complex interior arrangement
of more composite plan ; and as the second story of the Library
facade had but one room, the large Reading Room behind it, it was
felt that the design should be indicative of that room should, in fact,
be a unit and not a grouping of units.
Several schemes for the fagade were made. The Century Club in
New York had been so thoroughly successful that a design of that
type was first considered. This, however, was soon abandoned, and
a simpler treatment was felt to be required. It was at this point
that the type of building with a plain facade, and a high basement
surmounted by a continuous arcade, was chosen, a type which is
exemplified in the municipal buildings of Italy and Spain, and espe-
cially in the Bibliotheque Ste. Genevieve, by Labrouste, in Paris.
It is this latter building which has raised the cry of plagiarism in
regard to the design for the Library fagade. The buildings belong
to the same type; in all other respects proportions and details
they are absolutely different. The Library in Paris has nineteen
arches upon its front instead of thirteen ; this fact alone would com-
pletely change the relative proportions of the two buildings and
skill in handling proportions is the highest attribute of good archi-
tecture. The Ste. Genevieve also has no moulded course at the sills
ure of the
THE BIBLIOTHEQUE STE. GENEVIEVE, IN PARIS.
of the first-story windows ; has arched heads to those windows; has
one entrance archway only, and no platform in all of which points it
differs from the Boston Library. But besides this, it is absolutely dif-
ferent in individual character. The two buildings resemble each other
because they are of a developed organized type, which has been
found by a process of selection to be well fitted for city library
facades. In like manner church spires resemble each other and so
also do any other well-defined thoroughly evolved buildings devoted to
the same purposes but in character they are as different as are
human beings from each other. The Boston Library design originally
followed the Paris example in that it had only one entrance door.
lfr"ofthl This was considered a mistake, as inadequately indicating the public
Library. character of the building, and after many studies were made the three
equal arches were adopted. They give dignity and an impression of
amplitude to the entrance which one door would not have produced.
There are many buildings which depend for their effect upon a
single architectural motive, reiterated again and again ; the strength of
the motive, and the number of times it is repeated, both largely influ-
encing the general dignity of the building. Such a building, seen in
direct elevation, has often the defect of apparent monotony, but the
facade, if seen in perspective, is impressive from its very repetition.
Such a building is most effective upon a narrow street, and least
when seen across a large open space. The Library, therefore, gains in
effectiveness as one advances toward it, and is at its best as the portals
are approached from the side. It is also difficult to gauge the scale of
a building with such generous proportions from a distance. Scale in
architecture is always relative to the size of man, and unless there is
some permanent factor in the design that is constant in its relation to
the height of the human figure, there is nothing by which to appre-
ciate the scale of the building. Sculpture provides this factor, and, as
the bas-reliefs have been added to the Library facade, it has become
apparently larger, and the groups by St. Gaudens, near the entrance,
will give the final accent of scale to the design.
The effect of the Library will be further improved when Copley
square has been treated as a formal park. A public building should
be properly framed by its environment, and the placing of any build-
ing of importance upon an open space by no means completes the
duty owed to it. The broad platform upon which the Library is
placed adds veiy materially to its dignity, and corresponds to the
series of steps upon which all classic temples were raised ; but, in
addition to this, the spectator should be led up to the building by
terraces, balustrades, or formal groups of foliage, if possible. The
scale of the building will then be better understood, its mass will
assume better proportions, and the effect of civic importance will be
The arcaded motive and the main cornices are carried round the
sides of the building, but both are abandoned when the portion of the
building devoted to the public terminates, and the stack-rooms begin.
From this point the design is simpler, and more frankly utilitarian.
It is thus expressive of the uses of the building within. The end
arcades, however, do not express the rooms behind them, as the
Reading Room has circular ends, and behind it are two stories, instead
of the one high story defined by the arcade of the main fagade. The
architects, however, felt that the arcade motive was so important that
it must be maintained at any risk, and by filling the spaces under the
arches with slabs of Levantine marble, and covering them with grilles,
have sought to produce the appearance of the dark voids of the ^o
windows on the front. Library
To the purist in architecture, who does not believe in falsification
of fact, this is strongly objectionable. There are many precedents,
especially in Renaissance architecture, for the maintenance of archi-
tectural lines at the expense of constructive expression, but none that
we can remember so evident as is this. It was not entirely necessary,
for the curtain-wall within the arcade could have been of the granite,
frankly pierced by windows wherever required, and the arcaded treat-
ment would still have held its own integrity.
The general intention of the building was that it should express
civic dignity, and by its monumental character dominate the square,
and that it should do this by great simplicity of treatment and mag-
nitude of scale. The result has justified the conception.
In the use of material, the architects recognized the fact that refined
detail requires light material to be effective in light and shade, and as
sandstone and marble both are liable to stain, and to the effects of
weather, they chose a light granite. The building is raised upon a
broad platform, which gives it a strong base-line. At the sills of the
front-story windows is a heavily accented base-moulding. Below the
second-story arcade, the horizontal shadows are repeated by a vigor-
ous belt-course decorated wu'i a fret. This moulding forms the cap
of the first-story wall, which thus becomes a continuous plinth to the
arcade above. The stones of the first story have their joints strongly
accented, which gives an appearance of strength to this portion of the
wall. Above the belt-course rises the great arcade of thirteen arches,
the end piers being wide, and holding the arcaded motive firmly. The
second-story wall and piers are perfectly plain. The caps to the piers
have broad abaci and neckings ; the latter decorated by isolated
units of ornament that are in excellent scale with the fagade. These
caps make the third horizontal line of shadows across the building.
From the caps to the eaves the treatment becomes richer, and, there-
fore, apparently lighter. The lower thirds of the arcade openings to
the Reading Room are filled with curtain-walls, pierced with small win-
dows, and serving as memorial tablets. This feature is distinctly bor-
rowed from the Bibliotheque Ste. Genevieve. The jambs and soffits
of the windows are deep, giving great apparent strength to the wall,
and dignity to the building. The cornice is a distinct departure from
the usual classic cornice, and very different from the slightly pro-
jecting cornice of the Ste. Genevieve. The latter is brought close
down to the arches, while in the Library it is well above the arches,
leaving space for a narrow pseudo-frieze, carrying an inscription.
Classic cornices are divided into three parts bedmould, facia,
and corona of which the middle part, or facia, is a surface only, and
is least decorated. The bedmould is the mass of moulding below the
^re C oirthe~ f a i a > afi d supporting it. The corona, as its name implies, crowns the
Library. whole. The different types of cornices may be divided into two
groups, those that have modillions, or brackets projecting and support-
ing the facia, and those that do not. The cornices without the
modillions usually have their bedmoulds considerably enriched ; and
a dentil course, or row of blocks, is an ordinary form for this enrich-
ment to take. The facia on so simple a building as is the Library could
usually be left entirely plain its decoration implying an extremely
rich cornice, as in the Temple of Jupiter Stator. The architects, how-
ever, have attempted successfully to obtain the richness of effect of the
modillioned cornice, by exaggerating the details of the dentilled cornice.
The dentils have been enlarged and widened, and the facia decorated,
and the bronze cymatium, or crowning moulding, much enriched.
The roof of the Library has been criticised as being too low. It is,
however, in excellent proportion to the fagade when seen at a distance,
and disappears entirely from a point of view near at hand. It is rather
too much to expect that it should be equally good from all points.
It is crowned by a rich ridge ornament, which is terminated at each
end by a short, decorative mast. The increase in importance of the
terminals to this roof ornament, and the accent attained by the mast,
are both very essential to prevent the effect of lack of vigor which is
characteristic of an unornamented obtuse angle. The antefix of the
classic temples, and the finials and crockets of Gothic cathedrals, are
corresponding examples of energy infused into otherwise characterless
The Interior Court is one of the most attractive portions of the
building. It has walls of the so-called Pompeian brick, soft brown in
color, and the Special Library Floor is indicated by a series of large
arched windows, forming a crown to the architectural motive. The
Staircase Hall projects into the court, forming the central feature upon
one side, and a very beautiful balcony from the Staircase Landing
overlooks the fountain in the centre of the court below. Around the
first story of the court is an arcaded cloister which is almost a fac-
simile of the lower arcade of the court of the Palazzo Cancellaria at
Rome. The idea of this Interior Court was certainly not borrowed
from the Bibliotheque Ste. Genevieve, as that building has no court.
The architecture of the interior of the building is consistent with
that of the exterior throughout. It is in one style, that of the Renais-
sance, and is simple, finely proportioned, and carefully and skilfully
detailed. Its ceilings, pilasters, and cornices decorate the construc-
tion, and are in no case constructed decoration. There is no attempt
at splendor, but there is great effect of dignity; and this character is
pronounced throughout the Library, and is characteristic of the best
ideals of a great municipality.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LIBRARY.
BY LINDSAY SWIFT.
THE real life of the Public Library as an institution did not
properly begin until January i, 1858, when the then new
building on Boylston street was formally dedicated. About
seventy thousand volumes, however, were already on the shelves when
the doors were opened, or only twenty or thirty thousand less than the
number in the Astor Library, then the largest in the country.
There was no library in the United States at that period which was
public in the sense that the Boston Library was public. Yet the
Library, though its principle was novel, was a natural development in
the intellectual life of the city. At the ceremonies of dedication ad-
dresses were made by Robert C. Winthrop, Edward Everett, and
Alexander H. Rice, then Mayor, all of whom expressed the opinion,
common at the time, that the Library was the culmination of Bos-
ton's educational system.
It was certainly a great movement which, in the seventeen years
since the matter was first (in 1841) publicly agitated, found so com-
plete a realization in an establishment rich in books, in endowments,
and in the fostering spirit of citizens who gave reputation to the city
for learning and character. But this movement was only a material
expression of results, closely subsequent to and dependent upon a
golden age of American intellectual life. Emerson, Longfellow,
Lowell, Hawthorne, Holmes, Whittier, in literature ; Greenleaf, Story,
Parsons, in jurisprudence ; Ticknor, Prescott, Parkman, Motley, Pal-
frey, in history and scholarship ; Webster, Winthrop, Everett, Phil-
lips, in oratory these are some of the names which gave a high
renown to a single city, from 1830 until about 1860. This was also
an era during which was tried the nobly conceived experiment at
Brook Farm, and when, too, the philosophers of Concord sought and
succeeded largely in a simplification of life after ancient models.
Then, too, arose the great moral impulse against human slavery,
quickened by the Puritan conscience to open defiance of human law.
In the midst of all these nervous and highly sensitive social and mental
conditions, the city of Boston was the main ganglion toward which ran
all lines of influence. It is not, then, a fanciful theory which finds a
situation wholly favorable to the development of so important a move-
ment as the establishment of the Public Library. It was the popular
expression, coming naturally and genuinely from the people them-
selves, of what had been long manifesting itself freely in the philos-
ophy, art, music, and literature of a highly cultivated portion of a
well-educated community. That the movement was at heart a pop-
ular one may be seen in the alacrity of response to the suggestion
significance m3i< ^ e by Edward Everett at the dedication, that every person present
of the should give one book to the new institution. The result was an incre-
ment of fifteen hundred volumes.
But, curiously, to a foreigner, who had, however, resided in Boston,
belongs the credit of the earliest suggestion that Boston should pro-
vide herself with suitable accommodations for a library. To Alex-
andre Vattemare is due the gift of fifty volumes from the city of
Paris, which was an earnest of what was soon to follow, and which
formed the real basis of the great collection gathered within a little
more than forty years. In recalling with gratitude the enthusiasm
of M. Vattemare, it will not be amiss, however, to revive the
almost forgotten suggestion made in 1836 by Lemuel Shattuck,
the statistician, that there should be a suitable preservation of the
archives and documents of the city. In his idea was involved the
embryo which might have developed into larger things, but the times
were not then ripe. It is especially memorable that both Shattuck
and Vattemare proposed the securing and preservation of works of
a serious character and of permanent value, and that the first-fruits of
the undertaking were gifts which represented constitutional and social
growth and progress.
It has been urged with reason that the chief function of a public
library should be to collect and preserve everything of a printed or
documentary nature which shall contribute to the accumulation of
materials to serve for the study of civic and national life. No wise libra-
rian can afford to think lightly of the humblest report from the select-
men or the school committee of the obscurest town. The nucleus,
then, of the Library did not represent an attempt to amuse and cater
to the lighter appetites of the citizens, nor were the first gifts the
refuse of ambitious house cleanings or of emptied garrets. The
doubtful generosity of giving what one does not need himself was
not largely displayed in the early days of the Library ; on the other
hand many donors caught the enthusiasm in which the fathers of the
undertaking wrought, and made their giving significant both to the
institution and to themselves.
Slow and patient steps lead from the first active suggestions between
1841 and 1843 to the opening of the first structure in 1858. The
story is largely one of ways and means, and wise caution as well as
hot zeal were necessary to secure the indispensable cooperation of
the city government to make effective the private generosity of indi-
viduals, first among whom must ever be mentioned the name of
Leaving, then, mere annals and chronology, it is a happy moment
when the doors have at last swung open to a long-expectant public,
to recall how faithfully and ably the prime movers of the great under-
taking strove to lay deep and strong the literary foundations. The brass
JOSHUA BATES FROM THE PORTRAIT IN THE TRUSTEES' ROOM.
which commemorates their names in the pavement of the Entrance J^ e nificance
Hall of the Copley-square building is not so enduring as the scholar- of the
ship and fine judgment of the men who saw to the purchase of the
" foundation books." Immense care and shrewdness were necessary
in choosing from sale catalogues and in accepting offers of book-
dealers at home and abroad. Something more than a bookman's taste
was wanted, in order to avoid wastefulness and ill-advised purchases.
But a wise selection gave immediately a tone which has lastingly
pervaded the atmosphere of the institution, and has given it enduring
e nificance quality. Such a library as that of Harvard University, for example,
of the by the nature of its constituency and from the slowness of its normal
Library. . J , _ 111 i i i
increase would naturally be sound in the main, throughout; but it
requires courage and ability to insist that the first great purchases of
a new public library shall represent no weak yielding to capricious
demand or unripened tastes. Popularity was recognized to be a
secondary consideration with those honorable men trusted with the
dispensing of money for permanent, not temporary, results.
It is certain that the Library has never lowered its standard from
the first, in regard to a catholic judgment in the selection of books.
Under Jewett, who was at the head of the Library from 1857 to
1868, symmetrical development was already an established fact.
An examination of the first important printed catalogue, the now
rare "Index" of 1861, reveals the fact, however, that the Library
up to that time was singularly deficient in books and pamphlets relat-
ing to the discussion of slavery and abolition. Necessity, rather than
accident, gave conservatism a stronger hand then than now, but with
increasing years, the need of over-caution in regard to *" tendency "
books has quite disappeared, except perhaps in the direction of what
may be called " physiological" novels of the banal kind. The reserve
which dealt gingerly with the fierce pamphlet discussions previous to
the Civil war was cast aside when the trustees accepted the splendid
bequest of Theodore Parker, a man probably in sympathy politically
with no one of them, and whose library was rich in the literature to
which he was himself so large a contributor. With the printing of
the " Supplement of 1866," which contains the titles of all his library,
properly ends any charge of a narrow policy.
After Jewett follows the extraordinary activity under Winsor, who,
aside from his administrative zeal, built strongly in the direction of
American history and in all that vague domain known as " Ameri-
cana." Under Chamberlain, while the growth of the Library as a
whole continued to be still evenly developing, an impulse was given
to the acquisition of documents, manuscripts, and other material, com-
prised in the inclusive term " Archives." Judge Chamberlain's recent
magnificent gift during his lifetime, of his autographs and manuscripts,
has brought the Library up to a strong position, where it was once
confessedly weak. No institution outside of such libraries as the His-
torical Society of Massachusetts, of New York, or of Pennsylvania,
may yet justly be called rich, in the sense in which European libraries
are rich, in the possession of manuscripts ; but the Boston Library
will not in the future be neglectful of its obligations in this matter.
Within the past ten years an enormous impulse, due to obvious
causes, has been given to the study of political and social science ;
under Mr. Abbott, late president of the trustees, but for five years
practically acting as librarian, there was rapid growth in both these
great fields, as well as in all departments of applied science; nor, The
under the present administration, is there likely to be any diminution f g the Ca
of these important interests.
From the first the attitude of the Library was independent, its
methods empirical. It sought primarily to bring to the homes of its
citizens such treasures as had hitherto been thought available only
within the walls of reference libraries. It strove to democratize
learning, not to centralize it. To place, however, valuable books
almost at random into the hands of persons of all ages and conditions
was from the start a risky and at times costly experiment. Demos, in
its individual unity, has little sense of responsibility, though acting as
a whole it can sharply hold to account those whom it has chosen to
administer its affairs. But it was wisely thought possible by confer-
ring freedom to increase the sense of personal accountability. The
statistics of the Library show how admirably this hope has been real-
ized. The percentage of books destroyed by use is always great; but
in proportion, the cases of thefts and of wanton mutilation are inap-
preciably small. It is always difficult to weigh nicely the amount of
influence which an institution may be exerting, but certain indications,
not always calculable, tell how faithfully the Library has been realizing
its ideal to supplement the highest direct education which the city
could afford to give its children.
In the selection and purchase of books it has already been said that
there has been a steady purpose to make the development of the
Library even and well rounded. Following a well-established policy,
recommendations of new and valuable works are more than ever wel-
come from those who thus show a willingness to be helpful by an offer
of their taste and discrimination. Momentarily, literary and scholarly
interests have seemed to lapse ; again it might appear that popular
demands were sacrificed to fill the wishes of a few. But reaction has
always followed any special movement in one direction, and the Li-
brary, like a well-trimmed ship, has righted itself after sudden lurches.
In the departments of Medicine and of Law no strong effort has ever
been made to usurp a province already well filled by the strong col-
lections supported by members of these two professions in this com-
munity. All other branches of learning, however, are believed to be
properly strengthened, sometimes by an occasional large outlay in one
direction or another, where weakness is evident, sometimes by an
opportune gift of books or of money for specific expenditure, but
generally by the exercise of a catholic and not specialized choice. A
few years since, the Library passed from a condition of mediocrity to
one of high general excellence in archaeological literature, owing to
the presence on the board of trustees of a scholar who gave freely
of his time and learning. In books relating to music no one could
have foreseen that the Library would ever be more than moderately
|^ e nificance represented. A generous citizen not long ago, recognizing perhaps
?f * he that music lay somewhat off the main travelled roads of literature, but
that in the splendid palace on Copley square all the muses might find
hospitality, placed his own priceless and long-loved collection where
it will receive an attention equal to its merits. The new building will
indeed fail of one of its highest purposes if it does not inspire private
munificence in every direction. The story of the Allen A. Brown
Musical Library is only a variation of the type under which come the
splendid gifts now gathered here, each of which declares the personal
taste and character of its donor, but which finely blends and fits into
the harmonious mosaic of a great Library, itself an exponent of the
shifting, variegated, and yet curiously unified life of an intelligent
democracy. The individuality of these libraries, as they appear in all
their variety of binding, is an aesthetic study in itself. At last, then,
these collections, under the present awakening to a larger life, are to
bear rich fruitage which has been long in the green. They are no
longer to be exhibited as the " show "portions, but will have functions
of their own which shall stimulate and energize the organic whole.
Not the least of the results which they are to accomplish is the relief
they will afford the general Library, more than ever open to the whole
public, anxious for quick service and new books, while the specialist and
investigator in his turn will be afforded quiet and larger opportunity.
It is incidental to growth that an institution shall pass through its
periods of lassitude and stagnation before it reaches a position where
it may no longer be called an experiment, subject to the caprices of
public humor or opposition. The Public Library has surely passed
forever the point at which its actions can be called tentative or its
policy a hesitating one ; but at times, no doubt, in its brilliant and
useful past it has seemed to lose touch with the people; its circulation
has declined perilously low ; its finances have also had varying for-
tunes. It has, however, felt its way cautiously, has committed itself to
remarkably few mistakes, and has weathered all storms. During all
this time it has never been insensitive to public criticism, that elixir
upon which American institutions must thrive, even if the taste be
bitter. Only in rare cases has the public been ungenerously censori-
ous ; for the most part, the telling strictures have come from those
who have felt a genuine pride in the Library's success. No honest
objection to its methods will fall upon unwilling ears. The adminis-
tration freely holds that no line of action can possibly succeed which
does not receive the active assistance of a critical, even an exacting
constituency. Nothing can be more deadly to institutional life than
the complacent theory that a Library such as this has achieved its
ends, and has nothing reserved for its future but a strict observance
of economy and a maintenance of established routine.
Every department of the Library feels the unifying and impelling
force of a central intelligence, which is humanely, yet firmly, and with J^ificance
proper discipline, controlling the many interests within its charge. Jvj 16
Already many plans are shaping themselves for a wider and swifter
diffusion of books to reach more closely the whole of Boston's scat-
tered population. With its sister libraries throughout the country the
Boston Public Library will probably enter into friendly and hearty
relations. Its decided individuality, and the fact that it has been the
successful pioneer in many experiments, has kept it mainly on its own
path, without any marked companionship. It has also avoided from
the first any attitude of paternalism, thinking it wiser to hold closest
possible relations with its constituents than to attempt to inform them
too insistently as to what is best for their needs. A conservative yet
cordial acceptance of the spirit of community among American libra-
ries, and an open comity with all educational institutions, such as pre-
vails among European libraries, which the Boston Library resembles
in many ways, would seem to be the safer course.
For nearly forty years the Public Library has followed the fortunes
of the city of Boston. As has been seen, it was one manifestation of
an intellectual vitality, which blossomed so splendidly in the not
unsterile soil of New England civilization two generations ago. Dur-
ing and subsequent to the Civil war, this institution suffered, as all
things suffered in that time of experiment and reaction. Out of the
recklessness and excess of that period has been forming, and is surely
forming more and more, a new spirit, in which seriousness and lofti-
ness of purpose are plainly discernible elements. To thinking men,
there are signs of a new artistic and literary energy, especially in
this city of Boston. Those who remember the wholly unpleasing
architecture which so faithfully expressed the universal tastelessness
of a few years ago, see with deep satisfaction the true significance of
such an achievement as the Library building on Copley square. So
many historical and valued associations have of late been sacrificed to
the pressure of human necessity, that some, not having the prophetic
gift, lament the destruction of what has made the Boston of the past.
The end of this disturbance is not yet. With the exception of the
great historical landmarks, Faneuil Hall, the Old South, the Common,
the Old State House, and the rest, a large part of the material side of
Puritan and New England culture must pass in common with what has
gone already of its religion, politics, and former theories of social exist-
ence. But it is important to preserve the spirit which made such a
past great according to its opportunities. The distinctiveness, the self-
reliance, the fast hold upon high ideals, must ever be in the moral and
mental constitution of this community. The pressure of competition
from outside need not intimidate a people sure of its own position, but
with the strength of courage must go the inspiration of hope that this
city is destined to be both powerful and beautiful. The magnificent
significance system of parks is already a certainty ; and there is assurance that
?C. f he few backward steps will be taken in the movement to adorn the streets
and squares with a sane architecture.
A most hopeful indication of the revival of arts and letters in this
neighborhood is the immense growth of Harvard University in recent
years into an institution which, constantly increasing within itself,
is throwing out a new influence into all phases of national life. In
spite of the noble encouragements everywhere stimulating other col-
leges, Harvard holds its prestige with a sure and strengthening grasp.
This would be impossible in an environment at odds with high en-
deavor. In the midst, then, of a community reasonably sure of its his-
toric and intellectual past, it is not visionary to predict for the Boston
Public Library likewise a future which shall be in line with what is at
present discernible on all sides. Fears are expressed that some great
combination elsewhere may tend to relegate this Library to a compara-
tively inconspicuous rank. There can be no mean rivalry between the
various developments of the great purpose of education in this country ;
but, even if there were, it is encouraging to take account of the fact that
the Public Library is safely lodged in one of the most beautiful build-
ings in the world, possibly the most beautiful library building, and
that it will no longer be possible to say that America has no structure
of Continental dignity and impressiveness. It has an enormous col-
lection of books, and adds yearly an increment so large as to constitute
a good working library in .itself. It has every modern appliance to
facilitate both the public and its working force, which is composed of
well-trained and competent men and women, many of whom are giv-
ing a tone and reputation to their profession and to the institution
which they serve. With such an equipment and in such surroundings,
supported and revered by a community conspicuous for the high
average of the culture of its citizens, facing a future full of the promise
of new birth in arts and letters, the Public Library of the city of Bos-
ton has every reason to be sure of fulfilling its most confident hopes.
What the present has been to those humble beginnings of half a cen-
tury ago, so shall the end of the next fifty years see an institution so
robust, so progressive, so powerful in influence, that its possibilities
can be prefigured only in the mind of the veriest dreamer of to-day.
Excess of confidence, not timorousness, is wanted to carry on great
objects; the task rests lightly on a coming generation, born of those
who made a nation safe after the perils of civil war. A belief in the
coming greatness of Boston is just now needful, not to assign to it the
respectful appellation of a second Edinburgh or the Athens of Amer-
ica, but to beautify it, to revere it, to make its politics and its inner life
as wise and pure as its outward appearance is destined to be fair. In
all this coming welfare, the noble structure on Copley square will
receive and contribute its full share.
ROCKWELL AND CHURCHILL PRESS, BOSTON.
THE Boston Public Library was built by Woodbury & Leigh-
ton, the Boston contractors, and it may fairly be said that
there is no better masonry in the world. In the whole United
States there is no building better adapted to endure the ravages of time.
As the work progressed, the architects kept making important
modifications, for the purpose of making the building as entirely per-
fect as possible. The difficulties of the work were therefore greatly
increased. Time and again the " dummy " cornice of plaster was
hoisted into position on the corner of Dartmouth and Blagden streets,
only to be taken down and changed to be in more perfect accord with
the facade. It was months, indeed, before it could be sent away to be
put into stone. The bricks of the rear wall had to be made especially,
for the architects demanded an unusual length. Even the sand used
in the mortar of the brickwork of the Interior Court was the subject
of long consideration, and a man had to be sent out to search the
shores of Cape Cod for a quality which should perfectly harmonize
with the yellow Pompeian brick and the granite trimmings.
The material from which Woodbury & Leighton constructed the
facades and platform of the Library, is the beautiful pink granite
quarried at Milford, Mass., by the Milford Pink Granite Company.
It is of extraordinary hardness and durability, and but few lime-
stones, even, can compete with it in its soft quality of tone, which does
not, however, in the least, detract from that strength of appearance
which is the peculiar characteristic of all granites. It is pervaded
throughout by the delicate pink tinge from which it is named.
The Public Library is one of the most important buildings in which
the Milford Pink Granite has been used ; it has also been used in the
Elliot Church, Newton; First Universalist Church, Roxbury; St.
Luke's Hospital, New York ; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington,
D. C. ; and is being used at present in the New Columbia College
Library Building, New York City, and many other fine buildings. [ A dvo
THE ornamental brickwork of the interior of the Public
Library the wainscoting of the Periodical Room and the
Catalogue Room, for example, as well as of a large number
of the work-rooms was done by Norcross Brothers. Both yellow
and red brick have been used, with the result, in each case, of a warm
and comfortable effect which is exceedingly pleasant to the eye.
Norcross Brothers prepared and put in place, also, the fine
Amherst sandstone walls in Bates Hall, as well as the treads of York-
shire sandstone in the staircase which leads to Sargent Hall.
But the most notable work of the firm in the Public Library is the
beautiful cloister of the Interior Court, with the marble basin of the
fountain. No one has ever gone over the building without being
captivated by this promenade of white marble, its purity both of tone
and design, its restful and soothing effect. The marble used comes
from Georgia and Tuckahoe, New York, the latter material being
employed in the columns, and the former in the arches and parapet.
The difference between them, however, is hardly noticeable except
by a close examination.
The sandstone walls in Bates Hall, and the marble of the Interior
Court, all of which is of the most careful workmanship, was cut at the
steam stone-works of the Charles River Stone Company, Cambridge-
port, of which Norcross Brothers are the proprietors. [Adv.]
ABOUT eighty-five per cent, of the flooring in the Boston
Public Library is of terrazzo mosaic. In all there are about
60,000 feet of it. The material is very commonly found in
the public buildings of Europe, but it had never been used to any
extent in this country before the Public Library was built. Since
then its use has been spreading, until it now bids fair to take the
place in a large degree of the more regular mosaics.
The architects knew how satisfactory it had proved in European
buildings, and decided that no other floor was likely to be at once so
serviceable, so durable, and so handsome. Bids for furnishing the
terrazzo were called for, and the contract was finally awarded to
the Murdock Parlor Grate Company, of Boston.
The terrazzo can be made any color desired by using various
colored marbles and staining the cement to match. In the Library
the marbles most used are yellow Sienna, Belgian black, brown and
pink Knoxville, and white Carrara. Usually the floor has a border
of a darker color than the body. The line of the border can be
defined with practically perfect exactness.
Some of the terrazzo floors in Europe have been used for cen-
turies and are still in good condition. The cement grows as hard
as the marble, and the resulting floor is a solid sheet of stone. The
time required for laying a terrazzo floor is about two weeks. [Adv.]
NOTE. When the Handbook was going to press,
the decoration by Puvis de Chavannes for the Staircase
Corridor unexpectedly arrived in Boston, and by the
time these pages appear, it will have been put in
position. It was found impossible, however, to do
more than insert in this last form the outline en-
graving on the other side of the page, taken from
L? Illustration, but the publishers wish to say that in
the second edition new engravings will be made and
inserted in their proper place in the text.
WHEN the plans of the New Public Library took shape it was
evident that means would have to be adopted to get the
books out of the stacks into the hands of the readers, with a
minimum of delay. The stacks occupy a great deal of territory, ex-
tending from the Delivery Room, on the Blagden-street side of the
building, then around the corner on another side, six stories in height.
With this obstacle in view the architects communicated with the
Lamson Consolidated Store Service Company, of Boston, and stated
the difficulties of the situation. The Lamson Company recognized that
if the problem was successfully solved, not only would the Boston
Public Library be benefited, but all those great American libraries in the
East, West, and South, which were looking forward to new buildings,
would be able to plan them with a greater freedom than had ever been
thought possible. The problem was successfully solved, and, as a
result, the library of the future may expand almost indefinitely,
with no increase of delay in handling its books.
The Book Railway is a miniature cable carrier, as the above cut
shows. About half a mile of track is used. As soon as a car is
loaded it is pushed from its side-track on to the main line, where it
automatically catches the endless cable cord and is carried to the
elevator well at the rate of soo feet a minute. The car enters the
elevator without a shock and instantly starts the elevator, which stops
as soon as it reaches the Delivery Room, and the carrier then rolls out
onto the receiving-table', to remain until it is returned by a slight push
of the hand. It is possible to send any number of cars on the track.
The same Company is introducing its Pneumatic Tube Carrier
systems, as well as Automatic Elevators, in both large and small
library and office buildings. [Adv.]
ALL the marble-work in the Boston Public Library, with the
exception of that in the Grand Staircase, was done by Bowker,
Torrey & Co., Chardon street, Boston. The magnificence of
the marble is one of the first things which strikes the mind of the
visitor. The greatest pains, indeed, were taken to secure the most
richly-colored and finely-marked pieces. They were carved in simple
masses, with comparatively little elaboration of details, in order to
bring out in broad, highly-polished surface the natural veining and
depth of color. The splendid red mantel in the Delivery Room is per-
haps the best example of this simple, effective treatment. This is so,
indeed, everywhere in the ponderous doors of the Delivery Room
or Bates Hall, in the beautiful fountain of echaillion in the Pompeian
lobby, or in the sheathing of the walls of the vestibule to Bates Hall.
All the shaping and carving of the marble were done in the work-
rooms of Bowker, Torrey & Co. It is altogether within bounds to say
that no better workmanship is to be found in the United States
whether it be that of the plain Carrara wainscot of the corridor of the
Lower Hall, or in the splendid portals of serpentine, Belgian black,
Levanto, and the rest, in the rooms upstairs.
Bowker, Torrey & Co. also did the richly-carved balcony of Indiana
limestone in Bates Hall, and the floor, wainscot, and balustrade of
Yorkshire and Amherst sandstone in Sargent Hall. [Adv.]
THE carpenter-work in the Public Library was done by Ira G.
Hersey. About twenty-five employes were kept busy in the
building itself, and even more in Mr. Hersey's factory at
Cambridgeport. It was one of the largest contracts, taking into
account the fine work required throughout, ever given in this country.
By carpenter-work is meant the entire woodwork in the building,
exclusive of the furniture, and the shelving of the Special Library floor.
It includes the beautiful wainscoting of the Delivery Room, the
panelled oak doors throughout the building, the wainscot at the south
end of Bates Hall, and the miles of shelving, all of which must be
substantial and true, in the six stories of the great book-stack. [Adv.]
THE firm of Mellish, Byfield & Co., Boston, makers of furniture,
interior woodwork, upholstery, etc., received the contract for
the furniture for the new Boston Public Library, consisting of
tables, catalogue cases, newspaper and periodical stands, desks, chairs,
etc. ; also the oak screens at either end of Bates Hall.
They make a specialty of libraries and other public buildings.
Among the other buildings furnished by them are : State Law Li-
brary, Concord, N.H. ; Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, Pa. ; North Attle-
boro' Library; County Court-House, Laconia, N.H. ; Suffolk County
Court-House, Boston ; Newton Club, Newton, Mass. ; club-houses in
New Bedford, Taunton, Charlestown, and other places. [ACT.-J
I ou don't know anything
about how nice your old clothing will look until you send it to us to be cleansed or dyed and
re-finished. Every man or woman has some clothing put away that is only partly worn, but
soiled and wrinkled, and not fit to wear. Send it to us to be rejuvenated,, You will not
regret it and will be happily surprised to receive your clothing looking like new after we have
cleansed and pressed it. We have a repairing department and can put in new sleeves or body
linings. Clothing of all kinds cleansed or dyed; also, rugs, carpets, lace curtains, draperies,
blankets, feathers, gloves, and all materials.
Blankets cleansed and rebound $1.00 per pair. Lace and muslin curtains done up like
new, $1.00 per pair and upwards.
French Dyeing & Cleansing'
Establishment and Laundry.
MAIN OFFICES :
17 Temple Place, Boston. 365 Fifth Ave., New York.
284 Boylston St., Back Bay. 2206 Washington St., Roxbury. 393 Broadway, So. Boston.
Bundles called for and delivered.
Established 1829. Largest in America.
Our Laundry Work is Perfection.
MECHANICS FAIR, BOSTON.
FOR the ceilings in the Bos-
ton Public Library plaster
was used where the archi-
tects desired magnificence of effect
as a ground for decoration, as
in Sargent Hall, or in splendid
panels and colored, as in Bates
Hall. This " Fibrous Plaster/' as
it is called, was furnished, modelled,
and applied by David Mclntosh,
1 66 Devonshire street, Boston.
DAMRELL & UPHAM.
Scientific, Medical, Agricultural,
Standard and Miscellaneous Books,
Bibles, Prayer Books, and Church
283 Washington St., cor. School St., |
M.C.M.A. Building, Huntington Ave.
(Very near the New Public Library.)
Now Open, and to continue till Nov. jo.
With a record of Eighteen successful Exhibitions,
the Managers expect the Nineteenth to equal, and
in some respects surpass, those of former years.
In addition to
FINE WORKING EXHIBITS IN
MACHINERY, AND NOVELTIES IN
The public will specially appreciate the
Art Galleries and Poster Exhibit,
which form unquestionably the largest and choicest
collection ever shown in New England.
Having regard to the universal interest in the
Best Agencies for Educational Development, the
School Exhibit (MANUAL TRAINING, HIGH and
GRAMMAR) will deservedly attract much attention.
Special attractions, such as the ELECTRIC
FOUNTAIN, which has cost several thousand
dollars to erect.
BEST MUSIC; Four Concerts Daily.
Comfort of visitors carefully provided for. Res-
taurant in charge of a first-class caterer.
Note announcement of CHEAP EXCURSIONS
on all railroads.
NONE BETTER FOR GIFT USE.
545 Atlantic Ave.
ALL DEALERS SELL "BAKER'S.
To be assured that you are getting value received for your money every time
BUY SPOONS, FORKS AND KNIVES
Made by ROGERS & BRO., WATERBURY, CONN.,
whose experience extends over half a century, and who are known to every first-class
jeweler in the United States as the makers of the celebrated STAR ^ BRAND.
EVERY ARTICLE IS STAMPED "* ROGERS & BRO., A i."
We guarantee every article bearing the above stamp. Money refunded for every
piece not found to be exactly as represented, upon returning the same to ROGERS
& BRO., WATERBURY, CONN., or No. 16 CORTLANDT STREET, NEW
Henry F. Miller
PARLOR GRAND PIANO.
The musical quality of tone, the feeling of the
action and its susceptibility for producing extreme
pianissimo and fortissimo effects, the artistic de-
sign of case, all contribute to its superiority. This
is apparent to any musician who gives the piano a
AN IDEAL PIANO
OF IDEAL SIZE FOR PARLOR USE.
MILLER & SONS
88 Boylston Street,
Miller's Reform Boots and Shoes,
FOR MEN AND WOMEN,
Will annihilate Corns, Bunions, and all troubles
of the feet.
Need no breaking in, and
recommended by our best
physicians. Send for pam-
phlet. Order by mail.
8 L Beacon St. .Boston, Mass.
SOLD FROM STOCK OR MADE TO ORDER.
E. N. BAGG,
Only Place of Business.
Established 34 Years,
Proprietor of the Famous
i-\ and Sole Boston Agent for the Celebrated
* * MILLER New York HAT. ^
T HIGH GRADE FURS R
of pur own importation and manufacture. Latest designs in all
S desirable Furs for ladies' and gentlemen's wear. Repairing and
altering a specialty. Lowest prices consistent with quality and
Joseph A. Jackson.
I Remember the Address.
Al 21 WASHINGTON STREET.
.. !__ J Just North of Summer Street.
~ II II II II II Illlll ill III III III II III! III! ill II II Ililllllll || II Hill || i||[ || || II II II II M_
I OPECIALTIES [
FOR THE MOUTH. I
I Tooth Brushes,
| Tooth Powders, |
: Tooth Soaps, |
= Mouth Washes.
~ Our preparations for the mouth are made from formulas open to the dental pro- 5
fession, and approved by leading dentists, pharmaceutists, and physicians. They are g
_; recommended by thousands of dentists to their patients. We cordially invite the -
= public, the ladies especially, to examine our stock.
I The S. S. White Dental Mfg. Co. 8
| no and 112 BOYLSTON STREET, BOSTON, MASS. |
= n ii n ii ii ii ii ii it n ii ii ii n n it ii ii n ii n n i i n n ii n ii ii ii ii ii ii ir
A Superb Set of 4
f Photographs of the \
Library, by Soder- ]
I- holz, may be found J
j- on exhibition and
I" sale at Williams & 5
Everett's Fine Art ]
|. Rooms, at The Old J
f- Corner Book Store,
I and at the Hand- |
fi book Publication -
^ Office, 6 Beacon -|
Thfese Soderholi Photographs are by far the best that have ever been taken of the Library,
+ * *
4 if 4
+ + !
^> To cover cost of -fi
k f wrapping and mail- ^
ing, the price of this |^
4. Handbook by mail J^
^ will be sixteen cents, -f
It will be sent post- f
paid to any address _:
*t. ! !
4 on receipt of eight ^
^ two-cent stamps by ^
' the publishers, ^
f* *t* *t*
f, Curtis and Compa- j
% ny, 6 Beacon Street, -|<
f- Boston. ^
Those who desire to subscribe for the forthcoming Edition de I,uxe of the Handbook, are
invited to address the publishers.
& m ARCH
This card will be a sufficient
note to the reader, of a Printing
House of Established Reputation;
one with which it is safe to deal,
both as to quality of production
and reasonableness of prices*
The Boston Public Library
Issues of Catalogues and Bulletins
are a monument of success in
work of care and nicety.
This "Handbook," printed by us,
we hope may prove a fair example
of creditable production*
R. JOSEPH LINDON SMITH, the dec-
orator of the Venetian Lobby in the Public
Library, has done a poster of exceptional beauty
for The Handbook of the New Public Library
in Boston. In a window cut in a wall of
Sienna marble, a little boy sits reading a big
book. Beyond is a balustrade, on which is set
an earthen pot, like those in the Interior Court,
containing a small tree. In the distance is an
Italian landscape of warm, vivid color. The
whole is in character with the spirit of the
Italian Renaissance, from which the Public
Library is legitimately descended.
For the benefit of Poster Collectors a
special edition of fifty copies has been printed on
Japan paper, of which thirty-five are for sale.
Copies will be sent, securely rolled, on receipt
of the price, $2.50. CURTIS AND COMPANY,
6 Beacon Street, Boston.
"A good digestion to you all; and, once more,
I shoiver a -welcome on you."
Barley that is selected with the greatest care,
and subjected to the most skilful and intelligent
processes known to maltsters ought to make a
beverage fit for Queens and Kings and all the
rest of mankind.
It not only ought to, but it does.
We are able to guarantee our "Monogram."
Our storage warehouses enable us to keep on
hand a stock of 30,000 barrels at a time. This
assures the proper age for perfect Lager. Put
up in pints and half-pints for home use.
Order a case from the
H. & J. PFAFF BREWING Co.
16 Arch Street (Telephone 2608), Boston, Mass.
ARGER dividends to policy holders are
paid by this Company than by any other.
Its policy contracts are broad and just.
It has no fluctuating securities.
It has successfully passed the test of 36 years
Its volume of business increases, and its ex-
penses constantly decrease.
It confines its business to the most healthful
regions of the United States, and is most care-
ful in the selection of classes of risks.
If not already insured in the NORTHWESTERN
MUTUAL Life Insurance Company it is time,
NOW, to think about it.
A. E. CARPENTER, SPECIAL AGENT, ROOM 34,
INTERNATIONAL TRUST Co.'s BUILDING, 45
MILK STREET, BOSTON, is prepared to furnish
rates, plans and full information.
Surplus, (increase of $2,787,659 during last year,) $15,806,265.63.
WELCOME SOAP WELCOME
WELCOME SOAP WELCOME
FOR FAMILY USE.
^** ************************ ******^^.
The North Star is full of meaning to all
who "go down to the sea in ships."
To the American Housewife the
of Pure Leaf Lard, Hams, Bacon,
and Sausage is quite as much of a
guiding principle. Every care is
taken in the preparation of these
food products. This is one of the
several radical reasons why every-
body insists on having the "North
Star " Brand.
North Packing & Provision Co.
33 & 34 North Market Street,
____jjAjm Herbert H. Barnes,
djfc\ ' Manager.
Craven ettes, for
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Misses and Boys,
at popular prices,
$2.00 to $25.00.
Most select line in Boston.
Everything in Rubber Goods.
"If it's Rubber, we've got it."
Cleve & Krirn,
Metropolitan Rubber Co.,
Summer St., Boston.
BOSTON'S FASHIONABLE WINTER HOME.
Facing the beautiful Copley square. This
elegantly appointed establishment has been
thoroughly renovated in all its departments dur-
ing the summer and is now ready for the recep-
tion of either transient or permanent guests.
Rooms single or en suite. Cuisine unexcelled.
Only two minutes' walk from Huntington-ave-
nue station of B. & A. R. R.
American and Buropean Plan.
C. A. JONES & CO.
made of cotton; will not harden; washed readi-
ly; also Knitted Elastic Padding, for filling
Mattresses, Church Cushions and the like.
Mattress Pads protect the mattress, and rejuve-
nate the hard bed which you sought to get rid
of. Also, Padding for all Upholstery purposes.
Knitted Mattress Co.
Canton Junction, Mass.
39T4S jammer qtfc
The latest styles.
The best workmanship.
A choice and well selected assort-
ment of the best Paris, Berlin, and
New York makers.
STRICTLY ONE PRICE.
Seraphs share with thee
: hut Art, oh man, is thine alone."
HALF TONE WORK
IN THIS HANDBOOK
WAS DONE BY THE
SUFFOLK ENGRAVING Co.
275 WASHINGTON ST., BOSTON.
EVERY FACILITY FOR
PRODUCING THE BEST
ESTABLISHED 1831. INCORPORATED 1894.
S. S. PIERCE Co.
Importers and Grocers.
Sjn.l fi ir ['rice List.
OPPOSITE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY.
S. S. PIERCE CO.
Copley Square, > Boston.
Central Wharf J
Coolidye's Corner, Brookline.
Send for Price List.