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Page 14. For "Bellamont" read Bellomont. 

Page 143. For "Baptist Theological Seminary " read Baptist Union Theological Semi- 

Page 252. For " capitol " read capital. 
Page 271. For " W. P. Taylor" read W. B. Taylor. 

note.) For "nfyof" read T6irog. 

Page 618. For "Begun (in 1872) by C. R. Lowell, etc.," read Begun by C. R. Lowell ; 
finished, after his death, and edited by C. A. Cutter. The first sheet was issued June 25, 
1872. , 


Page 5. For "Journal of Speculative Philosophy for 1869" read Journal of Specula- 
tive Philosophy for 1870. 



LETTER of the Commissioner of Education to the Secretary of the Interior vii-ix 


CHAPTER I. Public libraries a hundred years ago, Horace E. Scudder 1 

II. School and asylum libraries, editors 38 

III. College libraries, editors 60 

IV. Theological libraries in the United States : 

Part I, a librarian 127 

Part II, Prof. John S. Sumner, S. J 137 

Part III. editors 142 

V. Law libraries, Stephen B. Griswold, LL. B 161 

VI. Medical libraries in the United States, J. S. Billings, assistant sui< 

geon, U. S. A '. 171 

VII. Scientific libraries in the United States, Prof. Theodore Gill, M. D., 

Ph. D 183 

VIII. Libraries in prisons and reformatories, editors 218 

IX. Professorships of books and reading : 

Part I, F. B. Perkins 230 

Part II, William Mathews, A. M 240 

X. Libraries of the General Government, editors 252 

XI. Copyright, distribution, exchanges and duties, editors 279 

XII. State and Territorial libraries, Henry A. Homes, LL. D 292 

XIII. Historical societies in the United States : 

Part I, Henry A. Homes, LL. D 312 

Part II, W. I. Fletcher 325 

Part III, editors .' 332 

XIV. Young men's mercantile libraries, F. B. Perkins 378 

XV. Young men's Christian associations, Cephas Brainerd 386 

XVI. Free libraries, J. P. Quincy 389 

XVII. Public libraries in manufacturing communities, W. I. Fletcher 403 

XVIII. Public libraries and the young, W. I. Fletcher 412 

XIX. How to make town libraries successful, F. B. Perkins 419 

XX. Reading in popular libraries, Justin Winsor 431 

XXI. Art museums and their connection with public libraries, Prof. H. S. 

Frieze, LL. D 434 

XXII. Free town libraries, editors 445 

XXIII. Free reading rooms, W. C. Todd 460 

XXIV. Library buildings, Justin Winsor 465 

XXV. Tbe organization and management of public libraries, William F. 

Poole 476 

XXVI. College library administration, Prof. Otis H. Robinson 505 

XXVII. Library catalogues, C. A. Cutter 526 

XXVIII. Catalogues and cataloguing : 

Part I, Melvil Dewey 623 

Part II.S.B. Noyes 648 

I 'art III, Jacob Srlnvart/ 657 

Part IV, John J. Bailey 660 




CUM ii i: \.\l\. On indexing periodical and miscellaneous literature, Prof. Otis 

H. Robinson 663 

\ \ X . Binding and preservation of books, A. R. Spofford 673 

\\\I. IViiodical literature and society publications, A. K. Spollon!.. 679 

\\XII. Works of reference for libraries, A. K. Spotlbrd 686 

XXXIII. Library memoranda, Justin Winsbr 711 

\X\IV. Titles of books, Prof. Otis H. Robinson 715 

XXXV. Hook indexes, F. B. Perkins 727 

XXX VI. Library bibliography, A. R. Spofford ?:;:? 

XXXVII. Library reports and statistics, editors 745 

XXXVIII. Public libraries of ten principal cities, several contributors.. . 837 
XXXIX. General statistics of all public libraries in tbe United States, 

editors 1010 

IMT.X .. 1175 



Loganian Library, Philadelphia, Pa 7 

Red wood Library, Newport, R. 1 17 

Wellesley College Library, Wellesley, 91 

Library of the College of New Jersey, Princeton, X. J 101 

Public Library, Concord, Mass 391 

Roxbury Branch Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass 397 

Public Library, Northampton, Mass 441 

Public Library, Worcester, Mass 449 

Cornell Library, Ithaca, N. Y 457 

Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass 861 

Boston Public Library, (Bates Hall,) Boston, Mass 865 

Boston Public Library, (reading room for periodicals,) Boston, Mass 869 

Public Library, Cincinnati, ()., (exterior) 909 

Public Library, Cincinnati, O., (interior) 913 

Lenox Library, New York,N. Y 947 

Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa 955 

Ridgway Library, Philadelphia, Pa 959 

Apprentices' Library, Philadelphia, Pa 971 



Washington, D. G., August 31, 1876. 

SIR : I have the honor to submit the completed report on Public 
Libraries in the United States, undertaken in the year 1874, and ordered 
printed by your predecessor. 

This report, it will be observed, constitutes a part of the exhibit made 
by tiis Office at. the Centennial Exhibition, and is modified accordingly. 
Lack of funds prevents the reproduction here of the graphic views of 
the growth of libraries based on the statistics of this report, which form 
a part of that exhibit. The other portions of the special exhibit are made 
up of views of library buildings and collections of reports and catalogues 
of libraries. 

In no other country, it is believed, do so many libraries publish either 
catalogues or reports. 

It having been decided to do what was in the power of the Office to 
increase the usefulness of public library work in this country, by pub- 
lishing information respecting public libraries and the results of the 
experience of librarians, the undertaking was committed to the special 
care of Mr. Samuel B. Warren, who manifested an intelligent interest in 
the subject, and whose attention had already been occupied with it in 
connection with the statistics of libraries collated and published in my 
annual reports. He has remained in charge until its completion, and 
much of the value of the report is due to his judgment, scholarship, and 

After the difficulties of the task had so increased as to require addi- 
tional labor, Maj. S. K Clark, long before favorably known to me for 
his ability, extensive reading, facility in research, and thorough method 
of work, temporarily employed in the Office, was assigned to assist Mr. 
Warren. They are the editors. Their labors have not been limited to 
the forms or hours of office work. 

Special acknowledgments are due Mr. Thomas Hampson, the accom- 
plished proof-reader of the Office, not only for the unwearied care he 
has bestowed upon the proofs, but also for his many important critical 
suggestions in every part of the work ; also to Miss Mary E. McLellan, 
an assistant in the statistical division of the Office, for the excel 
lent manner in which she has performed the difficult task of compil- 
ing the statistical tables; also to my chief clerk, Dr. Charles Wanvn, 

viii Public Libraries in the United States. 

for the care with which he has carried out my wishes when he has acted 
in my place. I am indebted to the officers of the Government Printing 
Office, especially to Capt. H. T. Brian, foreman of printing, for efficient 
assistance in the mechanical execution of the work ; to many geutlem en 
who have aided by advice and suggestions in the preparation of this re- 
port; to Mr. A. R. Spoffbrd, Librarian of Congress, who has throughout 
the progress of the work cordially given the benefit of his wide experi- 
ence and intimate knowledge of the subject; to Mr. Justin Winsor and 
Mr. F. B. Perkins, of the Boston Public Library; to Mr. C. A. Cutter, 
of the Boston Athenaeum ; to Mr. W. F. Poole, of the Chicago Public 
Library ; to Mr. H. A. Homes, of the New York State Library ; to 
Mr. W. H. Venable, of Cincinnati; and to the other contributors, 
nearly all of whom have rendered much valuable aid in addition to the 
treatment of the special subjects confided to them. To many librarians 
and others interested in libraries whose names do not appear as con- 
tributors, many thanks are due for valuable 1 assistance and advice, 
among whom should be mentioned President D. C. Oilman, LL. D., of 
the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore ; Rev. Frederic Viuton, A. M ., 
librarian of the College of New Jersey; Mr. Thomas Hale Williams, 
librarian of the Minueapo is Athenaeum, Minneapolis, Minn. ; Mr. S. S. 
Green, librarian of the Worcester (Mass.) Free Public Library; Mr. 
Charles Evans, librarian of the Public Library of Indianapolis, Ind. ; 
Mr. E. B. Elliott and Mr. Rafael A. Bayley, of the United States Treas - 
ury Department ; Mr. J. G. Barn well, of the Philadelphia Mercantile 
Library ; General B. S. Ewell, president of the College of William and 
Mary, Virginia; Mr. R. A. Brock, secretary of the Virginia Historical 
Society; Rev. William S. Southgate, Annapolis, Md.; Mr. J. L. Ridgely, 
G. C. Secretary I. O. O. F., Baltimore ; Mr Addison Hutton, architect, 
Philadelphia; Mr. J. W. McLaughlin, architect, Cincinnati; Mr. R. M. 
Hunt, architect, New York ; Messrs. Sturgis and Brighaia, architects, 
Boston; Mr. W. A. Potter, late Supervising Architect United States 
Treasury Department; and the Hon. George F. Hoar, of Worcester, 
Mass. To the many school officers, librarians, and officers of societies 
and other correspondents, who have kindly furnished reports and infor- 
mation, thanks are gratefully tendered. 

The issue of this report makes it proper to call attention to some 
features of the plan of work in this Office. 

It has been my desire in reference to each phase of education or class 
of institutions, such as colleges, libraries, and normal schools, embraced 
in the annual reports of the Office 

First, to perfect the statistics as far as the means appropriated would 
permit and as voluntary cooperation should be accorded. 

The extreme diversity in the manner of conducting the business and 
keeping the records of educational institutions of all classes in the coun- 
try rendered that harmony of results essential to useful comparison and 
correct inference difficult of attainment ; and required (a) sound discrim - 

Letter. ix 

ination in selecting the points of the various systems concerning which 
inquiries should be addressed; and (b) great care in devising a nomen- 
clature which, suitable for general adoption, should mean the same to ail. 

Second. A second part of my plan of work has been, when the statis- 
tics of any class of institutions become reasonably complete, to use them 
as the basis of a special report, embracing the most important points in 
their history, administration, and management ; then to bring out, for 
the benefit of each, the most instructive lessons in the experience of all. 
This report is the first attsmpt to carry out the second portion of the 

Third. As a third item in the plan of work upon statistics, I have kept 
in mind a correspondence in substance and form which should enable a 
student in the future to gather those rich results that can only be 
derived from facts noted year by year and extending through a long 
period of time. 

Fourth. A fourth item in the plan looks toward bringing into a com- 
mon nomenclature the statistics of the principal phases of education or 
classes of institutions throughout the world. 

* It will be observed that neither the third nor fourth part of this plan 
for the statistical work of the Office has been attempted to any consid- 
erable extent in this report. If the means of the Office were adequate, 
it would be my desire to treat each year, in a special publication, some one 
class of institutions or systems included in the tabulated portions of my 
annual report. The value of a series of these comprehensive surveys of 
various systems, methods, or institutions of education could hardly be 
overestimated. The demand for them is increasing, and will not long be 
satisfied without them. Those who comprehend the general plan of the 
work of this Office need no explanation of its difficulties. 

Acknowledging, with great pleasure, the constant and cordial cooper- 
ation of your Department, 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




Secretary of the Interior. 



For forty years the importance of public libraries as auxiliaries to 
public education has been recognized and dwelt upon by American edu- 
cators wherever common schools have flourished. Beginning as ad- 
juncts of the district schools in New York and Massachusetts, free 
public libraries in some form have been established in nearly twenty 
States of the Union. It was known that within the last quarter of a 
century the number of public libraries had greatly multiplied, and that 
they had assumed a position of commanding importance as an educa- 
tional force, but there were no data for determining the'exteut of their 


The influence of the librarian as an educator is rarely estimated by 
outside observers, and probably seldom fully realized even by himself. 
Performing his duties independently of direct control as to their details, 
usually selecting the books that are to be purchased by the library and 
read by its patrons, often advising individual readers as to a proper 
course of reading and placing in their hands the books they are to read, 
and pursuing his own methods of administration generally without ref- 
erence to those in use elsewhere, the librarian has silently, almost un- 
consciously, gained ascendency over the habits of thought and literary 
tastes of a multitude of readers, who find in the public library their only 
means of intellectual improvement. That educators should be able to 
know the direction and gauge the extent and results of this potential 
influence, and that librarians should not only understand their primary 
duties as purveyors of literary supplies to the people, but also realize 
their high privileges and responsibilities as teachers, are matters of 
great import to the interests of public education. 


Recognizing these conditions, the United States Commissioner of 1M- 
ucation began in 1870 to gather and publish the statistics of public 
libraries in this country, a work which lias been steadily continued each 
year since that time. As the statistics became more complete ami the 
number of libraries making reports increased, the awakened interest of 
all engaged in educational work expressed itself in more frequent calls 

xii J'ublir. Libraries in the United States. 

for inforn.atiou regarding not only the number and extent of libraries 
already existing, but also respecting the different plans of organization, 
sources of revenue, etc. ; and asking advice and information on the sub- 
jects of library economy and administration, the selection, arrangement, 
cataloguing, binding, and preservation of books, the proper buildings, 
and all the multifarious interests of a public library. Similar calls came 
from librarians, from library commit tees, and from others charged with 
the duty of organizing new libraries, but having little experience in such 

At the same time it became evident that the number of libraries con- 
tinued to increase in an unexampled ratio, and that a reasonably com- 
plete account of their condition could be obtained only by a special and 
systematic inquiry. The increasing demands for information already 
mentioned not only made the need of such an inquiry imperative, but 
required that the result should be accompanied by the suggestions and 
conclusions of librarians and others whose ability and experience enable, 
them to speak with authority on library subjects. 

Another consideration was influential in determining the preparation 
of this report. The interest of the General Government in libraries, as 
shown by its liberal grants to the Territories and by the building up at 
the capital of the nation of valuable working libraries for the several 
Departments, and its disposition to add to the general sum of knowl- 
edge among the people as evinced by the liberal expenditures for the 
publication and distribution of public documents have never been 
measured. It is known, in a general way, that many million volumes of 
Government publications of greater or less value have been distributed 
among the people at a cost of some millions of dollars; how many no 
one can tell. Notwithstanding the depreciatory criticism of this class 
of publications, there is probably hardly one among them that does 
not possess positive value to many persons. The results of the explo- 
rations and surveys that made the Pacific Railroad a possibility were 
published by the Government; the patent room of the Boston Public 
Library containing the slighted Patent Office Reports and Specifications 
was visited for study and consultation last year by 1,705 persons; and 
the number of users of these reports is yearly increasing; the Medical 
and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, published by the Gov- 
ernment, forms one of the most valuable contributions to medical and 
surgical science that has appeared within the last century; and an 
element of actual value belongs to most if not all these publications. 
They a i<- designed lor the use and benefit of all the people, and should 
be placed where they will be readily accessible to all. It is hardly cred- 
itable that there should not be in any public depository in the United 
ven in the National Library, a complete series of Government 
publications. Thanks to a higher estimate of their value and impor- 
tance, earnest efforts are being made to supply this deficiency by several 
libraries, especially the one mentioned, and it is hoped they may prove 

Introduction. xiii 

successful. Many librarians are unacquainted with the steps they 
should'take to procure these publications for their libraries as issued, 
and so lose the opportunity of procuring them at all, and many large 
communities are thus deprived of benefits intended for them. Private 
individuals cannot be expected to collect complete series of public docu- 
ments, and if they should do so the benefit to the public would be small. 
Public libraries are the proper place of deposit for such collections, and 
the time has arrived when, by knowledge of their privileges and of the 
means of acquisition on the part of librarians, and by more systematic 
and thorough methods of distribution by the Government, these collec- 
tions will be begun and regularly increased and maintained in every 
part of the Union. 

A careful abstract of the laws and regulations governing the distri- 
bution and exchange of public documents by the General Government 
and the Smithsonian Institution, and a statement furnished by the 
Treasury Department at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, 
showing the amounts expended by the General Government for libraries 
and for certain special publications for distribution, were therefore 
deemed essential and will be found in the proper places' in this report. 

It has been judged both necessary and expedient to issue the report 
at once and as a whole, rather than in a series of Circulars of Informa- 
tion extending over a considerable period, not only because the proper 
presentation of the subject and the exigencies of the case seemed to re- 
quire it, but for reasons of economy as to time, labor, and expense. 


After considerable study of the subject and consultation and corre- 
spondence with eminent librarians, the following plan was adopted : 
To present, first, the history of public libraries in the United States ; 
second, to show their present condition and extent; third, to discuss 
the various questions of library economy and management; and fourth, 
to present as complete statistical information of all classes of public 
libraries as practicable. 

The number of libraries is so great and the history of many of them 
so rich that to print even the briefest sketch of each one individually, 
the plan adopted by Jewett and Rhees, would require many volumes, 
and it therefore became necessary to divide them into classes and treat 
of their history in that form, though this plan has been departed from 
as regards the principal libraries of colleges, of theological schools, and 
of historical societies, brief sketches of which will be found in the proper 
chapters. A further exception will be found in Chapter XXXVIII. 
which contains sketches of the public libraries in leading cities of the 
United States, where the chief depositories of literary treasures are found. 
Gentlemen who by their local information or their special knowledge 
were considered competent were invited to prepare such sketches. It 
has been found necessary, as the plan of this report has been modified 

xiv Public Libraries in the United States. 

by circumstances, to abridge some of the notices furnished and to omit 
others. In many instances work has been done and appears which 
was performed by librarians of particular libraries, but the general re- 
sponsibility remains with the authors whose names are given at the 
beginning of the sketches for the several cities. 

The one hundredth year of our existence as a nation was deemed a 
suitable occasion on which to present a sketch of American public libra- 
ries at the time of the Revolution. It has been prepared with great care 
and most industrious research, and forms a chapter that will excite the 
deep interest of every lover of his country who reads it and contrasts 
the literary resources of our country one hundred years ago with those of 
the present time. 

Public libraries are next considered in their direct relations to edu- 
cation, as adjuncts of common schools and academies, of colleges, of 
professional schools, theological, law, medical, and scientific ; and as a 
necessary factor in the elevation of the unfortunate in asylums, and in 
the instruction and elevation of the vicious and criminal in reforma- 
tories and prisons. 

The necessity and practicability of enhancing the usefulness of col- 
lege libraries by means of professorships of books and reading are dis- 
cussed and advocated. 

Next the history of the relations of the General and State Govern - 
ments to public libraries is traced, showing the province of each as 
defined by necessity and experience, and exhibiting in detail the results 
that have followed. 

Following this the libraries of historical societies, of young men's 
mercantile and young men's Christian associations have been sketched, 
and their influence on the increase and diffusion of intelligence described. 

And last, free public libraries, established and maintained on the same 
principle that free public schools are, receive attention and considera- 
tion. These libraries are regarded as fulfilling for all a function similar 
to that which the college libraries perform tor those fortunate enough 
to pursue a college course ; rightly administered they are indeed what 
one writer has called them, u the people's colleges." 

The propriety and feasibility of establishing art museums in connec- 
tion with free public libraries are discussed, and considerations favoring 
the creation of such museums urged. 

The history of the several classes of public libraries, together with 
some general considerations touching their management, and some facts 
ivsptM-ting their present extent and condition, having been presented, 
the many details belonging to what may be called the economy and 
administration of public libraries are considered. Here are presented 
the fruits of the ripe experience and best thought of eminent librarians 
respecting the different topics suggested by the above general defini- 
tion ; they will, it is hoped, answer satisfactorily the numerous appeals 
for advice and information, as well as stimulate the already rapid growth 



of free libraries, and so of general intelligence and culture. The division 
and arrangement of subjects in this department are as follows : 1. Li- 
brary buildings, including plans and descriptions. 2. The organization 
and management of public libraries. 3. The administration of college 
libraries. 4. Catalogues, comprising an essay on the subject by C. A. 
Cutter, librarian of the Boston Athenaeum, and a table, chronologically 
arranged, of printed catalogues of American public libraries, followed, 
in a succeeding chapter, by descriptions by their authors of two notable 
catalogues now being published ; a plan of indexing and arranging a 
library, which has received the approval of several distinguished libra- 
rians, and is now in use iu the library of Atnhenst College; and a descrip- 
tion of the classification adopted for the Public School Library of St 
Louis. (The Rules for making a Dictionary Catalogue, by Mr. Cutter, 
are printed separately as Part II of this report, for the convenience of 
librarians, for whose use they were mainly prepared.) 5. Indexing 
periodical and miscellaneous literature, giving a description of the ex- 
cellent plan in use by Professor Robinson, of the University of Rochester, 
N. Y. 6. Binding and preservation of books. 7. Periodical literature 
and society publications. 8. Reference books. 9. Library memoranda. 
10. Titles of books. 11. Book indexes. 12. Library bibliography. 
All of which, it is believed, will be found of high value to librarians 
and others interested in the establishment and management of public 


Considerable space has been devoted to library reports and statistics 
in Chapter XXXVII, where will be found, besides remarks and illustra- 
tive tables showing the discrepancies in the reports of different investi- 
gators and the difficulties of gathering such statistics, the following,, 
viz: A table of public libraries in 1776, 1800, and 1876 ; a table show- 
ing the number and extent of public libraries which now contain 10,000 
volumes or more in the years 1836, 1846, 1849, 1856, 1857-'58, 1863 r 
1874, and 1875; a table showing the increase iu number of American 
public libraries during the last one hundred years, by periods of twenty - 
five years each, and the number of volumes they contained in 1875 ; a 
summary table of public libraries numbering 500 volumes and upward,, 
classified according to size ; a summary table of all public libraries in the 
United States, by classes and States; and a number of other tables re- 
specting funds, circulation of books, loss and wear of books, etc., together 
with souie analyses of the library tables published by the Bureau of Ed u- 
cation in 1871, L872, and 1874; and last, the statement of the expendi- 
tures of the General Government on account of libraries and publica. 
tions, before mentioned. 

Following this will be found sketches of libraries in ten of the chief cities 
of the Union, prepared by gentlemen (generally librarians) in the respec- 
tive cities. One of these papers, describing the libraries of Charles- 
ton, S. C., contains also some notices of public libraries in the Southern. 

xvi Public Libraries in tJie United States. 

States; and another on the public libraries of San Francisco notices 
other libraries on the Pacific coast. Chapter XXXIX comprises the 
general table of statistics of all public libraries in the United States 
from which reports have been received, prefaced by a summary of its 
contents, and followed by a list of the names of librarians and other 
officers reporting. 

A few items gathered from the tables of statistics will indicate the 
remarkable growth and present extent and importance of public libraries 
in the United States. So far as is known, there were in 1776 twenty- 
nine public libraries in the thirteen American colonies, and they num- 
bered altogether 45,623 volumes; in the year 1800 the number of li- 
braries had increased to 49, and the number of volumes to about 80,000; 
in 1876 there are reported (including the society libraries of students in 
colleges, reported separately) 3,682 libraries, numbering in the aggre- 
gate 12,276,964 volumes, besides 1,500,000 pamphlets; the latter very 
incompletely reported. 

The above do not include the libraries of common and Sunday schools, 
except a few of the former class not of sufficient importance to materi- 
ally modify the figures given. For several reasons, mainly because it 
did not seem essential to the completeness of this report, no attempt 
was made to collect the statistics of church and Sunday school libraries, 
of which the number is almost as great as that of the churches in the 
United States ; these contained altogether, according to the census of 
1870, about 10.000,000 volumes. 

Of the 3,682 libraries, 358 report permanent funds, amounting alto- 
gether to $6,105,581, and 1,364 report that they possess no such funds, 
while the returns of 1,960 libraries afford no information on the subject. 
Only 742 libraries reported the yearly circulation, which forms an aggre- 
gate of 8,879,869 volumes ; 1,510 reported an aggregate yearly increase 
of 434,339 volumes; 830 reported a total yearly income of $1,398,756; 
while 769 reported an aggregate yearly expenditure of $562,407 for 
books, periodicals, and binding ; and 643 reported a total yearly expend- 
iture of $682,166 for salaries and incidental expenses. 

The increasing rate of growth of public libraries in the last twenty-five 
years is well exhibited by the table, which shows that 20 libraries were 
formed from 1775 to 1800, 179 from 1820 to 1825,551 from 1825 to 1850, 
and 2.240 from 1850 to 1875. It is altogether probable that nearly all 
the 688 libraries the dates of organization of which are not reported 
were also begun within the last twenty-five years. 

It has been impracticable to obtain definite and complete returns of 
the total amount received by public libraries in the last century from 
gifts and bequests in money; some $15,000,000 in all are reported, but 
it is safe to estimate the whole amount at $30,000,000. This amount 
includes only private benefactions and does not take account of money 
received from Government, State, or municipal grants or taxation. No 
estimate can be formed of the vast contributions of books that have been 
made during that period. 

Introduction. xvii 


It will, of course, be understood that no attempt has been made to 
collect information respecting private libraries. While a multitude of 
these libraries exist, thousands of which are of great value, some rival- 
ing in completeness, in special departments of knowledge, even the col- 
lections of the leading public libraries, it would be impracticable, if 
otherwise expedient, for the General Government to gather and present 
reasonably complete and satisfactory information respecting them. On 
this subject the remarks of Gen. F. A. Walker, Superintendent of the 
Ninth Census, are regarded as conclusive. He says :' 

At the ninth census (1870) the total number of libraries returned was 163,353, contain- 
ing 44,539,184 volumes. Of these, 107,673 were private libraries, containing 25,571,503 
volumes. No return under this head was made from the State of Connecticut, the 
deputy marshal reporting that no exact information could be obtained. While this 
increase in the number of private libraries aud volumes therein over the returns of 
1860 shows that this portion of the census work has been performed with far greater 
effort and care 0:1 the part of the assistant aud deputy marshals charged with the col- 
lection of this class of statistics, the results are yet manifestly far below the truth of 
the case for the whole country, while, in respect to certain States, the figures of the 
following table are almost ludicrously disproportionate. The only 'compensation for 
this failure for such it must be pronounced, in spite of the increase over the returns 
of former censuses is found in the consideration that the statistics of private libraries 
are not, from any proper point of view, among the desirable inquiries of the census. 
The statistics of the manufacture and importation of books would be far more signifi- 
cant and instructive, while obtained with one-tenth of one per ceut. of the effort that 
would be required to collect accurate statistics of private libraries based upon any 
classification that might be adopted. 

The last clause of the foregoing sentence intimates a practical difficulty which, 
however the methods of the census might be improved, would always render the sta- 
tistics of private libraries of the least possible value. Unless each one of the two or 
three hundred thousand private collections of books which might claim admission to 
such a table as that in contemplation of the census law were to be personally visited 
aud inspected by a competent judge, it would be impossible to prevent the intrusion 
into that table of tens of thousands of such collections without any merit to entitle 
them to a plae there. No matter how carefully assistant marshals might perform 
this duty, or how fully instructed they might be from the central office, the mere fact 
oi six or seven thousand persons being employed in collecting these statistics would 
be sufficient to defeat, utterly and hopelessly, all approach to uniformity of treatment. 
One-half of the assistant marshals would call that a library which the other half would 
not, or, more probably, nine out of ten such officers would admit everything that 
claimed to be a library to their lists. 

The plan most commonly urged for preventing such a want of uniformity in the col- 
lection of the statistics of private libraries is to fix a number of volumes below which 
no collection of books shall be returned as a library, as, say, 100, 200,300, or 500 vol- 
umes: but it is quite sufficient, without argument, to disprove such a proposition, to 
indicate the practical difficulties arising from such questions as these: What shall be 
done with pamphlets and unbound volumes? With children's books-? With school 
books, old and new ? With public documents, State and national ? It is not too much 
to say, that if all these classes were to bo rejected, nine out of ten collections in the 
Knifed States which would otherwise pass into a table of private libraries containing 
one hundred volumes and over would be thrown out, while, on the other hand, it is 
difficult to see what value such a table can hava for any use, scientific or popular, if 
these classes are to be indiscriminately admitted. 

'Ninth CensiH of the United States: Population aud Social Statistics, pp. 472, 473. 

xviii Public Libraries in the United States. 


It may not be amiss to describe here the plan followed in gathering 
the statistics for this report. As has been already intimated, there was 
until 1870 little information respecting public libraries in existence. 
A-* late as ls.~>o an American Secretary of State was obliged to reply to 
the application by a committee of the British Parliament for such in- 
formation that, with the best disposition to do so, he found it impossible 
to comply with their request. 1 At that time the late accomplished 
Professor Jewett was preparing for publication his report on public 
libraries in the United States, which appeared the next year, and was 
the pioneer attempt to give a description of all our libraries. In ]s~>!) 
Khees published his Manual of Public Libraries, which contains a list 
of the names of 2,902 libraries; but he was unable to obtain an 
account of the number of volumes in more than 1.3; 58 of them. The 
works of Jewett and Khees were prepared with great care and in- 
dustry; but the rapid increase of public libraries within the last tew 
years has made them of little value for purposes of reference. Other 
partial statistics were published at different times, but no systematic 
attempt was made until 1870 to procure returns from all classes 
of public libraries, except in the returns of the United States census in 
the years 1850, 18GO, and 1870. These returns did not attempt to name 
and locali/e the different libraries, and were for other reasons incom- 
plete and untrustworthy. 2 The Reports of the Commissioner of Educa- 
tion for 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874 furnished statistics of several 
hundred libraries. Beyond this little was known save that there were 
in the country two thousand or more public libraries, each exerting a 
less or greater educational influence, of which nothing was generally 
known ; even a knowledge of their names and whereabouts was limited 
to their immediate localities. It therefore became necessary to ascertain 
first the name of every town in the United States the population of which 
was sufficient to seem to justify the belief that it possessed a public 
library of some sort. Letters of inquiry were sent to all such towns, 
generally to the postmaster, asking whether a public library existed, and 
its name ; the name of the library being obtained, direct inquiries were 
sent to it. In each of the larger towns and smaller cities the superin- 
tendent of public schools was chosen as a correspondent ; in the larger 
cities persons were selected to make special investigations ; the directo- 
ries of cities were consulted ; gazetteers were examined; the officers of 
all institutions and societies that might be supposed to posvsess libraries 
were applied to for information ; and correspondence opened with clergy - 
Tiien, officers of courts, of cities, counties, States, and with other persons 
likely to possess information on the subject of libraries in their respective 
localities. The reports of Professor Jewett and Mr. Khees, and a list of 

; his IrttiT see page 7 
- Ninth Census of the t'nitc<l States : Population and Social Statistics, p. 47-2. 

Introduction. xix 

societies and institutions published in 1872 by the Smithonian Institu- 
tion also afforded considerable information respecting the names of 

This preliminary work involved the writing of some 10,000 letters, to 
which the responses have generally been most prompt and gratifying. A 
mass of information was thus gathered which formed the basis for subse- 
quent specific inquiry and correspondence ; and the cordial cooperation 
of all interested enables us to present, as the resultof much time and labor 
expended, definite and. trustworthy information respecting nearly 3,700 
public libraries of all classes. 

It will be observed that the table includes statistics of some public 
libraries containing no more than three hundred volumes each. Tiiese 
have been added in cases where the recent dates of the establishment or 
other known circumstances of the libraries justify the expectation of their 
permanence and rapid growth. 


Each of the library buildings chosen as a subject for illustration has 
been selected with reference to its historic or representative character. 
Thus representations of the Redwood and Loganian Libraries are given 
solely because of the historical interest that attaches to them as the 
first on the Western Continent devoted entirely to library purposes. 
Both were built about the same time, a quarter of a century before the 
Revolution, and one of them, the Redwood Library, though greatly en- 
larged, is still devoted to library uses. The Lenox and Ridgway Libra- 
ries, now nearing completion, each the gift of a single individual, are 
also represented; and perhaps no more striking evidence of the vast 
growth of public libraries in this country could be found than is afforded 
by the contrast between the first two buildings (each also the gift of a 
single public spirited citizen) and the two last named. College libraries 
are well represented by illustrations of the library building of the Col- 
lege of New Jersey and the interior of Wellesley College Library, (for 
women,) each of which is a monument to the munificent liberality of a 
wealthy citizen. Engravings of the Boston Public and Cincinnati Pub- 
lic Libraries are presented as examples of the largest free libraries in 
the United States built and maintained at the public expense; while 
the Concord, 1 Roxbury Branch, Northampton, Worcester, and Cornell 
Libraries are included as representatives of free library architecture in 
the smaller cities and towns. The last, bearing the name of its builder 
and founder, who presented it to his fellow citizens, is properly assigned 
;i jilace with the remarks respecting patronymic libraries, in Chapter 
X Xll. 2 A cut of the building of the Library Company of Philadelphia, 
organized by Franklin in 1731, properly represents the early proprietary 
libraries. It was the third library built in this country, dating from 

1 For this cut acknowledgments ;uc duti Messrs. Harper A Urotbers. 


Public Libraries in the United States. 

1792, and is still devoted to its original uses. The cut of the Appren- 
tices' Library of Philadelphia represents a class of libraries that has 
conferred great and lasting benefits on many young artisans, but which 
is being rapidly superseded by the free and other public libraries which 
offer equal advantages to all. 

While perhaps no one of the buildings represented may be regarded 
as a model in all respects, neither is any one without its points of excel- 
lence, and several are admirably adapted to their special uses. Taken 
together they fairly represent the past and present of library architect- 
ure in America, and certainly show an improvement in some degree 
commensurate with the growth of the libraries they shelter. 

The plans accompanying Mr. Winsor's contribution on library build- 
ings (Chapter XXIV, pp. 473-475) are the expression of long experience 
and careful study of the subject, and will doubtless prove of much prac- 
tical value. 

With the exception of the Wellesley College, Concord Public. Cornell, 
Loganian, Library Company and Apprentices' of Philadelphia, and the 
Cincinnati Public (exterior) libraries, the engravings have been executed 
by Miss C. A. Powell, a graduate of the Cooper Union Free Art School, 
of New York. 


Within the last few years several public libraries in the larger cities 
have thrown open their rooms for reading on Sundays; notable among 
these being the Boston Public Library, the Free Public Library of Wor- 
cester, Mass., the Cincinnati Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, 
and the Public School Library of St. Louis. The reports show that a 
large number of persons avail themselves of this privilege for improve- 
ment and recreation, and that the number of Sunday users of books 
and periodicals at most of the libraries has steadily increased from year 
to year. 

The number of Sunday readers at the Free Public Library of Wor- 
cester, Mass., the first public library in New England to open its doors 
to Sunday visitors, for each year since 1872, when the privilege was 
first granted, was as follows: In 1872-'73, Sunday readers, 5,706; 1873- 
>74, 7,179 ; 1874-'75, 10,142. 

The superintendent of the Boston Public Library, in his report for 
1873, remarks that the use of the reading rooms for periodicals on Sun- 
days " was from one-half to three-quarters of the average week day use. 
The frequenters were uniformly decorous ; the most favorable feature 
of the result being that a large proportion of the Sunday visitors were 
not such as are seen in the rooms on week days." And in his report for 
1875, in summing up the experience of the library in this regard, he 
says, " that from the start the use of the Central reading room has 
been abundantly commensurate, and has justified the movement." 

Some interesting remarks on the results of the Sunday opening of the 



Public Library of Cincinnati and of the Public School Library of St. 
Louis will be found in the sketches of those libraries in another part of 
this report. 


While the plan of making art museums adjuncts of public libraries, 
as advocated in Chapter XXI, may at first seem unpractical and un- 
wise a study of the experience of the British Free Libraries in this 
regard leads to a directly opposite conclusion. The art gallery of the 
Birmingham Free Library was established in 1867 ; in the five follow- 
ing years it was visited by more than 600,000 persons ; in 1872 it was 
open 36 Sundays, 49 Saturday evenings, and 289 week days ; the Sun- 
day visitors numbered 13,064, the Saturday evening visitors 12,817, and 
the week day visitors 119,880, making a total of 145,761 for the year. 
The gallery then contained 35 paintings, 4 statues and busts, and 11 
collections, more or less extensive, of artistic manufactures in glass, 
pottery, and metals, owned by the corporation, a large proportion of 
which had been presented ; 9 paintings, an interesting series of draw- 
ings from nature, and a collection of enamels deposited by the Birming- 
ham and Midland Institute; and 23 paintings and three collections of 
Japanese enamels and metal work lent for exhibition by their owners. 
The library committee in its report for 1872 says : 

The reading rooms, especially at night, have been greatly crowded daring the year, 
and the art gallery has also been used by a largely increased number of visitors. 
Looking to the growing usefulness of all departments of the libraries and of the art 
gallery, and to the advancing demands upon their space, the.committee regard with 
much satisfaction the wise aud liberal. resolution of the town council authorizing the 
extension of the libraries and the art gallery. 

The report of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum, and Gal- 
lery of Art for the year 1873 contains the following : 

The success of the annual exhibitions of pictures held during two successive years 
naturally drew attention to the want of a suitable building where a permanent gal- 
lery of art might be collected, and the annual exhibitions held without the necessity 
>l disturbing the arrangements of the museum for several mouths in the year, as has 
hitherto been the case. 

An application to the city council for aid to provide a proper building 
was unsuccessful, but the mayor of the city announced his intention to 
devote 20,000 for a building. 

The same report continues : 

The subcommittee have now the pleasure to report the results of the late autumn 
exhibition of pictures at the Free Library and Museum. 

The exhibition was opened to the public from Monday, September 1, to Saturday, 
November ay, during the day, at a charge of Is., and in the evening, from Monday 
< >rtober 13, to Saturday, November 2y, at 3rf. 

The number of admissions by payments at the door amounted to 13,318 in the morn- 
ing and 18,3(>l in the evening, making a total of 31,670, besides :>;>:? season tickets, and 
altout 10,000 pupils of educational establishments of all classes aud denominations ad- 
mitted gratuitously. 

xxii Public Libraries in the United States. 

The number of works exhibited consisted of 454 oil colors, 5r>- \vat.-r colors, 15.") pieces 
of sculpture and other works of art, forming a total of 1,057. 

Of tln-se, f>72 were for sale, and 'J71 were actually sold lor snm> amounting to 
7,402 17*. (><l.; 787 10s. being expended by the corporation in pictures for the per- 
manent gallery of art now in the course of formation. The total receipts amounted 
to 1,5G6 Is. 3rf., leaving a profit of 466 Is. 

The general results of this exhibition have been encouraging, as the following figures 
denote, and when, their nature is examined they are still more satisfactory : 


1872. a\> 

Day admissions, (Is., 12 days at 6d. each)... 13,276 90 days 117 

Evening admissions, (12 nights at 3rt) 9,618 43 nights iJiHi, 


I>ay admissions, (all at Is. each) 13,318 78 days 17" 

Evening admissions, (all at 3d.) 18,361 42 nights 1 

Water Sculp- 
Oil. color, ture, etc. 

Works exhibited, 1873 454 5f,< 35 

Works exhibited, 1872 430 501 29 

Increase 24 67 (i 

The large increase in the number of season tickets, viz, 523, as against 332 in 1872, 
demonstrates the existence of a rapidly increasing section of the public who return 
again and again to study the pictures carefully, and who will in time form a body of 
independent and cultivated art opinion, the effects of which must be most advan- 
tageous to the town. 

Hitherto the committee have been somewhat disappointed at the comparative apathy 
of the artisan class, but this year the attendance in the evenings has been very hope- 
ful, so much so, indeed, as to warrant the expectation that an interest in art may be 
thoroughly excited, and a knowledge diffused among that class which may be pro- 
ductive of valuable industrial results. The presence of art galleries and museums in 
1'aris has enabled that city, in the absence of most material advantages, to become 
a large manufacturing centre, owing solely to the educated taste of her artisans. 
London has, within the last few years, become the seat of art manufactures which 
have in several instances been the direct outgrowth of South Kensington, and which 
in most cases owe their success to the interest in art it has excited and the opportunity 
of study it affords. If Liverpool is to become eventually more than a mere warehous- 
ing port, any means of attracting such manufactures into her midst should be most 
anxiously improved. The attendance of the artisan class at these exhibitions is, 
therefore, a most important element from an industrial point of view. 

In addition to the art gallery thus successfully established, the Liver- 
pool Free Library possesses also a valuable museum of natural his- 
tory, etc. 

The annual report of the Museum Library and Park Committee of the 
borough of Salford, for 1873-74, shows that there were in that year 
5i!7, .">oo visitors to the museum, 800,000 to the park, and that the issue 
of books belonging to the Central Library and its two branches (contain- 
ing altogether 53.024 volumes) was 313,389, while the number of readers 
iu the reading and news rooms was 177,000. 

Like satisfactory results have followed the joining of art and natural 
history museums with other free libraries iu England, and it is believed 
that similar benefits would accrue from the union of public libraries and 
museums here. 

Introduction. xxiii 


Considerable space lias been devoted, under the title of Professorships 
of Books and Reading, to the discussion of the question of a new col- 
lege professorship the duties of which should be to teach students what 
and how to read. While this would meet the needs of college students, 
the much larger constituency of the public libraries would still remain, 
as now, generally dependent on the librarians for advice and direction. 
Hence, it is clear that the librarian must soon be called upon to assume 
a distinct position, as something more than a mere custodian of books, 
and the scientific scope and value of his office be recognized and esti- 
mated in a becoming manner. To meet the demands that will be made 
on him he should be granted opportunities for instruction in all the de- 
partments of library science. 

In Germany the importance of this is beginning to be realized, and 
the plan of making it a subject of special study in the universities finds 
advocates. Under the title of The science of library arrangement with 
a view to a common organization among libraries, and to the special 
study of library science in German universities, Dr. F. Jlullmanu, libra- 
rian of the University of Freiburg, says : l 

It is very desirable that library science should, more thau has been the case hitherto 
in Germany, form a subject of discussion at the meetings of librarians, and that one of 
the points to be discussed should be whether library science is to form a special branch 
of study at the universities. 


Three points have to be considered in this connection : 

1. The system. The best authorities agree as to the desirability of a uniform library 
system for Germany. At present there are very few systems which entirely satisfy the 
demands of our age. This is not the place, however, to criticise the faulty systems of 
various libraries, as they are sufficiently well known. 

In creating a good bibliographic system we meet with considerable difficulties, 
especially with regard to the harmonizing of all the theoretical and practical require- 
ments, so as to combine a scientific with a convenient arrangement. At present one of 
the two generally preponderates. It frequently occurs that one and the same work is 
ranged under twelve different heads in twelve different libraries, which, of course, i- 
very confusing. All this tends to show that it should not be left to the will of every 
librarian to establish a system for his library, but that there should be a uniform sys- 
tem throughout the country. 

In order to produce a uniform system, it is of course necessary that individual views 
should readily submit to the wishes of the majority. The chief feature of such a 
system should be the logical arrangement of the details, without, however, carrying 
tlie method of headings and subheadings too far. Smaller libraries, especially, will be 
able to do without many of the headings required by larger ones. 

2. The catalogue. The new system, of course, presupposes a rearrangement of the 
catalogue. We would not advocate absolute uniformity of catalogues, because the 
results would not bo commensurate with the amount of labor bestowed. It would, 
however, be very useful if the "catch words" in all the German libraries could, as 

1 Die Bibliothekseinriohtangaknnde /mu Tlieile einer ^emeinsamen Organisation, 
(lie Bibliothekswissenschaft als solche einem besouderen Uuiversitiitsstmlium in 
Deutschlaiul nnterworfen, von Dr. F. Hullmauu, Custos der Friburger Universitiits- 
bibliothek. Freiburg i. Br., 1874, 23 pp. 

xxiv Public Libraries in the United States. 

niiu-li as po -sible, be selected and be treated according to a uniform principle, so as 
not to let individual opinion be the only guide in tbe matter. To show bow necessary 
tins is, we will only mention, as au instance, the different way in which various im- 
portant questions are answered, e. y., regarding anonymous books, compound words, 
obsolete words, etc. 

3. Placing of books. The most convenient way will be to place the books on the 
shelves from the left to the right, commencing from the lower shelves, and to have 
every book numbered. This numbering should not be continuous through a whole 
library, but merely through a division, as the very high numbers, especially in large 
libraries, would cause considerable inconvenience. 

As in many German libraries the system, cataloguing, and arrangement have not 
kept step with the times and with the development of science, and will therefore have 
to be changed sooner or later, all such libraries, after they have been authorized by 
their respective authorities to make a new organization, might derive the full benefit 
of a common discussion of the whole subject. Other libraries might without great 
difficulty adopt some things immediately, but should certainly, whenever circum- 
stances demand it, carry out practically all the theories, after they had helped to 
discuss them in the interest of library science. 

AVhat excellent results could in this way be gradually obtained, not only with 
regard to the mutual usefulness of all libraries, but also with regard to their individual 

Many of the present inconsistencies and egotistical arbitrary rules would vanish? 
because these things could then be under much more thorough supervision and con- 

It would, moreover, simplify the conscientious fulfilment of the librarian's duties, 
so that it would no longer be necessary for each librarian to have detailed accounts 
regarding his treatment of library science. Such a "diary," as Ebert calls it, is, 
unfortunately, seldom made, for many librarians do not leave any manuscript notes 
for their successors regarding their work and the principles according to which they 
have carried it on. This circumstance proves very detrimental to the library in case 
of removal or death of the librarian, especially if no oral tradition has beeu pre- 
served regarding the method of working. This will explain, to a great extent, why 
at present so many libraries, in spite of an immense amount of work, do not reach 
their object as fully as would be the case .if a uniform system were established. Such 
a system, by making librarians at once at home in any library, and by producing a 
uniform method of working in all, greatly facilitates the use of libraries for our men 
of science. Thus it will not be entirely chimerical to suppose that in course of time, 
even if centuries should pass, a general systematic repertory of literature will be the 
result, which would at once show any gap still existing in a library. 


Supposing that a uniform library system according to our ideas should gradually 
become prevalent, we do not thereby have a sufficient guarantee of the greatest possi- 
ble perfection of our libraries. For this will essentially depend on a suitable library 
administration ; and this leads us to the question, how the qualifications requisite for 
a librarian can best be obtained. 

Although the importance of the office of the librarian has from time immemorial 
been fully appreciated, such appreciation has hitherto not been sufficiently general. 
For not only was a librarian's place often considered as a pleasant and respectable 
sinecure, or as an office of secondary importance which would allow the office holder 
conveniently to pursue his favorite studies, but even to the present day has the office 
of a librarian at our universities not generally been considered an independent office, 
but has been given to one of the professors. 

We are glad to see, however, that, both theoretically and practically, the opinion is 
gaining ground that only a man specially traiued for it can successfully fill the place 

Introduction. xxv 

of librarian. Such a special training belongs very properly to the university course, 
as we intend to prove by the following remarks. 

In appointing librarians there is no such guarantee of their competency as is de- 
manded of other aspirants to public office when they finish their studies. A most 
essential point is wanting here, viz, the opportunity for a suitable preparation. For 
the occupation of an assistant librarian seems to be scarcely a full equivalent for it. 
Aside from the fragmentary character of such a preparation, it can scarcely be taken 
into account, because there are comparatively few such places, and the choice for future 
librarians would be limited to a small number of persons. 

Thus the practical occupation of the officer in the library has hitherto had to take the 
place of his education for his duties. This had the great disadvantage, that especially 
in modern times, when the extent of human knowledge has increased to such enor- 
mous dimensions, it took, contrary to the true interests of the library, a very long 
time for the librarian to acquire the necessary amount of knowledge in branches of 
science with which hitherto he had been but little familiar. Schrettiuger, in his Manual 
of Library Science, Vienna, 1834, was the first who advocated the necessity of a special 
school for educating librarians. He only touches the subject very briefly, and desires 
that such an education should be given at the chief library of the country, where his 
manual might form the basis of lectures on library science, and that only the future 
library officers of that country should have the benefit of such instruction. This, 
however, would scarcely supply the want of librarians for Germany, and we would 
therefore, instead of instruction at a library, recommend that library science be studied 
at the universities, not only in one state, but in the whole of Germany; i. e., we desire 
that at one of our universities, gradually perhaps at several, lectures on library science 
should be delivered by competent men. This course of lectures should extend through 
three years. As on leaving the gymnasium most young men will have become proficient 
.only in German, French, Latin, and Greek, there will be required : 

I. Further linguistic studies, which may be pursued outside of the lecture room. As 
most important in this respect we would recommend the study of Hebrew, English, 
Italian, and Spanish. 

These studies should be carried so far at least as to enable the student to read a 
book with the help of a dictionary and grammar, and to acquire a knowledge of the 
library technical terms. 

II. Lectures should be attended on : 

I. General history and collateral studies, e. g., diplomacy. 

2. Systematic universal encyclopedia of sciences, with special regard to the best way 
of defining the proper limits of each science. 

3. Universal history of the more important literary productions, with special mention 
of their scientific and booksellers' value. 

4. Knowledge of manuscripts. 

5. History of the art of printing. 

6. History of the book trade. 

7. Some knowledge of the fine arts, so as to enable the librarian to know the true 
value of engravings, (copper, steel, and wood,) lithographs, and photographs. 

-'. Gradual development of library science and introduction to it. 
0. The most interesting data concerning the well known libraries of the world : 
" bibliothecography." 

10. Library economy, (administration, financial management, etc.) 

II. Practical exercises in cataloguing and classifying, (especially the more difficult 
subjects, e. g., manuscripts and incunabula.) 

I'-i. Management of archives. 

Of the subjects mentioned under II, Nos. 2, 3, 5, G, and 7 should be in the hands of 
I'oiupetent librarians or men thoroughly versed in library science; Nos. 1 and 4 are 
treated of in most universities. 

Alter finishing such a course the student would have to. pass an examination before 

xx vi Public Libraries in the 1'nitnf Mates. 

a special committee composed of the professors or persons lecturing on library science. 
and receive a certificate of qualification for the otlioe of librarian. Such a certilicate 
only should secure a person the office of librarian, and no distinction should be made 
Ijetweeu students from the different states of Germany. 

It will of course be understood that such a course of instruction in library science 
otters a great probability but no absolute certainty of being good in practice too. 

Only iu two cases does such a study not seem to otter any advantages : first, in places 
like Strasbourg, where the number of officers is so large that there is a special librarian 
for nearly every chief division. In this case the man acquainted with the specialty of 
the library is to be preferred. Second, iu special libraries. 

But apart from these two exceptional cases, we may coulidently look to a most bene 
licial result from the study of library science. 

First of all it will satisfactorily settle a question of vital interest to all libiaries, 
vi/, regarding suitable selection in the buying of books. Such a study only will almost 
entirely remove the danger of having certain portions of the library favored iu an 
undue degree, both as regards the direct expenditure in money, as also the indirect 
expenditure by having the librarian's time too much occupied by special subjects. 
Such cases have occurred particularly in university libraries; for these, whether in 
the hands of " private professors " (l'rirat-l)ocenteii) or not, have always been man- 
aged by specialists, who, as a general rule, favored their own studies at the expense of 
the whole library. 

Such a study of library science will also have the effect to produce, much more fre- 
quently than is the case now, works on libraries and everything connected with them, 
which of course will be an immense benefit to library science in general. 


la May, 1853, a call, signed by Professor Je\vett and other librarians, 
was published, inviting "librarians and others interested in bibliogra- 
phy" to meet iu convention at Xew York, September 15, 1853, " for the 
purpose of conferring together upon the means of advancing the pros- 
perity and usefulness of public libraries, and for the suggestion and dis- 
cussion of topics of importance to book collectors and readers." 

The convention met at the time and place appointed, and remained 
iu session three days. About eighty librarians (representing libraries 
containing altogether some eight hundred thousand volumes) and others 
interested in bibliographical pursuits were iu attendance. 

The work accomplished was summed tip by the editor of Norton's 
Literary Gazette (October 15, 1853) as follows -. 

Acquaintances have been formed among numerous members of the librarian's profes- 
sion, who had never seen or corresponded with one another before; an arrangement 
has been made for the regular interchange of catalogues and reports; the experience 
of those who have long had charge of public libraries has been brought before those 
who are novices iu the work, upon a great variety of topics; the Smithsonian system 
of cataloguing, which aims at most important changes, has been explained by its 
originator, and carefully discussed ; facts and statistics concerning a large number of 
widely scattered institutions have been collected aud arranged ; certain new and in- 
genious inventions for the preservation and exhibition of illustrated works have been 
introduced to the public ; preliminary steps have been taken for preparing a complete 
librarian's manual : suggestions liavt; been made in regard to the establishment of 
popular libraries all over the country ; and measures have been taken to form a libra- 
rians' association or bibliographical society of a permanent character, the object of 
which shall be to promote, iu every way, the establishment and efficient conduct of 
collections of books. 



The convention adjourned to meet at Washington at the call of the 
committee on permanent organization, of which Professor Jewett was 
chairman, but no meeting was afterwards held. Twenty-three years have 
passed; libraries have increased in number fivefold, and in influence in 
a much greater ratio ; all the conditions and necessities that demanded 
the cooperation of library officers then are more important and urgent 
now, and others equally requiring to be met have arisen. In view of 
the magnitude of the interests involved, social, financial, intellectual, 
and moral, it seems proper and expedient that librarians and others 
interested in the welfare of libraries should again meet to interchange 
views, compare methods and the results of experience, and discuss 
practical questions. In August, 1875, Mr. Thomas Hale Williams, 
librarian of the Minneapolis (Minn.) Atheureum, wrote suggesting such 
a national meeting ; his suggestions were favored by a number of the 
leading librarians of the country, and have recently taken practical 
form in a preliminary call for a conference of librarians, signed by gen- 
tlemen representing libraries numbering in the aggregate more than 
two million volumes. Three of the signers of the call representing, re- 
spectively, proprietary, college, and free public libraries, were delegates to 
the convention of 1853, and have been continuously in library service 
since that time ; two in the same libraries they then represented, while 
the other, the accomplished author of Poole's Index to Periodical Litera- 
ture, has since successfully organized the two largest free public libra- 
ries in the West. The proposed convention will be held at Philadelphia, 
October 4, 5, 6, 1876. 


Another evidence of a revival of interest in public libraries is afforded 
by the proposition to establish a journal to be devoted to the discussion 
of practical questions relating to the management of public libraries, 
and the dissemination of information regarding them. It is expected 
that the first number of the American Library Journal, to be published 
monthly, will appear Jn September. On account of the importance of 
such a journal to the library interests of the country, an abstract of the 
prospectus of the American Library Journal is herewith presented. 

xxviii Public Libraries in the United States. 


Published monthly. 

Associate editors. 

Justin Winsor, Boston Public Library. 

James L. Whitney, Boston Public Library. 

Fred. B. Perkins, Boston Public Library. 

Charles A. Cutter, Boston Atheutt-um. 

John Fiske, Harvard University Library. 

Ezra Abbot, Harvard University. 

Keuben A. Guild, Brown University Library 

W. I. Fletcher, Watkinson Library. 

J. Carson Brevoort, Astor Library. 

H. A. Homes, New York State Library. 

S. B. Noyes, Brooklyn Mercantile Library. 

Frederic Vinton, Princeton College Library. 

Lloyd P. Smith, Philadelphia Library Company. 

A. R. Spofford, Library of Congress. 

John S. Billings, Surgeon-General's Office. 

Wtn.F. Poole, Chicago Public Library. 

Charles Evans, Indianapolis Public Library. 

Thomas Vickers, Cincinnati Public Library. 

Wm. T. Harris, St. Louis. 

John Jay Bailey, St. Louis Public School Library. 

A. E. Whitaker, Mercantile Library, San Francisco. 
Publisher : F. Leypoldt, 37 Park Row, New York. 


Extract from the annual report for 1869 of the superintendent of the Public Library 
of Boston. 

" We have no schools of bibliographical and bibliothecal training whose graduates 
can guide the formation of and assume management within the fast increasing libra- 
ries of our country, and the demand may, perhaps, never warrant their establishment; 
but every library with a fair experience can afford inestimable instruction to another 
in its novitiate; and there have been no duties of my office to which I have given 
more hearty attention than those that have led to the granting of what we could from 
our experience to the representatives of other libraries, whether coming with inquiries 
fitting a collection as large as Cincinnati is to establish, or merely seeking such mat- 
ters as concern the establishment of a village library." 

To further these and like purposes it is proposed to publish an American Library 
Journal. The rapid growth of libraries in this country makes such a medium of ex- 
changing experience vitally necessary, and it will be a means of economizing both time 
and money. The Journal is meant to be eminently practical, not antiquarian, and 
the. following departments are proposed: 

Editorials and contributed paper* by specialists on library economy, bibliography, 
classification, construction, and arrangement of library buildings, and like topics. 

Library notes as to statistics of growth and circulation, donations, new enterprises, 
improvements in binding, cataloguing, library fittings, shelf arrangement, charging, 
loan, and return of books, regulations, restrictions, etc. 

Bibliography. Record of every new catalogue, report, or other publication bearing 
directly on the library interest, in any language. The more important will be reviewed 
by specialists. 

Current periodical literature. Reference to of analysis of articles of library interest, 
appearing in American or foreign periodicals. 

Introduction. xxix 

Pseudonyms. A record of all pseudonyms, anonyms, etc., of which any new informa- 
tion can be given. 

Correspondence. Library letters from abroad and from various parts of our own 

Notes and quei'ies. A department that should be of special value. Questions on any 
subject coming within the scope of the journal will be received, and, if possible, an- 
swered editorially in the next issue. Otherwise they will be referred to readers for reply. 

Duplicates. Lists of the more important books offered by the various libraries for 
sale or exchange. 

Hooks wanted. By purchase or exchange. 

Situations. Addresses of librarians and cataloguers desiring engagements, and of 
libraries needing such services. 

Annual index. A complete index to each volume of the American Library Journal, 
which will form a finding list of all topics of library interest during the year. 

The Journal, containing about 32 pages small quarto, will be issued every month 
from the office of the Publishers' Weekly, 37 Park Row, New York. The managing 
editor's office is at 13 Tremont Place, Boston, where it seemed desirable that the journal 
should be chiefly edited, that the fullest advantage might be taken of the daily expe- 
rience of the justly famed libraries and librarians of that vicinity. The time chosen 
for starting the Journal seems very opportune, especially since it follows closely the 
publication of the Special Report on Public Libraries in the United States, issued by 
the United States Bureau of Education. The real object of the Journal is, in fact, to 
form a periodical supplement to this work. The active cooperation of librarians, by 
\\ay of subscription, as well as by contributions, communications, etc., is earnestly so- 

Libraries are especially requested to send to the managing editor of the Journal 
copies of new catalogues, annual reports, regulations, etc. Scraps or notices of articles, 
reviews, notes in local papers, or any other information concerning library interests, 
will also be thankfully received. 

In connection with the American Library Journal it is proposed to form a collec- 
tion of everything of special interest to librarians for common reference and use by 
all contributing to it. For this purpose it is requested that every library send to 
the managing editor of the Journal two copies of every blank, form, card, slip, cata- 
logue, or anything portable that it may use in its administration, and is willing to 
contribute ; one set to be arranged by libraries, showing as completely as possible the 
methods and catalogues of each library by itself; the other under classification show- 
ing the various methods used by different libraries in the same work, e. ?., all the differ- 
ent catalogue cards that are in use in different libraries. The specimens sent should 
all be marked with the date, cost, and manner of using; and if, after practical trial, 
any improvement can be suggested to other libraries using a similar form or appliance, 
this should also be added. This collection, like the Journal itself, is something to 
which all should cordially contribute, and from which all may freely draw. 

The printing of accurate titles of new books in such a way that they can be used for 
tlu- card catalogues of libraries in general, at a slight expense, is an important field for 
cooperation. The early completion of Poole's Index to Periodical Literature and ar- 
rangements for annual or monthly supplements, the preparation of a guide to the special 
collections and rare and valuable books in the libraries of the United States for the 
purpose of special research and study, and other enterprises of similar character and 
intent, arc among the purposes which it is hoped to accomplish through the ageucy 
of tins journal in securing the cooperation of all interested in library work. 

The circulation of such a journal being necessarily limited, the subscription price, 
in order to put the enterprise on a safe tooting, must be made $5 for the h'rst year. To 
insure its success will require the hearty cooperation of librarians in pecuniary as well 
as literary support. Subscriptions should be addressed to F. Leypoldt. 3? Park Row 
New York; inquiries and other communications to-Melvil Dewey, 13 Tremont Place, 

xxx Public Libraries in flu- United Sf<//< .>-. 

It may be reasonably expected that, conducted in accordance with 
the plan above described, under the direction of the gentlemen named, 
and receiving, as it doubtless will, the hearty support and cooperation 
of active librarians and educators throughout the country, the Library 
Journal will find a wide field and abundant opportunities for usefulness. 


A further illustration of awakened interest, and of the desire to e fleet 
cooperation in library work and bring the librarians of different 
libraries into more intimate relations, is found in the propositions of 
Professor Robinson and Mr. Wiusor in this country, and of a writer in 
the Academy in England, to economize the labor and expense of cata- 
loguing and indexing, by associated effort on the part of publishers and 
librarians of different libraries and countries. These propositions are 
noticed in detail elsewhere in this report. 3 


The following brief notices of public libraries in the countries above 
named will, it is thought, be of interest to Americans. They comprise 
all the trustworthy information on the subject that has been found 


Dominion of Canada. 

Ontario. Within the past twenty-five years Canada has shared in. 
the general growth of public libraries. A brief account of the excellent 
school library system of the province of Ontario will be found in Chap- 
ter II, pp. 57-58. According to the report of the chief superintendent 
of education of that province, there were, in 1874, 1,334 libraries of this 
class, containing in all 206,040 volumes. 

An examination of the revised catalogue published by the depart- 
ment of education shows' that great care has been exercised in the 
choice of books, and that a judicious selection from it would form an 
excellent library in all departments of literature for adults as well as 
for pupils in the public schools. 

According to the same report, there were also in the province 193- 
other public libraries, not including those of Sunday schools, contain- 
ing in all 14'J,73i; volumes, making an aggregate of 1,4'J7 public libra- 
ries, with 4<\778 volumes. 

(jiii'ltt'r. The following extract from a letter of the secretary of the 
minister of public instruction of the province of Quebec, dated March 
s. 1875, shows the number and extent of public libraries in that 
province : 

1 In a letter dated Align*! 4, 1 .-?(',. Professor JvobuiMm writes : " I may add that I have 
the honor to be chairman of a committee recently appointed at tin- convocation of tho 
regents in Albany, by the college olnVers of this State, to devise a general plan ou 
which the colleges may unite in cataloguing and indexing. I hope something may be 
done in this direction." 
e pp. .",1:1. r.u. 

Introduction. xxxi 

From the best information we can obtain there are 612 libraries, divided as follows : 

Xumber. Volumes. 

Parish libraries 160 92,967 

Universities 3 53,500 

Colleges, Catholic 12 83,624 

Colleges, Protestant 4 2,000- 

Industrial colleges, Catholic 15 29, 244 

Industrial colleges, Protestant 1 70 

Normal schools 3 7,850- 

Academies for boys, and mixed, Catholic 43 7, 016 

Academies for boys, and mixed, Protestant 29 2,267 

Academies for girls, Catholic 66 33, 923- 

Model schools, Catholic 233 22,005 

Model schools, Protestant 43 2, 720 

Total 612 337,186- 

If we add to this the library of the local parliament, that of the department of public 
in.strrrction, and a certain number belonging to the different literary societies, which 
cannot be less than 100,000 volumes, and which are more or less open to the public, 
we have a total of 437,186 volumes. 

The educational reports of the other provinces of the Dominion do not 
aft'ord specific information in regard to libraries. 


The sketch of the public libraries of Mexico, prepared by Fernando- 
C. Willett, esq., secretary United States legation, Mexico,, was kindly 
furnished by'Hon. J. W. Foster, American minister to that republic. 

The following exhibits the number of states in the republic which have public libra- 
ries the number of volumes in each state, and the total number of volumes : Aguas- 
Calientes, 1,400 ; Campeche, 2,024 ; Chiapas, 3,758; Durango, 5,022; Guanajuato, 11,382 ;. 
Jalisco, 22,000; Mexico, 8,904; Michoacan, 12,038; Oajaca, 12,922; Puebla, 24,821; 
'/neretaro, 10,130 ; San Luis Potosi, 2,624 ; Vera Cruz, a library, but not reportefl ; Yu- 
cat.m, 1,143; Zacatecas, 10,000; Federal District, 106,700; making a total of 234. -< - 

It will thus be seen that of the 29 states and territories of the republic only 16 have 
any public libraries at all, and respecting those which do exist it should be noted that 
only a small proportion of the books which they report are of modern dates or of any 
great value except to the antiquarian and historian, the great majority of them having 
been obtained from the old ecclesiastical libraries of the closed churches and convents. 
There are doubtless among these old collections rare copies of valuable works from 
which something may be realized for the purchase of modern books, but the great bulk 
of these collections from the convents and churches consists of the religions writing 
"f priests and monks, the value of which almost entirely departed with the nge that 
produced them. The principal library in the republic is the 


A visit to this library, and an interview with the courteous librarian, Don Joaqnin 
Cardoso, elicited the following facts respecting its origin and present condition : 

Previous to the promulgation of the laws of reform there existed in the City of Mex- 
ico the cathedral and university libraries and those of the convents. After the triumph 
of the liberal party the government came into possession of these libraries, and step- 
were at once taken to unite them into one, as the basis of a grand national library : but 
uot until the year 1867 was any definite plan to this- end inaugurated. In that year 

xxxiv 1'nh/ic l/thrnrii'x in tin 1 I'inted States. 

Not only government, but private individuals continue to evince 
solicitude in the, establishment of libraries, not only in the capital, but 
in all the provinces of the empire. 


As a vivid illustration of the spread of western ideas in regard to 
popular education among the nations of the Hist, the free public library 
recently established at Tokio, in Japan, deserves to be mentioned. 

For the following- brief account of this library we are indebted to the 
kindness of our countryman, Hon. David Murray, Ph. I)., LL. J)., super- 
intendent of educational affairs in the department of education of the 
empire of Japan : 

I think this library is the lirst in Japan in which foreign hooks were to constitute a 
feature. It is designed, to comprise books in Japanese and Chinese, and in European 

It is a public library, opeu to all persons, native or foreign, who may desire to con- 
sult it. In general, the books are not to be taken from the building; but certain >peei- 
lied classes may, under the sanction of the minister of education, he permitted to borrow 
from the librai'y. 

It is in the city of Tokio, (Yedo,) and is now temporarily bestowed in the ancient 
temple of Confucius, which, although probably the most beautiful building in Tokio. 
is not specially adapted to the purposes of a library. It was founded by the Mombusho 
I department of education) and opened to the public in lrt?f>. The nucleus of the col- 
lection of foreign books was the private library purchased from Hon. Mori-Arinori, 
formerly the representative of Japan in the United States. I5y purchase, donation, 
and otherwise, the, foreign department has largely increased. The Japanese and 
Chinese department has been obtained chiefly from donation by departments of the 
government ami wealthy families. 

I estimate the foreign collection now to contain, say. (i,0!>n volumes, and the .Japanese 
and Chinese, say. 4,000 volumes. 

A small annual allowance is made for the support and increase of the library. Ex- 
traordinary grants will be made from time to time. The management of the library 
is in the hands of a bureau of the department of education. 


It is not to be expected that a report covering so long- a period of time, 
and treating- of a subject regarding which so little definite information 
could be obtained from the labors of other investigators, will be com- 
plete and perfectly accurate; but it maybe fairly claimed that this 
work, prepared as it has been with painstaking research and attention 
to accuracy in details of lesser as well as greater importance, may be 
accepted with a considerable degree of confidence, at least so far as 
statements ot fact are concerned. 1 Kvery one who has pursued a sim- 

'On pages 411) and 4 17 of this report it is stated that the shares of the Social Library 
of Castine, Me., h.-came the properly of the town in I- 1 27. That statement, made on 
the authority of the present librarian, is, it appears, incorrect, lie states, in a letter 
! August ->. l>7ti, that the town did not establish a public library until March, !>">. 
;he year subsequent to the enactment of the state law authorizing the establishment 
of free town libraries. This information was, unforhinaf ely, received too late for the 
correction of the error in the proper place, and necessitates this explanation. 



ilar investigation of any subject knows how elusive facts aiv when ob- 
stMired by the mists of a hundred, fifty, or even twenty-five years; how 
difficult the verification of a date a half-century old ; how unsafe a tra- 
dition or reminiscence of an event antedating the inquiry by even a few 

It will be observed that on several subjects, as cataloguing and novel 
reading, different opinions are expressed by different contributors ; but 
as the contrariety in each case respects questions that are still unset- 
tled and matters of discussion, it is thought quite proper that all sides 
should be heard. There is also necessarily some repetition, resulting 
from the intimate relations of certain subjects assigned to different con- 
tributors, who prepared their papers without opportunities for consulta- 
tion with each other. Usually the texts of both or all have been re- 
tained, either because each possesses distinctive features of its own, or 
because the importance of the subject justifies reiteration. 

In the editorial chapters, the endeavor has been to state facts and the 
conclusions they appear to justify with as little comment as practicable ; 
and in the presentation of statistics, the temptation to " estimate : ' and 
" approximate " has been steadily resisted. In no table of statistics in 
the work does a figure or other item appear that is not substantiated 
by what in onr judgment is the most trustworthy evidence procurable. 

To the official acknowledgments made elsewhere, for assistance and 
advice in the preparation of this report, the editors desire to add their 
personal thanks. 






In taking account of the present state of society and education in our 
country as compared with conditions a hundred years ago, one of the 
most suggestive points of comparison is in what may be called the im- 
mediate resources of literary culture. Although true culture can never 
be attained except by the foregoing of indulgence in meaner pleasures, 
yet it almost seems as if the day had gone by in the more closely in- 
habited parts of our country when the obstacles in the way of book- 
learning required to be overcome by extraordinary means, in our 
principal cities and large towns there are free libraries ; bookstores dis- 
play not only American books but fresh importations constantly from 
England and the continent, while magazines and newspapers of general 
or special character art made accessible to the poorest person living in 
the remotest hamlet. Moreover the business connected with the pro- 
duction and distribution of literature has become so important an in- 
dustry that reading is forced upon the notice of people, and by new sys- 
tems of dealing, the customer for books and periodicals is not waited 
for but sought out. 

A hundred years ago the country was not onjy sparsely settled, but 
communication, between the different portions was irregular and infre- 
quent ; there was no highly organized postal system to act as an ex- 
press from the publisher to his remotest customer; the large towns 
themselves were very imperfectly supplied with bookstores and print- 
ing offices, and education much more confined than at present to 
certain classes of society. The idea of a free public library could hardly 
find general acceptance until the idea of free public education had be- 
come familiar to men's minds, and the libraries existing at the time of 
the Revolution were necessarily representative of the existing state of 
public opinion on the subject of culture. They were, with scarcely an 
exception, either connected directly with 'institutions of learning or the 
outgrowth of associations of gentlemen having tastes and interests in 


Perhaps nothing could make this clearer than to recite the experience 
of Benjamin Franklin, who easily represents for us the poor boy of the 

2 Public Libraries in the United States. 

period, with a mind quick in its appetite for literary knowledge, and the 
sagacious citizen whose perception of the wants of his countrymen would 
lead him to take measures to satisfy them. In what he did not, as well 
as in what he did, may be read the condition of the most advanced pub- 
lic sentiment in his time. "From a child," he tells us in his autobi- 
ography, 1 "I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came 
into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the Pilgrim's 
Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan's works in separate 
little volumes. I afterward sold them to enable me to buy K. Churton's 
Historical Collections ; they were small chapmen's books and cheap, 
forty or fifty in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books 
in polemic divinity, most of which I read, and have since often regretted 
that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper 
books had not fallen in my way, since it was now resolved I should not 
be a clergyman. Plutarch's Lives there was in which I read abundantly, 
and I still think that time spent to great advantage. There was also a 
book of De Foe's, called an Essay on Projects, and another of Dr. Ma- 
thers, called Essays to do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of 
thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of 
my life." This bookish inclination, he adds, determined his father to 
make him a printer, and he was accordingly apprenticed to his elder 
brother James. "I now had access," he continues, 2 " to better books. 
An acquaintance with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me some- 
times to borrow a small one, which I was careful to return soon and 
clean. Often I sat up in my room reading the greatest part of the night, 
when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned early 
in the morning, lest it should be missed or wanted. And after some 
time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty 
collection of books, and who frequented our printing-house, took notice 
of me, invited me to his library and very kindly lent me such books as 

I chose to read About this time I met with an odd volume of 

the Spectator. It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I 
bought it, read it over and over, and, was much delighted with it. ... 
And now it was that, being on some occasion .made ashamed of my igno- 
rance in figures, which I had twice failed in learning when at school, I 
took Cocker's book of arithmetic, and went through the whole by my- 
self with great ease. I also read Seller's and Shermy's books of Naviga- 
tion, and became acquainted with the little geometry they contain, but 
never proceeded far in that science ; and 1 read about this time Locke 
on the Human Understanding and the Art of Thinking, by Messrs, du 
Port Royal." 
These memorabilia of Franklin indicate sufficiently the resources 

J The Life of Benjamin Franklin, written by himself: now first edited from origiua] 
manuscripts and from his printed correspondence and other writings. By John Big- 
elow. Philadelphia, 1875, vol. i, p. 105. 

2 Ibid., p. 107. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago, 3 

which a bright boy of the time the first quarter of the last century 
had in Boston. A few theological books in his father's library, the use 
of a book now and then from the bookstore, the chance of borrowing 
from a " pretty collection of books," and the occasional purchase of a 
book which was mastered and turned inside out by use, as in the case 
of the odd volume of the Spectator, which served him, as he tells us, for 
a copy-book in his attempts at producing literature these were his lit- 
erary resources. He was about seventeen years old when he left Boston 
and began that striking career which has especially identified him, so 
far as his fame and his influence had losal bounds, with the city of 

It was by chance, seemingly, that he went there. One printer only 
was in New York at the time, and he had no employment for him, but 
told him that the recent death of a young man in Philadelphia had left 
a vacancy in a printing office there, and, consequently, Franklin ex- 
tended his journey to that town. It gives us a lively notion of the 
slight place which literature held in the economy of the time, when we 
discover that, in 1723, there was but one printer in New York and 
two only in Philadelphia, both of these poorly qualified for their 
business, one being illiterate though bred to the business, and the other 
something of a scholar but ignorant of press-work. Perhaps an even 
more significant commentary is in the incident related by Franklin of 
his return to Philadelphia the next year, when he had been to Boston 
and had brought back with him his books, together with those of his 
friend Collins, "a pretty collection of mathematics and natural philoso- 
phy." Franklin brought the books with him in a sloop by which he 
traveled from Boston to New York. " The then governor of New 
York," he relates, 1 "Burnet, (son of Bishop Buruet,) hearing from the 
captain that a young man, one of his passengers, had a great many 
books, desired he would bring me to see him. I waited upon him ac- 
cordingly, and should have taken Collins with me but that he was not 
sober. tfhe governor treated me with great civility, showed me his 
library, which was a very large one, and we had a good deal of conver- 
sation about books and authors. This," he adds complacently, " was 
the second governor who had done me the honor to take notice of me, 
which, to a poor boy like me, was very pleasing." 



It was about six years after this, when Franklin was fairly established 
in Philadelphia as a printer, that his interest in philosophy and litera- 
ture led him to combine with certain associates to form a debating soci- 
ety, called " The Junto," which grew into the American Philosophical 
Society, and also was the cause of the establishment of what he calls 

1 Ibid., p. 138. 

4 Public Libraries in the United States. 

" the mother of all the North American subscription libraries." x His 
account 2 of the origin of the library is interesting for the picture it gives 
of the period: 

At tin- time I established myself in Philadelphia, there was 7iot a good bookseller's 
shop in any of the colonies to the southward of Boston. lu Xew York and Philadel- 
phia, the printers wen- ind.-ed stationers; they sold only paper, etc., almanacs, ballads, 
and a few common school-books. Those who loved reading were obliged to send for 
their books from England ; the members of the Junto had each a lew. We had left the 
ale-house, -where we first met, and hired a room to hold onr club in. I proposed that 
we should all of us bring our books to that room, where they would not only be ready 
to consult in our conferences, but become a common benefit, each of us being at liberty 
to borrow such as he wished to read at home. This was accordingly done and for some 
lime contented us. . . . The number was not so great as we expected ; and though 
they had been of great use, yet some inconveniences occurring for want of due care of 
them, the collection, about a year, was separated, and each took his books home 
again. And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a subscription 
library. ... I drew a sketch of tin; plan and rules that would be necessary, and got 
a skillful conveyancer, Mr. Charles Brockden, to put the whole in form of articles of 
agreement to be subscribed, by which each subscriber engaged to pay a certain sum 
down for the lirst purchase of books, and an annual contribution for increasing them. 
So few were the readers at that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, that 
1 was not able, with great industry, to rind more than fifty persons, mostly young trades- 
men, willing to pay down for this purpose forty shillings each, and ten shillings per an- 
num. On this little fund we began. The books were imported; the library was open one 
day in the week for lending to the subscribers, on their promissory notes to pay double 
the value if not duly returned. The institution soon manifested its ability, was imi- 
tated by other towns, and in other provinces. The libraries were augmented by do- 
nations; reading became fashionable ; and our people having no public amusements to 
divert their attention from study, became better acquainted with books, and in a few 
years were observed by strangers to be better instructed and more intelligent than 
people of the same rank generally are in other countries. 

In 1732 the first books were received from London, arrangements for 
settling the bills having been made with Peter Collinsou, mercer, in 
(Iracious street, London. This gentleman took a lively interest in the 
matter, and himself added two books, which he accompanied with the 
following letter : 

LONDON, July 22, 1732. 

( ; KNTI.KMKX : I am a si ranger to most of you but not to your laudable design to erect 
a public library. I beg your acceptance of my mite, Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy 
and Philip Miller's (Jardeners Dictionary. It will be an instance of your candour to 
accept the intention and good will of the giver and not regard the meanness of the 
gift. I wish yon success, and am, with much respect, yours. 


The books were at first kept in the chamber of Robert Grace, one of 
Franklin's friends, and an associate in establishing the library. A libra- 
rian was in attendance an hour on Wednesday and two hours on Satur- 
day, and he was allowed to permit, as the record shows, "any civil 
gentleman to peruse the books of the library in the library room, but 

! Ibid., p. 20d. = Ibid., p. 220. 

3 Notes fur a history of the Library Company of* Philadelphia, [by W. Smith,] 
published in Waldie's Portfolio. Philadelphia, 1835. Part ii, p. 100. (Sept. 26.) 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 5 

not to lend or to suffer to be taken out of the library, by any person 
who is not a subscribing member, any of the said books, Mr. James 
Logan only excepted." l The exception is a notable one, Mr. Logan being 
at the time a Friend, advanced in years, who had been secretary to 
William Penn, and having a high reputation as a man of learning and 
a collector of books, had been consulted by the young associates as to 
the choice of their books. Joseph Breiutnall, Philip Syng, and Benjamin 
Franklin were afterward presented with the freedom of the company, 
that is, excused from paying the yearly contribution; Breintnall for his 
trouble as secretary six years, Syng for engraving the seal, and Franklin 
for printing notices each two years. 

Something of the simplicity of the early years of the library may be 
discovered in the entries which appear in the records shortly after the 
formation. Thus we read that, "one of the subscribers having some 
weeks ago brought to the library a book for the directors to see, and 
buy if they pleased, belonging to a gentleman lately from London, who 
is a transient person, the committee this night agreed to buy it for the 
library, and ordered the librarian to pay the price of fifteen shillings for 
it, that being less than a cent on the first cost, and the book undefaced. 
To be paid out of money received for forfeitures or penalties from bor- 
rowers of books delinquent. 'Tis a Voyage to the South Seas and along 
the coast of Chili and Peru in the years 1712, 13, and 14, by Mons. Fre- 
zier, in folio, with thirty-se\;en copper cuts, and well printed and bound 
on good paper." 1 On the 12th of March, 1733, William Rawle presented 
"six volumes or books of the works of Mr. Edmund Spenser;" whereat 
the worthy secretary observes, after stating that the directors kindly 
received this gift for the company, "the famous old English poem called 
Spenser's Fairy Queen is included in these works,'' 1 


In 1740 the books were removed to the upper room of the western- 
most office of the State-house, the use of which had been granted to the 
company by the assembly. One more removal was made in 1773 to the 
second floor of Carpenters' Hall, where the library remained until the 
present building was erected. The company was regularly incorporated 
in 1742, and by its general prosperity and its excellent management 
gradually drew to itself other collections of books. Thus in 17C9 the 
Union Library Company, in 1771 the Association Library Company and 
the Amicable Company were merged in the Philadelphia Library Com- 
pany as the institution was called. These libraries were established sub- 
sequently to the Philadelphia Library, and were indeed suggested by it. 


A more important junction, however, was that of the Loganian Library, 
which still forms an important and individual part of the library. Jaim-s 

1 Ibid., p. 100. 

G Pull ic Libraries in the United States. 

Logan, whom tbe young tradesmen bad consulted when they began their 
adventure, bad himself a valuable private library, especially rich in 
classical and foreign works, which be had been fifty years gathering. 
The character and value of these books may be inferred from the fol- 
lowing extract from Mr. Logan's will : 

In my library, which I have left to the city of Philadelphia for the advancement aud 
facilitating of classical learning, are above one hundred volumes of authors, in folio, 
all in Greek, with mostly their versions. All the Roman classics without exception. 
All the Greek mathematicians, viz, Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy, both his geography 
and almagest, which I had iuGreek, (withTheou's commentary, in folio, above 700 pages) 
from my learned friend Fabricins, who published fourteen volumes of his 15iblioth<-cjuc 
Grecque, in quarto, in which after he had finished his account of 1'tolciny on my in- 
quiring of him at Hamburgh, how I should find it, having long sought for it in vain 
in England, he sent it to me out of his own library telling me it was so scarce, that 
neither prayers nor price could purchase it : besides there are many of the most valu- 
able Latin authors, and a great number of modern mathematicians, with all the three 
editions of Newton, Dr. Watts, Ihilley, etc. 

What a pleasing glimpse this allows us of the book hunter and the 
book-reader as well. He found time to play a little with literature, and 
when about sixty years old made a translation of Cicero's tract De 
Senectute, enriched with notes, which Franklin printed ten years after- 
ward, himself furnishing a preface. He proposed to erect this collec- 
tion into a public library, and accordingly, in 1745, conveyed a lot of 
ground on the west side of Sixth street, between Chestnut and Walnut 
streets, with a building, 1 and some three thousand books to trustees for 
this purpose, at the same time placing certain rents in their hands 
to defray the expenses of a librarian and to increase the library. 
He afterward canceled tbe deed and began the preparation of another, 
but died before he completed it. After his death, his widow and heirs 
made a trust-deed, carrying out his wishes. By this deed it was pro- 
vided " that there should be a perpetual succession of trustees, part of 
whom should be of the descendants of James Logan, preferring the 
male line to the female, as long as any of his descendants remained ; that 
one of his male descendants, taken in priority of birth, and prefer- 
ring the male line to the female line, should be librarian of the said 
public library, with a power of employing deputies; that the library 
should be opened for the public use of the citizens, and that books 
might be borrowed thereout under certain restrictions.*' 2 This, we be- 
lieve, is the only case in America where a public oflice is hereditary. A 
younger brother of James Logan, Dr. William Logan, of Bristol, England, 
collected many books, which fell to the possession of James Logan's sou 
William, who added to the number, and bequeathed them, some thir- 

1 On page 7 will be found a view of this building, the lh>t in the United States 
devoted to the uses of a public library: Ei>m>i>. 

ita'ogue of the Hooks belonging to tbe Loganian Library, to wLicli is prefixed a 
short account of the Institution, with the law for annexing the said library to that 
belonging to the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Kules regulating the 
manner of conducting the same. Philadelphia, 1795, p. vi. 



Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 9 

teen hundred volumes, to tbe library of which he had been librarian, in 
accordance with the terms of the trust. After his death, however, in 
1776, the library remained closed for several years, and finally, in 1792, 
the only surviving trustee, of those originally appointed, James Logan, 
at Franklin's suggestion, applied to the legislature of Pennsylvania to 
vest the property in the Library Company. This was accordingly done 
by an act which provided that the books should be kept separate, and 
that one of the trustees should continue to be a descendant of James 
Logan, but the librarianship was not so restricted, the office passing into 
the control of the Philadelphia Library Company. 

The Loganian Library, as we have seen, was chiefly a library for 
scholars, but the origin of the Philadelphia Library had the effect to 
make its books read by all classes. There is a small volume of letters, 1 
published in 1774, written by Kev. Jacob Ducbe', an Episcopal clergy- 
man, residing in Philadelphia, in which the writer says : " You would 
be astonished at the general taste for books which prevails among all 
orders and ranks of people in this city. The librarian (of the City 
Library) assured me that for one person of distinction and fortune there 
were twenty tradesmen that frequented this library. 2 

In another letter he says : 

There is less distinction among the citizens of Philadelphia than among those of any 

other civilized city in the world Literary accomplishments here meet -with 

deserved applause. But such is tbe prevailing taste for books of every kind, that almost 
every man is a reader ; and by pronouncing sentence, right or wrong, upon the various 
publications that come in his way, puts himself upon a level, in point of knowledge, 
with their several authors. 3 

The character of the books at first composing the Philadelphia Library 
may be guessed to have reflected to a considerable degree Franklin's 
own taste. He printed a catalogue in 1741, and afterward, without 
date, but presumably within a few years, a list of " books added to the 
library since 1741." These two catalogues, which have no other arrange- 
ment than the mechanical division of books into folio, quarto, octavo, 
and duodecimo, show very simply, within certain limits, the class of 
books most in vogue at that time in Philadelphia. Of theological books 
and controversial tracts there is scarcely one. There is rather a small 
allowance of books in polite literature; but travels, science, philosophy, 
natural history, and especially the mechanic arts, are well represented. 
History makes a good show, but politics is not very prominent. A 
single page in the catalogue is devoted to a short account of the library, 
probably by Franklin, in which there is held out an inducement to sub- 
scribe to the stock. A share, it declares, " is now valued at 6 10*. 
But for this small sum, which, laid out in books, would go but si little 

'Observations on a variety of subjrrts, literary, moral, and religious; in a series of 
Original Letters written by a gentleman of foreign extraction who resided some time in 
Philadelphia. Revised by a Friend, to whoso hands the manuscript was committed for 
publication. Philadelphia, 1774. 

2 Ibid., p. 11. 3 Ibid., p. 29-30. 

10 Public Libraries in the United States. 

way, every member has the use of a Library now worth upwards of 
.C5IH), whereby knowledge is in this city rendered more cheap and easy 
to become at, to the great pleasure and advantage of the studious part 
of the inhabitants. It is now ten years since the company was first 
established; and we have the pleasure of observing, That tho' 'tis 
c'ompos'd of so many Persons of different Sects, Parties and ways of 
Thinking, yet no Differences relating to the affairs of the Library have 
arisen among us; but every Thing has been conducted with great Har- 
mony, and to general Satisfaction. Which happy Circumstance will, we 
hope, always continue." 1 The character of the library at a later period 
may be inferred from the correspondence which passed between the 
committee on importation and their London agents in 1783, when, after 
an enforced restraint of nine years, the library resumed its collecting. In 
their letter accompanying a remittance of 200, the committee say : " We 
shall confide entirely in your judgement to procure us such books of 
modern publication as will be proper for a public library, and though 
we would wish to mix the utile with the dulce, we should not think it 
expedient to add to our present stock anything in the novel way;'' 2 a 
principle of selection which has largely governed since. 

The Philadelphia Library passed through the scenes of the Re volu- 
tion without suffering any special detriment. Fears, indeed, were enter- 
tained for it, and an attempt was twice made, without effect, to call a 
general meeting for the purpose of empowering the directors to remove 
the books and effects of the company in case of an emergency. Both 
of the opposing parties had the- benefit of the library. In August, 
1774, it was, upon motion, ordered "that the librarian furnish the gen- 
tlemen who are to meet in congress in this city, with such books as 
they may have occasion for during their sitting, taking a receipt from 
them;" 3 and the British army officers who occupied the city during the 
Avinter of 1777-'78 were in the habit of using the library, but invaria- 
bly paid for the privilege. At the close of the war the number of books 
was about five thousand. 


The library was housed in its present quarters in 1790, the first stone 
of the edifice being laid August 31, 1789. A tablet was prepared and 
inserted in the building bearing this inscription : 

Be it remembered 
in honor of the Philadelphia youth 

(then chiefly artificers) 
that in MDCCXXXI. 

they cheerfulh", 
at the instance of Benjamin Franklin 

1 A Catalogue of books belonging to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Philadel- 
phia, 1741, p. 56. 

Smith's notes, iu Waldie's Portfolio, p. 102. 
3 Ibid, p. 102. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 11 

one of their number, 
instituted the Philadelphia Library 

which, though small at first, 
is become highly valuable and extensively useful, 

and which the walls of this edifice 

are now destined to contain and preserve : 

the first stone of whose foundation 

was here placed 
the thirty-first day of August 1789. 

The inscription was prepared by Frankliu, with the exception of tbe 
reference to himself, which was inserted by the committee. The refer- 
ence was deserved, though it may be doubted whether the committee 
in inserting it did not seek the honor which Franklin's name lent to the 
library quite as much as they sought to add to his fame. He probably 
felt more direct interest in the companion Philosophical Society, to 
which he left a larger bequest in books ; and it does not appear that 
during his lifetime, after the first institution of the library, he either 
added much to its collection or gave much thought to it. His absence 
from America would naturally withdraw him from it, while his connec- 
tion with the more personal Philosophical Society was easier to main- 
tain. Be this as it may, the conception of a free public library, as now 
held, did not occur to Frankliu, while the scheme for aiding apprentices, 
which lay nearer his heart, has been practically dissipated, owing to 
changes in the social condition of tbe people, which he did not foresee. 

The statue of Frankin, which occupies a niche in the front of the 
building, was given by William Biughaui, who, in consultation with the 
directors, learned that Dr Franklin " would approve of a gown for his 
dress and a Eoman head." 1 It would be a curious inquiry to learn 
what successive distortions of some simple remark of the doctor re- 
sulted in this queer recipe for a statue. However, Mr. Bingham, to 
make sure of the Roman head perhaps, sent an order to Italy, accom- 
panied with a bust belonging to the Pennsylvania Hospital and a draw- 
ing of the figure. The resultant statue, we are told, was regarded by 
his contemporaries as showing a good likeness. 

Frankliu called the Ph iladelphia Library the mother of all the Xorth 
American subscription libraries, and while some of those existing when 
he wrote, (1771,) have very possibly been allowed to die, there still 
remain several libraries whose origin dates from near the period when 
this present enterprise attracted attention from its success. 


In Pennsylvania there were two other libraries of similar character; 
one, in Hatborough, a town about sixteen miles north of Philadelphia, 
the Union Library, founded in 1755, and, perhaps, saved from the fate 
of other libraries by a bequest which in later years brought a substan- 

1 Ibid., p. 103. 

12 Public Libraries in the United States. 

tial building for its preservation ; the other in Chester, the oldest town 
in the State, the library company being formed in 1709 by an associa- 
tion of citizens who contributed thirty shillings each. 


A third library, dating from 1770, is the Juliana Library, in Lancaster, 
established by Thomas Penn, one of the proprietaries, and named by 
him after his wife. But this probably cannot be classified among the 
subscription libraries. The Juliana Library maintained an indepen- 
dent but not very animated existence until about 1838, when the books 
were sold to pay long accruing rents to the heirs of Caspar Weitzel, the 
last librarian, in whose house the books had been kept. Some of the 
books found their way into the Juvenile Library and Young Men's 
Reading-Room of Lancaster, some into a private circulating library, 
and some were scattered among private citizens; 'but there is little to 
show that the library ever had any other impetus than that given by 
the original founder. 


Outside of Pennsylvania, several libraries appear in the old colonies 
which may very possibly point to the Library Company as the original 
suggestion. "The Charleston (S. C.) Library Society" we quote 
from the preface to the catalogue of 1820 ''owes its origin to seventeen 
young men who, in the year 1748, associated for the purpose of raising 
a small fund to collect such new pamphlets and magazines as should 
occasionally be published in Great Britain. They advanced and re- 
mitted to London ten pounds sterling as a fund to purchase such pam- 
phlets as had appeared during the current year, acting at first under a 
mere verbal agreement and without a name. Before the close of the 
year their views became more extensive ; and on the 28th of December 
rules for the organization of the society were ratified and signed, when 
they assumed the name of a Library Society, and made arrangement for 
the acquisition of books as well as pamphlets; . . . the society be- 
came popular, and before the close of the year 1750 numbered more than 
one hundred and sixty members." l An effort was made to obtain an act of 
incorporation. For three successive years applications were made to 
the colonial assembly, and upon defeat by the governor's veto, to the 
privy council in Great Britain, but without success. 

It is difficult now to ascertain the causes which created these obstructions to the 
incorporation of a literary society. But the effect was injurious, and had nearly pro- 
duced a dissolution of the association. The members finally resolved to place their 
funds at interest, and make no further purchases until a charter could be obtained. 2 

The act of incorporation was finally secured in 1755. 

From this time the progress of the society was rapid and satisfactory. The members 
continued to invest a portion of their income in bonds, and soon began to embrace in 

'Catalogue of the books belonging to the Charleston Library Society. Charleston, 
1826, p. viii. 

= Ibid., p. iv. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 13 

their views the establishment of au institution for education in connection with their 
library. Such was the increase of their fuuds that in January, 1775, the amount in 
bonds was 18,000 (about $11,000) and between two and three thousand pounds were 
added to this sum between this period and the 1st of January. 1778. The library of 
the society, at the same time, was receiving regular addition from annual purchases, 
and the donations of individuals, which were then frequent. Great attention appears, 
from the minutes of the society, to have been paid, at this period, to classical literature, 
and many discussions took place as to the portiou of the funds which should be annu- 
ally applied to this department. The collection of classical authors, and of Commenta- 
tors on the classics, was not only respectable from its number, but valuable for the 
selection ; for some excellent scholars then superintended this portion of its labors. 1 


The society kept to its intention to establish a college eventually, and 
this probably " induced Mr. John M'Kenzie, a lawyer of eminence, who 
died in 1771, to bequeath a valuable library to the society for the use of 
a college, when erected in the province. . . . These books were received, 
distinctly marked, and always kept apart from the books of the society." 2 
This library, like others, as we shall see, suffered considerably from the 
derangement of society and affairs during the llevolution, when Charles- 
ton was occupied by the British, and also by the calamity of fire, which 
in other cases also wrought great havoc, so that of the five or six thou- 
sand volumes which had been carefully collected, only one hundred and 
eighty-five were saved. The M'Kenzie library fared better ; its size is 
not indicated, but the statement is made that two-thirds of the books 
were saved. For several years the society kept alive as a social club, 
and the books that had been saved, together with the few added from 
time to time, served as a nucleus for the present library, which was or- 
ganized anew in 1790. 


The only other public library south of Philadelphia which we can 
discover to have existed prior to the Revolution, is that which was 
attached to the academy under the control of the "VVinyaw Indigo 
Society, in Georgetown, S. C. This society, formed about the year 1740, 
by the planters of Georgetown district, was originally a social club, 
which met once a month to discuss the latest news from London and 
the culture of indigo, the staple product of the county. The initiation 
fees and annual subscription of the members were paid in indigo, and 
as the expenses were light, there had accumulated by 1753, a sum which 
seemed to require some special application. The president of the society 
proposed that the surplus fund should be devoted to the establishment 
of an Independent Charity School for the Poor; and out of this proposi- 
tion sprang the establishment of a school which, for more than a hun- 
dred years, was the chief school for all the country lying between 
Charleston and the -North Carolina line, and resorted to by all classes. 
'Ibid., p. iv. Ibid., p. v. 

14 Pullic Libraries iu the United States. 

The society was chartered in 1753, and a library was accumulated, but 
no records remain to indicate how large it became the occupation of 
the academy building at Georgetown during the late war leading to 
the destruction both of papers and books. 


In the Northern States there were others, some of which still exist 
in different degrees of prosperity. The present New York Society 
Library was incorporated in 1754, twelve years after the incorporation 
of the Philadelphia Company. It did not at first take that name, but 
that of the City Library, and owed its origin to the efforts of a body of 
gentlemen who clubbed together for the purpose and raised in a few 
days nearly GOO, 1 which was laid out in the purchase of about seven 
hundred volumes of "new, well chosen books." The books were at 
first deposited iu the City Hall, and with them were placed what 
remained of two previous collections of books, one a small library pre- 
sented in 1700, by Rev. John Sharp, chaplain of Lord Bellamont, the 
other a gift from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts, to whom, in 1729, a library of 1,622 volumes 2 had been bequeathed 
by the Eev. John Millington, rector of Newington, England. This last 
gift was made to New York " for the use of the clergj and gentlemen 
of New York and the neighboring provinces," and the two collections 
were for a time thus maintained; but the librarian dying, the books 
were neglected and almost forgotten, until the founding of the Society 
Library in 1754, called fresh attention to them. In 1772, a charter was 
granted to the society under the name it now bears, but the war not 
only interrupted the growth of the library, but nearly destroyed it. It 
appears from the minutes that " the accidents of the late war having 
nearly destroyed the former library, no meeting of the proprietors for 
the choice of trustees was held from the last Tuesday of April 1774, 
until Saturday, 21st December, 1783, when a meeting was summoned 
and the operations of the society were resumed/' 3 In 1789, the original 
charter was revived, a new collection was begun, and in 1793, a cata- 
logue was published containing about five thousand titles. It is plain, 
therefore, that when Benjamin Franklin and John Collins, two young 
tradesmen, brought their books in a sloop from Boston to New York, 
the event was significant enough to lead Governor Burnet to make the 
acquaintance of a young man who contrasted in respect to his love for 
literature with those about him. It was the gentlemen, indeed, of New 
York, who, perhaps under the example of the Philadelphia mechanics, 

: In New York currency, or 1,500. EDITORS. 

"April 22, 1730. The library from the society for propagating the gospel, etc., 
arrives, being 1,642 volumes to be placed in the City Hall until a place be made to 
receive them." History of the New Netherlands Province of New York, etc., by Will- 
iam Dunlap, New York, 1840, v. ii, appendix, clxii. EDITORS. 

'Alphabetical and analytical catalogue of the New York Society Library, with a 
brief historical notice of the institution, the original articles of association in 1704, 
and the charter and by-laws of the society. New York, 1338, p. viii. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 15 

clubbed together to form the Society Library, and it was in a similar 
class of society that the Redwood Library of Newport, had its origin. 


There was in Newport a literary and philosophical society, founded in 
1730, though it does not appear that a collection of books formed at 
first any important part of their plans. It was founded jn part by 
Bishop Berkeley, who was at this time residing in Khode Island, a colony 
exceptionally marked by its wealth and culture. Newport then held a 
relative commercial importance much beyond its present position, and 
New York was described as " near Newport." Out of the action of the 
society there grew a demand for a library, and finally in 1747, the gift to 
the society of 500 sterling, from Abraham Redwood, for the purchase of 
books led to the inauguration of direct measures. Mr. Kedwood's gift 
was a liberal one, but we have rarely seen an acknowledgment of a 
public benefaction so grandiose as the following, taken from an early 
catalogue of the Eedwood Library. It seems to be in keeping with the 
general sentiment among book-men, that led them to catalogue and 
classify their books according to their size, treating folios with a respect 
which those clumsy books seldom receive in this day. 

The generous Abraham Redwood Esq ; of Newport on Rhode-Island, sensible of the 
distinguishing Favour, whereby Heaven had blessed him with an ample Fortune, pro- 
posed to acknowledge it by a Design, which could only be the genuine Effect cf a 
grateful Mind, the improving the Place of his Residence in Knowledge and Virtue; 
that from the Inhabitants some Revenues of Honour might return and be paid to the 
Donor of all Mercies. To accomplish this happy End, he freely, and without a Prompter, 
devoted and paid down FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS Sterling, for purchasing a LIHKAUV 
of all AKTS and SCIENCES, put under the most prudent Limitations and Restrictions ; 
whereunto the curious and impatient Enquirer after Resolution of Doubts, and the 
bewildered Ignorant, might freely repair for Discovery and Demonstration to the one, 
and true Knowledge and Satisfaction to the other; nay to inform the Mind in both.iu 
order to reform the Practice. Now to conduct this Design to the best Advantage, he 
proposed to form a Company of some of the best Repute and Character, who might 
join in Consultation upon the most suitable Methods to bring so important a Project 
to a happy Issue. 1 


Five thousand pounds 3 were subscribed in the town for a suitable 

x Laws of the Redwood Library Company. Newport, 1764, p. 3. 

2 A view of this building is given page 17. "An Historical Sketch of the Redwood 
Library aud Athenfeum," by David King, M.D., contains the following description: 
"The Library Building, which is a beautiful specimen of the Doric order, was begun 
in 174S and completed in 1750. The plan was furnished by Peter Harrison, assist- 
ant architect of Blenheim House, England. The principal front is ornamented with a 
portico of four Doric columns seventeen feet in ho ight and projecting nine feet from 
the Avails of the building. The edifice consists of a main building and two small 
wings. The wings furnish two rooms, each about twelve feet square. The principal 
Library room, occupyingthe hall of the main building, is thirty-seven feet long, twenty- 
six feet broad, and nineteen feet in height. The building on the outside is worked in 
imitation of rustic and is adorned by the ornaments appropriate to the Doric order." 
The building was enlarged in 1858. In 1675 further extensive additions were begun, 
which will be finished the present year. EDITORS. 

3 Colonial currency. EDITORS. 

16 Public Libraries in the United States. 

library building, and in 1750 the present beautiful house was built 
upon land which had been given by Henry Collins. The books 
bought were mainly of a classical and theological cast, these being the 
lines of study chiefly pursued by the scholars of the day, and the pro- 
vision in Newport was for the gentlemen of the colony. Such was the 
attraction of this library that it was the principal inducement to Dr. 
Ezra Stiles to fix his residence in Newport in 1755, and there he re- 
mained for twenty years, acting as librarian, and by his influence drew 
many books to the shelves. 

There is a suggestive entry on the fly-leaf of Montanus' Biblia Sacra 
Polyglotta, in the handwriting of Dr. Stiles, showing the primitive man- 
ner in which books were bought, and perhaps, also, the value set upon 
a work which required such a company of gentlemen to lift it. 

JAX. 5, 1774. Moutanus' Polyglot &c in 8 vols., folio, price 21 dollars or 4 16. 
sterling was given to the Redwood Library in Newport, R. I., by the following persons; 
viz., the Hon. Abraham Redwood Esq., the founder, two guineas, or 9^ dollars ; Mr. 
Francis Malbone 1 dollar ; Mr. James Rod Rivera, 1-J- dollar ; Mr. Aaron Lopez, 1 
dollar ; Dr. William Hunter, 1 dollar ; Mr. John Bours, 1 dollar ; Mr. Isaac Hart, 1 
dollar; Mr. Samuel Rodman, 1 dollar; Mr. John Cranston, 1| dollar; Ezra Stiles, 1 
dollar ; viz. 21 J dollars. The hooks received and deposited in the Redwood Library by 
Ezra Stiles, librarian. 1 

From the years 1750 to 1810, not a single tax was laid on the proprie- 
tors to increase the library. The books bought with Mr. Redwood's 
money were considered at the time the finest collection of works on 
theology, history, the arts and sciences in the American colonies, and 
very possibly this deterred merchants and others in Newport from 
giving money further, leading Dr. Stiles to resort to special subscrip- 
tions when he wished to purchase particular books. Gifts, indeed, of 
value, were made from time to time ; but the revenues of the library 
arising from fines and an annual tax of twenty shillings on each share, 
were employed for discharging officers' salaries, incidental charges, and 
unavoidable repairs. 

The occupation of Newport by the enemy during the Revolution 
broke up Dr. Stiles's congregation, so that he removed to Portsmouth, 
N. II., and with the destruction of the commercial prosperity came the 
reduction of the place to an unimportant town. The library, as in the 
case of the New York Society Lib/ary, suffered during the war, and no 
meetings of the company were held from 1778 to 1785. The building 
was defaced, many of the books carried off', and it became necessary to 
begin almost anew the collection and cataloguing of books, a matter 
which was the more difficult since the glory of the town had quite de- 
parted, and upon the death of Mr. Redwood in 1788, the interest in the 
library became feebler. The revival of society interest in Newport has 
led, however, to a renewed prosperity for the library. 

A catalogue of the Redwood Library and Athenjeum in Newport, R. I., together 
with a supplement, addenda and index of subjects and titles ; showing all the books 
belonging to the company on the 1st of June, I860 ; to which is prefixed a short account 
of the institution, with the charter, laws and regulations. Boston, I860, p. xii. 


Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 19 


There was another library in Khode Islaud, less conspicuous than the 
Bed wood the Providence Library. It was established in 1753, and 
suffered the customary trial by fire in 1758, when, along with the town- 
house, in which it was placed, it was burned, only about seventy volumes, 
loaned at the time to members, being saved. An effort was made by the 
proprietors in 1762 to revive it, and some books were imported from Lon- 
don and placed in the new court house, the occupation of a room there 
being granted in consideration of the free use of the library by the ineru - 
bers of the assembly. The library must have received considerable 
attention, for in 1768, when the population of Providence was less than 
four thousand, the proprietors had collected nearly a thousand volumes. 
It was for a time the only library used by Rhode Island College, after- 
ward Brown University, which removed to Providence from Warren in 
1770. The books were badly used, partly on account of the somewhat 
irresponsible hands iii which they were placed, and the company accord- 
ingly sought an act of incorporation, which was granted in 1798. It 
kept up an independent existence until 1836, when it was united with 
the Providence Athenaeum. 


The city of Portland, Me., had not the relative importance to Provi- 
dence in its earlier days that it now has ; but it was one of the few 
towns possessing a library formed by the voluntary contribution of 
citizens. We copy from a paragraph in William Willis's History of 
Portland : 

The state of literature iu town previous to the Revolution was not of a very ele- 
vated character; nor indeed from the situation of the people could much have been 
expected. Yet when the small population of the Neck is considered, not exceeding 
1,900 at the very eve of the war, perhaps it contained as large a proportion of edu- 
cated men as any other place iu that day. In 1763 several gentlemen upon the Neck, 
desirous of promoting the diffusion of useful knowledge and extending the means ot 
information, made some attempts to establish a library. In 1765, twenty-six persons 
had associated together for this purpose, all but two or three of whom lived upon the 
Neck. The progress of their laudable undertaking was extremely slow, and a$ the open- 
ing of the library in 1766 it contained but ninety-three volumes, of which ancient and 
modern universal history somprised sixty-two volumes, just two-thirds of the whole 
number. Only part of this work was first put in, but iu 1765 a subscription was raised 
among the members to complete the set, and 39 15s. were contributed on this occasion. 
Ii.)oks at that period were not thrown from the press with the rapidity and in the 
quantity they are at this time : book-shops were rare, and all works of standard value 
were imported from England. It will be seen that among those which constituted the 
iirst library here, not one was printed in this country. Not much addition was made 
to the books previous to the Revolution, and in the destruction of the town, the little 
collection was widely dispersed* and a number of the books lost. 1 Such of the books 
as remained were afterward deposited iu the Portland Atheii;emn. 

The History of Portland from 1632 to 1864, with a notice of previous settlements, 
colonial grants and changes of government in Maine. By William Willis. Portland, 
1865, p. 360. 

20 Public Libraries in the United States. 


A library, half public, half private, that dates from the same period 
is the " Revolving Library, for the benefit of the first and second par- 
ishes in Kittery, (Maine,) and one in York." This library, which, true to 
its name, revolved bodily upon a small axis, was the result of a gift of 
Sir William Pepperell and others of books from their private libraries 
for use as above. The books were at first in the possession of the lU-v. 
Benjamin Stevens, pastor of the first church at Kittery from 1751 to 
1790, and the collection had grown, by a special gift from Sir William's 
son, until the whole library was quite a substantial one of standard 
books. After Mr. Stevens's death the library for a time remained with 
his son-in-law, the Eev. J. Buckminster, and then began its revolutions, 
falling into the hands successively of the oldest settled minister, and 
traveling about among the parishes. It probably never numbered 
over three hundred books, and it may be guessed that its wandering 
life was not calculated to increase the number of the volnines. "Two 
years ago, (1873,)" writes a friend, who lately saw the library, "when 
the present pastor at Kittery Poin t took possession of the parsonage, 
he found the library dumped down on the attic floor, like a load of coal, 
the wife of the former incumbent considering books unhealthy, and so 
being unwilling to have them in any living-room. The books are now 
placed on shelves in the minister's study, and though man y have fallen 
out of the ranks, it contains fine old valuable copies of the standard 
works of the last century." 


In 1760, a number of gentlemen united to form the Social Library of 
Salem, Mass., placing the shares at five guineas each, and making the 
number of shares thirty-two. The library could not have been very 
extensive. A catalogue was published in 1809, showing about 800 books. 
On a fly-leaf of the copy in the Harvard library is written : 

A few of us also possess iu this towu of Salem a Philosophical Library of several hun- 
dred volumes, including the memoirs of the French Academy from the beginning, the 
Royal Society Transactions from the beginning, Memoirs of the Berlin Academy, 
American edition of the British Encyclopedia, Harris's Lexicon Technicum, &c., be- 
. sides the philosophical works of Boyle, Newton, Wolf, Leibnitz, Bernouille, Bnffon, 
Franklin, Priestley, Maupertius, &c., and works by Smith, Maclauriu, Leadbetter, Keil, 
Stewart, Arbnthnot, Rehanlt, Spalanziui, Pringle, Price &c., and of several Literary 

This library was captured during the war by an American privateer 
from a vessel crossing the Irish channel, brought to Beverly, and sold 
to the gentlemen of the Philosophical Society. It belonged originally 
to Dr. Richard Kirwan, who, with very good grace, declined to receive 
the remuneration which the society offered him. 


The Leominster, Mass., Social Library was formed in 1763, with about 
one hundred volumes. For fifty-two years it was kept in the library of 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 21 

the Rev. Francis Gardner. The case which held it is still in the posses- 
sion of his niece, Miss E. G. Gardner, and it is designed to deposit it in 
the Public Library. It hardly seems worth while, perhaps, to call a 
hundred books a library, but it should be remembered that at that early 
day we were still colonists of Kiug George, and American literature 
was still a thing of the future. In 1820 the books of this old library 
were sold and the proceeds invested in a new collection bearing the 
same name. 


This library, still in existence and containing 1,750 volumes, was 
begun in 1773. Owing to the absence of records no facts respecting its 
early history can be obtained except that, in 1793, there were seventy- 
six shareholders. 

The libraries, then, mentioned above, represent the chief means of 
general literary culture open to Americans a hundred years or more ago : 
one in Philadelphia, two or three small ones in Pennsylvania, one in 
Charleston, one in New York, one in Newport, one in Providence, one 
in Portland, one in Salem, one in Leomiaster, one in Hingham, and the 
Revolving Library of Kittery and York. But the distinction between 
these public libraries and the libraries connected with colleges was not 
so great then as now, so far as the persons using them are concerned. 
The Philadelphia Library was an exception and a very interesting one, 
but the other libraries were mainly formed and used by the persons 
who in other places, as Cambridge and New Haven, would be using the 
college libraries. Harvard Library was at the service of the educated 
men in Boston and the neighborhood, and the same is true of the other 
college libraries, though they were, of course, most convenient for facul- 
ties and students. - The idea of a free public library has gradually 
served to separate the great lending and consulting libraries from those 
connected with institutions, which have gradually come to be more 
strictly confined to the use of the officers and students comprising the 


Of these college libraries the most notable is that of Harvard College. 
The founding of the library was contemporaneous with the founding of 

Almost as soon us- the first English settlement was matle at Jamestown, Va., the 
initial steps were taken to establish an institution of learning in the infant colony by 
the grant, at the instance of Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, of 
1~>, (MK) acres of land towards the endowment of a eollego at Henrico for the colonists 
and Indians. King James, in 1619, issued a "brief" asking contributions from the 
English chnrcheH to aid the company in "y e erecting of some churches and schools for 
y e education of y e children of those Barbarians." The sum of 1,500 was contributed 
in response to the King's letter. Other liberal benefactions came in from other sources. 
The officers and sailors of an Kast Indiaman gave 70 8s. Gd. " towards the building of 
a .Free School in I'irtjinia, to be called the Eaxt linl'm School." In January, 1(^1, "a 
small Bible with a cover richly wrought, a great Church Bible, the Booke of Common 

22 Public Libraries in the United States. 

the co^ege. Like that, it was small and increased only by a slow 
growth ; but the few books which had been gathered in the course of a 
hundred and twenty-six years, were, almost without exception, destroyed 
in the fire of January 24, 1764. This collection of five thousand volumes 
was the most extensive college collection in the country, although it is 
doubtful if it was intrinsically more valuable than Mr. Logan's collec- 
tion then existing. The tire gave an impetus at once to the efforts of 
the friends of the college to re-establish the library, and the records of 
the college at the time enable us to form quite an exact notion of the 
choice of books then made, and of the disposition of the donors. The library 
was to be constructed anew, and there is good evidence of the wide- 
spread interest in the college both in this country and in England. 


The fire occurred January 24, 1764. Governor Bernard promptly 
sent a recommendation to the legislature that they should take measures 
to replace Harvard Hall, and, accordingly, the sum of 2,000 was voted. 
A general subscription was made among the towns and counties of the 

Prayer, and other bookes were presented to be sent to VIRGINIA, in the name of a per- 
son who had the yeare before sent lor the use of the Colledge at Henrico : 8. Augustine 
De ciuitate Dei, Master Perkins, his workos, and an exact map of America. The giuer is 
not known, but the books are valued at 10 0. 

"Giuen by Master Thomas Buryraue, and Minister in VIRGINIA, deceased, for the use of 
the Colledge, a library valued at 100 marks." 

In the same year the " gentlemen and mariuers that came lately home from the East 
Indies in the two ships called the Hart and Eoe-Bucke, being at the Cape of Bona-Spe- 
ranza, homeward bound, gave towards the building of the aforesaid Free Schoole in 
VIRGINIA the summe of 66 13. 4d." 

Charles City was fixed on, from its convenience to llenrico, as the place for the East 
India School, and early in 1622 carpenters were sent from England to put up the nec- 
essary buildings. The school was designed to prepare students for the college at Hen- 
rico. There George Thorpe, charged with the preliminary work of organization, had 
settled with one hundred colonists on the college lands.* 

Rev. Patrick Copeland, chaplain of the East India Company, a zealous friend and 
generous patron of the East India School, was appointed president of the New Col- 
lege and general manager of its property. In April, 1622, being then in London, he 
was " requested by the company to deliver a thanksgiving sermon . . . for all the 
late mercies of God to the colony and for the bright prospects before them." 

About three weeks before this, on the 22u of March, 1622, the torch and tomahawk of 
the savage had laid waste the infant settlements on the James, and nearly three hun- 
dred and fifty settlers had lost their lives among them the noble Thorpe. The savage 
deeds of that day drove all thoughts of peaceful efforts to civilize and educate the In- 
dians from the minds of the colonists, who entered on a war of revenge and extermi- 
nation against their savage foes. More than sixty years elapsed, and then Virginia saw 
another and happily successful effort made to establish a college, which, in spite of re- 
peated misfortunes, still lives, the second college in point of age in the United States. 

For authorities consulted, see Annals of America, by Abiel Holmes D.D., volume i, 
second edition, Cambridge, Hilliard and Brown, 1829; Old Churches, Ministers and 
Families of Virginia, by Bishop Meade, volume i, Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott & Co., 
1857 ; and Papers Relating to the History of the Church in Virginia, edited by William 
Stevens Perry, D.D., privately printed, 1870. EDITORS. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 23 

State, amounting to 878 IQs. 9<7., and Thomas Hollis of London, a 
former benefactor of the college, sent 200 for the same purpose. But 
it was in the special gifts of books that the general interest was most 
displayed. In May the overseers took measures to raise subscriptions 
for the library. Mr. Hollis, writing some time afterwards, thinks " the 
government of the college in the wrong, that they did not take a differ- 
ent method to obtain assistance toward repairing their library than in 
their weekly papers, (which are seldom read in England.) The method 
most likely," he says, " was to have made the publication in all the Eng- 
lish papers and magazines, to have engaged all the booksellers in 
England in the cause of collecting, etc, etc., but as that was not done in 
proper season," he recommends " that it be done now; that an account 
of the fire and the loss be drawn up and published ; that the necessity 
and liberty and consequently the charity of contributing toward the re- 
pairing the library be properly and pathetically set forth ; the benefac- 
tions already received gratefully and genteely acknowledged, (studious- 
ly avoiding the naming particular benefactors,) and at the same time 
pointing out how very inadequate the books already received are to the 
greatness of the loss or to the purposes of such a library; that all the 
booksellers of any note in the kingdom be engaged to undertake for 
you and appointed to receive donations; that some gentleman of letters 
and leisure be pitched upon in London to correspond with them and to 
receive the books or monies to lay out in books." l 


Mr. Hollis gave something more than good advice. In addition to 
his gift for the building, he gave a like amount to be expended in books, 
and from time ta time sent over special books which he had picked up, 
and left a sum of money to the college, the interest of which is still ex- 
pended in the purchase of books. The college had many friends in 
England. Their agent in London at this time was Jasper Mauduit, and 
much of the business was transacted through him. He writes, April 
17, 1764: 

I am to acquaint you that the New England Company for Propagating the Gospel 
with you and parts adjacent at a General Court have ordered me to lay out C'^00 in 
such books as shall bo most suitable for those persons who shall be willing to qualify 
themselves for missionaries to go and preach the gospel to and among the Indians. 
You may therefore please to send me a list of such as were destroyed by the late fire 
and will be useful.- 

The society that gave this liberal gift had always been generously 
disposed towards the college ; and some notion may be formed of tho 
standard of qualification for missionary work among the Indians when 
the list of books, 1,101 in number, supplied tor this laudable purposi- is 
examined and found to contain solid works in science and classical lit- 
erature as well as in religion. It is evident that their conception of an 
1 Harvard College Papers, vol. ii, 1764-1785. "Ibid. 

24 Public Libraries in the United States. 

education which would quality a man for missionary work in Natick 
did not materially differ from what they would have required in one to 
deliver a Thursday lecture in the First Church in Boston. 

Other English donors were the archbishops of Canterbury and York, 
the trustees of the British Museum, who gave two folio volumes of the 
Harleian manuscripts ; Messrs. Dilly, the booksellers, who gave Lang- 
horne's Plutarch; A. Kincaid, of Edinburgh, the King's printer, who is 
credited with a gift of forty-three volumes; and the Rev. George White- 
field, who gave his collection of books, procuring, also, by his influence 
a large number of valuable books from various parts of Great Britain. 
The purchases of books were necessarily made in England, and the prov- 
ince of New Hampshire voted 300 sterling to be used in purchasing 
books for the library. A catalogue was transmitted to the Rev. Bast 
Apthorp, in London, by whose care 743 books were purchased. It looks 
as if the books were more costly than those purchased by the Society for 
Propagating the Gospel. Besides these large gifts and purchases, there 
were many gifts of single books from friends living in America. Lieu- 
tenant Governor Hutchinsou gave his History of Massachusetts Bay, 
in three volumes, and Harris's collection of voyages. John Greeuleaf 
gave Henry's Expositions, in six volumes, and Rev. Dr. Byles Caffellus's 
Commentary. Mr. Fleet, presumably the printer and bookseller, gave 
Thomas Willis, M.D., Opera, and John Hancock, Calasio's Hebrew Lexi- 
con, in four volumes, folio, a work which that light-minded man was doubt- 
less glad to be comfortably rid of. Hancock also made a very liberal gift 
of 500 sterling for the purchase of books. Rev. William Adams, of Rox- 
bury, is credited with the generous gift of " his sermons and other books," 
and Hon. Nathaniel Sparhawk, of Kittery, with six copies of the Dissent- 
ing Gentleman's Answer to White, which may fairly have been distrib- 
uted among those who were specially qualifying themselves to preach the 
Gospel to the Indians. Thomas Palmer gave twenty volumes of Roman 
antiquities, which called out a vote of thanks from the corporation " for 
the noble addition he has been pleased to make to the library, of that 
truly royal work The Antiquities of Herculaneum, and a complete set 
of the remaining monuments of Roman grandeur." 1 One gentleman, 
John Barnard, of Marblehead, who wished to contribute his mite, added 
also the sentiment : " May Harvard Library rise out of its Ashes with 
new life and Vigour, and be durable as the Sun, tho' the Building is a 
Nusance, and may the Blessing of Heaven continue upon that Society 
at Cambridge and make it a Nursery of pure Religion and accomplished 
Literature thro'oub all Generations." 2 The curious phrase respecting the 
building is not probably as contemptuous as it first strikes the ear, the 
word "nuisance" being used to describe the condition of the ruined 

1 The History of Harvard University. By Josiah Quincy, LL.D. Boston, 1860, vol. 2, 
p. 487. 

2 Harvard College Papers, ii. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 25 

The growth of the library from this time up to the war was quite 
rapid. The number of books cannot be determined exactly, but it 
probably was not far from ten thousand volumes, and certainly the col- 
lection was in many respects made with great care, the books especially 
selected by Mr. Holli.s beiug substantial and in good editions. The war 
interrupted the work of the college, and the library was removed, part 
to Concord, part to Andover, and deposited for safety elsewhere. It 
was increased also by the grant on the part of the general court of se- 
questrated libraries from the possession of loyalists, which had been 
deposited in the province-house, and in some stores. 


There is in the library a manuscript catalogue, not dated, but prepared 
about this time, which gives the names of all the books in the library, 
together with the names of donors ; and the first general catalogue, 
printed in 1790, is classified by subjects, and enables one to make some 
comparison of the prominence given to certain classes of books. We 
do not know how far Hancock advised as to the selection of books bought 
with his 500, but they comprise the largest part of such polite litera- 
ture as the library contains. Spenser, Chaucer, Pope, Dry den, Gay, 
the Gentleman's Magazine, V jltaire, and Rabelais were among his gifts, 
while Hollis gave Milton, Boccacio, La Fontaine, and Shakspere. That 
he should have given Milton is easy enough to understand, since he was 
an ardent admirer of his works, and indeed of all writing that breathed 
the rarer air of mental and political liberty. The mention of Shakspere 
reminds us how meager was the entire showing of dramatic works. 
Frauklyn's translation, the works of Moliere, Colley Cibber, one Igno- 
ramus, and two editions of Shakspere comprise nearly the whole of 
the dramatic reading at Harvard, but the general drift of the library 
will be seen when we say that of the 350 pages in the catalogue of 1790 
100 are devoted to theological tracts and 50 to theological books. Indeed, 
the tracts, so called, constitute about two-fifths of all the titles in the 
library, and indicate how considerably the authorship of the day was 
expended on these ephemeral publications. They are by no means to 
be confounded with the single-leaf little missiles which are shot out by 
religious publication societies, but were frequently very solid produc- 
tions. They answered to the articles in our periodicals to-day, to our 
editorials and newspaper contributions, and, by their form and bearing, 
testified to the high respect which men of letters entertained toward 
books. A. sudden energy of writing could find vent in a tract, but a 
book was a much weightier matter. We note also in this catalogue 
that its list of Bibles occupies three pages and a half, while three-quarter- 
of a page suffices for its periodicals. Books of travel occupy four pa u - 
and Greek and Latin authors ten. 

Wo have lingered over the Harvard library because the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of its reconstruction render it the best exponent we have of 

26 Public Libraries in the United States. 

the literary taste and the resources of our ancestors a hundred years 
ago! There were, however, six other college libraries in existence at 
the same time. 


The College of William and Mary, in Virginia, was founded in 1692, 
and a library at some unknown subsequent date was established there, 
but it was small when the war of the Revolution came. 1 

'The college of William and Mary was the most richly endowed institution of learning 
in North America at the outbreak of the war for independence, its annual income from 
all sources amounting to nearly 4,000 sterling. 

The first commencement was held in the year 1700. The nucleus of a library was 
formed, which was destroyed with the college building in 1705. The second college 
building was not completed till 1723. 

The record book of the faculty contains the following, under date of August 10, 1723, 
desiring that the income of a certain fund, bequeathed by Hon. Robert Boyle for the 
education of Indian youth, should be devoted to the purchase of books: 


" We have now in bank upon that fund about five hundred pounds, part of which we 
desired to lay out in a well-chosen library, which we judge necessary, and, indeed, the 
most necessary thing that is now wanting towards the finishing their education and 
fitting them for what was intended, the being put in orders, and sent out pastours to 
preach in their own country language, and instruct and convert their own people. As 
we do not live in an age of miracles, it is not to be doubted that Indian scholars 
will want the help of many books to qualify them to become good pastours and teach- 
ers, as well as others. And the fund allotted for their education being able to supply 
them, what reason can be given why part of it may not be employed that way ? If it 
be alleged that our College Library, it may be expected, should supply them, it may be 
truly answered that at present our funds are so poor, and theirs so rich, that they can 
better supply us than we them, and so it would be no hardship upon them, if whilst 
we found them with Masters and Professors to teach them Latine, Greek, and Hebrew, 
and Philosophy, Mathematics, and Divinity, they should in their turn help themselves 
and us to a few necessary books for those studies. But we are willing to compound the 
matter with them : we have, we can't say good store of books, but enough to make a 
good foundation and beginning of a library, to the use of which they are welcome, and 
if we were able, would buy a great many more, which we and they want. This want 
is their loss as well as ours. What can be more reasonable than that since their fund 
is able to do it, and ours not able, they should contribute their share towards so neces- 
sary means of education ? Some, perhaps, will be apt to object that by this means we 
think to make a considerable addition to the College Library at their expense, and if it 
were so, there would be no great harm in it, since the College Library is to be a common 
Library to them and us. But the case will be really much better on their side, for what- 
ever books are bought with their money shall not only be reflosited in distinct presses 
marked with the name of Boyle or Brafferton, and at their own house, (being without 
the college,) but every particular book shall have that inscription on the back of it ; 
so that, as to the use we shall have the benefit of their books, as they shall of ours, yet 
really the property shall not be altered. Every one shall know his own ; and this assist- 
ance of books we think as necessary a means and instrument of their education, as the 
paying for their victuals and cloaths, and master's salary, and medicine, and falls fully 

Papers relating to the History of the Church in Virginia, A. D. 1650-1776. Edited by William 
Stevens Perry, D.D. Privately printed, 1870, pp. 550, 551. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 27 



Yale College, established in 1700, had, so to speak, its library before 
it was organized, since its establishment was symbolized by the gift of 
books. President Clap, in his Annals of Yale College, tells the story, 
and as he also recites the several gifts which the library received down 

within the design of their noble founder, and therefore we hope the Earl of Burlington 
and my Lord Bishop of London (whose directions we are to follow in the management 
of this charity,) will easily come into it, and then there will remain nothing (for we 
shall give you a letter of credit to the cashier of this fund) but to take uiy Lord Bishop 
of London, our chancellour, his advice concerning the properest books for our use, and 
their best editions ; and to help you in this choice you will have with you two cata- 
logues, one of those books the college is possessed of already and another of those 
which an ancient minister designs shortly to leave to it,* that you may not buy them. 

" Upon this occasion, too, we must desire you to wait on his Grace, my Lord Arch 
Bishop of Canterbury, who, as he has been upon all occasions a notable friend of the 
College, so was pleased particularly to signify his good intentions of giving or loaning 
something towards our Library ; pray render our thanks to his Grace, and so consult 
him in the books you may buy for us, that he may have his share of supplying us with 
what part of learning he thinks most proper, that what you buy may not interfere 
with his Grace's intended donation. These are the chief things w'ch occur to us at 
present. Perhaps you may meet with some charitable benefactors, especially towards 
our library, that being at present our chief want, and as all this will put you to trouble 
and charge though you generously say nothing of it, we shall think it our duty not to 
be ungrateful." 

In July, 1724, Dr. Blair, minister of Bruton parish, Williauisburgh, as well as 
president of the college, wrote as follows : 

" We have not, nor never had any Parochial Library. The college has a small library. 
The key is kept by one of the masters."! 

In 1724, the Rev. Hugh Jones, A.M., minister of Jamestown, and chaplain of the as- 
sembly, in his Present State of Virginia, published in London that year, thus refers 
to the college : 

"There is a library without books, comparatively speaking." t 

In 1743, Dr. Blair died, leaving 500 in money and his private library to the 

Although the library was not extensive, it was, for the period, very rich and valu- 
able and appears to have numbered from fifteen hundred to two thousand volumes. 
The following letter from R. A. Brock, corresponding secretary of the Virginia Histor- 
ical Society, dated Richmond, Va., January 25, 1876, and including extracts from a 
letter of Dr. Grigsby, president of the same society and chancellor of the college 
will be found of interest. After explaining his delay in responding to the request for 
iif'ormalion, he says: 

"Neither my own library, nor those of the State, the Historical Society, nor of my 
friends resident -in the city contained the desired information. 

" Mr. (Jrigsby, tho president of our Historical Society, from his long connection with 
the college and his known familiarity with its history, appeared to me to be the most 
likely resort. 

" I have been awaiting his reply, which reached me yesterday. Ho writes : 

" ' In answer to your inquiry about the extent of the library bequeathed to William and 
Mary College by President .lames Blair, I am inclined to believe from tho number of 
books bearing his name which I have seen in tho college library, that they must have 
reached between six and seven hundred volumes. If you will visit Hourico Court- 

* Dr. Blair, who was undoubtedly the author of these instructions, 
t See Papers relating to the Church in Virginia, p. 300. 
J Ibid, p. 547. 

28 /''ilt/ir A////Y//-/VX hi flu- l'n'iti-tl Slat- 

to 1706, we give here in succession tin- several paragraphs in his \\\ 
nals which contain the record of the gradual formation of the library : 

The ministers so nominated met at New Haven. (17ti(l,j ami tunned themselves into 
;t bo:l\ or society, to consist of eleven ministers, including a rector, and agreed t<> 
found a college in the colony of Connecticut, which they did at their next meeting at 
Bran ford in the following manner, viz: 1 Each member brought a number of hooks and 

House and look into the record of wills from August 1, 174:5, when Dr. Blair died, you 
will find his will, which may throw some light on the subject. Tin- scattered book-, t.. 
which you allude [I mentioned iu my letter to him having seen a number of volume> 
on theological and philosophical subjects, bearing the imprint of tin- cen- 
tury, and marked with his label of ownership ' J. Blair,' in printed red letters, having 
been exposed for sale at public auction in this city some years since two of them an 
in my library R. A. B.] were either some of thosp which the commissary gave his 
nephew John Blair, the father of the John Blair of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, or were taken from the college library by borrowers and never returned. 

" ' Several months ago I saw in Prince Edward County two folio volumes with the book- 
mark of Dr. Blair, which had been borrowed by Frank Gilmer and kept by him during 
life. But the books of Dr. Blair composed but a small portion of the library of William 
and Mary. I have seen there books bearing the book-plates of nearly all our governm > 
from 1700 to 1775, and of our leading colonial men. There was the finest edition of 
The Fathers, in many folio volumes, splendidly bound and gilt, which was presented by 
the Archbishop of Canterbury to the college between 1750 and 1760. There was one 
set of works in folio that was estimated to be worth in England, thirty year 
nearly 700. I should put down the books in 1770 as between fifteen hundred and two 
thousand volumes of the most valuable kind in Latin, Greek, French, and English. 

" ' The splendid set of the Encyclopedic M6thodiqueiu thirty-three folio volumes was 
presented to the college by Louis the Sixteenth, at the close of the war. It must be 
remembered that as late as 177G, all our English classics were iu quarto f jrm Shak- 
spere to Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon. 

" 'Among the books in the college library before 177G and until 1859, %vheu the books 
were burned, was the Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, by Brianus Waltonus, printed iu 1057. 
in six volumes, folio. As late as 1843, a distinguished English divine pronounced this 
work the most complete biblical apparatus in any language. 

-Another book of immense value was the Lexicon Heptaglotton of Edmund Castell. 
two volumes, folio, 1669. As nearly two-thirds of the edition was destroyed iu Eng- 
land, this great work rose in value, and was estimated in 1825 by Professor Campbell 
to be worth iu England seven hundred dollars. It was presented to the college by 
Robert Carter Nicholas. But these books, which I took a note of many years ago on a 
visit to the library, will show its great completeness and its great cost.' 

"As suggested by Mr. Grigsby, I have referred to the records of Heurico County court 
without success. I hardly thought that the records of the ancient James ( ity County 
would have been lodged in another county. Those of James City were all destroyed 
during our late unhappy war, as I was informed some years since by the then clerk of 
the county. There are about a dozen early volumes, however, preserved in the Heu- 
rico County Court-house, the earliest of date 1678." 

President Ewell of the college writes under date of December 19, 1875 : "The books 
given by Dr. Blair counted by hundreds; a complete set of the Church Fathers, said 
to be the best in the United States, among them. There were books given by Queen 
Anne and the Georges -the first two at any rate and by Louis XVI of France." 

JThe Annal- or History of Yale College, in New Haven, in the Colony of Connecticut, 
from the tir>t founding thereof, in the year 1700, to the year 17d6, with an appendix 
containing the present -.fate of the college, the Method of Instruction and Government, 
with the otlicers, benefactors, and graduates. By Thomas Clap. A.M., President of the 
college. New Haven, 1766. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 29 

presented them to the body ; and laying them on the table, said these words, or to this 
effect : " / give these books for the founding of a college in this colony." Then the trustees 
as a body took possession of them and appointed the Rev. Mr. Rnssel of Branford to 
be keeper of the library, which then consisted of about 40 volumes in folio. Soon af- 
ter they received sundry other donations, both of books and money which laid a good 
foundation. This library with the additions was kept at Branford, in a room set 
apart for that purpose near three years, and then it was carried to Killingworth. 1 

[1713.] About this time sundry donations of valuable books were made to the 
library, particularly by Sir John Davie of Groton, who had an estate descended to 
him in England, together with the title of baronet. Upon his going to England he 
sent a good collection of books to the library. But the greatest donation of all was 
by the generosity and procurement of Jeremiah Dummer, esq., of Boston, then agent 
at London, who in the year 1714 sent over 800 volumes of ve ry valuable books, about 
120 of which were at his own cost and charge, and the rest by his procurement from 
sundry principal gentlemen in England ; particularly Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Richard 
Blackmore, Sir Richard Steele, Dr. Burnet, Dr. Woodward, Dr. Halley, Dr. Bentley, Dr. 
Kennet, Dr. Calamy, Dr. Edwards, the Rev. Mr. Henry, and Mr. Whiston severally 
gave a collection of their own works, and Governor Yale put in about 40 volumes, all 
which I suppose to be worth 260 sterling. 2 

[1717.] Last year he (Yale) sent above 300 volumes, both which parcels I suppose to 
be worth 100 sterling. Mr. Dummer at this time also sent 76 volumes of books, 
whereof 20 were folios, in value about 20 sterling. 3 

[1723.] Mr. Daniel Turner of London sent to the library sundry volumes of his own 
works on Physic and Chirurgery, and a collection of other valuable books, principally 
on the same subject, and particularly the large volume of Cowper's Anatomy. Where- 
upon the trustees sent him a diploma, creating him Doctor of Physic. 4 

[1733.] At the same time the Rev. Dr. Berkeley pursuing his generous intentions 
sent to this college the finest collection of books that ever came together at one time 
into America. The number was near 1,000 volumes, (including those which he had 
sent before,) whereof 260 were folios, and generally very large. I judge that this col- 
lection cost at least 400 sterling. This donation of books was made partly out of the 
doctor's own estate, but principally out of moneys which he procured from some gen- 
erous gentlemen in England. 5 

[1742.] Before this time there never had been any perfect catalogue of the books in 
the library, for want of which the students were deprived of much of the benefit and 
advantage of this. The rector therefore placed all the books in the library in a 
proper order, (bat in honor to the Rev. Dr. Berkeley for his extraordinary donation, 
his books stood by themselves at the south end of the library,) and put a number to 
every book in its proper class and box, and took three catalogues of the books as they 
stood in their proper order on the shelves, and another in an alphabetical order, and a 
third, wherein the most valuable books were placed under proper.heads, according to 
the subject-matter of them, together with figures referring to the place and number 
of each book. By which means it might be easily known what books were in the 
library upon any particular subject, and where they might be found, with the utmost 
expedition. This catalogue was printed and was a great incitement to the dili- 
gence and industry of the scholars in reading of them. 6 

[1765.] Wo have a good library consisting of about 4,000 volumes, well furnislic.l with 
anciont authors such as the Fathers, Historians and Classics. Many nmdcm valuable 

1 ks o!' Divinity, History, Philosophy and Mathematics, but not many authors who 

have wrote within these thirty years. 

It was two or three years before this that the building was erected 
which contained the library until it was removed to its present quarters. 7 

1 1 hid., p. 3. * Ibid., p. 15. " Ibid., p. 23. * Ibid., p. 34. 

8 Ibid., p. 38. Ibid., p. 43. 1 1bid., p. 86. 

30 PuUic Libraries in fl/r I'n'ded States. 


At Yale also should be noticed the libraries of the two societies of 
students, the Brothers in Unity and the Linonian, established a half 
dozen years before the Revolution, and numbering each a hundred vol- 
umes or so at that time. These societies with their libraries were the 
precursors of the many similar societies in all our colleges. The libraries 
probably owed their origin to the almost exclusive attention given at 
that time by the college libraries to learned works. 


The library of Columbia College, New York, was established in 1757, 
shortly after the foundation of the college. Joseph Murray, an English- 
man, who had resided long in New York as one of His Majesty's coun- 
cil and attorney-general for the province of New York, left the whole 
of his estate, including his library, to Kings, now Columbia College, 
shortly after it was founded. Rev. Dr. Bristowe, of London, also be- 
queathed his library of about 1,500 volumes. Gifts were also made by 
the University of Oxford, the Earl of Bute, and others in England, so 
that the library was one of considerable value at the beginning of the 
\var, but the same fate befell it which the Society Library suffered. The 
college building was required by the British as a military hospital, arid 
the books were deposited in the City Hall or elsewhere. The consequence 
was an almost total loss of the library, only six or seven hundred vol- 
umes being found some thirty years after in a room in St. Paul's Chapel, 
though how they found refuge there was a mystery to every one. Some 
of the books still show the book-marks of Murray and Bristowe ; these 
are principally law books, theological treatises, and other ponderous lit- 
erature in massive folios, which probably were too heavy to be easily 
moved and destroyed. Mr. John Pintard, founder of the New York 
Historical Society, used to say that he had seen the British soldiers 
carry away the books in their knapsacks and barter them for grog. 1 


The library of the University of Pennsylvania was a very small one, 
being composed mainly of books procured by individual donation. Its 
chief distinction at the time was in the fact that it was the recipient, 
during the war, of a gift from Louis XVI of books printed at the royal 
printing office, consisting chiefly of mathematical works and works on 
natural history. 


The library of the College of New Jersey, begun in 1755, was also a 
very small oiiej it was entirely consumed by fire in 1801. In 1764 
an account of the college, published by the trustees, gives the number 
of books as 1,200, all gifts of patrons in Europe and America. 

1 Address delivered before the New York Society Library on the one hundredth anni- 
versary of its incorporation, November 9, 1872. By Thomas Ward, M. D., New York, 
1872, p. 10. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 31 


We have already noticed that Brown University, then called Ehode 
Island College, depended at first on Providence Library for its books. 
The collecting of a library however began early, and there are some 
slight feeling references to it in the correspondence of President Man- 
ning with the English friends of the institution. In 1772 he wrote to 
Dr. Llewellyn : "At present we have but about 250 volumes, and these 
not well chosen, being such as our friends could best spare ; m a pathetic 
comment which a good many young libraries could echo. A few mouths 
later he wrote to Rev. Dr. Ryland : 

By the last ship we received the works of the great and good Dr. Gill, with fifty-two 
folio volumes of the Fathers, etc., the gift of Messrs. George Keith and John Gill, the 
doctor's executors. This is by far the greatest donation our little library has yet had.* 

A year later, November 25, 1773, he writes to the same gentleman : 

Eev. Benjamin Wallin of London sent me an agreeable letter, accompanied with all 
he has published, in ten volumes neatly bound and gilt, with the most valuable works 
of John Bunyan in six volumes, the Reign of Grace, by William Booth, and Wilson's 
Sermons all for the college library. 3 


The only other college library was that of Dartmouth, but as the col- 
lege was founded six years only before the opening of the Revolution, 
its library was insignificant, and can scarcely be counted as a literary 


The professional libraries connected with theological, legal, and med- 
ical schools did not come into existence until after the present century 
opened, with the single exception of a library connected with the Penn- 
sylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, which comprised only about a hun- 
dred volumes before the Revolution. The library began in a peculiarly 
quiet way. In 1762 Dr. John Fothergill gave a single book, Lewis's 
History of the Materia Medica, and the next year the hospital began to 
exact a fee from students attending the wards in company with physi- 
cians, which was devoted to the founding of a library. 


The American Philosophical Society, which had its origin among the 
same persons who started the Philadelphia Library, had a small collec- 
tion of books at the time of the Revolution. 


The Library of Friends, of Philadelphia, was established by a bequest 
from Thomas Chalkley, in 1742, of his library, consisting of 111 books, 

1 Life, Times, and Correspondence of James Manning, and the Karly History of Brown 
University. By Reuben Aldridge Guild. Boston, 1864, p. 194. 

2 Ibid., p. 200. "Ibid., ]>. 221. 

Public lAln-it.rirs ni tin- 1'nitril States. 

which was Accepted by the Monthly Meeting, ami ;i librarian appointed. 
The collection was gradually increased by purchase and donation-, but 
received little attention until a special effort \\a* mule in 17<i">, when 
the scattered books were brought together, new ones purchased, and a 
catalogue made. It was not until 1794, however, that the library 
became considerable, when it received a large bequest from John 


Perhaps this library ought to be included in what are more properly 
parish libraries. 

There are occasional glimpses of these before the Revolution, but only 
two can be named that were of any magnitude. 1 The Prince Library, 

1 Among the early libraries in the colonies, the parochial libraries, formed between 
1698 and 1730, through 'the efforts of Rev. Thomas Bray, D.D., founder of the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, were prominent. Owing to the 
zeal of their founder and patron, these libraries increased in number and extent during 
his lifetime. As we have seen, the first public library of New York became indebted, 
in 1729, to the society above named for a generous gift of books. 

The parochial libraries, though designed especially for the use of the clergy, and not 
public, in the popular sense of the present day, were readily opened to students, on 
application, and were doubtless, in many places, the chief means aeees>iblo for the 
pursuit of knowledge. 

The number of libraries founded in Maryland by Dr. Bray was 30, containing 
altogether 2,602 volumes; in the other North American colonies 8 libraries, with 1.162 
volumes, were formed; and books to the value of f>0 given to the College of William 
and Mary, in Virginia. 

" Before his laborious and useful life reached its close, Bray had the satisfaction of 
seeing not less than thirty-nine parochial libraries established in North America. The 
chief of them was at Aunapolis the princess after whom the city was named having 
given most valuable contributions toward it : and others, containing in some instances 
more than a thousand volumes each, were spread over the whole country, from M 
chusetts in the north to the farthest borders of South Carolina." 4 The assembly of 
South Carolina passed an act November 16, 1700, for the preservation of a library 
which Dr. Bray and others had sent to Charleston for the use of the church in the 

"In justice also to his indefatigable zeal to promote the knowledge of true religion 
it is proper to observe that besides founding the above-mentioned libraries he sent 
into America upward of thirty-four thousand religions books and tracts to bo dispersed 
among the inhabitants.'^ 

Rev. William Stevens Perry, D.D., of Geneva. N. Y., in a recent letter on the subject, 
remarks: "It should be noted that the venerable society, independently of Dr. Bray 
and the doctor's Associates, frequently supplied large and v alnable parochial libraries 
to the missions they had established in America." 

The largest of the parochial libraries sent by Dr. Bray was that of St. Ann's parish, 
at Annapolis, Md., which numbered 1,095 volumes. This library was probably scat- 
tered or destroyed during the Revolution, as no trace of it can now be found. 

A library of 42 volumes was sent to St. Paul's parish. Baltimore. Respecting the 

* History of the Colonial Church, by James S. M. Anderson, M. A. London, F. ifc J. Kivington. 1648. 

..1.2, pp. G24, 625. 
t Ibid., p. 90. 

; Pnlilic Spirit illustrated in the life anil designs of tbe Rev. Thomas Bray, D.D. Second edition, 
revised. 8. London. I-M-. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 33 

belonging to the Old South Church in Boston, and lately deposited in 
the Boston Public Library, is a very valuable collection of books and 
manuscripts relating to New England history formed by Thomas Prince, 
one of the early pastors of the church, and held after his death in 1758, 
as the public Ubrary of the church. 


At the same time he bequeathed a separate collection, to which 
he gave the name of the New England Library, consisting of books 
and papers either published in New England or pertaining to its his- 
tory and public affairs. He required that this should be kept in a dif- 
ferent apartment from the other books, that no person should borrow 
any book or paper therefrom, but that any person whom the pastors 
and deacons should approve might have access to it. This collection, 
numbering in 1814 two hundred and fifty -nine works, was deposited 
with the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

remains of this small collection, Dr. J. S. B. Hodges, rector of St. Paul's, writes, Jan- 
uary 26, 1876 : 

"As a parish library it does not now exist, but in an out-of-the-way place in the 
church I have found the following volumes, which must have formed a part of the 42 so 
given: Five books of S. Iremeus, ed. 1702; Scrivener's Course of Divinity, 1674; Du- 
pin's Ecclesiastical History, vols. 1 and 3, ed. 1693; Dupin's Ecclesiastical History, 
vol. 7, ed. 1695; Bray's Lectures on the Catechism, 1697; Sermons on the Apostles' 
Creed. These are folio volumes, and most of them are imperfect." 

The following interesting sketch of a parish library sent by Dr. Bray to St. James 
parish, Anne Aruudel County, Md., is kindly furnished by Rev. T. C. Gambrall, the rec- 
tor of the parish. He quotes the parish record as follows : 

" ' 1698. Books received by y e Rev. Chs. Hen. Hall, y e of May. 

" 'A catalogue of books belonging to y e library of St. James parish, in A. A. co., in 
Maryland, sent by y e Rev. Dr. Bray, & marked thus, belonging to y e library of Her- 
ring Creeke, Ann Arundell County.' 

"There were two lots. The first was received in 1698, as seen above. The second 
was received June 5th, 1703, sent also direct to Herring Creek, by Dr. Bray. 

' The first lot contained 125 distinct works in 141 vols. 

"The second lot was composed, almost entirely of such works as catechetical lectures, 
tracts, <fcc., there also being many duplicates. The total number of copies in this col- 
lection was at least 200, several items being merely denoted as parcels. The whole 
collection, therefore, in 1703, was abont 341 volumes. 

" There were, in the lot of 1698, 29 volumes folio, 19 volumes quarto, 93 volumes octavo. 

"The second lot of 1703, not specified. 

" Some of the works were in Latin, while the subjects covered the whole ground of 
tlic literal urc of the day probably, being in theology, (controversial, exegetical, and 
practical,) in philosophy, geography, history, and travels. Those works wore also of 
high character, many of them being standards to-day, especially, of course, those in 

" In 17H the catalogue is given again, when tho list numbers 1(>- volumes. This is 
probably the true number and the highest belonging to the library proper, the many 
duplicates above mentioned having bren distributed. 

"The library was preserved very well, probably down to the Revolution, it being tho 
law of the. colony that tho vestry should, from time to time, visit and inspect it. In 
1? Id we find as one of the grievances of the vestry against a rector of the parish, the 
3 E 

34 Public Lllrn >i' s /it tin l'nit<-il 


There was one other library in Boston of this general character, that 
belonging to King's Chapel, of which the following account is given in 
the Rev. Mr. Greenwood's history: 

With the new Governor (May Ib'LH) arrived a very valuable present of hooks to Un- 
church from the Hishop of London. 

In a foot-note M r. Greenwood adds : "The gift of books was actually 
from the King. This I infer from its being afterward caJled the King's 
Library .' : But this might easily have been an abbreviated form of King's 
Chapel Library. 

A complete catalogue of them is preserved in the book of records of this period, and 
an examination of it enables me to say that they formed a theological library, which 
was, perhaps, the best at that time in tliu country, and would be now considered as of 
great excellence, and such as any institution or individual might be glad to po- 
It was carefully deposited in boxes made for the purpose by order of the wardens, and 
placed in Mr. YVyles' (the rector's) house. It has since been neglected, dispersed, and 
abused in various ways, till the sad remnant was saved by being deposited, a few 
years ago, in the Library of the Boston Atheuseuru. 1 

The books were, however, first deposited in 1807 with the theological 
library in the vestry-room of First Church, an institution established 
shortly before that. A catalogue of the theological library, published 
the year following, keeps the books of King's Chapel Library separate, 
and bears out Mr. Greenwood's estimate of the value of them. Those 
given originally by the bishop of London are mainly the writings of 

complaint that he would not give the vestry tin- key of the vestry-house, that they 
might perfirm this duty as the law directs.' The catalogue of 17-1~ was made, after 
the d ath of a rector of the parish, as part of a general inventory of the property of the 
parisii, of which the rector had had charge during his life. 

"This parish suffered, though not to as great an extent as some other places, in the 
general confusion which befell the church in Maryland during the Revolution, and as a 
consequence the library was not .carefully preserved. We find, however, in 17^ the 
vestry returning to the convention of the diocese an inventory of the- parish property : 
and in it mention is made of the parish library, though many of the books are said to 
have been distributed about the parish. Since that time every ve>tige has hopelessly 
disappeared." t . 

In a letter relating to the aftairs of Christ Church, from Colonel Quarry and others. 
to Governor Nicholson", dated Philadelphia. January 18, 1695, (printed in vol. 1, His- 
torical Collections of the Church in Pennsylvania, edited by Uev. Win. Stevens Perry,) 
occurs the following: ' We hope your Excellency will also remind his Grace of Plate 
for the Communion Table and a Library." The following extract of a recent letter 
from Rev. E. A. Foggs, D.D., rector of Christ Church, shows the present condition of 
the library : 

The library belonging to this parish was probably established in 169"), by the first 
rector. Some of the books were pivsi-nted by Queen Anne. It contains now about 
2,000 volumes, and consists mainly of old and valuable and rare theological works. 
It is for the use of the clergy of the parish." 

The first books for this library were in all probability furnished through the efforts 
of Dr. Bray, by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Ennoiis. 

'A History of King's Clripi-1 in 15 >ston, the first lOiu'se >pal church in New England, 
comprising notices of the introduction of Episcopacy into the Northern Colonies. By 
F. W. P. Greenwood. Boston, 1633, p. 55. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 35 

the Fathers and the theologians of the Church of England ; the addi- 
tions, which were not very numerous, comprise controversial works, 
and especially apologies for the Church of England, as would naturally 
be expected in a library for the use of the rector. 


It will be seen, from this survey, that the idea of a free public library, 
as now practically exemplified in several of our States, was not recog- 
nized in its fullness before the Revolution. 1 The nearest approach to 
it was in the liberty giveu to persons not stockholders to consult the 
books in the Philadelphia Library. The growth of the system has been 
in the conjunction of private beneficence with public aid, especially 
where a system of free schools has developed a sense of the need 
of a public library. It is interesting, as one notes the development of 
the best known public library in the country, that in Boston, to see 
how a city, with old traditions of education and intelligence, gave no 
significant indications of considering this matter until within one or two 
generations. Before the Revolution there were but two libraries of 
public character, both of those of theological literature largely ; Harvard 
College Library, it is true, was close at hand. 


And mention should certainly be made of a circulating library, es- 
tablished in 1765 by John Mein, afterwards a royalist refugee, and kept 

1 Public Library. and Library of King William's School, at Annapolis, Md. In the library 
of St. John's College, at Annapolis, Md., are deposited 398 tattered and venerable 
volumes that tell of the existence of one, and probably two, public libraries in Annapolis 
UK curly as 1696-'97, four years anterior to the foundation of the public library at New 
York, by Rev. John Sharp. The circumstances under which one of these, the " pub- 
lic library," was formed, are made the more interesting by the fact that they were marked 
by the first official recommendation in this country for the application of public funds to 
aid in the maintenance of a free public library. In 1697 Governor Nicholson proposed 
to the house of burgesses " that His Majesty, William III, be addressed that some part 
of the revenue given toward furnishing arms and ammunition for the use of the 
province, be laid out for the purchase of books to be added to the books which had 
been presented by the King, to form. a library in the porte of Annapolis; and that a 
portion of the public revenue bo applied to the enlargement thereof; and that the 
library should be pl'aced in the office, and under the care of the commissary of the 
province, pe.rmitting all persons desirous to study or read the books, to have access 
thereto under proper restrictions."* 

The library was kept in the State-house until that building was burned in 1704, when 
it appears to have been removed to, and united with, the library of " King William's 
Sr.hool," (established in 169o-'97, and still nun r, labored with pride by Marylandora U8 
the school wluTo the learned and eloquent William Pinckuey received his early train- 
ing,) which, with other property of the school, was, in the year 1783, giveu to St. 
John's College. 

I.Vv. William S. Southgate, of Annapolis, recently inspected the remains of this 

* Annals of Annapolis, by David Ridgely, librarian of the State Library, Biiltituore. Gushing ami 
Brother, 1841, p. 92. 

36 Public Libraries in the United States. 

at the London bookstore. It numbered some 1,200 volumes and 
boasted a printed catalogue. The yearly subscription was twenty -eight 
shillings ; the quarterly, ten shillings and eight pence. In his adver- 
tisement he states that be was influenced to undertake ft " by the re- 
peated request of a number of gentlemen, the friend.s of literature/' 
Mein was a bookseller, and it gives some indication of the condition 
of the book business in Boston at the time, that he advertised, shortly 
after, a stock of above ten thousand volumes. We suspect that books 
were more freely bought by private persons in Boston than elsewhere, 
and we have seen how Franklin had recourse to bookstores and to pri- 
vate collections of books. 


There is one curious bit of literary history which points somewhat in- 
decisively to notions of a public library at a very early date. In the 
Mather Papers in the Prince Library there is a will of John Oxenbridge, 
in which occurs the bequest : 

Item. To the Public Library in Boston or elsewhere as rny executors and overseers 
shall jur'ge best Augustine's works in 6 volumes, the Century's in 3 vols. The cat- 
alogue of Oxford library. 

The will is dated Boston, in New England, the 12th daj of the first 

historic collectioa, and kindly furnished the following interesting description for this 
sketch : 

" There is an alcove in the library of St. John's College, Annapolis, filled with a 
miscellaneous collection of very old books, presenting a striking contrast to the new and 
fresh appearance of the contents of the other alcoves. They are all in their original 
leather binding, and in a very dilapidated condition. Some are stamped on the out- 
side of the covers, ' De Bibliotheca Annapolitana ;' others, ' Sub auspiciis Wilhelmi III.' 
The greater portion have no stamp, book-plate, or writing of any sort to show from 
what collection they came. They are in all probability the remains of the library 
established in Annapolis by Governor Nicholson about 1697, and of the King William's 
School Library, mentioned by Bidgely in his Annals of Annapolis. 

"This collection consists of about 188 folios and 210 quartos, octavos, and duodecimos. 
They are principally theological works of the editions of the seventeenth century. 
Prominent among them are the works of the Church Fathers, such as Ambrose, Athana- 
sius, Aquinas, Augustine, Basil, Clement Alexandrinus, Chrysostom, Eusebius, Epipha- 
nius,Gregory Nazianzeu, Gregory the Great, Origen, Theodoret, Theophylact, Grotius, and 
Jerome. Among the critical and historical works are the Critici Sacri, 9 vols., fol., 
1660; Corpus Juris Canonici, 3 vols., fol., 1671; Concilia Generalia, 9 vols., fol., 1636; 
Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastic!, 5 vols., fol., 1601. Of English writers we find such as 
Cave, Selden, Bishop Bull, Thos. Hobbes, Bishop Pearson, Goodwin, Charuock, Ham- 
mond, Bray, Chillingworth, Jewell, Andrews, Patrick, More, Bishop Hall, and Boyle. 
In the classics there are editions of Virgil, (2 vols., 1596 ;) Plutarch, 1574; Euripides, 
1694; Aristophanes, 1607 ; suid Delphine editions (1674 to 1691) of Claudian, Q. Cur- 
tius, Eutropius, Horace, Livy, Martial, Ovid, Plautus, &c. 

"One of the most interesting books of the collection is a catalogue of the American 
Library, presented by White Keuuet to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts, in 1713, for use by the colonial missionaries in the West Indies. 

" These books are of little USB where they are, and would be a valuable acquisition for 
the library of a theological school." EDITORS. 

Public Libraries a Hundred Years Ago. 37 

month, 167. Oae other reference appears in the town records for 
March 11, 1095 : 

Voted, that the bookes of the Register of birthes and deathes in the town of Bostou 
shall be demanded by the Sslect-men, in whose hands soever they be, and that all- bookes 
or other things belonging to the library, and all the goods or estate belonging to the 
Town, be demanded-, and taken possession of by the Selectmen. 1 

What -called out this vote, aud whether the library mentioned in it 
had any connection with the shadowy one to which John Oxenbridge 
bequeathed his books, are questions not answered by any farther 
knowledge that we have. 2 

1 Mather Papers, vol. ii, 15. (Prince Library, Boston Public Library.) 

2 There is some other evidence that a public library existed in Bostou prior to 1686. 
In that year Rev. Robert Ratcltffe, sent to establish the first Episcopal Church in New 
Knglaud, arrived from England and " waited on the council, and Mr. Mason and Ran- 
dolph proposed that he should have one of the congregational meeting houses to 
preach in. This was denied, but he was granted the use of the library room in the 
east end of the town house." 

June 15, 1636, it was voted" to pay " Mr. Smith the Joyner," for making " 12 formes 
for the servise of the church," and it was also voted to employ and pay " Mr. Smith 
the Joyuer, 20s. quarterlie, for his cleaneing, placeing, and removeing the Pulpit, formes, 
table &c.'' The historian of King's Chapel, from whose work* the above extracts are 
quoted, adds, "The accommodations provided for aud referred to in the two last votes 
were intended to furnish the library room in the town house in a decent manner for 
thi! performance of divine service." 

Holmes, in his Annals of America, vol. 1, p. 421, note, quotes from the manuscript diary 
of Judge Sewall, referring to the efforts of Governor Andros to secure a place of worship 
for the Episcopal Society, (1638,) "It seems [he] speaks to the ministers in the library 
about accommodations as to a meeting house." 

Drake, the historian t of Boston, says that a committee of the Episcopal Society 
applied to the council for the u-te of one of the three meeting houses for the minister 
to preach in. " 'That is denyed ; aud he is granted the east end of y e Towu-house, 
where y e Deputies used to meet, until those who desire his ministry shall provide a 
filter place.' This ro >m contained a library." 

The town house was burned in 1711 ; rebuilt the following year, and again destroyed 
by lire in 1747, at which time " 'A vast number of ancient books aud early records, 
together with a collection of valuable papers, were destroyed ; and to the ravages of 
this calamity we may attribute the imperfect accounts that are to be obtained of the 
first and second building.' "t 

1'i-obably the library was consumed in the great fire of 1747. The foregoing accounts 
seem to prove indubitably that such a library existed at a very early date. EJHTOKS. 

* A History of King's Chapel, in Boston, The First Episcopal Church in New England, by F. W. P. 
(.ivrnwood, Junior Minister of King's Chapel. Bostou, Carter, Hendee & Co., and Allen &. Ticknor, 

t'L'hu History and Antiquities of Boston, by Samuel G. Drake, AM. Boston, Luther Stevens, 1(86. 

; History and Antiquities of Bostou, p. 350, note. 






Although the history of school libraries in the United States is 
marked by many changes and mishaps, it would be untrue to say that 
these libraries have entirely failed to accomplish the good expected of 
them. From first to last, their shelves have held millions of good books, 
affording amusement and instruction, and cultivating a taste for read- 
ing in millions of readers, young and old. In a single State, New York, 
fifteen years after the first library was formed, over 1,000,000 volumes 
were reported in the school libraries, without account of the large number 
probably not reported, and the still larger number worn out and lost 
during that period. It should also be said that in a number of States 
the school libraries furnished, for many years, the only supply of reading; 
the imperfect facilities for procuring, and the comparative scarcity of 
books, preventing their purchase. Thousands of youth, then as now, 
left the district school to engage at once in the active duties of life, and 
their only hope of retaining what they had acquired and adding to it, 
lay in the means of self-instruction afforded by the district school 
library . 

A careful study of the history of the school library system in the sev- 
eral States where it has been tried develops the causes of the dangers 
and failures that have attended it. These may be grouped in two classes : 
first, defects and frequent changes in legislation ; second, incompetence 
and indifference in the administration of the law. Premising that the 
system of no one State or district exhibits all, but that, with a few 
exceptions, each will be found to contain one or more of the evils, they 
may be summed up as follows : 

First. Defects of legislation: In permitting school districts to raise by 
tax and expend money for libraries, without providing for State aid, or 
supervision of the selections of books; in granting State aid without 
supervision of selections ; in suspending at intervals the grants of State 

School and Asylum Libraries. . 39 

aid ; in limiting the size and usefulness of the libraries, by permitting the 
diversion of the funds to other purposes, after each had acquired a cer- 
tain number of volumes, or for any other reason ; in. not requiring that 
a sum equal to the State grant to any district should be raised by local 
taxation as a condition of such grant ; in failing to provide by stringent 
regulations, in cases where the library funds were to be partly or wholly 
derived from fines or other variable sources, for the full payment and 
legitimate use of such funds; in not cultivating interest in the libraries 
by holding trustees and other school officers to a more strict accounta- 
bility for their management and preservation. 

Second. Defeats of administration : As shown by the selecting and pur- 
chasing unsuitable and often improper and immoral books by trustees 
unacquainted with, or indifferent to, their merits or demerits ; by placing 
the libraries in the charge of teachers whose interest in the school and 
library alike terminated with the close of the school term ; by failing 
to hold librarians responsible for the care and preservation of the books; 
by perverting the library funds to. other uses without authority of law; 
by allowing the libraries to sink into neglect and contempt through 
failure to provide regular supplies of fresh reading; by trustees fail- 
ing to realize their duty and personal responsibility in respect to the 
proper management and preservation of the libraries, and their indif- 
ference respecting the fate of the books; by a like indifference, in too 
many cases, on the part of town and county superintendents; by inju- 
dicious selections of books by State superintendents and boards of edu 
cation, when charged with the performance of that duty. 

It is believed that an examination of the subjoined sketches of the 
school library system in the different States where it has been adopted 
will disclose all these causes as operating. The endeavor has been to 
present each with as little comment as practicable, leaving the reader 
to draw his own conclusions. 

The brief sketch of the libraries connected with the public schools of 
the province of Ontario has been introduced on account of certain feat- 
ures, which seem to commend the system to those charged with the 
administration of school libraries already in operation or which may he 
hereafter established in the United States. 


New York wa< the pioneer in founding school libraries. In lSi'7, 
Governor De Witt Clinton, in his message to the legislature, recom- 
mended their formation ; but it was not till 1835 that the friends of 
free schools saw their hopes realized in the passage of a law which per- 
mitted the voters in any school district to levy a tax of $20 to begin a 
library, and a tax of $10 each succeeding year to provide for its iuciv 
Much apathy was shown, and few districts voted the necessary tax. In 
l.S.'il, James Wadsworth, with others, .had succeeded in getting the 
State to republish and place in every school district iu the State, Hall's 

40 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Lectures on School Keeping. The favor with which this book had been 
received and read by both teachers and parents, was one of the practi- 
cal arguments used to secure the passage 'of the law of 1835. Mr. 
Wadsworth again catne forward and agreed to pay one-fourth of the 
first year's tax to each district in the towns of Geireseo and Avon. 
Even this failed to get a response, and the friends of the libraries saw 
that other means must be found or their plans would fail. Their efforts 
were at last successful, and in 1838 the law was passed which was to 
place within fifteen years over 1,600,000 books on the shelves of the 
school libraries of New York. General John A. Dix, then secretary of 
state, and ex oflficio superintendent of schools, from the first a zealous 
and powerful friend of the movement, was charged with the execution 
of the law giving to the school districts $55,000 a year to buy books 
for their libraries and requiring them to raise by taxation an equal 
amount for the same purpose. The law met favor everywhere save 
among those who opposed the common schools themselves; so that 
General Dix's successor was able in 1841 to report 422,459 volumes in 
the school libraries; in 1842 this number had increased to 630,125, a 
growth in one year of more than 200,000 volumes. In 1843 authority 
was granted school districts to use the library fund for the purchase of 
school apparatus, and after that had been sufficiently obtained, for the 
payment of teachers' wages, provided that each district containing more 
than fifty children between five and sixteen years of age, should have a 
library of not less than 125 volumes, and each district containing less 
than fifty children, a library of not less than 100 volumes. Year by 
year the libraries grew and multiplied until, in 1853, they contained an 
aggregate of 1,604,210 volumes. Then began the period of decadence. 
In his annual report for the year 1861, the State superintendent said : 

Concurrent testimony from nearly every quarter of the State represents the libraries 
in the rural districts as almost totally unused and rapidly deteriorating in value. The 
whole number of volumes reported during the past year is 1,286,536, which is 317,674 
less than was reported in 1853, although $55,000 has been appropriated each year since 
that period for library purposes. 

His successor, in his report for the following year, finds the libraries 

mainly represented by a motley collection of books, ranging in character from 
Headley's Sacred Mountains to the Pirate's Own Book, numbering in the aggre- 
gate a million and a half of volumes, scattered among the various families of dis- 
tricts, constituting a part of the family library, or serving as toys for children in the 
nursery ; . . . crowded into cupboards, thrown into cellars stowed away in 
lofts, exposed to the action of water, the sun, and of fire, or more frequently 
locked away iuto darkness unrelieved and silence unbroken. . . . The dark- 
ness of this picture is partially relieved by the fact that the cities and larger villages 
of the State . . . have been less negligent, . . . and that under the law of 
1858, as also by the sanction of the department uuder a previous statute, much of the 
appropriation has been applied to the payment of teachers' wages. Still, in the last 
rive years, $139,798.10 have been expended in the rural districts for library purposes, 
while the number of volumes reported has diminished in the same period from 1,288,070 
to 1,206,075, a loss of 81,995 volumes a a return for the expenditure named. I think 
this may safely be set down as among our permanent investments of the school fund 
form which no revenue is derived. 

School and Asylum Libraries. 41 

In 1864 the legislature authorized all districts (11,000 in number, 
according to Hon. S. S. Randall, formerly general deputy superintendent 
of schools for the State) which received less than $3 a year for library 
purposes to expend it for teachers' wages, and in all other districts for 
the purchase of school apparatus, and this being supplied, to teachers' 
wages. Mr. Randall observes: 1 

So far as the rural districts were concerned, and most of the city schools, this enact- 
ment was virtually equivalent to an entire abandonment of the library system, mani- 
festly and unquestionably a retrograde movement. It is earnestly to be hoped that 
before the million of volumes still remaining in the 12,000 districts of the State shall 
have disappeared, this great and beneficent feature of our common school system will 
be restored and placed upon a permanent and improved footing. 

The diversion of the library fund to other purposes continues, and all 
the official reports indicate that, in a majority of the districts, the people 
have come to accept the diversion as a matter of course, and that in some 
the very existence of a library at any time is rather a matter of tradi- 
tion than of knowledge. The prediction of Superintendent Morgan, in 
1840, that any diversion of the library fund to any other purpose, in any 
case and under any circumstances, would lead to the destruction of the 
libraries, seems to be fully verified. 

The present State superintendent, writing in 1875, says: 

The total amount of State appropriation since 1838 is $2,035,100. ... I doubt 
whether more than one-half of the State appropriation has, for many years, been used 
for library purposes. ... It is safe to say that, at the present time, the amount 
raised by local taxation for the maintenance of district libraries is very small. . . . 
The district library system has not worked well in this State and has utterly failed to 
accomplish what was expected of it by those who inaugurated it. The libraries have 
fallen into disuse, and in a large majority of the districts of the State have become 
practically valueless. The number of volumes is annually decreasing. ... At 
the date of the last report it was but 831,554. 2 . . . Mr. Weaver's 3 plan for im- 
proving and increasing the usefulness of libraries, was to prohibit, absolutely, the use 
of library moneys for any other purpose, to compel districts to raise, by local taxation, 
a sum equal to that apportioned from the State funds, and to permit them to raise by 
taxation a sum four times greater than the State apportionment. He also belie\ ed 
there should be a change in the method of selecting books and in that belief I most 
heartily concur. In very few instances are the school trustees competent to make 
selections. I have no doubt that under Mr. Weaver's plan, the system would l>e vastly 
improved. I have, however, been of the opinion that it might be better to consolidate 
the district libraries in the several towns, and form joint town libraries, with a town 
fund for their support. 


School libraries in Massachusetts owed their origin to the earnestness 
and eloquence of their advocate Horac/.- Mann, through whose influence 
a law was enacted, in 1837, allowing school districts to raise and expend 
$30 for one year and $10 each succeeding year to bi'gin and support a 

1 History of the Common School System of the State of New York, by S. S. Kendall. 
New York and Chicago, Ivisoii, Blakemaii, Taylor fe Co., 1871, pp. W.\, 364. 
-Valued, according to the superintendent's report, at $500, 1 ."'.. 
Hon. Abram S. Weaver, late State superintendent of public instruction. 

42 Public Libraries in the United States. 

library; the school committee to select the books. Few districts availed 
themselves of the authority thus granted, and four years after, in 1841. 
there were only 10,000 volumes in all the school libraries, while it was 
estimated that one hundred towns in the State were without libraries of 
any kind save private. The friends of school libraries did not despair, 
and in 1842, owing to their unwearied efforts, a resolution was passed 
appropriating to each district that should raise an equal amount the 
sum of $15 for library purposes. Neither this resolution, nor that of 
1843 extending its provisions to cities and ^ towns not hitherto divided 
into school districts, gave more than $15 to any one library. In 1842 
one-fourth of the districts formed libraries, at an expense to the State of 
$11,355; they contaiUed by estimate 35,0;)1) to 40,OJO volumes. The 
applications for aid gradually diminished from 1843 until 1850, when 
the law was repealed. The total amount paid from the school fund in 
aid of 2,034 libraries was $31,260; the value of the first libraries was 
therefore $62,520. According to the report of the board of education 
for 1849 the value of all the libraries was $42,707 ; the number of vol- 
umes, 91,539. 
The school libraries have been superseded by free town libraries. 


The school law of 1837 empowered the voters of each district to raise 
by tax a sum not exceeding $10 annually for the purchase and increase 
of district libraries. Each district that levied the library tax became 
entitled to 

its proportion of the clear proceeds of all fines collected within the several counties 
for any breach of the peace laws, and also its proportion of the equivalent for exemp- 
tion from military duty, which fines and equivalent shall be paid over by the several 
officers collecting the same to the county treasurers, to be apportioned according to 
the number of children in the townships between the ages of five aud seventeen years. 

An amendment, in 1840, directed that the fund arising from flues and 
exemptions should be used for library purposes only. The act of 1843 
provided for the establishment of township libraries and for an annual 
income of $25 for each, to bs raised by taxation ; it permitted the elect- 
ors, after a library had acquired 200 volumes, to reduce the amount to 
be raised by taxation to a sum not less than $10 annually ; aud it was 
made the duty of the State superintendent to publish a list of books 
suitable for school libraries. The law also empowered the electors of 
any town to raise by special tax $50 additional for the purchase of 
books for the library. The act of 1859 authorized the voters of any 
town to determine what portion of the amount raised by taxation for 
school purposes should be used to purchase books for the town library ; 
it also authorized the electors to divide the township library into dis- 
trict libraries. The law of 1869 permits the electors of any town to 
unite the several district libraries aud form a township library. The 
electors of a school district may vote a tax for library purposes. 

School and Asylum Libraries. 43 

The following, from the annual report of the State superiuteiident for 
1809, will indicate some of the difficulties that beset the system : 

The old la\v demanded $25 of the mill tax in every town, often absorbing the entire 
tax. This, with the fines, or so much of them, as could be coaxed through the hands of 
magistrates and county treasurers, was paid for town libraries. T'ie books were dis- 
tributed to the districts by the town clerk, to be returned by the directors every third 
mo;ith for exchange. This would now require more than 60,000 miles' travel per 
annum, at a positive expense to the directors, certainly, of $100,000, to say nothing of 
more than 10,000 days' time. This was like putting "two locomotives ahead of each 
other," as an old editorial friend once expressed it, "to draw a hand-car." The result 
was, the books were generally hidden away in the clerks' offices, like monks in their 
cloister, and valueless to the world. And what kind of books were they ? Some good 
ones, doubtless ; but generally it were better to sow oats in the dust that covered them 
than to give them to the young to read. Every year, soon after the taxes were col- 
lected, the State swarmed with peddlers, with all the unsalable books of eastern 
houses the sensational novels of all ages, tales of piracies, murders, and love intrigues 
the yellow covered literature of the world. 

It was one of the first acts of Superintendent Gregory to secure a change in the 
law, authorizing district instead of town libraries, so as to bring the books within 
reach of the people ; and by the supervision of the board of education absolutely pro- 
hibiting the purchase of bad books. The change was approved by the people, as shown 
by three-fourths of the towns.adoptiug it at the first election. But, alas! it was like 
a new railway, fully equipped, and no provision for wood except as town meetings 
might vote part of the highway taxes to bny it. The law failed solely because no 
reliable means were provided for the purchase of books. 

. If we could have an honest administration of the fine moneys and 10 
per cent, of the two-mill tax, I am sanguine we should soon be prond of our school 

The State superintendent's report for the year 1873 discusses the 
question of school libraries, and from it the following statements are 
taken : 

While it must be admitted that there are not a few who are decidedly opposed to 
school libraries as a useless appliance in our school work, and many more are quite 
indifferent to the subject, there are yet a host of earnest citizens, and among them our 
most active educators, who believe the value of school libraries, properly managed, 
can hardly be overestimated. 

The opponents say, that though there was a time when school libraries may have 
been desirable, at the present, when the country is full of books, and they can be so 
easily and cheaply procured by all, it is a waste of public money to maintain siu-h 
libraries. To this it- may be replied, that although books are plenty, it is very far 
from tine, that all or even a majority of the people cau individually procure them to 
any desirable extent. Multitudes are unable to bny them, and those who are able 
^eni rally will not, unless they have first acquired a "taste for reading." If one were 
to L;O through the country and take an inventory of the books to be found in all the 
houses, h,. would hardly be willing to assert that the people are supplied with books; 
and it' lie ask the people how much they find to the credit account of their finance* at 
the end of the year, and how strong (or bow weak) is their desire for books, the answer 
might sweep to the winds the belief he may have entertained that the people will sup- 
ply themselves. 


Very few districts are now voting sums of money sufficient to build up creditable 
libraries. The whole system seems to have come into general disfavor, and is, more 
than any other feature of our school system, the one of which wo are least proud. 
Many persons attribute the ill anccess to the division of the township libraries to the 

44 Public Libraries in the United States. 

districts, and advocate as a remedy a return to the township system. The townships 
can return to that system at any time if they wish, but we hive no information that 
any have done so. The township libraries have fared no better since the change in 
the law than the district libraries. If any advantage has been gained it has probably 
been by the latter. The radical defect and failure was in destroying all certain means 
for the support of the libraries. The moneys from fines, &c., were never designed as a 
support to the libraries, but were so appropriated by the constitution as merely inci- 
dental, and to make the penalty for crime aid in preventing crime by an increased in- 

According to the same report there were 1,265 district libraries, con- 
taining 120,577 volumes, and 207 township libraries, containing 49,872 
volumes, making 170,449 volumes. The amount paid during the year 
for township libraries was $5,576.64; for district libraries $13,374.77. 
making $18,951.41. There were added to all the libraries during the 
year 14,836 volumes. 

The funds are derived from three sources : 

1. From fines for breaches of the peace. 

2. Townships can vote a portion of the two-mill tax. 

3. The districts can vote a tax for their support. 

From the first source about $40,000 were realized in 1873. From the second $2,122 
were reported ; of the third we have no report, but the amount voted was small, doubt- 
less. Less than $19,000 were reported as expended for books, showing one-half of the 
fund, small as it was, illegally used for other purposes. Our law, as it now stands, 
gives us an admirable library system, but there is a want of disposition on the part of 
our people (save in exceptional instances) to vote the means for the support of the 
libraries. Nothing is certain but the fine money, and that is wholly inadequate, (ex- 
cept in the county of Wayne, including the city of Detroit.) Only seventeen town- 
ships of the 955 voted anything the past year, and these in the aggregate less than 


In 1838 there were but six school libraries, containing altogether less 
than 1,000 volumes, in the State. In 1839 districts were authorized to 
tax themselves tor a school library. In 1840 the secretary of the board 
of commissioners of common schools reported : 

I do not find that anything has been done by districts to secure for them- 
selves a library of useful books as they are now authorized to do by a tax not exceed- 
ing thirty dollars 

The school law of 1841 ^ave school districts the power " to establish 
and maintain a school library." In 1842, the secretary reported : 

Some assistance has also been rendered to districts, in purchasing and procuring 
libraries and apparatus. In this way, to my personal knowledge, more than 3,000 
volumes have been added to district libraries. 

A long period of inactivity followed, and the school libraries lan- 
guished. In 1856 a new law was enacted, giving to each district that 
would raise by taxation or subscription for library purposes an equal 
amount, the sum of $10 the first and $5 each succeeding year by the 
State. The first year after the passage of the law, $1,330 were appro- 
priated by the State, and $2,000 raised by the districts for the " purchase 
of libraries and apparatus." la the year ending March 31, 1875, the 

School and Asylum Libraries. . 45 

State appropriated $2,865, and the districts raised $4,803.82 for the 
same purposes. As the two items are not charged separately, it is im- 
possible to know what part was expended for libraries. 

By a subsequent modification of the law, large districts are allowed 
to draw the sums named for each one hundred pupils in actual attend- 
ance at school. High schools supported by towns also participate in 
the benefits of the law. 

There are 1,500 school districts in the State, and about 960 of them 
have availed themselves of State aid. 

The secretary of the State board of education writes: 

The workings of the system are entirely satisfactory. No changes are required. 
Local wants are provided for as local authorities prefer. 1 


An act of February, 1840, gave the school committee of each town 
power to appropriate out of the public school money to be distributed 
to each district the sum of $10 annually, to be applied to the purchase 
and maintenance of a school library for said district. 

The law of 1845 made it the duty of the State commissioner of com- 
mon schools to select the books for school libraries. 

The earnest exertions of Hon. Henry Barnard, then superintendent, 
resulted in the formation of school libraries in nearly every town in the 
State, mainly by the subscriptions of generous individuals; and in 1852 
there were some 20,000 volumes in all the libraries. 

A period of inactivity followed, and in 1874 a new law was enacted, 
which provides that the board of education "may cause to be paid 
annually, to and for the use of each free public library," $50, for the 
purchase of. books, provided the library contains 500 volumes, and $25 
for each addition of 500 voltTmes, though no library can receive more 

'Many towns in Connecticut, as in other parts of New England, enjoyed from an 
early period the educational advantages of libraries. Salisbury was particularly fa- 
vored. Before the Revolution it received from an Englishman engaged in business 
there the gift of a library of 200 well selected volumes, imported from London. This 
library flourished until the town was nearly a century old. 

In 1803 Caleb Bingham, a native of Salisbury , editor and publisher of the American 
Preceptor, Columbian Orator, and other school books, then a publisher and bookseller 
in Boston, wrote to his brother, saying : " I well remember, when I was a boy, how ar- 
dently I longed for the opportunity of reading, but had no access to a library. It is 
more than probable that there are at the present time, in my native town, many chil- 
dren who possess the same desire, and who are in a like unhappy predicament. . . . 
I have nelee,ted from my shelves 150 volumes for the commencement of a library for the 
sole use of the children of the town of Salisbury, from nine to sixteen years of age. 
. . . To the small beginning it is presumed the liberality of your fellow townsmen 
will induce them to make such additions from time to time, as that it will at length 
become respectable." 

The. expectations of the generous donor were not disappointed. The " Bingham 
Library" lived and prospered for many years, supported by occasional grants of money 
from the town, the first example, it is believed, of municipal aid to a library in the 
United States. 

46 Public Libraries in the United States. 

than $500. The board of education is directed to oversee the choice of 
books and secure their free use to the inhabitants of the town in which 
the library is situated. 

The law and a code of regulations were published in August, 1875. 
These regulations seem so wise that they are here inserted. 

1. The trustees or board of management of every library claiming aid under the 
provisions of chapter 464 of the general statutes, shall show to the satisfaction of the 
board of education that the free use of all the advantages of the library is granted to 
all citizens of suitable age and character of the towu or city . . . including those 
of the neighboring territory within a radius of three miles. 

2. Every application for said aid shall be accompanied by a catalogue of the books 
in the possession of the library, and also a written statement by the librarian of their 
number and condition. 

3. In the number of books reported as belonging to the library, only those shall be 
counted which are in good condition for use. Furthermore, in such enumeration no 
duplicate of congressional reports, State documents, or books of a similar character, 
shall be reckoned ; but unbound magazines may be counted in their complete volumes. 

4. With each application for aid following the first, there shall be tiled a schedule of 
the books purchased with the preceding grant from the State. 

5. Every library receiving aid from the State shall have a printed catalogue of all its 

6. Each application for aid shall be made to the commissioner of public schools, and 
be submitted by him to the committee on libraries, who shall report thereon at the 
next meeting of the board. 

7. Every library receiving aid in accordance with these provisions, shall be open at all 
times to the inspection of the board of education, or of any member thereof; or of their 

Applications for State aid have been received from seven libraries, 
the grants to which amount to $551); they contain, in the aggregate, 
9,356 volumes. 

The commissioner of public schools writes, September 25, 1875: 

I think the indications are very favorable, and I am strongly in hopes that within a 
few years we shall have a library in every village and town iu our State. 


By an act of the territorial legislature, passed in 1840, school districts 
were authorized to impose a tax of $10 a year for the purchase and in- 
crease of school libraries. In 1849, after the admission of Iowa into the 
Union, a new law was passed, empowering school districts to expend a 
portion of the money raised by taxation for school purposes for the for- 
mation and increase of school libraries. 

The growth of these libraries seems to have been sure though slow. 
The whole number of volumes reported in 1803 was 3,857; in 1875, 

In 1875 there were 3,670 school districts in the State. 


An act passed in 1841 authorized taxation, not exceeding 830 iu any 
one year, for the purchase and increase of a library in any school district 

School and Asylum Libraries. 47 

in the State. la 1852 a law was enacted requiring that a tax of one- 
fourth of a mill on each dollar of property taxable for State purposes, 
and 25 cents on each poll, should be levied during two years, aud the 
proceeds applied to the purchase of township libraries by the superin- 
tendent of public instruction, under the direction of the State board of 
education. The libraries were to be distributed by the superintendent 
among the counties on the basis of population-, but the injustice of this 
method became manifest as soon as it was tried, and the books were 
afterward assigned to the townships on the basis of school population. 

The sum realized in the two years was about $170,000. According 
to the repoit of the superintendent of public instruction for the year 1855, 
601 libraries, containing an aggregate of 135,378 volumes, had been 

The revised school law of 1855 provided for the levy of a tax for one 
year, and the whole amount received during the three years was 
200.597. Up to 1857, 226,213 volumes, costing $252,333, had been pur- 

In his report for 1850, the superintendent wrote: 

Sufficient time has now elapsed, since the first selection of books was distributed to 
the townships, to test, to a limited extent, the capacity of the library feature as an 
educational instrumentality, as an appropriate adjunct of our school system. It has, 
even in the brief period of its operations, accomplished results equal to the most san- 
guine expectations of its friends, and fully redeemed their pledges in its behalf. The 
reports from ftiany of the townships will show that the number of books takeu out, in 
twelve consecutive mouths, is from one to twenty times the entire number in the 

The libraries continued to grow until they were reported to contain 
315,209 volumes in 1801, from which time they began to decline. The 
superintendent's report for 1804 contains this significant sentence : 

I have . . . again to urge upon the legislature to make provision for reason- 
able, not large, annual additions to these libraries, and for better care of them, under 
tlic fall conviction that if such provision is not s -on made they will mostly, if not 
entirely, waste away and disappear, and the immense amount of money invested in 
tin in be lost to the State, aud this powerful auxiliary educational agency lost to the 

In 1800, $41,000 were raised by taxation for the purchase of books, 
and about 29,000 volumes added to the libraries. The circulation of 
books in that year was about 85,000 volumes; the small addition made 
awakened interest, so that two years later the circulation was reported 
at about 140,000 volumes, showing that the people craved fresh read- 
ing. The additions since 1800 have been small, amounting, in 1874, to 
only L',rl() volumes, while out of 253,545 volumes reported in the libra- 
vies, only 85,306 were reported as having been "taken out during the 
year." 1 

'The number of volumes reported in the Public Library of Indianapolis, Ai>ril 1, 
1-7 I, was 14,560; the circulation of books for the year ending on that date was 101,281 


48 Public Libraries in tin- ("ttitcd States. 

The average condition arul use of the libraries are fairly indicated by 
the subjoined excerpts from the report of the superintendent of public 
instruction for 1874, as reported to him by the superintendents of the 
several counties named: 

Bartholomew County. The number of volumes reported as belonging to twelve town- 
ships is 2,r>?\! ; the 11 umber taken out, H95. A few volumes of reports have been 
added to each library during the year. Many of the books have been lost, the re- 
mainder are in bad condition, and but little read. The expense overruns the benefit 
derived. I would suggest: that an appropriation be made to till the empty shelves with 
reading matter that will command respect by its worth; if not, our township libraries 
will soon belong to the past. 

Volumes iu libraries, 2,572; taken out during year, 395; added during 
year, 40. 

Benton County. The township libraries under the present arrangement are simply 
of no benefit whatever ; not 50 volumes out of the 1.3f:0 are reported as having been 
taken out and read. 

Volumes in libraries, 1,350; taken out during year, 45; added during 
year, 8. 

Carroll County. Our libraries are in rather poor couditiou, and poorly patron- 
ized. Many of the books are stale, and people seem to take little interest in them. 

Volumes in library, 3,428; taken out during year, 428; added during 
year, 7. 

Craicford County. Each township lias a good bookcase and the books are kept tol- 
erably well. In some townships they are not kept as well as in others. They get 
weak tor want of exercise. 

Volumes in libraries, 2,066; taken out during year, 1,281; added 
during year, 17. 

Dearborn County. Onr libraries are greatly neglected, the people scenting to care 
but little for the books, they generally being supplied with fresher publications for 
general reading. 

Volumes in libraries, 3,518; taken out during year, 1,541. 

Decatur County. Contrary to what was expected the towuship library system in the 
State, at least in this county, is comparatively a failure. Never have the advantages 
been realized from it that its projectors expected. In this county the books are but 
little read, and are slowly but surely becoming scattered and lost, and its complete re- 
duction is only a matter of time. 

Volumes in libraries, 3,637 ; taken out during year, 528. 

DeKalb County. Our libraries are in a fair condition, though in some townships the 
books are not much read. 

Volumes in libraries, 2,573; taken out during year, 50; added during 
year, 1. There are nine townships in DeKalb County. 

Di'ldu-int i Oniity. The public libraries of the various townships of our county are iu 
a most deplorable, condition. Many books are lost and but few read. I am afraid 
many of our citizens do not know of the existence of such libraries. Our teachers, too, 
many of them at least, are unacquainted with the character of these books, and hence 
cannot call attention to them and make such recommendations to their pupils as will 
enable them to read profitably. A great reformation is here needed. 

Volumes in libraries, 2,821; taken out during year, 600; added din- 
ing year, 11. 

School and Asylum Libraries. 49 

Fountain County. Oar township libraries are in general a failure. They have been 
poorly preserved, often left to the mercy of visitors, and in this way more than half of 
the books have been carried away and lost. They are now practically of no value, but 
a decided expense. Unless we can get more new books, I hope the next legislature 
will pass a law ordering the sale of our old books and that the proceeds be added to 
the general school fund. 

Volumes in libraries, 2,748 ; taken out during year, 546 ; added during 
year, 60. 

Franklin County. The books in our libraries are well taken care of, but not read as 
much as they ought to be. A small addition by State aid, or otherwise, to each of 
them, would have a good effect in calling the attention of the people to their existence , 
and attracting them to a perusal of the books. 

Volumes in libraries, 4,062 ; taken out during year, 1,019 ; added dur- 
ing year, 5. 

Grant County. Our libraries in some townships do tolerably well, while in others 
they do poorly. When some one takes an interest in this work, as in other things, and 
talks it up, invites persons to call in and examine the books in the library, the people 
as a result appreciate the reading of such books, and are benefited ; while in some other 
places no one speaks of the library, and it is considered a thing of expense for no profit, 
for the books are not read. I am of opinion that there is advantage and great profit 
in the aggregate, even as it is, though the books are not read as much as they should 
be by our people. 

Number of volumes reported, 1874, 2,556 ; taken out during year, 566 ; 
added during year, 4. 

Howard County. By the statistical report you will observe that incur township 
libraries are 1,820 volumes ; that not a book has been added ; that only 362 of these 
books have been taken out and read. 

Montgomery County. The libraries are doing very well, being rarely ever molested. 
If the case, box, or apartment wherein contained, is of good material and kept in the 
dry, the probability is they will serve the next generation as well as they have this. 
As a general thing they are composed of very poor selections, consequently they are but 
little read. I am decidedly of the opinion that they are not worth what it costs to 
keep them. If they were distributed among the different districts, and placed under 
the charge of the teacher, I. believe they would be productive of great good, and cost 
the public less. As now handled they are of but little value. 

Volumes in libraries, 3,728; taken out during year, 908; added dur- 
ing year, 2. 

Wayne County. The libraries, in most cases, are well preserved, and centrally located. 
The books, however, have been on hand so long that calls for them are not so frequent 
as they would be had they a supply of fresh new books. It would be well, in my opinion. 
to amend the law so as to permit the levy of a small tax by the township trustee, to 
increase the books on hand from 'year to year. 

The Morrison Library, in the city of Richmond, established by the generosity of a for- 
mer citi/cn, has done and is still doing much to diffuse general intelligence. 

Volumes in libraries, 13,459; taken out during year, 29,708; addM 
during year, 230. 


By an act dated March 19; 1844, school districts were authori/cd to 
expend not exceeding 5 per cent, of the district school appropriation 


n- Lil>r<ir'n-s in fltc 1'nitnl S 

each year in the purchase of books for school libraries, and two dis- 
tricts might unite their funds for this purpose. Few, if any, libraries 
grew up under the above provision, 'and the State superintendent, writ- 
ing in 1875, says : 
We have no library system in this State recognized l>y the school laws. 


The pioneers of Ohio were men who knew and appreciated the impor- 
tance of common schools. When they began the building of the State 
they also began an effort in behalf of public education. Amid all the 
discouragements that beset them in the wilderness, their energy did not 
flag nor their faith waver. The school law of 1825 gave place in 1837 
to one more efficient. Prior to this a State convention of friends of edu- 
cation, presided over by Governor Robert Lucas, met at Columbus 
during the session of the general assembly, in January, 1836. One of 
the resolutions adopted recommended that authority be granted for the 
formation of school libraries. 

The law enacted the following year provided for the appointment of 
a State superintendent of schools. He immediately entered on his du- 
ties, and, after traveling twelve hundred miles on horseback and visit. 
ing three hundred schools, submitted his report and recommendations, 
one of which was the establishment of school libraries. From this time 
onward the advocates of the libraries were unwearied in their efforts, 
and the legislature was constrained in 1847 to enaU a law by 'which the 
county commissioners of eleven counties, named in the act, were em- 
powered to grant the whole or any part of the proceeds of surplus 
revenue to teachers' institutes, one-half of which was to be devoted to 
the institution of libraries for their use. This act was amended February. 
1848, so as to require that all money used for libraries should be de 
voted to the purchase of common school libraries, and its provisions were 
extended to all counties in the State having possession of tl:e firml 
named in the first act. In 1853, after a severe struggle, the genera] 
school law was passed, which contained a clause creating a fund by a tax 
of one-tenth of a mill on the dollar, yearly, on the taxable property ol 
the State. k ' for the purpose of furnishing school libraries and apparatus 
to all the common schools in the State." It was estimated that this tax 
would produce $80,000 per annum. The State superintendent 
charged with the duty of selecting and purchasing the books. 

During the first three years after the enactment of this law 332.571 
volumes were placed in the school libraries. A suspension of the opera 
tiou of the law tor two years produced its natural result, a diminution 
of the number of books, and therefore of the usefulness of the libraries 
The decrease in the number of volumes reported was over 100,000. 11 
would not be fair to suppose that one-third of the books had disappeared 
in two years; much must be attributed to imperfect returns through 
waning interest. As soon as operations under the law were resumed 

School and Asylum Libraries. 51 


aud new books were added, interest was re-awakened, and for several 
years they prospered.' In 1860, a law authorizing the levy of a tax 
for school libraries was adopted. In 1865, the number of volumes re- 
ported was naarly 350,000. 

From the report of the State superintendent for the year 1858 and 
from other sources it appears that the selections of books for the school 
libraries during the early years of the system were not in all respects 
satisfactory, and some of the criticisms evoked, though severe, seem just 
and reasonable. 

It was felt that the libraries would command greater interest aud 
better care if, instead of being divided among the several districts, 
they were consolidated and the town system adopted. Accordingly an 
act, dated March, 1864, was passed, directing such consolidation, which 
it was hoped would infuse new life into the system. The reports of the 
State superintendent show, however, that this hope was not realized. 
The libraries continued to languish. In his annual report for 1868, the 
State superintendent said : 

There can be little question that our township libraries have either fulfilled their 
mission or are destined never to fill it The books are scattered or lost in large num- 
bers. Those that are gathered into the township central libraries, as required by the 
amended law of 1864, are read by few or none but the families of the librarians ; and 
in the townships where the requirements of the amended law ha!Ve not been complied 
with, the books, at least the great bulk of them, are hopelessly saattered or destroyed. 
. . . Township school officers are puzzled to know what to do with the few books 
remaining, a.nd in many cases are calling for the privilege to sell them by public auc- 
tion or to be otherwise relieved of their care. 

The superintendent recommended that the books be transferred, un- 
der proper restrictions, to voluntary associations, which 

already exist in nearly all our cities and in many of our towns and villages; and if 
the public school library books were turned over to these associations; or offered to 
others that may yet be formed, aTvery commendable enterprise would be promoted, 
a ml the books be properly cared for and used. 

According to the report above quoted, there were 286,684 volumes in 
all the school libraries. In 1869 there were but 258,371 volumes reported. 
Since that year no statistics of school libraries have been published by 
the State superintendent; the last mention of them appears in the an- 
nual report for 1871, where allusions are made to them in the reports 
from eight counties, without exception unfavorable. 

The recommendations of the superintendent in his report for 1868 
\\cic in May, 1873, embodied in a law which provides that a majority of 
the electors in any city or incorporated village not exceeding one thou- 
s;md inhabitants, may levy an annual tax not exceeding one-tenth of a 
mill on the dollar on the taxable property, for the purpose of creating 
and maintaining a public library, and on consent of the board of rdu- 
cation being had, the Qhio school library of the town may be trans- 
ferred thereto. 

An act passed March, 1867, empowers boards of education in cities 

~)'l Public LU>i'ri<'s in tl/r l'ii<l<tl 

of the first and second classes to levy an annual tax of one-tenth of a 
mill on the dollar on all property taxable for school purposes, for the 
purchase of books for public school libraries. The law of February. 
1868, authorizes the city council of am city of the second class to levy 
a tax not exceeding one-half a mill on the dollar for a free public li- 
brary and reading room, provided suitable accommodations are fur- 
nished without expense to the city. 

In several cities large public libraries have grown up, the creation of 
which was due to the school library law of 1853. The article entitled 
Public Libraries of Cincinnati, in another part of this report, will be 
found to contain an interesting description of the most important of this 
class, the Public Library of Cincinnati. 


The constitution of Wisconsin, adopted in 1848, provided for the for- 
mation of school libraries in the same section which enacted that com- 
mon schools should be established. The first school law authorized the 
town superintendent to deduct 10 per cent, from the school fund and 
with it buy books for the several districts. This law remained in force 
until 1859, when it was repealed. In 1858 there were 1,125 district 
libraries and 250 joint libraries in the State, containing an aggregate of 
38,755 volumes. At that time there were 4,000 school districts in the 
State ; there were 56 counties in the State, 20 of which did not report a 
single library ; six others reported nine libraries, with a total of 131 vol- 
umes an average of less than 15 volumes each. 

There seemed good reason, after summing up the results often years' 
effort and finding them so meager, for the superintendent to recommend 
the substitution of the township system. . 

In 1859 a law for town school libraries was enacted. By it a perma- 
nent library fund was to be created by devoting 10 per cent, of the 
school fund "subject to apportionment in 1860, and annually there- 
after," and adding the proceeds of a tax of "one-tenth of one mill on the 
dollar valuation of taxable property." This fund could 01113- be used for 
library purposes. The local school boards were no longer to purchase 
books, that duty being devolved on " public authority.'' Unfortunately 
the law was not specific, and a bill prepared by three distinguished 
educators, who had been appointed by the legislature in 1859 to make 
a revision of the school laws and report to the succeeding legislature, 
presented to that body a bill which cared for all details. It failed to 
become a law, and in 1862 the law of 1859 was repealed, the funds that 
had accumulated, amounting to more than $88,000, being transferred to 
the school and general funds whence they had been derived. 

A return to the district system was inevitable, and in 1863 a law was 
passed allowing school districts to vote a tax of $50 a year, and, if the 
district contained two hundred or more children of school age, $100 a 
year for a library. In 1874 there were reported in the district libraries 

School and Asylum Libraries. 53 

16,157 volumes, valued at $14,657.43, aud $809.77 had been paid for 776 
volumes during the year. Six counties reported less than 10 volumes 
each in their school libraries. Eeports were received from fifty-one 
counties; twelve made no report. 


An act passed February, 1853, empowered the voters of any school 
district to raise money by a tax for the purchase and support of a 
school library. Few districts appear to have exercised the power 
granted. The annual report of the State superintendent for 1868 con- 
tained library returns from 14 counties only. The aggregate number 
of volumes reported was 23,794, and 20,206 of these were in St. Louis 
County. The last annual report does not contain returns from any 
school libraries except at St. Louis and St. Joseph, the latter acquired 
entirely by the donations of individuals and the voluntary efforts of the 
pupils. A full account of the former will be found in the article entitled 
Public Libraries of St. Louis, in another part of this Report. 


Between 1854 and 1866 several school libraries were formed in Cali- 
fornia, mainly by the efforts of individuals. In 1856 a little more than 
$200 of school money was expended for books and apparatus; in 1863 
all the school libraries were valued at $3,600 one at Marysville con- 
tained about 1,000 volumes; in 1865 nearly $6,000 were expended for 
school libraries and apparatus. 

The friends of education had long felt the need of placing, books in 
the school districts, and left no means untried to carry out the plan. At 
length, in 1866, the recommendations of the superintendent of public 
instruction, in his biennial report for 1864-'65, were embodied in the 
present excellent law for school libraries. The provisions of the law 
and the results so far achieved are fully described in the following state- 
ment from the State superintendent, made in 1875 : 

A public school library is established by law iu every school district of this State. 
Except iu cities not divided into school districts, the library fund consists of 10 per 
cent, of the St.ate school fund annually apportioned to the district, unless 10 par CLMit 
exceed $50, in which event it consists of $50, annually taken from the fund so appor- 
tioned. In cities not divided into school districts, the library fund consists of the sum 
<>!' s50 for every 500 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years, annually taken 
from the State school fund apportioned to the city. Previous to I860, school libraries 
had 1m ii established in connection with several districts; but the system of public 
school libraries, supported by the State, dates from March, 18(56. The State grants 
rota Hi;: to H?l inclusive amounted to $169,009.75. 

The only other source of revenue for supporting these libraries, provided for by law, 
consists in fines, penalties, and fees of membership. " Fees of membership" are to be col- 
lected of residents of the district who are not pupils of the public school, and yet de- 
sire to become entitled to the privileges of the school library. Hut in point of fact no 
' fees of membership," or fines aud penalties have ever been collected ; aud the libraries 
II.-IM- been established and supported exclusively by the State. 

54 Public Lihnd-'trx ',,, flu r/, if*:,/ SftffcS. 

The libraries are under the direct control of the board of trustees or of education. 
who generally delegate this power to the teacher, who acts as librarian. 

The State board of education prescribes a list of books from which all books for dis- 
trict libraries must be selected. 

The results of this system of public school libraries have been that reference books 
have been placed at the disposal of the teacher; the children have obtained aeccss to 
those best of teachers, good books ; and in hundreds, nay thousands, of districts, a store 
of mental food has been placed at the disposal of the residents of such districts, which 
otherwise would be beyond the means of all except th<- most opulent. Under this sys- 
tem every district in the State established for any length of time has a good school 
library; and the legislature, at its last session, made it therefore optional with tin- 
trustees to expend the library fund for books, or for apparatus, or for both. Up to 
1874 the library fund could be expended only for books. Our system of public school 
libraries ha.s worked so satisfactorily that not even a wish for a change has been 

An examination of the excellent list of books prepared by the board 
of education in 1873 for the use of school officers shows that it is com- 
posed with great care and a catholic regard for the tastes of all. Fol- 
lowing it, no school d irector, however unfamiliar with books, can fail to 
make selections that will gratify as well as improve the tastes of pupils 
and parents alike. 


While Oregon was yet a Territory, a law was enacted authorizing 
electors of school districts to levy a tax for ordinary school purposes, 
and an additional tax for the purchase and increase of school libraries 
The school law of 1854 charged school directors with the duty of ap 
pointing a suitable person for librarian when the district had procurer 
a library. 

The State constitution, adopted in 1857, provides for the " purchase 
of suitable libraries and apparatus" for the common schools. 

The general school law, published in 1870 provides tbat the board o 
directors may, " when authorized by a majority vote of the district 
. . . furnish their school houses with the necessary . . . libraries 
apparatus, &c." The sparseness of population and the difficulties attend 
> ing the settlement of a new State probably constitute the main reasons 
why the reports of the State superintendent do not show that schoo 
libraries have been formed. 


The first legislative action for the institution of school libraries ap 
pears to have been taken in 1855. Section 43 of the general school la\\ 
provides : 

" For the purpose of . . . procuring furniture, fuel, libraries, and appa 
rains, . . . the directors of each district shall be authorized to levy a ta> 
annually." " The directors may also use for the purchase of libraries and apparatu 
any surplus funds after all necessary school expenses are paid.'' 

It is thus discretionary with the school directors whether money foi 
the purchase of libraries shall be raised by tax or not. In 1874, the 

School and Asylum Libraries. 55 

date of the last official return, there were reported iii all the libraries 
60,871 volumes. These, together with the unknown number lost and 
worn out since 1857, the date of the first purchase, had cost $194,966. 

Under date of April, 1875, the State superintendent of public instruc- 
tion writes: 

The statute makes no provision as to the manner of selecting the books, nor as to the 
management and use of the libraries, each local board being left to the free exercise of 
its own judgment in these respects. The omission to prescribe any rules or regulations 
for the guidance of directors upon these important points must be regarded as a very 
serious defect in our present law. 

The State superintendent of public instruction has no legal authority or jurisdiction 
in the matter of school libraries. He may, however, in virtue of the general powers 
attaching to his office, give such information and advice in relation thereto as he may 
deem expedient. Accordingly, Dr. Newton Bateman, my very able predecessor, pear 
the close of his term, prepared an extended list of books as an aid to local school 
boards and others, in making selections for school libraries. The list was compiled 
with great labor and care, and although it is purely suggestive, and of no official obli- 
gation, it is believed that it will prove of great assistance to those for whose benefit it 
was prepared, as well as to the cause of good reading and culture. The list referred 
to will be found at the close of the tenth biennial report of this department. 

Our present law in relation to the raising of funds for school libraries is a very liberal 
one, and when supplemented by a few simple regulations touching the selection, care, 
custody, and use of the books, the best results may be anticipated. 

It is my purpose to recommend that the law be so changed that when a district 
levies a tax for school library, the State shall grant an equal amount for the purpose. 
Of academies, wo have but few in the State, the public high schools having for the 
most part taken their place. 


School libraries may be formed under the law of 1864, by subscrip- 
tion or otherwise, and it is the duty of the school directors to receive 
and care for the same ; but they are prohibited from purchasing from 
the school fund any books except those of a strictly professional char- 
acter, for the use and instruction of teachers. No book, unless ap- 
proved by them, can be placed on the shelves of the school library. They 
are authorized to receive bequests and endowments for the bsnefit of 
school libraries. 

As might reasonably be expected, very few public school libraries 
have been formed in Pennsylvania, and those existing are of minor im- 


An act approved February 28, 1870, empowers the voters of any 
school district in the State to raise money by a tax, (in no case exceed- 
ing two mills on the dollar of taxable property,) for the purchase by 
the board of directors of a school district library ; and directs that the 
purchases shall be restricted to " works of history, biography, science, 
and travels." 

The, annual reports of the State superintendent do not indicate that 
any action has been taken to institute such libraries. 

f>(J Public Libraries in the United States. 


Section 0, article 8, of the constitution, as amended in 1870, is as fol- 
lows : 

The board of education shall provide for uniformity of text books and the furnish- 
ing of school houses with such apparatus and library as may bo necessary, under such 
regulations as may be provided by l:i\v. 

Section 51 of the school law, approved July, 1 870, directs that " such 
apparatus and library as may be necessary shall be provided for on 
some gradual system by the board of education." No school libraries 
are yet reported. 


The act passed by New Jersey in 1871, to " encourage the formation 
of libraries in the free public schools," provides that any school district 
which shall raise $20 by subscription for a library shall receive a like 
sum from the State for the same purpose, and that each year after shall 
be entitled to the sum of $10, on the same conditions. The selection of 
books and the administration of the library are placed in the control 
of the trustees of the district. 

In 1874 there were 1,369 school districts in the State. In the year 
1872, 189 districts formed libraries under the act ; in 1873, 47 additional 
libraries were formed, and 49 districts (raising by subscription the $10 
required) received further aid from the State ; in 1874, 31 new districts 
formed libraries, 28 made the first and 29 the second addition ; or, to 
summarize, 207 districts have formed libraries ; 77 have made two, and 
29 three additions. 

The State superintendent of schools, writing in 1875, says : , 

The reports I receive represent that the books are generally read by the pupils and 
by many of the parents. I am satisfied that the law has been productive of great good 
in the State. I do not think the law for us could be improved by any change in its 


The school law of 1873 provides that when, " by contribution, pur- 
chase, or otherwise," 40 volumes have been collected for the purpose in 
any school district, the trustee may organize a school library 

Provided, That none of the school revenues collected by general taxation for the 
purpose of common school education shall ever hereafter bo used to purchase books, 
maps, or charts for the same. 

It is made the duty of the State board of education to prepare a list 
of books suitable for school libraries. So far as known no such list 
has yet been prepared. No school libraries are reported. 


Minnesota, in March, 1873, passed a law authorizing voters in school 
districts to raise money by taxation for library purposes, but no such 
libraries are yet reported as having been established. 

School and Asylum Libraries. 57 


The territorial legislature enacted a general school law February, 1876, 
by a unanimous vote of both branches. Section 58 empowers the elec- 
tors of school districts of the second class to levy a tax for several pur- 
poses specified, one of which is, " for procuring libraries for the schools.'' 
In districts of the first class, i. e., those in which the population exceeds 
1,000 inhabitants, the board of education has the same power. 


It is thought proper to give here a brief account of the school libra- 
ries of Ontario. The system was inaugurated at a time when similar 
libraries in the State of New York were enjoying the season of their 
highest prosperity, and it was in a large degree due to the example of 
that State. 

The act under which the libraries were organized was passed in 1850. 
Its several provisions are succinctly stated by the chief superintendent 
of education for Ontario, in his annual report for the year 1874 : 

In regard to the free public libraries, it may bo proper to repeat the explanation that 
these libraries are managed by local municipal councils and school trustees, (chiefly by 
the latter,) under regulations prepared according to law by the council of public in- 
struction. The books are procured by the education department, from publishers both 
in Kurope ;ui<l America, at as low prices for cash as possible; and a carefully prepared 
classified catalogue of about 4,000 works (which have been approved by the council of 
public instruction) is printed and sent to the trustees of each school section, and the 
council of each municipality. From this select and comprehensive catalogue the local 
municipal and school authorities desirous of establishing and increasing a library, select 
such works as they think proper, or request the department to do so for them, and re- 
ceive from the department not only the books at prices about from 25 to 35 per cent, 
cheaper than the ordinary retail prices, but an apportionment in books of 100 per cent, 
upon the amount which they provide for the purchase of such books. There is also 
kept in the department a record of every public library, and of the books which have 
been furnished for it, so that additions can bo made to such libraries without liability 
to send second copies of the same books. 

The first purchases of books were made in 1854, when 851,376 were 
expended for that purpose. 

According to the report above quoted, collections valued at $152,410 
had been furnished up to the end of that year. The libraries, exclusive 
of subdivisions, numbered 1,334, an increase of 51 for the year; they 
contained 266,046 volumes; the increase for the year was 7,167 vol- 
umes; the sum of $2,668 was expended, of which the department paid 
one-half. The character of the libraries is sufficiently shown by the fol- 
lowing statement of the number of books belonging to the several 
classes placed in them since they were formed : History, 45,664 volumes ; 
zoiilot/y and phyxio IIHJU, 16,013 volumes; botany, 2,931 volumes; phcnotu- 
am. i, l.V) volumes; physical science, 5,048 volumes ; gcoloyy, 2,328 vol- 
umes; natural phi ItMopky and manufactures, 13,722 volumes ; <-licmix(rif, 
-.lo;; volumes; practical agriculture, 10,187 volumes; literature, 2.~>,237 

58 Public Libraries in the United States. 

volumes; voyages, 23,931 volumes; biography, 30,181; tales and sketches, 
practical life, 75,413 volumes; fiction, 2,399 volumes; teachers? library, 
4,134 volumes. 

The report does not indicate the value of the libraries as expressed 
by the extent of their use except in a few of the counties, but their 
growth from the year 1854 to the present time shows clearly that they 
are gradually increasing in usefulness as well as extent, and proves that 
the law, excellent in itself, has been well administered. 




Besides the libraries established in connection with common schools, 
there are others belonging to schools for secondary instruction. In sev- 
eral of the States such libraries of academies began early in the cen- 
tury. In New York they have been aided by State grants, under the 
act of 1834 ; in New Hampshire aid was given at an early day to the 
libraries of the academies. These collections have been multiplied as 
different kinds of schools have been established, until now there is 
hardly a school- of any kind, seminary, normal school, commercial 
school, or other higher school, public or private, without its library. 

Statistics reported to this Bureau show that there are, in 820 such 
schools, nearly 1,000,000 volumes. There are doubtless many such 
libraries not reported. Statistics of libraries of this class will be found 
in the general table in another part of this report. 

Some of the high schools have received municipal aid for libraries. 
In New York, as has been stated, many academies receive regular 
State aid from the literature fund. The number of such academies last 
reported was 234. They contained libraries amounting in the aggregate 
to 163,669 volumes, the estimated value of which was $193,454. 

Most of the collections belonging to these schools in the different 
States are of a miscellaneous character, mainly consisting of gifts of in- 
dividuals. The schools are for the most part without special library 
funds ; although in many instances means have been afforded to make 
selections that would aid students in their course of study. 


Most of the institutions for the care and education of the deaf and 
dumb and the blind, for the insane, for orphans, and other unfortunates 
in the United States, possess libraries, many of which are important and 

School and Asylum Libraries. 59 

valuable. Belonging to asylums of the cfoss first named there are re- 
ported 52 special libraries intended for the instruction of the inmates. 
The best known is that built up by the exertions of the late Dr. S. G. 
Howe, of Boston, in connection with the Perkins Institute for the Blind j 
that of the Hartford Asylum, Hartford, Conn.; and that of the Deaf- 
Mute College at Washington, D.C., under the charge of Professor Gal- 
lauclet. The last named institution is sustained by the General Govern- 
ment. Others, begun later, have acquired a high rank in the class to 
which they belong. 

Asylums and hospitals for the insane are also to a considerable extent 
provided with libraries. The best known is that of the McLean Asylum, 
at Somerville, Mass. 

Asylums for orphans and others, maintained by State or city govern- 
ments, or by private benevolence, generally posssss libraries. 

Reference is made to the general table in another part of this report 
for statistics of libraries in the several classes above named. 





The principles on which college and university libraries are conducted 
should be quite different in some important particulars from those upon 
which " public " libraries are administered. 

The college collections of books should be regarded as instruments to 
be kept in use, rather than as precious treasures to be stored up. There 
will of course be in every State, and in most large towns, public libra- 
ries, in which the attempt is made to bring together, and hand down 
to those who come after us, all the publications of our day and of past 
times. But a college library will be embarrassed by attempting to take 
the place of the public library ; and the space at command, as well as 
the corps of librarians it employs, may be given up to that which for 
colleges will be of very little use. 

The tendency among librarians is to increase the number of volumes 
which are placed upon the library shelves, and this is largely because 
libraries are usually rated by their numerical contents. Few college 
librarians would have the courage to say, with the late Dr. Cogswell, of 
the Astor Library in New York, " I would as soon tell you how many 
tons the library weighs as how many books it contains." It should be 
a question with every college librarian what gifts he will consent to 
receive, or, at least, what gifts he will consent to embody in the main 

Again, the books which are received in a college library should be 
arranged within easy reach of the persons who have access to it. The 
librarian should not be a miser, hoarding away his riches where nobody 
can easily find them, but a capitalist, constantly using his accumulated 
wealth for the encouragement of further production. 

A library may be rich in choice works, but if the rules of its man- 
agement are such that these works can be approached only by a select 
few and under restrictions as to use, or under other embarrassing regu- 
lations, their value is but slight. 

Not long ago the distinguished president of an American college. 

College Libraries. 61 

visiting the library of a foreign university, one of whose learned pro- 
fessors had just published a work on Greek antiquities, was told by him 
that three copies of Montfau con's Antiquities were in the university 
library, but he could not be allowed to take one of them to his study j 
and as his working hours were in the evening, after the library was 
closed, these three copies were practically of no use to him. He then 
endeavored to purchase one of those copies, which was standing idle 
within a stone's throw of his study, but there was no authority to part 
with any of the possessions of the college, and he was consequently 
obliged to import a fourth copy, at his own expense and for his private 
use, from Paris, while the three copies the college owned stood dust- 
covered on the shelves. But, as a college officer, the professor had the 
satisfaction of knowing that the college law was enforced. 

It also seems very desirable that a college library should be provided 
with a room wherein cyclopedias and dictionaries and standard histori- 
cal, scientific, and literary works are gathered, and that this room should 
stand open through the evening and on Sundays. There are many even- 
ing hours when students find their own rooms cold and cheerless ; the 
college library, or a portion of it, should be open from morning until late 
at night, inviting them to investigation and reading. It is true that 
most of our colleges have neither the proper buildings nor the force of 
librarians requisite for this purpose. But the question is, what is de-. 
sirable, if the pecuniary means will permit. Certainly if it is well to 
provide attractive and wholesome resorts for workingmen near their 
homes, there is also occasion to provide them for those engaged in study. 

It is a question now beginning to be asked whether the building up of 
one great library in a college is as useful as the building up of several 
special libraries in it ; or, rather, whether it would not be well to sup- 
plement the great or central collection of books by special and tech- 
nical libraries adapted to every department of instruction, literary as 
well as scientific. 

A college which should have all its philosophical. apparatus chem- 
ical, physical, astronomical, and engineering in one repository, would 
seem ridiculous. Not that the literary and scientific apparatus are of 
the same sort: yet it would be a great advantage to any college to see 
the furniture of books provided liberally for every class and lecture 
room, as a matter of course, as chemical and physical apparatus are pro- 
vided for the scientific class rooms. Literary tastes would be quickem-d 
and methods of literary research would be acquired under the guidance 
of a professor who had around him, as in his own library, the sources of 
information, much more readily than when obliged to send his scholars to 
a distance to verify an assertion or prosecute an inquiry. In other 
words, the ideal college library would contain, lirst, the books most in 
demand by the professors and students, skillfully arranged, easily acces- 
sible, and opened, in part at least, to the studeUts from morning until 
late in the evening; the promotion of scholarship being the chief thing 

62 Public Libraries in the United States. 

thought of. .Second, a storeroom for such books as may rarely be 
needed for the purposes just stated; but which, having come into the 
possession of the library, may fitly be stored away for possible use in 
cases of special inquiry. The first room would be the working room or 
bibliographical laboratory ; the latter, the bibliographical storehouse. 
Third, branch libraries in the principal lecture rooms, even though in 
some cases it may be necessary to duplicate or triplicate such books as 
are requisite lor frequent use. 

But, as has been already hinted, (and as will appear from the fol- 
lowing sketches,) few colleges have possessed funds to build up li- 
braries on a scientific plan. Their collections consist largely of the 
voluntary gifts of many individuals, and hence are usually of a mis- 
cellaneous character. Comparatively few of the patrons of our col- 
leges in the past have appreciated the essential impprtance of ample 
and well selected libraries. Recently, however, more liberal views have 
prevailed in this respect. This, with fewer restrictions as to expendi- 
ture, will enable college officers to select with greater discrimination 
and more definite purpose. 

The library fund of Harvard College now amounts to about. $169,000, 
that of Dartmouth College to $37,000, that of Yale College to $65,500, 
that of Trinity College to $35,000, that of Brown University to $25,000, 
that of the College of the City of New York to $30,000, that of the Col- 
lege of New Jersey to $40,000, that of the University of Rochester to 
$25,000, that of Wesleyan University to $27,000, that of Madison -Uni- 
versity to $20,000. 

The gifts of valuable and special private collections to college libra- 
ries have been numerous within the past few years. Noteworthy^ among 
them are those of Charles Sumner to Harvard ; of President Woolsey 
and Professor Salisbury to Yale; of Groldwin Smith to Cornell; of Hon. 
C. F. Ward to Lafayette; of Mr. Michael Reese, (Dr. Lieber's library,) 
to the University of California; of Herr Schulze to the Northwestern 
University, and of Stephen Colwell and Professor Rogers to the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. 

The sketches of college libraries here presented were, with two excep- 
tions, prepared by the librarians of the respective colleges. Some of 
these have been necessarily abridged. It is regretted that the limits 
of this report preclude the possibility of publishing like sketches of the 
libraries of all our colleges. Statistical information respecting all col- 
lege libraries reported will, however, be found in the general table ot 
library statistics in this volume. Reference may also be made to the 
chapter entitled College Library Administration, by Professor Robinson, 
of the University of Rochester. 

College Libraries. 63 




The nucleus of the library was formed from a graiit of $5,000 by the 
regents in 1869. Funds for the support and increase of the library are 
dependent upon legislative grants. In 1874 the State legislature made 
a special grant of $4,800 for the library, and with this sum large acces 
sions are about to be made. 

Many generous donations have been received, the most noteworthy of 
which are the following: A collection of cyclopedias and other works 
of reference from Mr. E. L. Gould ; the literary and art books, with some 
scientific treatises, altogether over 1,000 volumes, from the library of 
the late F. L. A. Pioche, of San Francisco ; the library of Dr. Francis 
Lieber, about 3,000 volumes, particularly full in works pertaining to 
political and social science, the gift of Mr. Michael Eeese, of San Fran- 
cisco; and the professional library (about 500 volumes) of the late Dr. 
Victor Fourgeaud, of San Francisco, presented by his widow. 

The number of volumes now in the library is about 12,000, more than 
double what it was in 1872. The library of the medical department of 
the university mioibers 1,600 volumes. 

It is intended that the main library of the university shall be chiefly 
a reference library. A branch circulating library has been begun, made 
up in part from the duplicate books of the main library and in part 
from donations. Two other branch libraries have also been begun, one 
of agriculture, the other of the fine arts. It is hoped tliat in time each 
department of instruction will be furnished with its own special library. 

A very large collection has been made of newspapers illustrative of 
the history of California. 

The general library now occupies the main floor of one of the uni- 
versity buildings. This is regarded as only a temporary arrangement, 
until a suitable building can be built. The books are arranged by 
subjects in alcoves, and in handsome cases made with reference to their 
removal to another building. 

64 Public Libraries in tlir l'i,'itl Mutes. 


The library of Trinity (then Washington) College was begun in 1*>_'1. 
A catalogue was published in 1832 showing a very valuable collection 
of books. It has been increased by gifts and by the income from sev- 
eral funds which have been founded from time to time the Bishop 
Burgess, Elton, Sheffield, Peters, Alumni, and Athenaeum funds ami 
which now amount in the aggregate to about $33,000. In 1862, by a 
legacy of Ex-President Wheaton, his library was added to that of the 
college ; and about 1870, in the dissolution of the literary societies, the 
Athena3um and the Parthenon, their libraries of miscellaneous reading 
were also incorporated in the college library. The whole number of 
volumes now amounts to about 15,000, not including many duplicate^ 
and unbound pamphlets. By the gift of the widow of the late president, 
Dr. Jackson, his collection of works on mental and moral philosophy 
will soon become a part of the library. The departments in which the 
library is especially strong are Greek lexicography, chemistry, French 
literature, ecclesiastical law, and liturgiology. 


The Wesley an University was opened in September, 1831, and the 
first step towards founding a library was taken two years later. Two 
thousand volumes were obtained of Mr. Thomas Chapman, of Camden, 
N.J. ; of these, 1,655 volumes were placed at a low price, and one-half of 
this given by Mr. Chapman himself; the remainder of the 2,000 volumes 
Mr. Chapman gave outright. Tnis collection was largely theological, 
and contained some valuable old books, among others a very fine* copy 
of the Antwerp Polyglot. Some years later, 375 volumes from the 
library of John Summerfield were presented to the library by his brother- 
in-law, James Blackstack, of New York. No other large donations 
were made for many years, nor had the library any permanent fund, 
but it grew slowly from small gifts and small aunuaT grants by the 

In 1866 a library fund of $27,600 was raised by subscription. Since 
1868 the income from this fund has been devoted to the increase of the 
library. In 1868 Isaac Eich, of Boston, gave $40,000 for a library 
building ; and in the same year the friends of the late Hon. Moses F. 
Odell, of Brooklyn, raised a fund of $5,000 to be expended in the pur- 
chase of boobs on American history, which should be placed in an alcove 
bearing his name. The works purchased with this fund, together with 
those on that subject previously in the library, number about 5,000 vol- 
umes, and form a special collection of considerable interest and im- 
portance. Another special collection relating to the early history of the 
Wesleyau denomination in England comprises about 700 books and 
1,000 pamphlets. 

College Libraries. 65 

The library contains 26,000 volumes and increases at the rate of about 
1,200 to 1,400 volumes a year. 

The library has no printed catalogue. The one in use is a manuscript 
card catalogue similar to that used in the Boston Public Library. 


According to the commonly received tradition, the first formal act of 
the founders of the college was a gift of books for the library, in 1700. 
By successive donations, the chief of whk;h were 800 volumes given and 
collected by Jeremiah Dummer, of London, in 1714, 300 volumes received 
from Governor Yale in 1717, and 1,000 volumes from Bishop Berkeley 
in 1733, the library had increased in 176G to 4,000 volumes, and could 
have been but little larger at the beginning of the Revolution. During 
the war the books were removed for safety to the interior of the State, 
and the library suffered in consequence of the removal considerable 
losses. Only 2,700 volumes appear in the catalogue of 1791, and not 
until 1805 did the number rise above the point where it stood in 17G6. 

The first contribution toward a permanent fund for the increase of the 
library was a bequest of 10 sterling from Rev. Jared Eliot, of Killing- 
worth, in 1763 ; the second, of the same amount, from Rev. Thomas Rug- 
gles, of Guilford, in 1777; the third and last of the century, of 81,122 from 
Rev. Samuel Lockwood, D.D., of Andover, Conn., in 1791. In 1807 Hon. 
Oliver Wolcott gave $2,000. A bequest of $3,000, made to the college 
by Mr. Noah Linsly, of Wheeling, Va., was assigned to the library trom 
isi'l to 1851, and permanently united to the library fund in 1807. In 
1823 Mr. Eli Whitney, of New Haven, and Mr. Daniel Wadsworth, of 
Hartford, gave each $500. In 1833 Mr. John T. Norton, of Albany, 
N.Y., gave $5,000, and in 1836 a bequest of $10,000 was received 
from Dr. Alfred E. Perkins, of Norwich, Conn., which still remains the 
largest individual contribution to the library .fund. A bequest made by 
Rev. John Elliott, of Guilford, in 1825, reached in 1843 the stipulated 
amount, $1,000, and was added to the fund; subsequent accumulations 
have raised it to $1,400. A legacy of $5,000 from Mr. Addin Lewis, of 
New Haven, was received in 1849, and a gift of $501) from Prof. James 
L. Kingsley in 1850. In 1861 Mrs. William A. Lamed gave $1,100 for 
music, and in 1867 Dr. Jared Linsly, of New York, $5,000 (in ten annual 
payments) for the department of modern European languages. Hon. 
Alphonso Taft, of Cincinnati, gave $1,000 in 1869, and a like sum was 
received from an anonymous donor in 1870. Mr. Charles H. Board, of 
Kdfiiville, N. Y., who died in 1871, shortly after graduation, left $2,500 
to the fund for the purchase of books on political and social science. In 
the same year Mr. Henry W. Scott, of Southbury, Conn., a graduate of 
the class of 1863, left a bequest which now amounts to $2,000, but which 
is to accumulate until it reaches $ >,000 before the income will be availa. 
ble. The class of 1872 gave at graduation $1,700, and during the past 

1 For an account of the origin and early history of the Yale libraries, see pp. '.7-30. 
5 E 

66 PidUc Libraries in the f'i< /(<</ States. 

yi>ar Mr. Thomas Hooker, of New Haven, lias given $1,000. The sum 
of these various gifts which make up the library fund is about *n,o<M). 
of which only 841,000 are at present productive, yielding an annual in- 
come of $2,500. Of the remaining gifts to the library the following are 
the more important: 

In 1834 the government of Great Britain presented the publications 
of the Record Commission, 74 volumes, folio. Dr. William Hillhouse, 
of New Haven, gave in 1847 a copy of the Description de 1'figypte, 23 
volumes, folio. President Woolsey, in 1861, gave his valuable Greek 
library of nearly 1,000 volumes, and has since made important gifts to 
this and other departments of the library. In 1870 Prof. Edward E. 
Salisbury gave his library of Oriental books and manuscripts, adding 
the sum of $6,000 for the increase of the already costly collection, 
which he now sustains by a further annual gift of $600. This collec- 
tion, which now contains 3,600 volumes of printed books, including 
many rare and expensive works, and 90 Oriental manuscripts, is the 
choicest portion of the college library and the most valuable gift it has 
ever received. In 1871 Mr. Charles Astor Bristed gave $500 for addi- 
tions to the department of classical philology, and in the same year the 
library of Robert von Mohl, the eminent writer on political science, was 
purchased at a cost of $3,600, toward which Hon. William Walter 
Phelps contributed $1,400. Mr. Phelps has also assigned to the library 
the two years past and has promised for the next few years the income 
(63,5CO) of a fund of $50,000 left in trust for the benefit of the college 
by his father, the late Mr. John J. Phelps. -In 1873 Mr. Henry Farnam, 
of New Haven, gave $1,000, and Mr. George Peabody Wetmore, of 
Newport, R. I., $500, for discretionary uses, and Mr. Frederick W. 
Stevens, of New York, and Prof. O. C. Marsh, each, $500 for Chinese 
and Japanese literature. During the past year two large and valuable 
series have been presented to the library : a bound set of the Parlia 
mentary Papers, 1865 to 1873 inclusive, in 742 volumes, by Hon. James 
E. English; and Migue'sPatrology, both the Greek and the Latin series, 
complete, in 387 volumes, by Mr. Henry Farnam. 

To Prof. James D. Dana the library has been repeatedly indebted for 
large and valuable gifts, especially of scientific journals. Mr. Richard 
S. Fellowes, of New Haven, and Rev. Edgar L. Heermance, of White 
Plains, N. Y., have each given within the past few years several expen 
sive sets of books. 

The growth of the library during the last century has been already 
given. At subsequent dates the numbers have been as follows: In 
1808, 4,700 volumes; in 1823, 6,500 volumes; in 1835, 10,000 volumes; 
in 1850, 21,000 volumes; in 1860, 38,000 volumes; in 1870, 55,000 vol- 
umes; in 1875, 78,000 volumes, to which must be added at least 25,000 
unbound pamphlets. The average annual growth for the last ten years 
has been a little more than 3,000 volumes, and for the last five years 
4,500 volumes. 

College Libraries. 07 

The present annual income for the increase of the library derived 
from the library fund, the Phelps fund, and Professor Salisbury's annual 
gift, amounts to $6,000. 

The other libraries of the university, hereafter to be described, which 
number, collectively, half as many volumes as the college library, have 
naturally had an important influence in shaping its character. Certain 
departments are left almost wholly to these special libraries, and in all 
cases care is taken to avoid needless duplication. 

Of the manuscripts in the possession of the library the most impor- 
tant are the Oriental manuscripts of the Salisbury collection, which are 
chiefly Arabic, and the papers of President Stiles, collected in about 
fifty volumes, which are of much value for the period of American his- 
tory between 1755 and 1795. 

Catalogues of the library were printed in 1743, 1755, 1701, 1808, 
and 1823. The present catalogue is on cards, and contains an index 
both of authors and of subjects. 

In the library is also deposited the collection of coins belong- 
ing to the college, which has been mostly formed since 1858, and to 
a great extent by gifts. The principal donors have been Mr. Henry 
Champion, Dr. Andrew T. Pratt," Mr. C. Wyllys Betts, Mrs. Augustus 
R. Street, Hon. Charles William Bradley, Mrs. i^oah Porter, and Rev. 
Oliver Crane, D.D. The collection now numbers 9,000 pieces, of which 
3,000 are Greek and Rotmin. The duplicates, not included in this 
enumeration, amount to two or three thousand. A catalogue was 
printed in 18G3, when the collection was less than one-third its present 
size. Another has been recently prepared by the curator, Dr. Jonathan 
Edwards, but is not yet printed. 

Four slabs, covered with Assyrian sculptures and inscriptions, obtained 
from Nimroud in 1855, through the kind services of Rev. VV. F.. Wil- 
liams, of Mosul, are set up in the main hall of the library. 

On the removal of the college from Saybrook, in 1718, the library was 
placed in the newly erected college building named in honor of Gov- 
ernor Yale. It was afterwards successively transferred to the upper 
floors of the Athenaeum, the Lyceum, and the chapel. The present 
library building was begun in 1843, and completed in 1840, at a cost of 
$34,000. Subscriptions amounting to $18,000 were received in aid of 
the building, the largest being $0,000, from Professor Edward E. Salis- 
bury, and $3,000 from President Woolsey. 

Until 1805, the senior tutor officiated as librarian. The following per- 
sons have held the office since that date: Prof. James L. Ivingsley, 
1805-1824; Prof. Josiah W. Gibbs, 1824-1843: Mr. Edward C. Herriok, 
1SHM858; Prof. Daniel C. Gilmau, 1850-1865 ; Mr. Addisou Van Name 
since 1805. Since 1809 Mr. Franklin B. Dexter has held the appoint- 
ment of assistant librarian. 

Linonian and Brothers Library. 

Of the auxiliary libraries grouped about the college library, the oldest 
and most closelv connected with it are the libraries of the two public 

68 Public Libraries in the United States. 

societies, the Linoniau and the Brothers in (Jiiity. Starting very nearly 
together, the former in 1769, and the latter shortly after, the rivalry be- 
tween them never suffered either to fall far behind the other, and the 
statistics of one are sufficiently exact for both. The Linonian library 
contained, in 1800, 475 volumes; in 1822, 1,200 volumes; in 1831, 3,500 
volumes; in 1846, 10,000 volumes; in 1860, 12,000 volumes; in 1870, 
13,000 volumes. The last catalogue of the Linouian Library was pub- 
lished in 1861); of the Brothers in Unity in 1851. In 1871, by votes of 
the two societies, the libraries were placed under the charge of the 
college library committee, and in 1872 they were united, re-arranged, and 
a new catalogue printed. A few hundred volumes, more appropriate 
to the college library, were transferred thither ; several thousand dupli- 
cates were set aside for sale and exchange, and the number of volumes 
in the united libraries thereby reduced to 17,000. Subsequent additions 
have raised it to 19,000, an increase in the last three years of 2,000 vol- 
umes. In place of the voluntary subscriptions and donations by which 
the old libraries were sustained, a tax is now laid on the undergraduates 
for the support of this library and of a reading room opened in one of 
the college buildings in 1867. An annual income of about $2,000 is 
available for the increase of the library. 

These libraries have always preserved a character distinct from that 
of the college library. While they were independent organizations, the 
college library, from necessity as well as of .choice, respected the prov. 
ince which they had chosen, that of general literature, and now that 
they are placed under the same control, bhis mutual relation is kept 
still more carefully in view. 

A third society, the Calliopean, organized in 1819, was discontinued in 
1854, and its library, amounting to about 6,000 volumes, sold. 

Library of the Laic School. 

The Yale Law School, which grew out of a private law school opened 
in New Haven during the first decade of the present century, and which 
celebrated in 1874 the fiftieth anniversary of its connection with the col- 
lege, had no separate library before 1845. In that year, on the death of 
Judge Samuel J. Hitchcock, one of the instructors, his library was pur- 
chased for the school and considerably enlarged, at a total cost of about 
$5,000. One-half the expense waborne by the college, and the remainder 
contributed chiefly by members of the X ew Haven bar. The subsequent 
additions down to the year 1872 were hardly sufficient to make good the 
losses which the library suffered from the want of proper supervision. 
During the past three years a sum exceeding $16,000, contributed by 
friends and alumni of the school, mostly residents of New Haven and New 
York, has been expended on the library. A library fund of $10,000 was 
also given by Hon. James E. English in 1873. The number of volumes, 
which in 1872 was 1,800, is now 8,000. The series of American, Eng- 
lish, and Irish reports is complete, and the library is well provided with 
works in jurisprudence, and international law. 

College Libraries. 69 

Tn 1873 the library, which had been previously kept in the old lecture 
room, was removed, together with the school, to the third story of the new 
court-house, where it is provided with elegant apartments, free of charge, 
the services which it renders the courts being regarded as a full equiva- 
lent for the hospitality it receives. 

The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1790, re- 
sumed in 1866, after an interval of half a century, publication under its 
own name, and has since entered iuto relations of exchange with a 
goodly number of American and foreign societies. Lists of the ex- 
changes received are printed in the Transactions of the Academy, the 
third volume of which is now in progress. They amount thus far to 
about 700 volumes, the yearly average for the past three years being 
125 volumes. The academy does not, however, maintain a separate 
library. Its books are incorporated in the library of Yale College, the 
librarian of which has been, since 1866, also the librarian of the academy. 

Library of the Sheffield Scientific School. 

In 1866 Mr. Joseph E. Sheffield, in enlarging the building which he 
had previously given to the school, provided an elegant library room, 
and gave a library fund of $10,000, afterward increased to $12,000. At 
the same time a few gentlemen of New Haven and New York contrib- 
uted $2,000 for immediate' purchases of books. In 1869 Mr. Sheffield 
purchased, at a cost of $4,000, and presented to the school, the valuable 
mathematical library collected by Dr. William Hillhouse, of New Haven. 
A catalogue of this library, which is devoted principally to pure math- 
ematics, was printed in the fifth annual report of the school, (1869-70.) 
Subsequently Dr. Hillhouse gave $300 for the binding of the unbound 
portion of the collection. 

The library contains at present about 5,000 volumes. A large part of 
the annual income is expended for current scientific journals. 

Libraries of the Yale Theological Seminary. 

The Theological Seminary has two libraries. 

I. The Trowbridye Reference Library. This was established mainly by 
the liberality of Mr. Henry Trowbridge, of New Haven, who, on theeom- 
pletiou of East Divinity Hall in 1870, gave $1,000 for the fitting nj> of 
the library room, and $3,000 to provide the most needful books of ref- 
erence. He has since made annual gifts of $200 and $300 for the pur- 
chase of the more important of the new theological publications. In 
1S70 a legacy of $500 was received from Mrs. Clarissa K Bntterlield, of 
Ne\v Haven. Eev. E. Goodrich Smith, of Washington, D.C'., who had 
previously made considerable gifts of books, at his death, in 187.5, loft 
one thousand volumes to the seminary. . The present number of volumes 

70 Public Libraries in the United States. 

is about two thousand, and in addition several hundred volumes have 
been deposited in the college library. 

II. The Lowell Mason Library of Church Music. The library of the 
late Dr. Lowell Mason, given to the seminary by his family in 1873, is 
placed in the West Divinity Hall. It includes the library of the emi- 
nent composer, Dr. C. H. Riuck, of Darmstadt, which had been bought 
by Dr. Mason, and which constitutes about one-third of the whole col- 
lection. The whole number of titles is not far from eight thousand, 
making, if properly bound, perhaps half as many volumes, divided 
about equally between sacred and secular music. There are numerous 
manuscripts, some of them unpublished. A careful catalogue of the 
library has been prepared, in manuscript, by Mr. J. Sumuer Smith. The 
elegant bookcases which hold the library are the gift of Mr. Atwater 
Treat, of New Haven. 

Library of the Yale Medical School. 

The Medical School, chartered in 1810 and organized in 1813, has been 
less fortunate in respect to its library than other and younger depart- 
ments of the college. The 2,000 volumes, which the library at present 
numbers, are largely gifts, and include not many recent books, nor is 
there any library fund. The library was formerly kept at the medical 
college, but for the past ten years has been deposited in the college 

Yale School of the Fine Arts. 

.During the past year, by private liberality, a room has been fitted up 
in the Art School for library uses, at a cost of $1,000, and the begin- 
ning of an art library has been made. 

Peabody Museum of Natural History. 

The Peabody Museum, now approaching completion, will contain a 
working library for each of its departments, and a few hundred volumes 
have already been collected for this object. It is also the intention of 
Professor Marsh to place in the museum, and make accessible to the 
students, a portion, at least, of his private library, which, in the depart- 
ments of paleontology and comparative anatomy, is especially full and 


Library of the American Oriental Society. 

The American Oriental Society, organized in 1842, has uniformly de- 
voted its income to the publication of its Journal, (now in the tenth vol- 
ume,) trusting for the increase of its library to gifts and to exchanges 
received for the Journal. Under such conditions, a symmetrical growth 
is hardly to be expected, although the library is now considerable both 
in numbers and value. The publications of other societies, with which 
the Oriental Society is in correspondence, constitute, perhaps, the most 
valuable portion of the library. The manuscripts number 131, most of 

College Libraries. 71 

them Arabic, and none of them of special importance. By far the 
largest douor has been Hon. Charles William Bradley, of New Haven, 
for several years United States consul at Amoy and Ningpo. His gifts, 
made at various times previous to his death in 1855, amount to 850 sepa- 
rate titles, and include many rare and valuable works. The present 
number of volumes in the library is not far from 3,500. No catalogue 
has been published, but lists of the accessions are printed from time to 
time in the proceedings of the society. 

The cabinet of the society contains, among other objects of interest, a 
long Greek inscription of the second century before Christ, three San- 
skrit inscriptions of the eleventh or twelfth century of our era, and a 
Cufic inscription. 

Until 1850, the library was kept in the houss of the librarian, Mr. 
Francis Gardner, of Boston; from 1850 to 1855 in the Boston Athe- 
iiienm, Mr. Charles Folsom being librarian. In 1855 Prof. W. D. Whit- 
ney succeeded to the office, and the library was removed to New Haven 
and placed in one of the rooms of the college library, where it still re- 
mains. Professor Whitney was succeeded, in 1873, by Mr. Addison 
Van Name, the present librarian of the society. 


The library occupies rooms in one of the college buildings. There is 
great need of increased space in order to bring all the collections 
together. The college proposes at an early day to erect a fire-proof 

The books are grouped according to subjects, so far as the dispropor- 
tionate space required for the theological folios will permit. 

The library possesses a number of valuable manuscripts, among 
which are: one attributed to the thirteenth century; one to the four- 
teenth century ; one in the Irish character, attributed to the historian 
Geoffrey Keating; one in the Siamese character; another, taceu from 
the body of a Tripolitan sailor, written in Arabic, and consisting of 
extracts from the Koran ; also, many others of rarity. 

Of early printed books there are 37 volumes printed in the fifteenth 
century and 2G8 volumes of the sixteenth century. 

The department of Bibles and commentaries contains copies of the 
Scriptures, or,portions of them, in many languages; Walton's great work . 
and other polyglots; Latin vulgates of all styles; commentaries, concord- 
ances, and lexicons. Among the curious books of this department is 
Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra, G volumes, in Dutch, Amsterdam, 1735, pro- 
fusely illustrated. 

The department of ecclesiastical history contains the works of many 
authors, from Eusebius down. In theology there is an extensive collec- 
tion of the works of both Catholic and non-Catholic writers. The Utter 
have a compartment to themselves. In civil history the collection ;> i.u jc 
and valuable. The collection of Catholic sermons is very extent -. em- 

72 Public Libraries in the United States. 

bracing works in English, French, Latin, Italian, anil German. The other 
departments of religious works are : (1) religious biography, including 
the vast work of the Bollandists, begun in 1G43, and still in course of 
completion ; (2) controversial works by Catholic authors; (3) works by 
Catholic authors against deism and infidelity; (4) catechetical works; 
(5) ascetical works, or books of piety, embracing collections of medita- 
tions by many authors, special devotions, and prayer books ; (G) Catholic 
periodicals; (7) a collection of works for the use of pastors; (8) works 
on canon law and councils; (9) liturgical works, explanatory works 
on ritual, Picart's seven curious volumes on the religious ceremonies of 
all nations, graduate, rituals, and autiphouals. 

The collection of works on antiquities and the fine arts embraces many 
rare and costly volumes. 

The series of publications of learned societies is very complete. The 
collection of scientific works is also interesting and valuable, and care is 
taken to keep up with the demands of the day, In English literature the 
main library is indifferently furnished, but a valuable and extensive 
collection, constantly added to, tills the shelves of the director of studies. 
The classical library contains the best editions, many of them uniform. 
French, Italian, and Spanish literature have each a separate department- 
One of the most curious and interesting collections in the library is 
that of books or tracts in the Cherokee language, in the Peuobscot. 
Micmac, and Pottawatomie Indian, dialects, and in Chinese, Japanese, 
Javanese, Hindostanee, modern Sanskrit, Tamil, Dyak, Syria c, Armen- 
ian, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Sclavouian, Basque, Breton, Irish, and 

The library, which now numbers 28,000 volumes, is always accessible 
to visitors. Books are never loaned outside of the college. Students 
may visit the library to consult authorities, but they rarely have occa- 
sion to do so, as their own society libraries are well supplied with stand- 
ard works, to which access can be had by them at any moment. 
The society libraries of the college number 4,268 volumes. 


The University Library was begun by a purchase, in 156, of 3,000 
carefully selected volumes. Since that time small yearly purchases have 
been made. 

In 18G9, Luther L. Greenleaf, of Evanston, purchased the private 
library of Dr. Schulze, member of the Prussian ministry of public 
instruction, from his heirs, and presented it. to the university. This 
collection of 20,000 volumes (including 7,000 valuable pamphlets) con- 
tains almost all the extant Greek and Latin authors up to the period 
of the decline of letters, many of them in rare and valuable editions, 
numerous translations of them into German, and many critical and 

College Libraries. 73 

elucidatory works thereupon; also, valuable works of art and art liter- 
ature of the German, French, and Italian schools. 

On the decease of Prof. Henry S. Noyes, in 1872, his valuable collec- 
tion of 1,500 miscellaneous books became the property of the university. 

The university is also indebted to the Hon. Orrington Lnnt for a 
special fund for the library, amounting to about $100,000. The income 
from this fund is being allowed to accumulate for a library building. 

The number of volumes now in the library is 30,000. The College of 
Theology of the university has a special library of about 3,000 volumes. 


Upon the consolidation of the Transylvania with the Kentucky Uni- 
versity, about ten years ago, fbe library of the former became the 
property of the latter. The library now contains 10,845 volumes, 
of which 5,383 belong to the medical library, 2,201 to the law library, 
and 3,201 are miscellaneous. Four societies connected with the college 
have libraries, as follows: Cecropean, G05 volumes; Periclean, 719 vol. 
umes; Philotheau, (theological,) 525 volumes; Union, 240 volumes; 
making the whole number of books belonging to the university 12,934. 


The history of Bowdoin College Library begins with the opening of the 
college in 1802. Never having had a fund set apart for its use, it 
has depended mainly for its means of purchase on a small assessment 
on the students in their term bills. In 1811 it received its most im- 
portant enlargement in a bequest by Hon. James Bowdoin, of Bos- 
ton, Mass., of 4,000 volumes from his private library, collected princi- 
pally during his mission to Spain, under appointment from President 
Jefferson, in 1805. The collection was rich (for that time) in French 
and Spanish science and literature, embracing the best editions of 
the classical authors and scientific works of both languages. Among 
the works which illustrate the period of the French devolution maybe 
mentioned the Collection complete des Tableaux Historiques, &c., 3 vol- 
umes, folio,and Le Moniteur, orGazetteNatiouale, 1769-1807. It is also 
extremely valuable for its literature of the period preceding and during 
the American Kevolution. Madam Bowdoin manifested her interest in 
the college that bore the family name by gifts of valuable works. 

In 1820, a valuable accession of four or five hundred volumes was 
received from. Thomas Wallcut, of Boston, through Rev. William 
Allen, who had just succeeded to the presidency of the college. This 
collection contains some rare and valuable works, as Eliot's Indian 
Bible, 1685; Tyndale's Bible, quarto, 1551 ; the Nicholas de Lyra Testa. 
mentumNovum, folio, 1487; the Breeches Bible, 1011 ; and Almon's l.v 

A few years later the library was enriched by a ^ift from Rev. Dr. 
John A. Vaughan, an alumnus of the college, of 1,200 volumes, among 

71 Public Libraries in the United States. 

which are the Encyclopedic Methodique; Histoire de 1'Academie Roy- 
ale; Transactions of the Swedish Academy; of the Royal Irish Acad-i 
einy; Nicholson's Journal of Natural Philosophy, 1802-1810,25 volumes, 
octavo; Repertory of Arts, 16 volumes ; County Surveys of England, 22 

From the English government were received, several years since, 
the publications of the Record Commission, 86 volumes, folio, and 
27 octavo. The Observations of the Royal Observatories of Green- 
wich, Edinburgh, and of the Cape of Good Hope are regularly sent 
to the college, as also the Journal of the Society of Arts, London. 
The Hon. Abbot Lawrence, while our minister at the court of St. 
James, was instrumental in securing from the British and Foreign 
Bible Society a donation of the versions then at their disposal of the 
sacred scriptures which had been made under their auspices, 53 vol- 
umes. The American Bible Society's versions of the scriptures have 
been given by William H. Allen, LL.D., an alumnus, president of Girard 
College, Philadelphia, 33 volumes. 

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreigu Missions also has 
given the versions, dictionaries, and grammars made by their mission- 
aries, 41 volumes, and a set of the Missionary Herald for twenty-six 

The public documents from the different departments of the United 
States Government, as well as of the State of Maine, are reglarly sent 
to the library. 

During the year 1875, the liberality of a friend bestowed upon the 
college the publications of the Hakluyt Society, England, 48 volumes, 
octavo, and Purchas his Pilgrimes, 5 volumes, folio, 1625-'6. 

Besides the benefactors of the library already named may be men- 
tioned, among others, Maj. Gen. Henry Kuox, of revolutionary fame, 
who gave, at the opening of the college, Marsigli's Danubius Pannonico- 
Mysicus, torn. 1-6, folio, 1726; Prof. Henry W. Longfellow, an alumnus, 
besides his own works, the Pisa edition of the Italian poets, 14 volumes, 
folio; Prof. Ezra Abbot, an alumnus, besides other valuable gifts, the 
Acta Eruditorum, 70 volumes, quarto. 

Besides the public library of the college, numbering 18,760 volumes, 
are two society libraries : the Peuciuian, 7,150 volumes, and the 
Athenian, 5,950 volumes. The first library of the latter society was 
burned, with the building in which it was placed. There is also in Adams 
Hall a valuable library of 4,000 volumes, belonging to the Medical School 
of Maine. The number of volumes in all the libraries of the college, in- 
cluding students'.libraries, is 34,500. 


It is not known precisely when or in what manner the library of 
Colby University was founded. The earliest record concerning it is a; 
vote of thanks in 1819, six years after its organization, (it was then a 
theological seminary,) to those who had presented books. 

College Libraries. 75 

In the same year it was agreed that the students should be taxed $1 
a year for the use of the library. In 1826 it was voted to expend 
$600 for the purchase of books; in 1831 $1,000 were voted for the 
same purpose, and in 1833 a grant of $500 was made to the library. 
In 1835-'36 Rev. John O. Choules, expended $700 in England in behalf 
of the library, and also solicited donations from prominent Baptists 
there. By his efforts about 1,800 volumes were secured. 

In 1848 the trustees voted to raise $10,000 by subscription for the 
library and philosophical apparatus. Of this fund $2,000 now remain, 
the income from which is devoted solely to the increase of the library. 

Xo further addition of any considerable amount was made until 1870, 
when Gardner Colby, of Boston, supplemented his gift of $50,000 
to the general funds of the college by an agreement to pay $500 a year 
for ten years for the purchase of books for the library. 

In 1851 the library contained 4,960 volumes, and in 1854, 5,534 vol- 
umes. It now contains 11,100 volumes and 5,200 pamphlets. Two stu- 
dents' libraries contain about 1,500 volumes each. 

The first catalogue was printed in 1835, and a second in 1845. The 
system of card catalogues has also been adopted. 

The library occupies the eastern wing of Memorial Hall. The plan ot 
the library room has been much admired. Double alcoves, arranged in 
the form of a Koman cross, afford shelf room for 30,000 volumes. 


Origin. The library of Amherst College had its origin in the gift, 
chiefly by ministers, of a few theological and miscellaneous works, which 
only occupied a single case on the opening of the college in 1821. 
Though some other books were added, from time to time, no special 
effort was made to secure standard works iu literature and science till 
1829. Then, encouraged by a donation of $500 by John Tappan, of 
Boston, a general subscription was started among the friends of tin 1 
college, which secured the sum of $4,000. With this sum about 2,000 
volumes were purchased in Europe by Professor Hovey, and these were 
added to the library, which then occupied a room in the chapel building, 
in 1832. 

Growth and building. Additions were gradually made, through the lib- 
erality of Hon. David Sears and John Tappan, of Boston, till in 1850 the 
number reached 6,000 volumes. As a library building seemed (hen 
to be imperatively demanded, a subscription was started to secure 
funds for the purpose and for the purchase of additional books to 
meet the necessities of the college. With the leading donations of 
$3,000 by Hon. Samuel Williston, of East Hampton ; $1,500 by George 
Merriam, of Springfield, and $1,000 by Dr. George C. Shepard,of Bos- 
ton, through the personal efforts of Profs. W. S. Tyler and George I'., 
-lewett and the cooperation of many of the alumni, the sum of .*20,ooo 
was secured. One-half of this sum was expended upon the building. 

76 'Public Libraries in the United States. 

which was constructed of stone and finished in 1853. The remaining 


half was devoted to the purchase of books, and the number of volumes 
was increased to 12,000, in 1855. 

Catalogues. In this year an alphabetical catalogue of authors was 
published, in which the fixed location recently assigned to each book 
was designated by the number of the shelf and the number of the book 
on the shelf. 

In 18(54 an author card catalogue of books added to the library 
since 1855 was begun, and has been continued to the present time. 
This catalogue, embracing 14,300 volumes, was printed in 1871. No 
catalogue of subjects has been printed, but the books have been ar- 
ranged in numerical order under the general subject, as history, philos- 
ophy, science, theology. In 1874 a general catalogue of the whole 
library, both of authors and subjects, was begun on a plan entirely 
new. It is a partial application of the card catalogue system to the 
placing of books, combined with a general classification of subjects, 
not on any philosophical system but with the special aim of useful- 
ness. The absolute location is relinquished, and the books are placed 
relatively, according to the subject. The subjects are arranged in classes, 
each class in divisions, each division in sections, and all are numbered 
and indexed. These numbers (from to 999) are substituted for the 
shelf numbers, and thus books on the same subject will always be found 
together, however much the library may increase. Thus the number 
511 upon a book indicates that it belongs to the fifth class, i. e., natural 
science; first division, i. e., pure mathematics; first section, i. e., arith- 
metic; and all arithmetical works are marked with the same number 
and stand side by side on the shelf. Another number, placed under- 
neath the class number, indicates the relative position of the book in 
the section and also its size. Four catalogues besides that of accessions 
are kept in manuscript, viz, a public book catalogue of authors, a pub- 
lic card catalogue of subjects, an official card catalogue of authors, and 
an official book catalogue of subjects, each serving as a check upon the 
others. The latter takes the place of the " shelf catalogue." 

Management and use. Except during the years 1852-1863, the library 
has always been under the personal charge of a member of the faculty 
responsible to a library committee appointed by the trustees of the col- 
lege. Up to 1852 comparatively little time or attention was devoted to 
its care. It was opened only once a week for drawing books, and no 
facilities were furnished for reference or reading in the room. From 
1854 to 1871, the library was opened three hours each week, and a read- 
ing room, supplied with the leading monthly and quarterly periodicals, 
was opened five hours each day. Since 1871, the library has also been 
open five hours daily. The reading room has been supplied with many 
additional periodicals, and a manuscript index to them has been made 
as a continuation of Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. During the 
past ten years the librarian has been aided by several students of the 

College Libraries. 77 

college, who have been employed as assistants. In 1874, Melvil 
Dewey, of the graduating class, was appointed assistant librarian. 
His time is wholly devoted to the library, and he has especial charge of 
the preparation of the new catalogue. 

The use of the library is restricted almost exclusively to those who 
are connected with the college, yet the number of volumes drawn during 
the past year amounted to 15,395. 

Librarians. During the first six years, the office of librarian was held 
by Joseph Estabrook, Professor of Latin and Greek, tutor Zenas Clapp, 
and Rev. Samuel Worcester, professor of rhetoric and oratory and 
English literature. Ebenezer S. Snell, professor of mathematics and 
natural philosophy, then filled the place a quarter of a century, 1827- 
1852, with the additional salary of $40 a year. His successor was Hon. 
Lucius M. Boltwood, who arranged the books in the n ew building, and 
prepared the first printed catalogue. Cpon his resignation, February, 
1863, the library was placed in charge of Rev. Julius H. Seelye, profes- 
sor of mental and moral philosophy. The present incumbent, \V. L. 
Montague, professor of French, Italian, and Spanish, was appointed in 
18G3. Edward L. Root, of the class of 1871, held the position of assist- 
ant librarian one year after graduation. 

Resources and income. During the first twenty-five years the library 
was dependent on subscriptions, or grants from the general treasury 
of the college; but it now has permanent funds yielding an income 
which is annually increasing. The principal source of this income 
is the Sears fund, the donation of Hon. David Sears, of Boston, who 
gave to the college in 1844-'47 $5,000 in cash, and real estate valued 
by him at $17,000. The income of a portion of this fund is secured to 
the library until the year 1928. The income of the rest (except such 
part as is carried to the increase of the principal as mentioned below) 
has been appropriated to the purchase of books for the past twenty years, 
yielding to the library the total amount of $16,311.52. By the conditions 
of the donation, a part of the income is to be annually added to the 
principal, making it a permanently accumulating fund to whose increase 
there is no limit. The amount of this part of the fund in 1874 was 

Another permanent fund is the gift of Asahel Adams, of North 
Brookfield, which yields about $240 annually. The income for the past 
year from both sources was : 

Scars fund $1,311 46 

Adams fund.. 242 05 

Total 1,553 51 

In addition to the gifts previously mentioned, the most important are 
those of Hon. Jonathan Phillips and Hon. David Sears, of Boston, 
and Hon. George H. Gilbert, of Ware, each of $5,000. The first was a 
bequest in 1861. After n few years the income waa annually used 

78 Public Librarirx nt tltr Tn'ttcd States. 

for the purchase of books, and recently the principal, amounting t 
810,365.66, was also expended! The second was a gift in 1864 for a 
new library building, and, with accumulated interest, it amounted to 
80,934.57 in August, 1874. By the conditions of Mr. Gilbert's dona- 
tion in 1864, the interest is to be annually added to the principal, until 
a new library building is erected, or the present building is. enlarged, 
and then the whole amount may be expended only in books. In 187 
the amount was 88,563.46. 

The alumni of the college have also contributed at different time 
about $9,000 to this object. Valuable theological and medical works 
were received in 1858-'63, from Rev. O. A. Taylor, of Manchester, N.H., 
and Luther V. Bell, M.D., of Somerville, who bequeathed their private 
libraries to the college. Thus the total amount of gifts to the library 
previous to 1875 exceeds $80,000. 

Summary of gifts to Amlierst College Library. 

John Tappan, of Boston, various dates 3,000 

By general subscription, 1829-'32 4,000 

Hou. Samuel Williston, of East Hampton, 1851 3,000 

George Merri am, of Springfield, 1851 1,500 00 

Eev. George C. Shepard, of Boston, 1858 1,000 00 

By general subscription, 1851-'54 11,500 OC 

Alumni subscriptions, 1851-'61 8,925 4- 

Hon. Jonathan Phillips, of Boston, 1861 5,000 Of 

Accumulated interest of the same, ^874 5, 365 6t 

Hon. George H. Gilbert, of Ware, 1864 5,000 OC 

Accumulated interest of the same to 1874 3,563 4t 

Hon. David Sears, of Boston, 1864 5,000 OC 

Accumulated interest of the same to 1874 4,994 f>7 

Income of Sears fund to 1874 16, 311 5' 

Income of Adams fund to 1874 1,230 2<J 

Library of Rev. O. A. Taylor, of Manchester, N.H., 1858 450 OC 

Library of Luther V. Bell, M.D., of Somerville, 1863 300 00 

Total 80,140 94 

The average number of volumes annually added to the library during 
the past fifteen years was 940; anil the number belonging to the library 
June 12, 1875 was 30,406. 

In 1807, on petition of the college societies, Alexandria and Athena?, 
permission was given to merge their libraries in the college library, as 
a gift from the societies, on certain specified conditions ; but the books 
cannot be transferred from the halls of the societies until a new library 
building shall have been built. The number of books belonging to these 
societies in 1871 was 8,127. These, added to the college library, make 
the whole number of books belouging to the college 38,533. 


The library of Harvard College, while nominally dating back to the 
foundation of the institution, is really only a little more than a hundred 

College Libraries. 79 

years old, since of the collection of books which had been slowly accu- 
mulating, only a handful remained after the tire in 1764. The story of 
the re-establishment of the library, of its character and general progress 
till toward the end of the last century, has been told elsewhere. 1 It 
remains to give some account of its growth since that time, and of its 
present contents and resources. 

The absence of careful records during the early growth of the library 
forbids any exact statement of the rate of increase, nor is it possible 
now to give the yearly additions with precision, since the purchase or 
reception by gift of miscellaneous collections will frequently be enumer- 
ated partly in one academic year, partly in the next. It is only within 
the past quarter of a century, in fact, that there has been any method- 
ical system of summaries, and for the period previous to that we are 
left to occasional statements. Unlike the great libraries of recent date, 
which have been equipped from the outset with all the appliances of 
modern library systems, it has growu under unfavorable conditions, 
meagerly supplied with funds and necessary apparatus and quarters, 
so that what has been achieved in the way of inventory and record has 
been at the cost of great labor and zeal on the part of the small corps 
of librarians engaged in the care of the collection. 

In 1700 the nuuiber'of volumes was estimated at 12,000. 2 In 1840, 
when the library was moved to Gore Hall, there were nearly 40,000, 
exclusive of pamphlets and other unbound books. In 1856, when the 
present librarian, Mr. Sibley, succeeded Mr. Harris, having himself been 
assistant librarian for tifteen years previous, there were 70,000 books 
amd 30,000 pamphlets. In 1801), there were 114,000 books and 95,000 
pamphlets. The latest summary , that of July, 1875, gives 154,000 
books, with as many pamphlets, while the united libraries of the uni- 
versity, including society libraries, number 227,650 books. 

From this it will be noticed what a great increment the, library has 
recejved in the last two decades, having more than doubled itself in that 
time, increasing at an average rate of 63 per cent, in each decade since 1856, 
and at an average rate of only 7 per cent, in each of the eight previous 
decades. The increase in the number of pamphlets has been even more 
marked. The proportion of pamphlets to books, in 1856, was as three 
to seven ; in 1866 it was nearly as six to seven, and at the present time 
the two are equal. Or, to state the ratio of the increase of pamphlets in 
the decade from 1856 to 1866, there was an increase of 216 per cent., 
while in the nine years following the same rate of increase has been 
maintained. When it is considered how large a part of the material 
for history is in this fugitive form, and how vigilant the librarian must 
be who secures it, it is evident that the wealth of the library as the depi- 
itory of precious material for students has been greatly enhanced. 
The increase of the library now is from 6,000 to 8,000 volumes annually. 
In 1840 it was 251 volumes, and Gore Hall, which was then built with 

1 See pages 21-2G. 

* Quincy's History of Harvard University, ii, 399. 

80 PulliQ Libraries in the United States. 

the expectation that it would answer for the accommodation of all books 
that might accumulate in the course of a century, has already become 
insufficient for the holding, to say nothing of the proper care and use, o 
the library. 

. This increase has been partly through purchase, partly in the way o 
direct gifts. President Kirk land, in a statement of the income of 
Harvard University and of the nyinner in which it is applied, dated 
February 26, 1824, sets down the funds devoted to the library, namely, 
the Hoi. is and the Shapleigh funds, as yielding but $300 a year. The 
Shapleigh fund was a bequest, in 1800, from the librarian of the college, 
of his whole estate, something less than $4,000 in value, the income 
from which was to be " sacredly appropriated to the purchase of sue 
modern publications as the corporation, professors, and tutors shal 
judge most proper to improve the students in polite literature; the 
books to be deposited in the library of the university, and to consist of 
poetry or prose, but neither in Greek nor Latin." There was no further 
special fund until 1843, when Horace Appletou Haven, of the class 
graduating that year, died, and left $3,000, a fund for matVematical 
and astronomical works. In 1844 the same amount was given by Hon. 
William Prescott for the purchase of scarce old books on American history. 
Subsequent funds werethe Boy den, the Ward, the Salisbury, appropriated 
to the purchase of books required in the Greek and Latin department ; 
the Bowditch, and last, and most important of all, the Sumner and 
Walker funds, which are only now coming into service, being the 
bequests of Hon. Charles Sumner, and of Rev. Dr. James Walker, a for- 
mer president of the college. Before these last two bequests, the entire 
fund appropriated to the library scarcely exceeded $20,000, yielding an 
annual sum entirely inadequate to supply even the most important 
issues of the year, and hopelessly small when the needs of the library 
in its several departments were considered. In 1857 a special inquiry 
'was made into the condition and needs of the library, and testimony 
was sought from the various members of the faculty, who would know 
both the resources of the library a ud the needs of their several depart- 
ments. Professor Bowen reported : "Two or three years ago the cor- 
poration allowed me to expend a little over $100 on recent books in 
political economy, and this is the only considerable purchase which has 
been made since I have been connected with the department." Prof. 
J. E. Lowell summed up his needs by saying: "To enumerate all 
that are wanting, would be to copy the booksellers' lists of the last 
twenty years." Professor Lane declared : " The Latin department is 
sixteen years behindhand." Mr. Ezra Abbott, the assistant librarian, 
wrote a long letter, containing the catalogue titles of more than two 
hundred and fifty works, in 700 volumes, as but a portion of the more 
important deficiency of the library in the bibliographical department 
alone. 1 

1 Report of Committee of Association of the Alumni to take into consideration tho 
state of the Library. Boston, 1857. 

College Libraries. 81 

The report containing these and other statements made a great im- 
pression upon the friends of the college, and among the noticeable re- 
sults was the gift of 8~>,0()(> annually for five years, from the Hon. Wi I- 
iam Gray. But individual donations have been, from the beginning, 
the great resource of the library. We have seen how the friends of the 
college at home and abroad hastened to repair the losses of the library 
caused by the fire of 1704. After the Revolution, and while the library 
was housed in Harvard Hall, graduates of the college, authors who had 
used the library, publishing societies, foreign governments, and friends 
of learning generally, continued to make it the depository of books, 
pamphlets, maps, and charts. Dr. Harris, the librarian who pre- 
ceded Mr. Sibley, drew up an "alphabetical list of the names of donors 
of books, prints, portraits, busts, coins, and medals from January, 1780, 
to July, 1840, inclusive," which is printed in the appendix to Quiney's 
History of Harvard University. 1 The dates of the separate gifts are 
not entered, but the number of donors is nearly one thousand, and of 
these many gave not once or twice, but again and again. Besides the 
familiar names of professors and men of culture living in Boston and 
vicinity, one finds the names of President John Adams, who gave, among 
other works, Arts et Metiers, in 18 folio volumes ; of President John 
Quincy Adams, who gave 1GG volumes, chiefly in the French language, 
in 17!>7, and 13 volumes of Russian works in 1811 ; of Joshua Bates, of 
London, the great founder of the Boston Public Library, who gave A'al- 
py's edition of the Latin Classics, in 100 volumes, elegantly bound ;. of 
the British government, that gave a set of the public records; of Cam- 
bridge University in England; and of Goothe, who gave 3') volumes. 
Included in the list is also a number of Copley's paintings, given in 
some cases by the descendants of those for whom they were executed, 
as well as medals, coins, charts, maps, and a few manuscripts. This 
accumulation of books and pamphlets from so large a variety of sources 
indicates the special character of the collection, since in many cases the 
gifts were of ephemeral or unique works, which could scarcely be se- 
cured in any other way. 

But special mention can only be made of the prominent accessions 
which have come to the library through these volunteer supplies. In 
ISls Mr. Israel Thorndike, a Boston merchant, presented to the college 
the library, maps, and charts of Prof. C. I). Kbeling, of Hamburgh, who 
had recently died. This collection embraced more than .'5.000 volumes 
relating to America, and 10,000 maps and charts, by far the most com- 
plete. American collection then existing. The person who prompted 
Mr. Thorndiko to this generous act was the eminent librarian Joseph 
Green Cogswell, who at that time was in Europe, a tutor to Mr. Thorn- 
dike's son, and in one of Dr. Cogswell's letters, written the Near pre- 
vious, he speaks of his visit with Augustus Thorndike to Khelinir and 

1 Vol. ii, pp. 5G9-585. 
6 E 

82 Public Libraries in the United States. 

his American library. 1 It may easily be that Dr. Cogswell had his 
mind then on such matters, for after his return from Europe he held for 
a while the position of librarian at Harvard. Four years later, Samuel 
A. Eliot, another Boston merchant, who was afterwards treasurer of the 
college, made a similar gift of a collection of books on American history 
and geography, made by Mr. Warden, who had been American consul 
in Paris, consisting of nearly 1,200 volumes, besides maps, charts, 
and prints. More than $5,000 were paid by Mr. Eliot for this library. 
Thomas Palmer, a son of Harvard, who chose London for a residence, 
and whose name is honorably distinguished among the early benefactors 
of the library, 2 bequeathed a valuable collection of 1,200 well chosen 
volumes, in 1820. 

A special library of great value was that collected and given by Henry 
Ware Wales, who turned his attention to Sanskrit literature and en- 
dowed also a chair for instruction in Sanskrit. His valuable gift has been 
constantly and regularly supplemented in the same direction, since his 
death, by George Washington Wales, his brother. Clarke Gayton 
Pickman, also of the class of 1811, who died in I860, bequeathed his 
choice collection of books in general literature, and James Brown, of the 
house of Little, Brown & Co., gave the sum of $5,000 to be expended 
in books of science and natural history. John Farrar was a professor 
in the college of natural philosophy and astronomy as the chair was then 
entitled, and when he died, in 1853, leaving his property to his wife, he 
expressed a wish, which she carried out subsequently by will in bequeath- 
ing the sum of $5,000 as a fund for the purchase of books in the depart- 
ment over which he presided. Dr. George Hay ward, also of Boston, left 
alike sum, and one of the largest single gifts was that of Charles Minot, 
of the class, of 1828, who left the sum of $60,000 in 7 per cent, bonds, 
reserving a life interest for the benefit of an adopted son who has since 
died. These are some of the special gifts which have come to the 
library, some being under restrictions as to the uses to which the money 
should be put, others being devoted to general increase of the library. 
In the case of Mr. Miuot's gift, the only condition was that the income 
should be expended on the purchase of books and binding of the same. 

The great increase in the library, however, as we have shown, took 
place after the removal to Gore Hall in 1841, and especially during the 
last twenty years, under Mr. Sibley's indefatigable exertions. The com- 
pletion of the new building, in which the college then took great pride, 
and the removal of the library to it, stimulated the friends of the college 
to an immediate effort, and a subscription of more than $20,000 was 
raised by merchants and scholars of Boston and vicinity for the purpose 
of meeting the almost disreputable arrearagesin modern books into which 
the library had fallen, and in 1852 Professor Child raised a subscription 
of $1,100 to supply the deficiencies in the department of English poetry. 
Dr. Harris found about 33,000 volumes in the library when he took 

1 Life of Joseph Green Cogswell, as sketched iu bits lettere. Cambridge, 1874, p. 61. 
2 See ante, p. 24. 

College Libraries. 83 

charge of it in 1831, and during his administration about 36,000 were 
added. Now began also that systematic and untiring effort on the part 
of Mr. Sibley to draw to the library gifts from all sources. His annual 
reports record, with a repetition which would be monotonous were it 
not so suggestive, the names of donors fro n a:uong publishers ami men 
and women of culture who have given with open hand year after year. 
Perhaps as significant an instance as any of the way in which the 
library invites gifts by Its own generosity is afforded by the example of 
the relation subsisting between it and Hon. Charles Sumner. Mr. Suru- 
ner was graduated in 1830, and not long after began the gift of pamphlets 
and books which continued throughout his life. In 1864, Mr. Sibley 
reports him as having given about 20 volumes, 25 maps, and 1,061 pam- 
phlets during the year, and in 186S he notes that Mr. Sumner has, with- 
in five years, given more than 7,000 pamphlets and 1,000 volumes. 
During his lifetime he gave more than 250 maps, 1,300 volumes, and 
from 15,000 to 20,000 pamphlets. The bequest of his library further 
enriched the collection by nearly 4,000 volumes. When it is remem- 
bered that Mr. Sumner, from his exceptional position, was in receipt of 
a vast number of publications bearing immediately upon current events, 
but in a form rendering them very ephemeral, it may easily be inferred 
how valuable the whole collection would be. The reason for bestowiri" 1 


these on the Harvard Library was stated by Mr. Surnuer to be that, by 
the classification and indexing to which they were at once submitted, 
he could lay his hands on any one he wanted more easily there than in 
his own house, and his will contains a grateful acknowledgment of the 
service which the library had afforded him. Dr. James Walker, a for- 
mer president of the college, left his library of 2,400 volumes and 300 
pamphlets in addition to the bequest of money already mentioned. 

There lias been a class of gifts peculiarly valuable to the college, 
and very suggestive, like the Sumner gift, of the personal relations sus- 
tained by the givers to the college. In 18 #6 Hon. Charles Francis Adams 
presented a collection in 48 volumes, made by himself, of works large 
and small, printed in Great Britain in relation to the rebellion. Dr. J. 
E. Worcester, the lexicographer, gave all the dictionaries and glossaries 
of the English language used by himself in preparing his own work, not 
already possessed by the library. President Sparks left, in 1G8 volumes, 
the manuscripts, original and copies, used by him in preparing his pub- 
lished works, and earlier, W. H. Prescott had given the entire collection 
of manuscripts and printed books which had served him in the writing of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, The manuscripts were contained in five thick 
volumes, and the books, 282 in number, were many of them costly folios. 
Dr. I. (I. Palfrey also gave a collection of 323 volumes and 5,147 pam- 
phlets, made by himself during half a century, while employed upon his 
historical studies. 

Many of the manuscripts contained in the library, like those of Pro- 
fessor Ebeling and Arthur Lee, contain valuable materials for history, 

84 Public Libraries in the United States. 

while of early manuscripts the library possesses a few dating back to the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and one, a fragment of an Evangelist- 
ary, containing twelve pages, written in uncial letters, and referred there- 
fore to the ninth century. 

There have been sixty librarians since the founding of the college, of 
whom ten are named in the present century. Of these the present libra- 
rian has been longest connected with the library, having become assist, 
ant in 1841 ; but his immediate predecessor, Dr. Thaddeus William Har 
ris, known best by his pioneer work in economic entomology, held the 
office of principal librarian for the longest term of years, having served 
from 1831 till his death in 185G. Before him notable names were those 
of Professor Andrews Norton, Joseph Green Cogswell, arid Charles Fol. 
som. Mention should also be made of the recent assistant librarian, Dr. 
Ezra Abbot, since it was under his superintendence that the present 
system of cataloguing, elsewhere described, 1 was planned and carried 

As has before been stated the library, upon its new establishment in 
1704, was deposited in Harvard Hall ; removed thence during the war, 
for safe keeping, in country towns, and restored when the war was over 
and college life could be resumed uninterruptedly. Here it remained 
until, in 1837, the collection of books had outgrown the quarters as- 
signed, and it became absolutely necessary to provide a new place, both 
for the books already owned and for the future growth of the library. 
The college had come into possession of a noble bequest from Christo- 
pher Gore, formerly governor of Massachusetts, and resolved to use 
the money for the erection of a library building, which was com- 
pleted in 1841. Elere the library of the college is now kept. The build- 
ing, modeled upon the plan of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 
England, presents a dignified interior, and makes to the eye a pleasing 
and appropriate home for the valuable collections. But the growth of 
the library has already rendered it too small, and the experience 
of nearly forty years has disclosed the disadvantages it presents as 
a library building. It is overcrowded, and books coming in are con- 
stantly dera uging the existing dispositions. It has become necessary 
to deposit books in other buildings, and to pile them on the floor in 
double tiers, and in general to lessen the value of the collection by mak- 
ing it less accessible. Moreover, the plan of the building is ill adapted 
to the purposesof a library. There are no private roomsforthe librarian, 
assistants, or special students. It is a great whispering gallery in which 
every footfall and spoken word can be heard. There is a dampness 
arising from the condensation of moisture on the inside of the single 
granite wall, and great complaint has been made of the draughts of 
air, and general insalubrity of the interior. The steady pressure of 
new books, added to all the patent inconveniences of the building, has 
made it a necessity to devise some relief, and it is announced that the 

1 See Part II of this report, Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue. 

College Libraries. 85 

corporation has now decided to begin soon an extension to Gore 
Hall. The plan intends the carrying out of the east transept of 
the present building about 80 feet, and making that the main portion 
of the library proper, with an adjunct, containing rooms for the bibli- 
ographical collection, for the librarian and his assistants, as well as a 
large room for the catalogue department and the delivery of books. 
This being done, the present delivery room will be divided into study 
rooms for special investigation, while the cases will be removed from the 
floor of the present main hall, and the space gained be used for a reading 
and consulting room ; the lower alcoves, relieved of the temporary sub- 
division by cases, being devoted to books of reference. When these 
changes and additions are made, the library will be more completely 
adapted to the needs of the university, and by its greater accommoda- 
tion, offer new inducements to private collectors to place there for per- 
petuity the books which they have gathered. 

The college library proper is in Gore Hall, but other departments of 
the university have their own special collections, not deposited in Gore 
Hall, and there are also libraries connected with college societies. Of 
these separate libraries, brief mention may now be made. 

Library of the Dane Law School. 

The Law Library, as a separate collection of books, dates from the 
foundation of the school, though, previous to that time, special attention 
had been given to this department of learning in the general library of 
the university. Mr. Surnner, who was at one time librarian of the Dane 
Library, calls Mr. Hollis, the distinguished beuefactor.of the college who 
has already been named, the father of the law library, because of the 
interest which that public spirited man took in forwarding books of special 
value to the law student and which afterwards found their way into this 
special library. " The library," he says, " is indebted to him for many 
choice works of civil law, such as the Corpus Juris Civilis, the Codex 
Theodosianus, Brissouius, Voet, Zoesius, Domat, and Meerman's The- 
saurus. When we consider the jealousy with which the civil law has 
ever been regarded in England, and the indifferent acquaintance with 
its merits possessed by the highest lawyers there, we cannot but recog- 
nize, in the presentation of the above books, an additional proof of the 
enlarged liberality and intelligence of the donor." 1 

Shortly after the formal establishment of the school in 1817, Hon. 
Christopher Gore gave the greater part of his valuable law library lor 
the use of the law students. "Many of these present (we quote again 
from Mr. Simmer's preface to the Catalogue of 1834) the mpst interest 
ing associations, not only from having belonged to Mr. Gore, and from 
containing his autograph signature, but also from havingpassed through 
the hands of Robert Auchmuty, Jeremy Gridley, .lames ( Mis, and Samuel 

'A Catalogue of the Law Library of Harvard University iu Caiubi i.l-. , Mass. Cam- 
bridge, lfc'34, p. v. 

86 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Sewall. In some of these books may be found all tbese distinguished 
names. The Law Library is also indebted to Governor Gore for two 
manuscript volumes containing opinions involving some interesting dis- 
cussions of prize law, filed by the commissioners, of whom he was one, 
acting under the seventh article of the treaty of 1794 between the 
United States and Great Britain, commonly called Jay's treaty, for the 
settlement of the claims of American citizens on account of captures by 
British cruisers." 1 

When Judge Story was made Dane Professor of Law in 1829, and 
the school was re organized, the corporation bought his extensive 
library and added it to the growing collection, and not long after, in 
1833, came a bequest from Hon. Samuel Livermore, of New Orleans, of 
his entire library of works on the Roman, Spanish, and French law, a 
collection of more than 300 rare and costly volumes, appraised at the 
time at a valuation of $6,000. The money for the purchase of books 
came partly from matriculation fees, partly from grants ; and for 
while the custom prevailed of keeping, besides the regular library, 
a collection of text books for the use of students, called the circulating 
library. In 1863 the whole number of volumes in the library was 
13,038, of which 3,123 belonged to the circulating library, and 406 were 
superseded text books. The increase of the library at that time was 
125 volumes in the previous year, and the number added each year did 
not vary far from this; but in 1870 the circulating library was aban- 
doned, and special attention given to the increase of the regular 
Law Library, so that there ha^e been some 4,000 volumes added during 
the past five years, and the sum last year at the disposal of the library 
was $3,5UO, the number of books added being not far from 1,000. The 
increase of the library has thus kept pace with the increased vigor of 
the school, which is now more than self-supporting. The number of 
volumes in the library is now reckoned to be about 15,000, and the ap- 
parent discrepancy in the above figures is due to the fact of the aboli- 
tion of the circulating library, which swelled the total of books on the 
shelves without adding to the actual number of books in the Law Library 
proper. The library is kept in the building devoted to the school, and 
is free for consultation to all persons. The students of the school do 
much of their reading in the library. 

Divinity School Library. 

The library at the Divinity School dates from the foundation of the 
school in 1825, when the directors granted the sum of $2,000 for 
the purchase of suitable books; but the number of books in the library 
in 1840 was only about 700, principally in modern theology, with some 
of the Fathers in the original. In 1856 the number had increased to 
between 4,500 and 4,600, when the most important accession was made 
of the library of Professor Liicke, of Gottingen, presented by Col. 

1 ibid., p. vii. 

College Libraries. 87 

Benjamin Loring, of Boston, at the suggestion of Prof. Edward Young, 
at that time a student in Germany. This added some 4,000 volumes to 
the library. In 18G2 the number of volumes iu the library was 13,512, 
of which 9,394 were bound and 4,147 unbound. During the next year 
151 volumes were added, making the whole number 13,093 ; ami these 
additions represent the usual yearly addition at that time, nearly all 
being purchased by money annually granted for the purpose by the 
corporation. Dr. Convers Francis, a professor in the school, died in 
1803, and in his will directed that such volumes among his book> ,i- 
might be suitable for the school should be selected for it, and about 
2,001) were thus added. The only other large gift is one of about 800 
volumes, by bequest of the late James Walker, formerly president of the 
university. The present yearly grant is about $300, but that sum was 
temporarily reduced after the Boston tire to $200, which was the amount 
annually expended for a time before I860. During the past year 
the additions to the library were 313 volumes, of which 113 were by 
purchase and 200 by gift. The present number of volumes is about 
17,000, deposited in the library rooms in Divinity Hall; the libraries 
given by Colonel Loring and Dr. Francis being kept separately iu rooms 
named, respectively, the Loring Library and the Francis Library. A 
strong desire has been expressed to secure a separate building, better 
adapted to the needs of the library than the present apartments. It is 
strictly a theological library, the collection of books at the uuiversity 
library making it unnecessary to include works iu general literature. 

Library of the Medical College. 

The Medical College of Harvard University is established in Boston, 
and the building devoted to its uses contains in one of its rooms the 
library. No regular fund is provided for the support and increase ot 
the collection, and the lack of suitable accommodations has prevented 
the, library from holding a prominent place in the college. It has been 
largely built up by gifts from the professors, and at one time the money 
resulting from matriculation fees was expended upon it, but for some 
years there has been no increase. The collection now numbers about 
450 paper-bound books and pamphlets, and 3,100 bound books. 

Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 

The Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology dates from very 
near the foundation of the institution in 1858, when the p;il;e:>ntoh>gi- 
cal collection of Professor Koninck, of Belgium, was bought. Tin- 
valuable library accompanying the collection was a part of the pur- 
chase, and at the time was one of the most complete of its kind. At 
terwards, as the museum began to publish its bulletin and catalogue-, 
these publications brought by exchange from about one hundred and 
ten societies similar serial works, and the library has grown steadily l>.\ 
these accessions. In 1873 the entire collection of books amounted to 

88 Public Libraries in the United States. 

about 7,000 volumes, when it was enriched by the gift of about 3,500 
volumes from the library of Professor Agassiz, the head of the museum, 
who had just died, and desired the gift to be made, and shortly after 
by the deposit nominally, but to all intents and purposes the gift, ot 
2,500 volumes by Professor Agassiz's sou and successor, Mr. Alexander 
Agassiz. There is no fund for the increase of the library, but such 
books as are imperatively required are bought from the general funds. 
The additions amount to between 300 and 400 volumes a year, besides 
nearly twice as many pamphlets. The range of the library is the whole 
department of natural history, exclusive of botany, since that depart- 
ment is specially provided for by the library connected with the Botanic 
Garden, and, as far as possible, it is the aim to avoid duplicating books 
purchased by the general library of the university. 

Libraries at the Scientific School. 

The Lawrence Scientific School at first contained the beginning of 
what is now the Museum of Comparative Zoology, but when the large 
endowment of the latter institution was made in 1858 the two were sub- 
stantially separated. The libraries of the Scientific School now consist 
of a small chemical library of about 500 volumes in Boylston Hall and 
a good working library for the engineering department placed in Law- 
rence Scientific School building. This latter contains about 2,000 vol- 
umes, including, among other works, a complete series of Annales des 
Pouts et Chaussees. An annual appropriation of $250 supplies it with 
current publications in its department, but there is no regular fund for 
the maintenance of the library. 

Library at the Botanical Garden. 

The Library at the Botanical Garden is in strictness a component 
part of the herbarium, which was presented to the university by Prof. 
Asa Gray when the building, given by Nathaniel Thayer, was built 
in 1864 to receive these collections. The library was the private 
library of Professor Gray and had been accumulating for many years. . 
Since that time it has grown, by the reception of gifts, including a val- 
uable one from John A. Lowell, and by purchase, there being a 
fund devoted to the common needs of the herbarium and library. The 
number of books at present is about 2,500, together with a large col- 
lection of unbound works, which, it is estimated, will make, when bound, 
1,500 more. The library contains full sets of many valuable periodicals 
and costly works; like the Flora Danica, Flora Brasiliensis, Sibthorp's 
Florae Gnecse, and Bateman's Orchidaceas of Mexico and Guatemala. 
It is not arranged in one large room, but distributed among the several 
study rooms in the building, so as to render it easily accessible to in- 
structors and special students. 

College Libraries. 89 

Phillips Library at the Observatory. 

The library of the Observatory was begun by the late Professor Bond, 
but was scarcely a formal one until the department was moved to the 
present building, in 1847. The bequest of $100,000 by Edward Brora- 
field Phillips came into possession of the college in 1849. The income 
from this fund was to .be devoted to payment of salaries and purchase of 
books and instruments. No portion is regularly set apart for the increase 
of the library, but books are bought from time to time as they are needed 
and as funds permit. The library receives the publications of observa- 
tories in this country and Europe, as well as the publications 'of many 
learned societies. It numbers at present about 3,000 volumes. 

Library of the Bussey Institution. 

The Bussey Institution of Harvard University being a school of agri- 
culture and horticulture, established in Jamaica Plain, near Boston, by 
the bequest of Benjamin Bussey, its library is a special one, devoted to 
the purpose of the school. There is no fund for the purpose of increas- 
ing the collection, but the bulletin published by the institution brings 
in by exchange many similar publications, and there have been many 
donations by former students and by persons interested in agriculture. 
It is intended to make it a special collection of books relating to agri- 
culture and horticulture, and it is already especially rich in German 
and French chemical and agricultural works. The whole number of 
books and pamphlets at present is about 1,500, and the yearly increase 
from all sources is about 200 volumes. 

Society libraries. 

In addition to the public libraries of the university, there are certain 
libraries of a more private character belonging to various societies 
maintained by the students. These libraries are controlled by the 
societies, and grow by accession through gifts and purchase; but no 
funds, so far as we know, exist for the support or increase of the libraries. 
The oldest of these libraries, probably, is that of the Institute of 1770, 
now numbering about 3,500 volumes. The library of the Porcellian 
Club was started in 1803, the first books presented being Young's Trav- 
els, Cowper's Task, Blair's Lectures, Young's Night Thoughts, and Pin- 
dar's works. The growth of this library has been in the direction of 
choice literature, and special attention has been given to the selection 
of the best editions and to the dress of the books, which now form a 
\\ell selected and beautiful collection of 7,000 volumes. The library of 
tlic Hasty Pudding Club, begun in 1807, and formed mainly from gifts 
of the members, now numbers about 4,000 volumes. The Christian 
P>rethren and the St. Paul's Society have libraries of religious books, 
numbering 100 and 500, respectively, and the Natural History Society 
has about 500 volumes. 

90 Public Libraries in the United States. 


The seminary has no permanent library fund, and its library is tbe 
gradual accumulation of donations. Among the donors especially com- 
memorated are the late Dr. Kirk and Deacon Safford, of Boston. 

In 1867, Mrs. H. F. Durant, the wife of one of the trustees, proposed 
to give $10,000 for the purchase of books, provided that a suitable tire- 
proof building should be built within three years. A grant from the 
State about that time having put it in the power of the trustees to build. 
the new edifice was ready for occupation November 1, 1870. 

The present number of books is about 9,500, not including the valu- 
able library bequeathed to the seminary by the late Dr. Kirk. Great 
care has been bestowed upon the selection of the books by Mr. Durant, 
assisted by eminent librarians, and few collections of the same size are 
more valuable. Especial reference has been had in the selection to the 
courses of study pursued in the seminary, and teachers and pupils have 
free access to the library at any hour of the day. 

The system of cataloguing is similar to that of the Boston Public 
Library, having, besides the accession catalogue, a card catalogue, alpha- 
betically arranged according to names of authors. A classified index 
is in progress. 

The library building was designed by the late Hammett Billings, of 
Boston, and cost about $18,000. The interior is finished in chestnut; 
the bookcases and other furniture are of black walnut. The alcoves 
are arranged so as to form cozy nooks for the readers. The shelves will 
accommodate only about 12,000 or 14,000 volumes, but the introduction 
of galleries would greatly increase the capacity of the building. 


The library was begun at the time the college was opened, Septem- 
ber, 1854, by the president, Hosea Ballon, D.I)., who made an appeal 
in its behalf to the Universalist denomination and to publishers, with 
such success that at the end of a year the number of volumes was about 
1,500, all of which were given. 

There is as yet only one permanent library fund, (of $1,200,) estab- 
lished in 1874 by J. D. W. Joy, the income of which is to be devoted 
principally to the department of philology. 

The first gift recorded is that of 19 volumes from Rev. G. Collins, of 
Philadelphia ; and among the donations of the first year is that of Mrs. 
Campbell, who gave 280 volumes from the library of her deceased 
brother, Rev. J. S. Popkiu, formerly professor of Greek at Harvard 

To J. L. Sibley, librarian of Harvard University, the college is 
indebted for the largest number of volumes from any one source, his 
donations having been made nearly every year, and many of them being 
rare and valuable works. In 1873 there were received from him 029 

College Libraries. 93 

In 1805, the college purchased the library of its first president, about 
1,500 volumes. In 1870, Miss M. E. Bacon gave $20J for the purchase 
of books for the department of modern languages. In 1873, N. C. Muu- 
son gave $500 for books for the engineering department. 

The number of volumes in the library is 16,000 ; the number of pam- 
phlets upward of 5,000, not including those that are bound nor several 
thousand unbound periodicals. 

A system of car.l catalogues is in use. similar to that of the Harvard 
University Library. 

There are no society libraries connected with the college, except that 
of the Universalist Historical Society. 


Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass., is an institution for the collegiate 
education of young women, and received its first students in September, 
1875. The library belonging to the colleges was open for use at Christ- 
mas of the same year, and consists almost entirely of the private col- 
lection given by the founders of the college, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Durant, 
a few books having been added by personal friends. The library apart- 
ment is a fire-proof room, forming the ground story of one of the pro- 
jections of the college building, divided into alcoves, each well lighted, 
and having a gallery, which is carried along the two longer sides of the 
room. The cases for the books are all protected by glass doors, and 
the shelf room will accommodate about 120,000 volumes. 

The college being devoted to the higher education, it .is the wish of 
the founder to make this library as thorough in all its appointments as 
a college library would aim to be, excluding only special professional 
works, like law treatises, which would not, except in extraordinary 
cases, be requisite in the education of girls. The number of books 
already on the shelves is about 10,000, arranged in the alcoves according 
to the simple division of subjects English poetry and dramatic works, 
French classics, Italian classics, German classics, Greek and Roman 
authors, ancient history, modern history, works of reference. The first 
characteristic of the library which strikes the eye is the external dress 
of the books, which are, to a very large extent, bound in calf and 
morocco. The greatest care has been taken to select editions of books 
which are the best, and then to put them into durable and tasteful 

The second point to be noticed is the freshness of the library. The 
editions of the classics, ancient and modern, are the best, and the illus- 
trative literature, historical and critical, is the most permanent and 
recent. There is an agreeable absence of literary and critical lumber. 
The library being, in the first instance, a well selected private library, 
and being enlarged with special reference to the objects of the college, 
there is no accumulation of rubbish, such as necessarily be'on js in a- 
general library; but it is throughout a serviceable, working librai\. 

94 Public Libraries in the United States. 

For instance, the student of Plato will find Stallbaum's edition, Victoi 
Cousin's translation, Bekker's edition, and the special editions o! 
Deuschle and Cron ; she will also have Cary's and Taylor's translations 
and the best critical and lexical helps. To illustrate further Greek lltera 
ture, art, and history, she has access to Miiller's Dorians, the volume 
already published of Corssen's Sprache der Etrusker, Winckelmann'H 

Ancient Art, Overbeck's Griechische Plastik. Bockh's Athenians, Mure, 


Bekker, Clinton's Fasti, Grote, Niebuhr, Bursian's Geography of Greece, 
and other works, together with the best lexicons, Liddell & Scott, Pas- 
sow, Yonge, Pape, Friidersdorff, Pauley's Real-Encyclopedia. In Ger- 
man literature she ha*s Lucas, Sanders, Helpert, Hiigel, and Adler to 
aid in the study of the admirable editions of the great writers ; while 
in French she has the help of Littre's great work, Bescherelle, Fleming 
and Tibbius, and the dictionary of the French Academy, in the study of 
Racine, Moliere, Marmontel, Rousseau, de S6vigno, Lamartine, Sainte- 
Beuve, Villemain, Victor Hugo, and other leaders in French literature. 

The alcoves devoted to history contain the latest and most thorough 
works in ancient mediaeval and modern history j being especially rich 
in English history. The library, indeed, is properly illustrative of what 
was formerly termed the humanities, and when one examines the de- 
partment of English literature, he is struck with the choiceness of the 
selection, and the care taken to obtain early editions of celebrated 
works. The student using the books can hardly fail to carry away, 
besides a love of literature itself, a fondness for the refinements of 
literary dress, and to have her imagination cultivated by handling 
books which have a history in themselves. Thus, there is a copy of Du 
Bartas's Divine Weeke, dated in 1641; Purchas's Pilgrimage, 1617; 
the second folio of Spenser's Faerie Queene, being the first of his other 
poems, dated 1611. There are also a number of books having agreeable 
and interesting literary associations, many from the libraries of Mitford 
and Choate, Perceval and Lord Macaulay, a presentation copy of 
Southey's translation of F. de Moraes' Palmeriu of England to H. N. 
Coleridge, with Coleridge's autograph; a copy nf the more celebrated 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Remorse, presented by him to a Mr. Dibden, 
and having extreme interest from the great number of corrections made 
by the author ; a copy of Milman's Fazio, with corrections by the author; 
a copy of Longfellow's Dante, with a corrected proof sheet bound in ; 
a copy of the sumptuous edition from the Auchinlech manuscript of 
the Romances of Sir Guy of Warwick; Peter Pindar's Letters, with an 
autograph note. The library is, besides, supplied with the leading 
reviews and periodical literature of America, England, France, and 

There is also a separate small collection of books devoted to helps in 
the study of the Bible, a memorial of the daughter of the giver, and 
named by him in her memory The Gertrude Library. It comprises 
about 500 volumes at present, and the giver intends doubling the num- 

College Libraries. 95 


This library had its origin at the opening of the college in 1793. It 
consisted, at first, of a few volumes, mostly religious, the gifts of friends 
of the college. The first printed catalogue of 1794 contains 353 vol- 
umes. Having no special fund, the library increased but slowly, and 
was largely dependent upon the gilts of friends. 

It has now two funds, one of $5,000, given, in 1854, by Mrs. Amos 
Lawrence, and the other ($5,000) in 18G1, by Jonathan Phillips, of 

The u u mber of volumes in the library is about 17,500. There are also 
two libraries belonging to the Philologian and Philotechnian Literary 
Societies, which are of great educational importance. They date back 
to the earlier days of the college, and were then united in one. They are 
in the main well selected, and, by a happy arrangement, supplement the 
college library by being especially full in those departments in which 
it is more or less deficient. The number of volumes in each of these 
libraries is somewhat over 5,000. 

Besides the college library, and those of the literary societies already 
mentioned, there are, or rather were, the Franklin Library, the Library 
of the Lyceum of Natural History, and the Mills Theological Library. 
The first of these contained only such books as were studied in the col- 
lege course. It was begun in 1820, for the purpose of aiding needy 
students. It worked very successfully for many years, supplying the 
young men, for four or five dollars, with the use of all the text books of 
the college course. But through the enlarging range of studies, and the 
constant improvement in, and frequent change of, the text books used in 
the college in later years, this library has been superseded and given up. 

The library of The Lyceum of Natural History was a collection of 
works made by the members of that association, a society for the study 
of natural history formed early in the history of the college. It was first 
called the Linnsean Society, but assumed its present name in 18;}."). Its 
library, though not embracing over 250 volumes, was yet very valuable. 
In 1809 it was united with the natural history department of the col- 
lege library. 

The 31 ills Theological Library, which, though burned in 1841, had 
been revived and contained some 1,000 volumes, was also, in 1874, united 
with the college library. 

The whole number of b.ooks belonging to the college is about 27,500. 
The average annual increase of the college library is 400 volumes. The 
average yearly expenditure is $900, derived mostly Iroui the funds above 

Since 18G8, the library has been open four hours each day for consul- 
tation and reading, with free access to the shelves, and the presence of 
the librarian to render any needed assistance. 

Owing to the fact of limited means, library purchases have been made 
with great care, and, while the departments are very far from being as 

96 Public Libraries- in the Un'ih-il States. 

full as is desired, the supply, so far as it goes. is made up of the best 
works in each department, embracing also the leading English and 
American reviews and periodicals. Few libraries of its si/,e piv-ent as 
good facilities for the practical uses of a college. 

In 184,~>, through the liberality of the, late Col. Amos La\vrM 
Boston, the library building, known as Lawrence Hall, was built. It 
is octagonal in form, 48 feet in diameter, each side 20 feet, and is :><; 
feet in height. It has two stories the lower one finished jn rustic 
style and is surmounted by a dome supported by eight Ionic columns. 
The capacity of the library is 35,000 volumes. 


The university library has been accumulating for about thirty years, 
and for its size is very valuable. 

The only considerable donation it has received is the library of the 
late Dr. Ran, professor in the University of Heidelberg, consisting of 
about 4,000 volumes and G,000 pamphlets, purchased and presented to 
the university by Hon. Philo Parsons, of Detroit, Mich. 

The library contains about 23,000 volumes, and 8,000 pamphlets. The 
library of the law department numbers 3,000 volumes; that of the medical 
department, 1,50!) ; that of the Young Men's Christian Ass )d,it i n of the 
university, 900. There is no printed catalogue, but a manuscript journal 
catalogue in folio; and a system of card catalogues, one set arranged 
alphabetically by authors, the other by subjects. 


The university library was begun in !S2r>. 

No special fund is set aside for library purposes, but grants for the 
purchase of books are made annually by the faculty. Nearly all the 
books have been purchased with funds thus obtained. 

Donations have occasionally been made to the library. Rev. P. J. 
De Smet received donations in Belgium of works on theology, canon 
law, ecclesiastical history, and a copy of the Acta Sanctorum, by the 
Bollandists, from persons who did not permit their names to be recorded 
as benefactors. In 1832, the university received from the Commission 
of Public Records of Great Britain, 100 folio and seve ral octavo volumes 
of the public records, including the Domes-Day Book, with its index. 

The library contains 17,000 volumes. The average annual addition is 
300 volumes. The society libraries, established by voluntary contribu- 
tions from the students in 1855, and supported by fees from the mem 
bers, contain 8,OOJ volumes; making, altogether, 25,000 books belong 
ing to the university. 

A manuscript catalogue, arranged by subjects, was made in 18~>G-'57, 
Another was begun in 1871, but is not yet finished. 

College Libraries. 97 


The library of Dartmouth College, like the college itself, which latter 
was founded in 1769, is of humble origin. It had its beginning in small 
donations from men of moderate means who had the cause of education 
at heart. As it increased, larger Contributions were received from 
friends in. this country and in England, and the ministers of the neigh- 
boring country did for it what the Connecticut ministers did for the 
library of Yale, and brought in books, some giving their entire libraries. 
In 1773 the Rev. Diodate Johnson, of Millington, Conn., left to the 
college, besides other bequests, his whole library. There is no record 
extant of the amount or value of these gifts. But smaller gifts were 
more common. Dr. Wheelock, in one of his letters, expresses his thanks 
to a patron iu England who had sent him " six psalm books ;" and in 
the early records of the. trustees there is a vote of thanks to a gentleman 
who had given to the college a copy of Athanasius, bound iu leather, 
in two volumes; and this is but a sample of many. 

It would be impossible to mention the many donors to the library, 
and their names would now be unfamiliar to all. But there is one who 
not only raised for himself a perpetual memorial in the academies which 
he founded at Exeter and Andover, but to whose wise counsels and 
large generosity the early success of Dartmouth College was largely 
due, the Hon. John Phillips, of Exeter, a trustee of the college from 
1773 to 1793. Besides large gifts in money and lands for the gen- 
eral purposes of the college, he gave, in 1772, L75, lawful money, for 
the purchase of philosophical apparatus, but which was, with his per- 
mission, devoted to the enlargement of the library. 

In 1800 the library numbered about 3,000 volumes. In 1818 it was 
voted to sell the old books, impaired by use, and purchase new ones with 
the proceeds. In 1820 the sum of $ 100 was voted from the general fund 
for books. From time, to time purchases have been made to supply the 
wants of the various departments of instruction. Private liberality has 
also established several funds for procuring books; some of them devoted 
to a special purpose. 

In July, 1852, George C. Shattuck, of Boston, Mass., gave $1,000, to 
which he added, in August of the same year, another 1,000. Of tins 
sum $800 were used for the Latin department, while the remainder 
was devoted to the purchase of books treating of mathematics as 
applied to mechanics and astronomy. In 1852, Rev. Koswrll Sliurt- 
leff gave $1,000, which was devoted to the department of moral 
and intellectual philosophy. In 1846, Edmund, Isaac,, and Joel 
Parker gave $1,000 as a library fund, which was incivastd by the 
last mentioned, Hon. Joel Parker, till in 1875 it amounted to $.%0io. 
At his death, in that year, Judge Parker also bequi-atluMl, in addition 
to other gifts to the college, the sum of $12,500 for the use of the 
library; so that the Parker fund now amounts to $19,500. In isi7 
Miss Mary C. Bryant, of Boston, Mass., gave $5,000 to establish a fund 

98 Public Libraries In tin' r// /'//'/ States. 

as a memorial of her grandfather, the Rev. John Smith, one of the 
early professors in the college, to be called the John Smith fund. This 
and the Parker fund are of general application and may be used for 
the purchase of any books, of permanent value. In 18 L> the late Hon. 
Samuel Appleton established the Appleton fund, and increased it by 
a bequest in 18">4. This fund is devoted to the maintenance of the de- 
partment of physics, and varying sum* are expended y early from its 
income in purchasing books for that department. A fund of $1,000 was 
also established by the late Hon. James W. Grimes, of Iowa. 

With these funds, amounting at present to $3(3,501), a portion of which, 
however, is not available, and with grants from the college treasury, the 
library is yearly increased in numbers and value. The average yearly 
increase for the past five years has been 700 volumes aiid 100 pamphlets. 

Society libraries. 

Side by side with the college library grew up another, which in the 
extent of its use has been of even greater value the Societies' Library. 
In 1783 a society was formed called the Social Friends, secret in its 
character at first, but literary in its purpose. Weekly meetings were 
held for debate and rhetorical exercise, and to aid in the work of the 
society a library was collected. The society flourished for three years, 
during which time the library steadily grew, by the contributions of its 
members. In 1786 a secession took place, some of the members with- 
drawing and forming a new society, the United Fraternity. Hence- 
forth they continued as rival societies, until the formation of the dis- 
tinctly so called secret societies. Each had its library, which was 
increased by the donations of successive classes; in later years at the 
rate of from 200 to 500 volumes annually. The management of the 
libraries was almost exclusively in the hands of the students, and after 
the obtaining of the society charters in 182G and 1827 entirely so till 
1874. During the time of the famous struggle between the college and 
the university, from 1815 to 1819, an attempt was made on the part of 
the students of the university, with the assistance of some of their fac- 
ulty, to seize the books of the societies. The students of the college, 
emulating the example of their trustees, held fast to their rightful pos- 
sessions, and locked their assailants into a room until the books had 
been conveyed to a place of safety. During the progress of the litiga- 
tion the books were kept in private houses in the village, and at the 
triumph of the college were carried back to their old quarters. 

After the establishment of secret societies, the Social Friends and 
the United Fraternity, declined as literary organizations, but the libra- 
ries continued to be centres of interest and profit. The use of the col- 
lege library was hampered by so many restrictions that it was of very 
little value to the students, while their own libraries were always open 
for use ; and these, by a judicious union of the current literature of the 
day with works of more permanent value, afforded a Jbetter opportu 

College Libraries. 99 

nity for selection than the college library. The two were never in col- 
lision, bnt the one was an indispensable supplement to the other. They 
continued entirely distinct until 1874, when, owing to the expense of 
maintenance, the students thought best to place their library under the 
direction of the faculty. Articles of agreement were' entered into be- 
tween the faculty and the students, by which the latter retained cer- 
tain powers and privileges. The consolidated libraries were placed in 
one room, and a librarian appointed, at a fixed salary, to take charge 
of the united library, which, with the reading room, was now open 
continuously to the students. Complete harmony of interest and unity 
of administration have worked greatly to the advantage of all parties. 

With the Societies' Library there was -brought into the union the 
library (about 1,200 volumes) of the Philotechnic Society, an organiza- 
tion formed in the Chandler scientific department, in 1854, with a design 
similar to that of the Social Friends. 

There was also united with the general library, the library of the 
Northern Academy of Arts and Sciences, an association formed Juno 
24, 1841, and composed of gentlemen of culture in various parts of the 
State. This collection consisted principally of pamphlets, bound and 
unbound, and numbered 2,500 volumes. 

The united libraries now number about 47,000 volumes, exclusive of 
pamphlets, the college library proper consisting of about 20,000, and the 
remainder being the books of the societies. 

There is also, in connection with the astronomical department of the 
college, begun in 1853, a library of about 750 volumes, besides pam- 
phlets. The medical department, established in 1796, has 1,500 vol- 
umes; the Thayer department of civil engineering has a library of 2,000 
volumes, begun in L862, and chiefly the gift of the late General Sylva- 
nus Thayer; and the agricultural department a collection of 1,300 vol- 

At present the astronomical, the engineering, and the agricultural 
libraries are kept in separate buildings; but it is hoped that before 
many years the means will be obtained for a building that will offer, 
under one roof, safe and commodious quarters for all the separate libra- 
ries of the college, which together now amount to about 53,000 volumes. 


The library of the College of New Jersey is probably of nearly equal 
age with the college itself, and that dates from 1746. In a notice of it, 
written probably by President Davies in 1760, it is said to have been 
"formed almost entirely of the donations of several public spirited gen- 
tlemen on both sides of the Atlantic." Among these might have been 
mentioned Jonathan Belcher, whose name the college would have borne 
had he permitted it ; and who, dying as governor of New Jersey in 1 7 ~7 , 
left to the library 474 volumes. Classics and folios abounded in the 
mansions of those days, and the intellectual character of the collection, 

100 Piiblic Libraries in tlte United States. 

relatively to its whole mass, may have stood higher then than since. 
The first printed catalogue, printed at Woodbridge, N.J., in 1700, con- 
sists of 36 pages, small quarto, and gives the titles of nearly 1,300 vol- 
umes, 231 being folios. 

March 6, 1802, the interior of Nassau Hall, where the books were then 
lodged, was burned, and it was for some years supposed that the entire 
library was destroyed. A few books are now known to have escaped. 
viz, certain folios of Calasio, and 'an edition of Calvin in eleven folios, 
Amsterdam, 1671, still in the library, with their titles in the catalogue 
of 1700. 

Public generosity was appealed to for the means to replace the build- 
ing; and records still in existence show that $32,000 in money were sub- 
scribed in the colonies. To restore the library, also, many noble vol- 
umes, still bearing the names of their donors, came from literary celeb- 
rities in this country and in Great Britain. Among these were John 
Lowell, Dugald Stewart, and Andrew Dalzel. To insure the safety of 
these new treasures, the library was placed in the building in which 
are the geological museum and Philadelphia!! Hall, and, rein lining there 
for half a century, escaped the flames which, in March, 1855, again 
destroyed Nassau Hall. Its increasing bulk finally crowded it out of 
the museum building, and it was removed to its original lodging, where 
it stood from 1865 to 1873. 

For nearly seventy years of this century the sole revenue of the 
library was derived from a tax of $1 a term on the students. Its in- 
crease was therefore extremely slow. In 18L2 the librarian reported 
4,000 volumes in the collection. In the same year the library of Presi- 
dent Smith, containing also the books of President Witherspoon, was 
bought for the college. In 1823 the number of volumes was estimated 
at 7,000, and that number is given in the catalogue of 1831. In 1830, 
James Madison, an alumnus of 1771, left the library a legacy of $L,000. 
Tliis was the only considerable gift of money made to the library pre- 
vious to 1868. Several noteworthy donations of books were, however, 
received. James Lenox, of New York, has presented many valuable 
books, among them the first three polyglots of the Holy Scriptures. 
Mr. Obadiah Rich, while resident in London in 1834, procured the 
bestowment by the Record Commission of the British government of its 
publications, 86 volumes, folio, and 24 volumes, octavo. The legislative 
documents of the United States, continued in an almost unbroken series 
from the beginning of the Twentieth Congress to the end of the Forty- 
second, make about 1,000 volumes. Matthew Newkirk, of Philadelphia, 
gave the great Description de 1'figypte. The family of W. D. Beattie 
presented 200 volumes of classical and other valuable works; and the 
libraries of Professors . Hope and Giger, numbering several hundred 
volumes each, were given to the college in 1859 and 1865. 

In 1868, the late John C. Green, of New York, presented to the col- 
lege f 100,000 under the name of the Elizabeth fund, in honor of his 

College Libraries. 103 

mother. From the income of this fund the library was to receive $3,000 
a year. Among other large additions thus made is the library of Tren- 
delenburg, of Berlin, consisting of nearly 10,000 volumes and pamphlets, 
purchased by the faculty for $5,000. It contains a collection of 185 vol- 
umes of old editions of Aristotle and his commentators, with a large num- 
ber of modern essays on his philosophy ; and also several hundred vol- 
umes of comparatively rare classics. 

By recent gifts from John S. Pierson, of New York, the library pos- 
sesses 1,000 volumes on the late civil war. The entire library now num- 
bers 29,500 volumes. 

The two society libraries contain together 12,000 volumes. 

The library is open five days in the week for the exchange of books, 
and at almost all hours of the day for purposes of study. 

The necessity of a separate and safer building for the library having 
been for some time apparent, Mr. John C: Green, of New York, in 1872-'73, 
erected an elegant stone building, at a cost of $120,000, and presented 
it to the college for library purposes. It is an octagonal building, with 
wings to the east and west, 140 feet in its entire length, with a central 
elevation of about 50 feet. The centre of the hall is occupied by a plat- 
form 12 feet in diameter, upon which is a circular desk for the librarian. 
Between this and the alcoves, which are ranged against the walls, is a 
passage way, 9 feet in width. The capacity of the two floors of alcoves 
is 108,000 volumes. 

At the time of the erection of the building, a fund was provided for 
the support of the librarian. 

Library of the Cleiosophic Society. 

This society dates from the year 17G5, the nineteenth from the foun- 
dation of the college. It began with seven members, of whom the most 
distinguished in after life were Oliver Ellsworth, second Chief-Justice 
of the United States, and Luther Martin, attorney-general of Maryland. 
The library now contains about 4,000 volumes. Perhaps the depart- 
ment which is best supplied is that of essays, including literary, mis- 
cellaneous, and periodical criticism; but the historical collection leaves 
little to be desired. The reading roi*m of the society is well supplied 
with magazines, reviews, and newspapers. 

Library of the American Whig Society. 

This society was organized in 1709, and three years afterwards 
included among its members, James Madison, fourth President of the 
United States. In connection with Clio, its rival, it has furnished 
many public men to the country. These two societies own buildings 
precisely alike, situated on the eastern verge of the college campus. 
Each building is two stories high ; the library and reading room bring 
on the ground floor, and the halls for literary exercises above. The 
gift of $4,000 by Commodore Stockton has enabled the Whig Society to 

104 Pubtic Libraries in the United States. 

collect a larger and better library than its elder sister, and it numbers 
at present 8,000 volumes. The catalogue shows that at every period of 
its history the society has bought good books. The collections in the 
departments of poetry and art are especially good. There is also a val- 
uable collection of law books, and the best histories of every country. 
Fourteen reviews and literary periodicals are regularly taken. 

; ' ' -.' V 


The Library of Columbia College, New York, contains a small but 
unusually choice and valuable collection of books. It is nearly coeval 
with the college, which was founded in, 1754. Among the earliest 
benefactors were Joseph Murray, of London, and the Rev. Buncombe 
Bristowe, whose libraries were given to the college. These collec- 
tions, however, were scattered during the war, when the college buildings 
were occupied by the British army, and but few of the valuable books 
of which they consisted could be recovered. After the return of peace, 
when King's College was re-opeiied under the name of Columbia College, 
the library was replenished, partly by donations, but chiefly by careful 
and judicious purchases; and it has been kept up for nearly a hundred 
years upon the same principles, viz, of buying few books, and those 
only of the highest character, and. of admitting only such books as art) 
strictly adapted to a college library, leaving large and miscellaneous 
collections to the public libraries of New York. 

The lists of benefactors include the names of the principal citizens of 
New York during this whole period. Those of Samuel Johnson, Myles 
Cooper, (the first two presidents,) Archibald Kennedy, John Watts, occur 
in several of the older volumes. In later times, equally well known and 
respectable names are found. The largest gifts have been the law libra- 
ries of William Samuel Johnson, the third president of the college, given 
by his sou, Mr. Johnson, of Stamford, Conn., and of John Jay, the first 
Chief-Justice of the United States, the gift of his grandson, John Jay. 
The collections of the New York Literary and Philosophical Society 
have also been added to the college library. Among the most im- 
portant additions by purchase, may be mentioned the library of the 
late Nathaniel F. Moore, professor of languages and afterwards presi- 
dent, consisting for the most part of elegant and valuable editions 
of the Greek and Roman classics, and the library of the late Lorenzo 
Da Poute, containing a choice and extensive collection of the older Italian 
literature. A small but very good selection of standard German wri- 
ters was added a few years ago, under the direction of Dr. Tellkampf, 
some time professor ot German. 

The library has no resources except the grants made from time to 
time by the trustees for its enlargement and-, expenses. For many 
years these were liberal bat irregular. They are now settled at $A,OUO 
a year, divided equally between the college and the School of Mines. 

College Libraries. 105 

A small sura, varying from year to year, is also allowed to the law 

The books are not kept in one hall, but have been, fof convenience, 
distributed among- the departments of the university. The principal 
library, which alone is under the charge of the librarian, is in a hall 28 
feet wide and 71 feet long. It contains 18,745 volumes, including 200 
volumes of bound pamphlets. Its estimated value is $43,700. The 
additions for the last seven years have averaged 500 volumes a year, 
and the average outlay, including purchases and binding, has been 
$2,000. The library of the School of Mines ha-s grown in ten years from. 
800 to 7,000 volumes. It is now valued at $17,000. The law library 
contains about 4,500 volumes, estimated at $8,000. The botanical 
library contains 1,145 volumes, valued at $3,650. The whole number of 
books may be stated at 31,390, and the value at $72,350. As, however, 
the statements of the law and botanical libraries were sent in in Decem- 
ber, 1874, it is probable that these collections have slightly increased 
since that time. 

The only literary society now in operation is the Philolexian. Its 
library probably does not exceed 1,200 volumes. The Peithologiau 
Library numbers 1,000 volumes. 

In August, 1875, an alphabetical catalogue of the books in the princi- 
pal library of the college was printed. To this is appended a second 
alphabet, containing a catalogue of the bound pamphlets. The whole 
forms an octavo volume of 412 pages. A catalogue of the library of the 
School of Mines, both alphabetical and analytical, has been published 
the past year. 

An elaborate and careful account of the library was prepared by 
William A. .Jones, the late librarian, and was printed in 18G1 under 
the direction of the trustees. The edition of this important pamphlet 
is now exhausted, but copies are to be found in several public libraries. 


The University Library at Cornell was established simultaneously 
with the opening of the university, in the mouth of October, 1808. It 
then consisted of 14,000 volumes, partly composed of the private library 
of Charles Anthou, formerly professor in Columbia College ; partly of 
the private library of Franz Bopp, formerly professor in the University 
of Uerliu, both of which had been purchased by the trustees of the uni- 
versity in the summer of 18(58; partly of modern scientilic books, 
selected and bought for the university in Europe, during the sanu- 
period, by President White; partly of a collection of German literature 
presented to the library by President White; and partly of a small col- 
lection of works on agriculture, bought in New York in ISCS, by I'./r.i 
Cornell. The Anthon collection consisted of between 5,000 and (i,oio 
volumes, two-thirds of which related to the classical languages and their 
literatures} the Bopp collection numbered nearly 2,000 volumes, and 

106 Public Libraries in the Umted States. 

was chiefly made up of works treating of linguistic subjects, including 
especially a noticeable series of Sanskrit texts. 

In the following year (18G9) Professor Goldvvin Smith presented to 
the library his valuable private collection of b>oks, which comprised 
more than 3,000 volumes, chiefly historical works and editions of thij 
ancient and English classics. In 1870, President White gave to th 
library about 1,000 volumes of works on architecture, collected by himself, 
many of which are of the most expensive character. They include sets 
of all the principal periodicals relating to architecture printed in Europe, 
and the various works published by Britton, Viollet le-Duc, Gailhabaud, 
Gruner, Weale, Seroux d'Agincourt, Galley Knight, Fergussoii, Wiebe- 
king, Cicognara, Pugin, Parker, and others. 

In 1871, the late William Kelley, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., then a trustee 
of the university, placed at the disposal of the librarian the sum of 
$2,250 for the purchase of mathematical works. With this sum, during 
that year, 1,500 volumes and 700 tracts and dissertations were bought, 
chiefly through European agents, including complete sets of the 
leading mathematical periodicals in English, French, German, Italian, 
and Danish, and the most important modern works in the domain of 
pure mathematics. In January, 1872, the private library of Jared 
Sparks, formerly president of Harvard College, and editor of the works 
of Washington and Franklin, was added, by purchase, to the university 
library. It numbered more than 5,000 volumes, about two-thirds of 
which were in the department of American history the collection of 
books and pamphlets illustrating the revolutionary period being extraor- 
dinarily full and valuable. T5 these collections must be addeJ many 
thousands of volumes purchased at various timas since L8US, the bulk of 
which have been bought in Europe. The collections have not been 
kept separate, but all have been consolidated and classified as one gen- 
eral library a bookmark in each volume indicating the collection with 
which it was purchased or given. 

The library also possesses a few unique collections. Among these 
the most notable is the May collection of works relating to the subjects 
of slavery and anti-slavery. This was founded in the year 1870, by the 
late Rev. Samuel J. May, of Syracuse, who gave the books he had 
himself gathered during the progress of the abolition movement. To 
these have been united the anti-slavery portion of the* libraries of the 
late Gerrit Smith, of Peterboro', N.Y., of the late Mr. Richard D. 
Webb, of Dublin, f.reland, of Mrs. Elizabeth Pease Nichols, of EJtu- 
burgb, Scotland, of Mr. Henry B. Stanton, of Tenafly, N.J., as well as a 
host of minor donations from many persons, both in the North and the 
South, who took part in the political struggle which originated in the 
slavery question. The collection at present comprises nearly 800 bound 
volumes and 5.000 pamphlets, and includes perfect files of many of the 
leading anti-slavery journals, such as the Liberator and the Anti 
Slavery Standard. Ezra Cornell, after the death of the late Samuel F. 

College Libraries. 107 

B. Morse, bought and presented to the library the works owned by that 
distinguished gentleman relating to telegraphy and electro-magnetism, 
consisting of about 250 volumes and pamphlets. The library has also 
acquired, largely through the liberality of President White, a collection 
of books illustrative of the history of the typographical art, embracing 
umes from the presses of Fust, Schoiffer, Caxton, Wynkyu de Worde, 

ill, Mentelius, Aldus Mauutius, Richard Pynson, and other early 
printers, as well as specimens of the books printed by the fitiennes, the 
Klxevirs, Plantiu, Baskerville, and Bodoni in later times. Principally 
to the same source it is indebted for a small collection of illuminated 
manuscripts in Sanskrit, Tamil, Persian, Bthiopic, Latin, French, and 
German, some of which are of considerable interest. In modern manu- 
scripts it possesses a valuable collection of letters, documents, and draw- 
ings by Washington, of documents in the handwriting of Franklin and 
Lafayette, together with many letters addressed to Washington, as well 
as a considerable number of manuscript maps illustrating revolutionary 

In serials the library, considering its age and size, is particularly 
rich. It owns sets of most of the noted periodicals devoted to natural 
and physical science published during the last forty years, and a very 
perfect collection of English and American reviews and literary maga- 
zines and of foreign philological journals. It continues to add to these 
sets; its annual subscription to foreign periodicals alone amounting to 
an average sum of $1,000. The works on bibliography and literary 
history are also numerous and carefully selected. 

Among the extensive or costly works on the shelves of the library 
may be mentioned a government copy of Description de 1'Egypte, Paris, 
l,SO!>-'28; the engravings of Koman antiquities, edifices, and works of 
art, by Pinnies!, Eome, 1750-'85 the copy, in 21 volumes, presented 
by Pope Clement the Fourteenth to the English Duke of Cumberland ; 
Hit- Thesaurus Antiquitatuui of Grouovius and Gnevi us, Venice, 1732- 
'.!7, in 33 folio volumes; the Transactions and Proceedings of the 
French Institute, the Royal Society, and the Berlin Academy of Sci- 
ences, together with those of the Geological Society, the Zoological So- 
ciety, and the Linno3an Society of London ; a colored copy of Besler's 
Hortus Eystettensis, Nuremberg, 1613, which cost $800; Batoman's 
Orchid aceae of Mexico and Guatemala ; Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 
a complete set, procured at an expense of $650 ; the Flora Brasiliensis 
of Martins as far as published; tlumboldt's scientific works in folio; 
the Mouiteur Universe!, from 1789 to 1868, in 162 folib volumes; the 
London Times, a set beginning with 1848 ; Canina's Udifizj di Koma 
Antiea, Architettura Antica, and Architettura dei tempj Cristiani, in 
!" volumes; (i rimer's Decorative Art ; the publications of tho Dilet- 
tanti Society of London ; Hakluyt's Voyages, London, 15JK) ; Cruveil- 
hier's Anatomic, Paris, 1851; the Bibliotheca Classics Latina of Le 
Maire, in U2 volumes, and the Scriptores Latiui of Valpy, in 160 vol- 

108 Public Libraries in the United States. 

umes; the Biblioteca de Autores Espaiioles, edited by Rivadeneyra ; 
the Classici Italian!, in 250 volumes; and the publications of the Hay 
Society, the Sydenham Society, the PalayintographicAl Society, the 
Percy Society, the Camden Society, the Hakluyt Society, the Eirly Eng- 
lish Text Society, the English Historical Society, and the Chaucer Soci- 
ety. The set of the patent specifications presented to the library 
by the British government, numbering over 2,60J volumes, is. still 
deposited in London awaiting the funds to bind it. The library has a 
complete set of American Patent-Office publications. 

The library has no fixed fund for its maintenance, but depends upon 
annual grants by the trustees of the university for the purchase 
of books, which have ranged from $1,000 to $3.000, besides special 
grants at various times for particular purposes. The average an- 
uual increase of the library since its establishment has been nearly 
3,000 volumes. The total number of volumes at present is 39,00^), be- 
sides 15,000 pamphlets. The collection is arranged very nearly in accord- 
ance with the system of classification adopted by Brunet in his Man- 
uel du Libraire, and possesses a simple alphabetical slip catalogue, to- 
gether with special catalogues of a few of thedepartments. Of the Sparks 
and Bopp collections there are printed catalogues, prepared before the 
purchase of those libraries ; of the Anthou collection, there is a similar 
catalogue in manuscript. There are employed a principal librarian and 
two assistants; the principal librarian, who is also a professor, and one 
of the assistants devoting but a part of their time to the library. The 
library is a circulating one, so far as the members of thft faculty are 
concerned, and a library of reference so far as the students of the insti- 
tution are concerned. The average number of volumes constantly with- 
drawn from the library is .650; the average number consulted daily in 
the reading .room of the library is 200. The library is open throughout 
the year (except Sundays) from 8 o'clock in the morning till 5 o'clock in 
the afternoon, or till sunset, when that is before 5. It occupies the 
lower main floor of the McGraw or central university building, a room 
100 feet by 45, and is arranged in alcoves, which inclose a space used as 
a reading room. The room is adorned with several basts, in marble and 
plaster, and with a number of portraits in oil, the latter including orig- 
inal half-length portraits of Professors Louis Agassiz, Goldvviu Smith, 
James Russell Lowell, and George William Curtis. 


Hamilton College received its charter in May, 1812, and at the same 
time a small library belonging to Hamilton Oueida Academy was, with 
other property, passed over to the college. In November, 1812, tin 
trustees of the college granted $100 for the increase of the library, 
and appointed a committee authorized to make purchases, appoint si 
librarian, and provide regulations for the use of the library. In I82f> 
the number of volumes was about 1,600, and this was gradually iucreasekl 

College Libraries. 109 

by purchases and donations by individuals and the general and State 
governments; but the addition of valuable and useful books was very 
slo\v, the college, for want of fu nds, not being able to make many pur- 

In November, I860, the libraries of the Union and Phoenix Societies, 
each containing about 3,000 volumes, were placed in charge of the col- 
lege for safe keeping; and since that time they have been kept and used 
as a part of the college library, though the rights of the societies are 
fully recognized and maintained. In 1865 the valuable library of Dr. 
Edward Kobinson, containing about 1,400 volumes and about 100 valu- 
able maps, was purchased and given to the college by a few friends in 
New York. In the same year, the library received its most important 
addition in the valuable law library of William Curtis Noyes, of New 
York, bequeathed by him to Hamilton College, in order " that it may 
always be kept together for the use of law students in that institution." 
This collection numbers nearly 7,000 volumes, of which about 5,000 
are law books, and the residue miscellaneous. They were collected 
during a practice of twenty-five years, at an expense of from $50,000 to 
$75,000. It contains all the American reports, with scarcely an excep- 
tion, down to 1865, including those Of Mr. Jefferson from 1730 to 1740, 
and from 17G8 to 1772, complete reports of every State in the Union, 
British, English, Scotch, and Irish reports, and of the colonies from New- 
foundland to India. Among its rare volumes are all the Domes-Day 
Books; a complete copy of the English Statutes at Large in 78 vol- 
umes; and everything in the English common law, both civil and crimi- 
nal, and in equity, with the earlier treatises. It contains a considerable 
collection of codes, among which are the Chinese and (lentoo; the Frede. 
rician code and Hindoo law; the Ordinances of Menu, translated from 
the Sanskrit by Sir William Jones; and Macnaghten's Principles ot 
Hindoo and Mohammedan Law. There is also a copy of Beugnot's As- 
sises de Jerusalem, 2 volumes, folio, Paris, 1841. This work, which is 
very learnedly annotated, contains an account of the works on juris. 
prudence written in the thirteenth century, and the laws of the king- 
dom of Jerusalem and Cyprus in the time of the Crusades. Among the 
legal curiosities is a perfect copy of Statbam's Abridgment, the first 
hook of English law ever printed, in black letter, 1470; and a copy of 
Le (hand Coutumier du Pays, Duch6 de Normandie, 15;t!>. I loth of 
these are in a line state of preservation. There is also a copy of Dug- 
dale's Origines Judiciales, edition of 1071, the most accurate now extant, 
as most of the first edition, 1(5<I(>, was destroyed in the tire in Lot - 
don the same year; Spelman's Glossary, 1087; and Jardinc's Use of 
Torture in the Criminal Law of England, 1(137. There is also a copy of 
Calvin's Lexicon, Geneva edition of 1584. The collection of French law 
is considerable; and there is a complete set, over 70 volumes, of tho 
printed. statutes of the Colony and State ot New York, including the 
session laws from the earliest period, commencing with a copy of 

110 Public Libraries in the United States. 

ford's, printed in London in 1719, which formerly belonged to Lord 
Delaware, and seems to have come from the plantation office in the col- 
ony.' There is hardly auy law book which a lawyer in large practice 
may have occasion to consult that may not be found in this collection. 
Feeling the obligation to provide for the safe keeping ot so impor- 
tant a gift, the trustees took immediate measures to realize a sum suffi- 
cient for building a library hall. The Hon. Perry H. Smith, of Chi- 
cago, in honor of whom the hall is named, offered to contribute oui;- 
half the sum supposed to be necessary for the building, $25,000, on 
condition that the other half should be made up by the alumni and 
other friends of the college in the West. The corner stone was laid 
in July, 1866, but owing to various hindrances the hall was nl>t 
completed and ready for occupancy until the summer of 1872. The 
whole cost of building and furniture was about $50,000. The building 
is 75 by 50 feet; the alcoves in the library are arranged in three tiers, 
one above another, and furnish space for 60,000 volumes. A room on tie 
second floor is used as a memorial hall and art gallery. The number of 
volumes now in the library is about 22,000. 


The beginnings of this library, like those of the university itself, were] 
small, and, for want of resources, the growth was slow. A nucleus was 
formed in 1820, by the gift of 238 volumes, and 145 pamphlets, from 
thirty one donors. 

In 1824, the list of books had increased to 675 volumes, with many] 
valuable pamphlets and official documents. 

In 1828, Dr. Spencer H. Cone, of New York, made a valuable contri- 
bution, and Dr. Howard Malcom, of Boston, another in 1832. 

In 1834-'3o, one of the professors, Rev. Baruas Sears, visited Ger- 
many. Advantage was taken of this visit to make a number ol 
large orders for books, though there were no funds, and these orders 
were met by contributions from private pockets. The purchases took 
a wide range, filling the then small library room with the best books 
extant in history, philosophy, geography, travels, biography, science, 
literature, and art ; in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German philology; 
in Scripture illustration and interpretation ; and in systematic and prac 
tical theology. 

In 1841-' 42, another professor, Rev. Thomas J. Conant, visited 
England and Germany, through whom further orders were made for 
English, German, and French books, and for a rich collection of classic-] 
al, patristic, and mediaeval works. In the meantime, the library had 
become rich in encycloprediology, lexicography, and philology, although 
as yet no fund existed for replenishing it. 

During all these years, the library was lodged in West College, ^liff 
first college edifice on " the hill ;" but in 1880, it was removed into Al- 
umni Hall for more commodious quarters, into a room fitted up by 

College Libraries. Ill 

James B. Colgate, of New York. At this time, as at several times prev- 
ious, a gif'ting of the books took place, and all such books of early date 
as were obsolete or of small value were thrown out, and a new classifica- 
tion of the residue was made. 

It may be observed that during thirty-six years there have been four 
librarians, who, in the absence of funds, have served gratuitously, and 
made their personal efforts in the collection of money and books a good 
substitute for an income fund, anil mainly through their labors the 
library has been enlarged. These have been Prof. A. C. Kendrick, Prof. 
P. B. Spear, Prof. E. Dodge, and the present librarian, Prof. N. L. An- 

During the last ten years, there has been a fund of $5,000, and an 
income, from all sources, of about $350 a year. Just now additional 
funds are being raised by subscription, and already, with the former 
fund, the library $20,000, on which it will hereafter draw interest. 

The library has 10,000 volumes, and is emphatically a working library, 
having been mainly made up for the benefit of the faculty and students. 
It props every course of study in the university, and is so arranged 
as to be used or consulted with great convenience. 

The classification of books, according to the departments of knowledge' 
to which they belong, is conspicuously noted by headings at the top of 
the cases, and is as follows: Greek language and literature; Latin 
language and literature; Philology and Oriental literature; Biblical 
literature and exegesis ; Systematic, polemic, and practical theology ; 
Ecclesiastical history ; Civil history ; Biography; Periodical literature - 
Natural sciences; Voyages and travels; Foreign literature; English lit- 
erature ; Philosophy. 

A valuable aid in the use of the library has recently been introduced, 
by the preparation, at considerable expense, Qf a voluminous manu- 
script index to periodical literature. Tbis comprises 17,000 references, 
alphabetically arranged, to important articles in the leading reviews. 
The library receives regularly the principal American and foreign re- 
views, and the index is carefully kept up by noting, alphabetically, all 
the articles contained in the current numbers. 

It is believed that the careful selection of books for working purposes, 
the absence of useless duplicates and miscellaneous donations, and tin- 
attention paid to periodical literature, render the library of the uni- 
versity unsurpassed, for its size, in real utility and value. 

Three students' society libraries contain, in the aggregate, about 3,000 


The University of Rochester was founded in 1850. The library had 
its origin about the same time. Only one library has ever IMTH directly 
connected with the university, though its relation to the Kochr>t< i 
Theological Seminary is such that the officers and students of each In- 
stitution have access to the libraries of both. 

112 Public Libraries in the United States. 

About ten years ago Gen. John F. Eathbone, of Albany, gave to the 
university the sura of $25,000 for the endowment of the library. This 
is known as the Rathbone library fund, and the income from it, about 
$1,750 a year, is devoted to the purchase of books and certain current 
library expenses. The library has hitherto been kept in a room con- 
structed for the purpose in the university building. A new fire-proof 
building is now nearly completed on the university grounds, the ground 
floor of which is to be devoted to the library, the second story being 
fitted up for the university cabinet. It is a gift to the university by 
the Hon. Hiram Sibley, of Rochester. Its cost, when completed, will 
not be less than $100,000. 

The' library has never received any very large additions of books by 

The annual additions to the library are between five hundred and 
six hundred volumes. The leading American and English periodicals 
are taken, and also some of the German and French, which are kept 
bound up to date. The present number of volumes is 12,000. 


This college, founded by Matthew Vassar, was opened in 1865, and the 
library has been gradually collected since that date. 

Mr. Vassar bequeathed to the college a fund of $50,000. the income of 
which may be used only for the purchase of additions to the library and 
the cabiuets. 

The library is composed, in large part, of books of reference. As each 
professor is responsible for the selection of books relating to his depart- 
ment of instruction, the library, as a whole, is made up of choice, special 
collections. For the size of the library it contains a large number of 
rare and costly works.* 

The whole number of volumes in the collection is 9,881. About 700 
volumes are added yearly. 

The rooms assigned to the library are spacious and elegant, and are 
planned to furnish shelf room for about 40,000 volumes. 


The charter of the university speaks of the library as if it were to be 
an essential part of the institution ; and with the gathering of the first 
classes the library was begun. Gen. VV. R. Davie, afterwards governor, 
gave to it 14 volumes in 1795, the year in which it was opened, and sub- 
sequently added 25 more. Among the early donors Richard Bennehan, 
of Orange County, gave 28 volumes, and Joseph Blount Hill an 
encyclopaedia in 18 volumes. In 1816 Rev. James Hall, of Iredell, 
gave 49 volumes, a third of them printed before 1700, and about 100 
volumes were received from the library of Joseph Gautier, of Elizabeth- 

College Libraries. 113 

Measures were early taken to provide an income for the library ; and 
tip to 1824 this was derived from a sessional fee paid by the students. 
Since that year it has been dependent upon grants made by the 

In 1824 Dr. Caldwell purchased for the library, in Europe, 979 books, 
and also brought over 60 volumes as donations from persons in England. 
A few years later the English Record Commission presented their pub- 
lications, 83 folios and 24 octavos. In 1859 the university purchaM-d 
1,897 volumes from the library of Professor Mitchell. This is believed 
to have been the only purchase of books by the trustees since 1824. 
Within the past forty-five years a few gifts have been made by individ- 
uals, less than 60 volumes before March, 1869. and about 300 since. The 
Smithsonian Institution has given its publications, 25 volumes; the 
State has given 218 volumes of laws and legislative records; and the 
United States has given 1,500 volumes of congressional and executive 
documents. The number of volumes now in the library is not far from 
7,000. There are two students' libraries in the university, the Dialectic 
and the Philanthropic, numbering 3,813 volumes. 

In 1850 a handsome library building was built. It is in the form of 
a Greek temple. The hall is 84 by 32 feet and 20 feet high. 


Soon after the college was established in 1835, the sum of $1,000 was 
received from the estate of Mr. Samuel Stone, of Townseud, Mass., "to 
be expended for books." Something was added to this by friends of 
the college at Marietta, and the whole amount expended in Europe for 
philological works. 

In 1850 an effort was made to increase the library, and $8,000 were 
subscribed, chiefly at Marietta. The largest subscribers were: Douglas 
Putnam, $2,500; Noah L. Wilson, $1,250; William Sturges, of Chicago, 
$1,250; Win th rop B. Smith, of Cincinnati, $500; Col. John Mills, $500. 
Mast of this money was expended by President Smith in Europe. 

Some years ago S. P. Hildreth, M.D., of Marietta, gave five or 
six hundred volumes, mostly scientific or historical works, to the li- 
brary ; and Dr. George O. Hildreth has, since his father's death, added 
a number of volumes to this collection. Hon. William A. Whittle>r\ 
and Hon. William P. Cutter, both of Marietta, have presented to the 
library many valuable works relating to the civil and political ln> 
tory of the country. John Kendrick, LL.D., for thirty three years pro- 
fessor of Greek in the college, and now professor emeritus, has ^iven 
* 1,000, the income of which is to be exoemled in the purchase of bo ks 
connected with the classical department. 

The whole amount of funds held for library purposes is about $5,500. 

The number of volumes in the college library is 15,130 ; in the society 
libraries, 11,570. 


114 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Most of the books purchased for the college library have been se- 
lected with reference to the work of instruction, so that the library is 
very largely professional in its character. 

A catalogue was printed in 1857, and a card catalogue has been pre- 
pared of all the books added to the library since that time. 


The library, which contains something over 10,400 volumes and is 
valued at about $15,000, has been entirely donated. The largest gifts 
are as follows: In 1853 William Sturges, of Zanesville, Ohio, gave 
$7,500 as a foundation. In 1858 Rev. Joseph M. Trimble, D. D., of 
Columbus, Ohio, selected an alcove to be filled at his expense, and has 
since placed upon its shelves books valued at $2,500. In 1866 William 
Ingham, of Cleveland, Ohio, selected an alcove, and has since placed 
in it books estimated at $2,500. Rev. Charles Elliott, D.D., left as a be- 
quest a portion of his library, estimated at $1,000. The remainder of 
the library has come from smaller gifts which cannot be enumerated. 

The number of volumes in the students' libraries is 3,500. 


The library of St. Xavier College comprises three divisions the 
library proper, devoted to the use of the faculty of the college, and the 
Students' Library and Sodality Library for the use of the students. 

The whole number of volumes in the main library is about 14,000. 
This library may be consulted, with certain restrictions, by any person 
properly introduced. 

A large proportion of the library is theological in character, but there 
is also a good collection of works in general literature, both English 
and foreign. Among the theological works are the writings of St. 
Thomas, 28 volumes, folio; the Migne collection, 28 volumes, folio; the 
works of Suarez, Ferraris, Billuart, Franzeliui, Concina, Muratorius, 
Gotti, Durandus, printed in 1533, and many others equally valuable. 
Among the old and rare books are many published within half a century 
after the invention of the art of printing. The oldest book in the col- 
lection is a Moral Theology, printed by Hilbrun, in Venice, 1477. Next 
in antiquity is the Instruction on the Institute of the Solitaries and on 
the Remedies against Vice, written by John the Hermit, called Cassian, 
and printed at Basle in 1485. There are also a Scholastic History, Basle, 
1486 ; Sermons on the different Sundays of the Year and Feasts of the 
Saints, Strasbourg, 1488; Lazarolus de Litio, Basle, 1490; the City of 
God, St. Augustine, 1494; Mirror of Patience, Udalric Finder, Nurem- 
berg, 1509 ; Examples from Writings of the Holy Fathers, 1512 ; a Latin 
Bible printed at Lyons in 1523-; Commentaries of St. Cyrillus of Alex- 
andria, 1520; works of Josephus in German, Strasburg, 1531 ; Durandas 
on the Writings of Peter Lombardus, Lyons, 1533 ; Latin Psalter, PariF 

College Libraries. 115 

1542; The Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle Compared, by James Car- 
pentarius, Paris, 1573. Among interesting books of later date is a copy 
of the first edition of the Bible printed in America, published by Carey, 
Stewart & Co., Philadelphia, 1790. 

There is no printed catalogue of the library, but one in manuscript 
arranged according to subjects. 


The library was begun shortly after the organization of the college, 
in 1783. It has been the slow growth of small purchases, as very lim- 
ited funds would from time to time allow, and of individual donations of 
books; no single one being large. 

The college library now numbers 7,765 volumes. There are two 
societies connected with the college, the members of which tax them- . 
selves yearly for the increase of their respective libraries. The library 
of the Belles-Lettres Society contains 9,771 volumes; that of the Union 
Philosophical Society, 9,967 volumes, making the whole number of books 
belonging to the college, 27,503. 

In the college library are some rare and valuable works; among them 
a complete collection of the Christian Fathers. 

There is no printed catalogue. In the ones used the books are classi- 
fied under departments, as historical, law, fiction, and are then described 


The library was founded in 1832, by contributions of books from friends 
of the college, and it grew slowly by gifts and small purchases. In 1st;."), 
on the accession of the present president, Dr. W. C. Cattell, the whole 
number of volumes was 2,645. A fee of $1 a term, for the increase of 
the library, or in later years of $2 a term, for the library and reading 
room, has since been paid by each student, and the matriculation and 
graduating fees have also been given in part to the library. The 
income from these sources has been expended almost wholly on books 
immediately connected with the college studies, so as to Ijuy everything 
needed for original investigation in the special direction in which the 
professor wishes to push his work. It does not, therefore, add rapidly 
to the number of volumes on the catalogue. It now amounts to some- 
what more than $2,000 a year. 

Grants for the purchase of books are also made from a fund estab- 
lished in 1872, by Mr. Benjamin Douglass, to promote the study of 
tlu Latin and Greek of Christian authors. 

Other important gifts have been made. The largest benefactors are 
Rev. David Bishop, who gave his library to the college at it* fouuda. 
tion; Hon. T. G. Clemson, who in 1850-'57 gave many valuable scim 
tific works in French, among them series of the Annalesdes Mines, of the 
r.ulletins of the Geological Society of France, the works of Berzeliua, 

116 Public Libraries in the United States. 

The"nard, and others ; Mr. Edward Miller, who in 1870 presented 115 
volumes on civil engineering ; Dr. John Curwen, who from 1870-'74 has 
presented many valuable works ; M. Ferdinand Lesseps, 1871, a com- 
plete set of the documents connected with his work oit the Suez canal; 
the class of 1871, a fund for the purchase of the issues of the Early English 
Text Society, the Chaucer Society, and the like ; Mr. B. Douglass, 1872, 
a fund for Christian Latin and Greek, from which about one thousand 
dollars have been expended for books ; Messrs. R. L. & A. Stuart, 1874, 
the Antenicene Library; the heirs of Hon. C. F. Ward, his well known 
general library and law library, with collections of autographs, engrav- 
ings, and rarities, numbering about 11,000 volumes. 

The departments in which the library is strongest are Anglo-Saxon, 
early and dialectic English, and early French ; (besides a pretty com- 
plete collection of Anglo-Saxon works, it has rare serial publications, 
such as those of the English Historical Society, the JBlfric Society, 
the Philological Society, English, the Percy Society, Early English 
Text, Chaucer, and the like ; Haupt's Zeitschrift fur deutsches Alter 
thum;) Christian Greek and Latin; American history; chemistry and 
mining, and botany. It has complete sets of German and French serials, 
such as Dingler's Polytechnisches Journal, 1820 onward; Wagner 5 !? 
Jahresbericht der Chemischen Techuologie, 1856 onward; Annales de 
Chimie et de Physique, 1789 onward ; Leonhard's Jahrbuch, and IS cues 
Jahrbuch der Mineralogie, 1833 onward. 

The librarian reported last year the addition of 989 volumes, of which 
797 were bought for $2,007. The whole number of volumes is now 
about 16,000. Of these about 6,000, the dictionaries, cyclopedias, 
historical and scientific serials, and other works of reference or of fre- 
quent demand, are displayed in cases in the reading room of the college ; 
which is a large hall with a gallery occupying a double story of the 
east wing of the South College. These books, with the best papers and 
periodicals of this country, England, France, and Germany, are open 
to all the members of college daily (Sundays excepted) for consultation 
during study hours, and for general reading out of study hours. Ade- 
quate provision has not yet been made for the proper display and use 
of the rest of the books, which temporarily occupy a room in Pardee 
Hall, waiting for a library to be built. 

There are two literary societies, the Washington and the Franklin, 
the former with 2,100 volumes, the latter with 1,632. There are also 
the Brainerd Society, which has a small collection of religious works, and 
the Natural History Society, which has a small but valuable working 
library. The whole number of volumes in all the libraries of the college 
is about 20,000. 


The library of the university dates back to the origin of the institu- 
tion as an academy ic 1749, and its incorporation as a college in 1755* 

College Libraries. 117 

Its earlier collections were the gifts of its frieuds, especially Rev. 
Richard Peters, who presented many works in old English literature 
and divinity. Some others bear the autograph of the founder of the 
university, Benjamin Franklin. 

The next additions seem to have been made during the visit of the 
first provost of the university, Dr. Smith, to Great Britain, to sn-uiv 
funds for an endowment, in 1751, and comprised a large Dumber of 
works of English scholars then living, and a copy of the Baskei ville 
edition of Barclay's Apology, presented by the author's son. 

The next gift of books came after the Revolution, and from France. 
Lafayette, while in America, was greatly interested in the univeisity, 
and on his return solicited a gift of books from the King, who sent over 
a very considerable number of works on French -history, on natural 
history and travels, and the P aris edition of the Byzantine historians. 

During a long period the library grew very slowly, and chiefly by the 
gifts of authors and frieuds. Since its removal to the ne\v building in 
West Philadelphia, it has received tive munificent gifts: 

1. The complete and unique collection of works in social science 
and political economy, made by the late Stephen Caldwell, author of 
The Ways and Means of Payment, and editor of List's National Econ- 
omy. This collection contains about 8,000 books and pamphlets, and 
covers every important work on or related to the subject in the Eng- 
lish, French, and Italian languages, besides many in Spanish and Ger- 
man, which had appeared down to the time of his death. 

2. The classical, bibliographical, and Sh akspere library of Profess >r 
Allen, especially full, select, and valuable in the department of Greek 
literature. This was purchased by the alumni and the trustees. 

3. The law library of the late Jud ge Bouvier, presented by his fam- 
ily, especially rich in works on Roman and French law. 

4. The Rogers library of engineering, presented by Prof. Fairmau 
Rogers, as a memorial of his father, the late Evan Rogers. Of this 
collection, about 1,000 volumes, many of them very costly and mag- 
nificent works, have already been procured, and the donor is now com- 
pleting it by careful selections. 

5. The Tobias Wagner fund, presented by a member of his family 
for the creation of a fund to be devoted to the purchase of works on 
history and literature. The income from this fund is .*.">'. a year, 
and one of the purchases made is the magnificent series of photographs 
of antiquities in the British Museum. 

The trustees have granted .>,000 to purchase a fitting litei.n\ 
apparatus for the department of history and Knglish literature, most of 
which has been expended under the direction of l>r. Stille, the pioent 
provost of the university. 

These gilts and purchases have increased the number of volumes in 
the library to nearly 20,000. 

There are two students' libraries, that of the Philomathean Society. 

1 1 8 Public Libraries in tlie United States. 

and that of the Zelosophic Society; the former iminbering 1,323 vol- 
umes, and the latter about one thousand volumes. The library of the 
medical department numbers 3,000 volumes; that of the law depart- 
ment 250 volumes. 


Rhode Island College, now Brown University, was incorporated iu 
1764, and was originally established in the town of Warren. In 1770 
it was removed to Providence, and, with the exception of a few books 
procured iu England through the agency of the Rev. Morgan Edwards, 
was at this time destitute of a library. To supply, as far as possible, 
this deficiency, the Providence Library Company (believed to have been 
established in 1753, and now merged in the Providence Athenaeum) 
tendered to the officers and students the free use of their books, a 
privilege which was continued several years. Two years later, (1772,) 
President Manning wrote concerning the library : "At present we have 
but about 250 volumes, and these not well chosen, being such as our 
friends could best spare." In the latter part of this year the college 
received from the executors of the Rev. Dr. John Gill, of London, all 
his published works, together with 52 folio volumes of the Fathers; and 
in the following year the Rev. Benjamin Wallin, of London, presented 
to the library his published works in 10 volumes; Bunyau's works, 6 
volumes, and others. Donations were also received from Rev. Dr. 
Steunett, and others. 

On the 6th of December, 1776, immediately after the occupation of 
Newport by the British troops, the college was disbanded, and the col- 
lege building (now University Hall) was, from that time until June, 
1782, occupied as a barrack and hospital. During this period the books 
were removed for safe keeping to West Wrentham, Mass. 

At the re-organization of the college, in the autumn of 1782, the library, 
according to President Manning, consisted of " about 500 volumes, most 
of which are both very ancient and very useless, as well as very ragged 
and unsightly." 

In 1783 the liberality of Mr. John Brown, treasurer of the corpora- 
tion, added 1,400 volumes to the library. The books were selected by 
President Manning and the chancellor, Gov. Stephen Hopkins, and 
were purchased in London. A list of these 1,400 volumes, with the 
prices, is on file among the college archives. To the bibliographer and 
the antiquarian it is a document of special interest. The sum off 
200 was at the same time subscribed by other members of the coi 
poration, for apparatus. 

Mr. Moses Br"own, a brother of John Brown, also at this time iinporte 
and presented to the library a number of books illustrative of the prin 
ciples of the Friends, to which denomination he was attached. So 
of these are now rare and of great value. 

During the same year (1784) John Tanner, of Newport, present 

College, Libraries. 119 

to the library 135 volumes of miscellaneous books, many of which are 
now iinportaut, illustrating the early ecclesiastical history of New Eng- 
land ; and in the succeeding year Grauville Sharp, presented sev- 
eral of his own publications, together with a set of the works of his 
grandfather, Dr. John Sharp, archbishop of York. He subsequently 
made other donatious to the library. These gifts so augmented its 
treasures that it contained, as appears from the correspondence of 
President Manning, " upward of 2,000 volumes." 

During the latter part of this year, also, a donation of 149 vol- 
umes, mostly folios and quartos, comprising the works of several of the 
Fathers of the Church, and standard works in science, history, literature, 
and the classics, was received from the Bristol Education Society in 
England, through the agency of the Rev. Dr. Caleb Evans. 

In the year 1792 Hon. Nicholas Brown, from whom the university 
derives its name, began his princely benefactions to the college by the 
gift of $500 for the purchase of a law library. 

The Rev. Isaac Backus, of Middleborough, Mass., who died in 1806, 
bequeathed to the college a part of his library. The extent or value of 
this bequest it is uo\v impossible to determine, as no record was made 
of it at the time. Among the books thus presented, however, is one 
which deserves particular mention, a copy of Roger Williams's Bloody 
Tenent yet more Bloody, being the copy originally presented by Will- 
iams to his friend and fellow laborer, Dr. John Clarke. On a blank leat 
are the following words in Roger Williams's handwriting: " For his 
honored and beloved Mr. John Clarke, an eminent Witnes of Christ 
Jesus ag'st y e bloodie doctrine of persecution, etc." 

In 1815 Mr. Nicholas Brown gave $500 for the purchase of books, 
and Mrs. Hope Ives presented a copy of Dobson's edition ot tin- Kneyclo- 
p a-dia Britannica. 

The next and most important of all the donations to the library was 
the legacy in 18L8 of the Rev. William Richards, of Lynn, England, 
who, because of the liberal character of Brown University, bequeathed 
to it his library , consisting of about 1,300 volumes. This collect ion is 
in many respects valuable. It contains a considerable number of Welsh 
books; a large collection of works, illustrating the history and an 
tiquities of England and Wales; besides two or three hundred bound 
volumes of pamphlets, some of them very ancient, rare, and curious. 

In 1819 the Rev. Thomas Carlile, of Salem, Mass., an alumnus, pro. 
sen ted to the library 103 volumes, mostly quartos, comprising tlie best 
editions of the works of the celebrated mathematicians Kuler, Lai-roix, 
La grange, Laplace, besides many theological works. 

For the next important accession to the library, designated "the sul> 
scription of 1825," the college is indebted to the efforts of Mr. Horatio 
dates Boweu, librarian from 1824 to 1841. At his irqiieM >e\vrirt 
friends subscribed $810. which sum was expended in the puiclia- 

120 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Between the years 1827 and 1843 several ^donations of importance 
were received from friends of the university in this country and in 
Europe. Within the same period the libraries of the Philophysian and 
Franklin Societies, containing together three or font hundred volumes, 
were incorporated with the college library. 

Hon. Therou Metcalf, of Boston, has, since 1842, presented to the 
library 68 volumes of ordination sermons, (without doubt the largest 
collection of the kind that has ever been made;) 117 volumes of funeral 
sermons arranged in classes ; 23 volumes of centennial discourses, (fur- 
nishing 1 rich material for historians and antiquarians;) 12 volumes of 
Fourth of July orations, including all delivered before the municipal 
authorities of Boston from 1800 to 1860; 5 volumes of discourses on 
Washington; and many others. The entire Metcalf collection num- 
bers 375 volumes, containing about 10,000 separate pamphlets, many 
of them exceedingly rare and valuable. Judge Metcalf has also made 
other donations, including his own publications. 

In 1843 the sum of $3,000 was raised for the purchase of English 
books. In the same year the foundations of a French, German, and 
Italian library were laid through the liberality of Mr. John Carter 
Brown, and 2,921 bound volumes were purchased, including a complete 
set of the Mouiteur Universel, II Vaticano, II Oampidoglio, Museo Bor- 
bonico, Musee Franeais, Muse Royal. 

In 1844 Mr. Brown presented to the library a set of the Year Books, 
from Edward I to Henry VIII, in 10 volumes, folio. 

The class of 1821, a quarter of a century after their graduation, raised 
a sum of money for the library, with which about 500 volumes were 
purchased, mostly from the library of Hon. John Pickering. Among 
these is a folio of Plutarch's Lives, in Latin, published at Borne, 1471. 

In 1847, through the agency of the Rev. Dr. Samuel (Jsgood and others, 
$2,000 were raised among several churches, and expended in the pur- 
chase of works relating to patristic literature and the history of the 

The Hon. James Tallmadge, of the class of 1798, bequeathed, at his 
death in 1853, $1,000 for the improvement of the library. 

In 1831, efforts were made to raise, by subscription, a fund for the 
library. The whole number of subscribers was 99, the smallest sub- 
scription being $10. Nicholas Brown headed the list with $10,000, and 
the entire amount raised was $19,437.50. This sum was placed at inter- 
est until it amounted to $25,000, and was then invested in a permanent 
fund. The first dividend became due in July, 1839, and since that time 
the proceeds have been regularly used, according to the design of the 
donors, " to purchase books for the library, and apparatus for the philo- 
sophical and chemical departments." 

The number of volumes now in the library is about 45,000. It hasj 
also a large collection of pamphlets, bound and unbound. 

College Libraries. 121 

The members of the corporation and the faculty, all resident gradu- 
ates, all donors to the library fund, all donors to the fund for building 
Rhode Island Hall, and all donors to the library to the amount of - 
residing in Providence, are entitled to the use of the library without 
charge. Undergraduates are entitled to the use of the library without 
distinction of class, and are charged therefor the sum of $3 a year. 

la 1843 a library catalogue was prepared by Professor Chai ! ' 
Jewett, and printed. It is alphabetical, by authors, and has a copious 
analytical index of subjects. 

The library at present occupies Manning Hall, built by the Hon 
Nicholas Brown at his own cost, and said to be one of the finest spcci. 
meiis of Doric architecture in the country. This, however, does not 
afford sufficient accommodation for the increased number of books, and 
a new building is in progress. The late John Carter Brown bequeathed 
to the university $50,000 for a fire-proof building for the library, and an 
eligible lot for the purpose. He had, during his life, subscribed $15,000 
for the same purpose, the interest ou which now amounts to $7,000. 
Plans for the building have been adopted, and the foundation walls 
have been laid. The building is to be in the form of a cross, the nave 
or intersection of the arms of the cross being about 35 feet square, the 
arms of the cross or transepts projecting 28 feet from the nave, and ter. 
urinating in octagonal ends, except at the southern end, where is placed 
the entrance porch, facing the college green. This arrangement provides 
for a fine reading room in the centre, while the bookcases are to be in 
the transepts, extending in height three stories. The exterior walls are 
to be of brick, with olive stone decorations. The style of architecture 
adopted is the Italian Gothic. 


The South Carolina College, now the University of South Carolina, 
\vas chartered in 1801, and a library was at onco begun. The first 
grant for it was made by the general assembly in 1802, and when the 
college opened in 1805, about $3,000, it is estimated, had been paid for 
books. In 1813 the board of trustees voted to apply the surplus of the 
tuition fund to the increase of the library. During the period from'l to 1845 this amounted to $23,757. In 1823 the general assembly 
made a grant of $5,000 for the benefit of the library, and in 1S25 voted 
an additional 8,1,000 for the same purpose. In 1836 $15,000 were ap- 
propriated for a library building and $5,000 for the purchase of books : 
and in 1838 an annual grant of $2,000 was voted for the library. Dur- 
ing the period from 1836 to 1853 the grants for the libiaiv by the 
general assembly amounted to $43,000, and there was reali/.ed from the 
sui plus tuition fund the sum of $19,374, making an aggregate of 
*i2,374 in seventeen years. The library has received altogether Irom 
State and private sources over $90,000. 

Gov. John l)i ay ton, whose message to the general as>. inbly in 1SOI 

122 Public Libraries in the United States. 

is considered the germ of the college, was among the first, if not the 
first, to give books to the library. In 1807, he presented his own pub- 
lications and a number of other works. In 1841, the general assembly 
presented a copy of the American Archives. In 1842. copies of the acts 
and resolutions of the assembly from 1790 were presented by order of the 
general assembly, and have since been received annually. In 1844, 
Gen. James H. Adams and Col. John Lawrence Manning made valua- 
ble gifts of books, and the general assembly presented Audubou's Birds. 

The number of volumes now in the library is about 27,000, besides 
1,000 pamphlets. A literary society, the Clariosophic, connected with 
the college, has a library of 1,250 volumes. 

The college library contains a large number of rare and valuable 
books, and is especially rich in works on Egypt. The first copy of Kos- 
sellini's Monument! dell' Egitto e della Nubia, 10 volumes, octavo, brought 
to the United States was imported for this library. There are also 
many very old volumes, a number of them printed during the sixteenth 
century, and some dating as far back as 1480. 

The library was built in 1841, and cost more than 823,000. 


The library has two funds, the Strong fund, $500, the income of 
which is devoted to the purchase of periodicals : and the Wheeler fund, 
which amounts to $1,250, and was given for the purchase of works in 
English literature. 

For many rare and valuable books the library is indebted to the lib- 
erality of Prof. Martyn Paine, M.D., of New York. Some of these were 
procured by Professor Torrey in Europe. A number have also been 
given by alumni and other friends of the college. 

Through the agency of Hon. George P. Marsh, United States minis- 
ter to Italy, the library has lately received a valuable CDUection of man- 
uscripts of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. These 
consist of one quarto volume of 28 folios, transcribed in 145S, contain- 
ing the original Latin text of the statutes of the commune of Carpeneto 
in Piedmont, and portions of seventeen other documents on parchment, 
two of which are in uncial character; some of the specimens of cursive 
character are admirable for neatness and regularity. Several of the 
manuscripts are handsomely rubricated; such red ink as appears on 
some of them would gladden the eyes of the most fastidious lover of 
books ; even after the lapse of centuries it is more brilliant than any 
ink that can be purchased of a modern stationer. The oldest manuscript 
whose date is definitely ascertained belongs to the year 1210. Another 
is dated 12U7. These documents were presented to the university In 
Prof. Guiseppe Ferraro, of Ferrara, who also gave a printed volume 
edited and annotated by him, of the Latin text of the statutes contained 
in the first named volume. Mr". Marsh, in his note to the librarian 

College Libraries. 123 

says : " Some of these writings possess historical interest, and in a coun- 
try where all manuscripts are so rare as in the United States they are 
valuable as illustrative of the official language and the chirography of 
the centuries in question." 

The number of volumes in the library, including a society library of 
about 2,500 volumes, is 16,021. 

The library building cost $6,000, raised by subscription, mainly in 


This library contains 40,000 volumes, of which there is no printed 

The original catalogue of the library was prepared by the founder 
of the university, Thomas Jefferson. His classification of books was 
based on Lord Bacon's division of knowledge, and the plan was con- 
tinued as long as he lived. This catalogue is preserved in the library, 
and from it is copied the following explanation of Mr. Jefferson's views 
in preparing it : 

1. Great standard works of established reputation, too voluminous and too expen- 
sive for private libraries, should have a place in every public library for the free resort 
of individuals. 

2. Not merely the best books in their respective branches of science should be se- 
lected, but such as were deemed good in their day, and which consequently furnish a 
history of the advance of science. 

3. The opera ouinia of writers on various subjects are sometimes placed in that chap- 
ter of the catalogue to which their principal work belongs, and sometimes referred to 
the polygraph ical chapter. 

4. In some cases, besides the opera omuia, a detached tract has also been placed in 
its proper chapter, on account of editorial or other merit. 

5. Books in very rare languages are considered here as specimens of language only, 
and are placed in the chapter of philology, without regard to their subject. 

C. Of the classical authors several editions are often set down, on account of some 
peculiar merit in each. 

7. Translations are occasio nally noted, on account of peculiar merit, or of difficulties 
of their originals. 

8. Indifferent books are sometimes inserted because none good are known on the 
same subject. 

!). Nothing of mere amusement should lumber a public library. 

10. The octavo form is generally preferred for the convenience with which it is han- 
dled, .-iiul the compactness and symmetry of arrangement on the shelves of the library. 

11. Some chapters are defective for want of a more familiar know ledgeof tlieirsnliject 
in the compiler, others from schisms in the science they relate to. In medicine, r. g., 
the changes which have necessarily prevailed from the age of Hippocrates to the pres- 
ent day, have, produced distinct schools acting on dill. Tent hypotheses, and headed ly 
respected names, such as Stahl, Boerhave, Sydeuham. Hoffman, Cullen, ami our own 
Dr. Rush, whose depletive and mercurial systems have tunned a Mhool, or perhapl 
revived that which arose on Harvey's discovery of tin- circulation of the M...H!. In 
religion, divided as it is into multifarious creeds, dilVeijig in their basis, and more or 
less in their superstructure, such moral works have been chielly i - may be 
approved by all, omitting what is controversial and merely sectarian. Metaphysics 
have been incorporated with ethics, and little extension given to them, for while some 

124 Public Libraries in the United States. 

attention may be usefully bestowed ou the operations of thought, prolonged investiga- 
tions of a faculty unamenable to the test of our senses, is an expense of time too un- 
profitable to be worthy of indulgence. Geology, too, has been merged in mineralogy, 
which may properly embrace what is useful in this science; that is to say, a knowledge 
of the general stratification, collocation and sequence of diffurent species of rocks and 
other mineral substances, while it takes no cognizance of theories for the self generation 
of the universe, or the particular revolutions of our own globe, by the agency of water, 
fire, or other agents, subordinate to the fiats of the Creator. 

From the opening of the university in 1825, to June, 1875, over 10,000 
volumes were received by gift. The largest donors were President Mad- 
ison, who left a legacy of 2,500 volumes and $1,50!) in money, and Chris- 
tian Bohn, of Richmond, Va., who in 1838 left a legacy of 4,00i) volumes 
and 1,500 engravings. A. A. Low, of New York, gave, 1868-'70, $1,000, 
and Thomas Gordon, of New York, 1870, $500. 


The library of the university was gradually increased, chiefly by pur- 
chases, from the time of its first organization as Washington College, 
until the beginning of the late war, and the number of volumes was 
then about 5,000. During 1864, the books were, to a great extent, 
destroyed or carried off. Much has since been done to restore the 
library, chiefly in the form of donations, though occasional purchases 
have been made. 

Each student, ou entering the university, pays a matriculation fee of 
$5, which entitles him to the constant use of the library. The fund thus 
derived is devoted to the purchase of books. 

The principal donations received are as follows: 1872, W. W. Cor- 
coran, of Washington, D. C., 4,01)0 volumes, comprising the entire library 
of the late N. P. Howard, of Richmond, Va., and considered one of the 
best collections of classical works south of the Potomac; 1874, Dr. W. 
N. Mercer, of New Orleans, La., 1,000 volumes miscellaneous works; 
several publishing houses, of London, England, 300 volumes ; Moncure 
Robesou, of Philadelphia, Pa., 250 volumes, chiefly scientific works; 
Hon. J. Randolph Tucker, of Virginia, 130 volumes of law books ; Hon. 
Vincent L. Bradford, of Pennsylvania, 25 volumes of law books. Smaller 
gifts have from time to time been made by various friends of the uni- 

The Graham-Lee Society, established 1809, has a library of 2,500 vol- 
umes, and the Washington Literary Society, established 1812, has a 
library of 2,500 volumes. 

A manuscript catalogue is now in use, but this will shortly be printed. 

The growth of the library already demands enlarged accommodations, 
which will be provided in due time. 

The number of volumes now in the library is about 11,000. 

College Libraries. 




For statistics of all college libraries reported, reference is made to 
the general table at the end of the volume. 

[The totals in the fourth column embrace the libraries of all departments; the blanks in the fifth col- 
umn indicate that the question was not answered ; the word "none," in the same column, that no 
society libraries exist.] 




i . ' 

J 8 *> 

1 1! 

California Oakland 

Santa Clara 

Connecticut Hartford 


New Haven 

Dist. of Columbia.. Georgetown 

Georgia Athens 

Illinois ..Chicago 



Indiana Crawfordsville. . . 


Notre Dame 

Iowa Iowa City 

Kentucky Lexington 

Louisiana Baton Rouge 

Maine Brunswick 



Maryland Emmittsburgh... 

Massachusetts Amherst 


Mod ford 




Michigan Ann Arbor 

Minnesota Minneapolis 

Mississippi Oxford 

Missouri Columbia 

St. Louis 

St. Louis 

Now Hampshire . . . Hanover 

New Jersey .New Brunswick . 


New York Clinton 




New York... 

University of California 

Santa Clara pollege 

Trinity College 

Wesleyan University 

Yale College 

Georgetown College 

University of the State of Georgia. 

Chicago University 

St. Ignatius College 

Northwestern University 

Wabash College 

Indiana Asbury University 

University of Notre Dnme du Lac 

Iowa State University 

Kentucky University 

Louisiana State University 

Bowdoiu College 

Bates College 

Colby University 

Mt. St. Mary's College 

Amherst College 

Harvard College 

Tufts College 

Wellesley College 

Williams College 

College of the Holy Cross 

University of Michigan 

University of M innesota 

University of Mississippi 

University of Missouri 

College of the Christian Brothers 

St. Louis University 

Dartmouth College 

Rutgers College 

College of New Jersey 

Hamilton College 

Hobart College 

Madison University 

Cornell University 

College of St. Francis Xavler .... 








95, 200 

33, 0..0 

22, 7fiO 

i;. -"" 

30, 406 


3D, 000 
91, 000 



i M 
6, tOO 




1 ' - 

- I-''. 







H. 000 

i. -'' 




Public Libraries in the United States. 



Date of origin. 

Xiunbor of vol- 

Number of vol- 
umes in so- 
ciety libraries. 

New York Coi 

North Carolina 

it'd.New Yo^k ... 

College of the City of New York 


a!3, 000 
14, 000 
10, 659 
15, 130 
16, 400 
45, 000 
13, 521 
610, 000 
11, 000 

13, 813 
10, 046 
19, 738 

New York 


Vassar College 

University of Rochester 


Union College 


Syracuse University 

....Chapel Hill 

University of North Carolina 
Trinity College 


St. Xavier College 

Pennsylvania . . 

Rhode Island . . 
South Carolina. 


Ohio Wesleyan University 


Kenyon College 

Marietta . i 

Marietta College 

Carlisle ..., 

Easton . 

Dickinson College 
Lafayette College 

Pennsylvania College 

Haverford College. . 

Haverford College 

S t. Vincent's College 
University of Pennsylvania .... 

2, 323 


Brown University 

College of Charleston 


University of South Carolina 
University of Vermont 


Middlebury.. . 

Middlebury College 

Randolph-Macon College .... 

Lexington . . 

Washington and Lee University.. 
Roanoke College .... 


Williamsburgh ... 
... Beloit 

College of William and Mary 
Beloit College 


University of Wisconsin 

a Includes Manhattan Academy Library. 

6 Includes society libraries. 

c Society libraries destroyed during the war; at present small, but increasing. 






In treating of public theological libraries in the United States, it is 
to be remarked that these are generally the libraries of theological- 
seminaries. There are a few exceptions to this statement. Thus, the 
General Theological Library in Boston is an independent institution. 
It was established in the year I860, with the design of forming a col- 
lection of all works pertaining to theology and religious knowledge. 
It now contains more than 12,000 volumes, and is sustained with an 
encouraging degree of liberality by parties belonging to various churches 
and denominations. A library of a similar character which was begun 
in Cincinnati has been merged in the Public Library of that city. The 
Library of the American Congregational Association, in Boston, might 
be named as another exception; although, its scope being chiefly denom- 
inational and historical, there may be a question whether its place is 
properly found in the class of theological libraries. It is, however, a 
library of great importance in relation to the religious history of New 
England, and embraces a very valuable collection of works written by 
the founders of the New England churches, or recording and illustrating 
the Puritan history. It now contains about 22,000 volumes and more 
than 80,000 pamphlets. Probably there are a few other denominational 
libraries of a similar type. But with these exceptions we know of no 
theological libraries in this country which are not connected with some 
institution for the education of the ministry. 1 

'It may be said that we should include among theological libraries certain imiall 
libraries belonging to some of our churches, intended especially for the use of tin- 
pastor of the church. But thes'e have hardly as yet obtained a place among public 
libraries such as we are now considering. One of the older and most important of 
these is the Prince Library, so called from the Rev. Thomas Prince, by whom it was 
bequeathed in 1758 to the Old South Church in Boston, of which ho was the pawtor. It 
is now deposited in the Public Library of that city. It comprises nearly 2,000 vol- 
umes, partly theological, and largely relating to the civil and religious history of Nw 


128 Public Libraries in tin 1 United States. 

It : s to be remembered that a portion, perhaps one-third or more, 
of our schools for theological training are not separate institutions, 
but simply the theological departments of colleges or universities. 
This is true of the Yale Theological Seminary and of the Cambridge 
Divinity School. There will naturally be a difference of character be- 
t\veeu the library of such a seminary and that of one which has an in- 
dependent foundation, especially if the latter is isolated, either by 
its location or by other causes, from public libraries of a general char- 
acter. Thus, in the institutions just mentioned, the librafies of Yale 
College and of Harvard College afford for the use of the theological 
students a sufficient supply of works in general literature, and even a 
large number of theological books. Hence the libraries of these schools 
will be likely to continue, for many years at least, much smaller than 
others of equal age. And while the theological department of the col- 
lege will be likely to confine its collections chiefly to strictly theological 
literature, it will be necessary for the isolated theological seminary to 
provide a large supply of books in almost all departments of litera- 
.ture books which may aid in the education not merely of the minister 
but of the man. The majority therefore of theological libraries are by 
no means exclusively theological. They are general libraries with a 
great theological preponderance. This will account in a measure for the 
fact that they are usually so much larger than law and medical libraries. 
These latter are confined more exclu sively to the specific literature of 
law and medicine. The broader relation s of theology, reaching out into 
every department of thought and life, make it requisite that a library of 
theology embrace a wider range of books than is needed in the study of 
the other professions. 

Our theological libraries are of comparatively recent origin. Not one 
of them is a hundred years old. Only two are known to have been 
begun before the end of the eighteenth century. One of these is the 
Library of St. Mary's Theological Seminary of St. Sulpice, in Balti- 
more, Md., which was founded in 1791 by the Catholic congregation of 
the Sulpitiaus. This, which now contains 15,000 volumes, appears to 
have been our first theological library. The second was the library of 
the seminary under the charge of the learned and pious John Ander- 
son, D.D. He was appointed professor of theology by the Associate 
Presbytery of Pennsylvania in 1794, and the seminary under his care 
was established at Service Creek, Beaver County, Pa. Here a small 
building of logs was erected for the accommodation of the students, 
and a library was collected, comprising about 800 volumes of rare and 
valuable works. This seminary, after passing through various changes 
and one or more periods of temporary suspension, has, since 1855, been 
at Xeuia, Ohio, and since 1859 has been under the management of the 

England. Among church libraries of recent date, there is one of special value, con- 
taining 3,r>00 volumes, connected with the First Congregational Church in North Brook- 
rield, Mass. It was founded in 1859 by the Hon. William Appleton, of Boston, whose 
father was the second pastor of the church. 

Theological Libraries. 129 

United Presbyterian Church. Its library, (which has been known as "The 
Library of the Associate Synod,") although now one of the smaller ones 
on our list, includes the collection, for that period a large and valuable 
one, wlftch was first brought together at Service Creek. 1 Two other 
seminaries for the education of ministers are known to have been estab- 
lished at a still earlier period, that of the Rev. John Smith, D.D., under 
the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, in 1778, which was continued 
for a few years only ; and the one at first under the charge of the Rev. 
John H. Livingston, D.D., which is now the Theological Seminary of 
the Reformed (Dutch) Church at New Brunswick, N. J. This school 
went into operation in New York in 1784, by the appointment of Dr. Liv- 
ingston as professor of theology, and was removed to New Brunswick 
in 1810. But we find no evidence of any library connected with the 
former of these two seminaries, and that of the latter was not begun 
until a much later period. 2 To the end of the eighteenth century there 
i.s no account of any other theological libraries in this country besides 
the two which have been named, that of the seminary of St. Sulpice 
in Baltimore, founded in 1791, and that of Dr. Anderson's seminary, at 
Service Qreek, Pa., in 1794. 

Within the first quarter of the present century, however, the work of 
collecting such libraries was fairly under way. Of those which at the 
present time number, each, about; 10,000 volumes or more, the fol- 
lowing nine libraries were established during this period: The library 
at Andover, Mass., in 1808 ; at Bangor, Me., in 18JO; at Auburn, N. Y., 
in 1821; in New York City, (General Theological Seminary,) in ISi'l; 
near Alexandria, Va., in 1823; and at Cambridge, Mass., Hampdt-n- 
Sidney, Va., Lancaster, Pa,, and Newton, Mass., in 1825. The oldest of 
these nine libraries is, however, about four years younger than the 
one collected through the efforts of the Rev. John M. Mason, D. 1)., of 
Now York, for the theological school founded by him in 1804, and of 
which the seminary in Newburgh, N.Y., now under the direction of the 
United Presbyterian Church, is the continuation. This library contains 
now somewhat over 3,500 volumes. It deserves to be mentioned, both 
as a monument of the zeal and wisdom of its distinguished founder, and 
because it Js the first of the public theological libraries established in 
this country in the present century. 

'The right to the possession of this library is, however, at tin- pre.xent time 
dispute, owing to claims instituted by a remnant of the Associate Church, after the 
union in 1858 which resulted in the formation of tfae United Presbyterian Church out 
of the Associate and Associate Reformed Churches. Pending tliis legal pr.v.-*-.. the 
library has been withdrawn from Xeniu and now remains at Pittsburgh, lud. 

J The New Brunswick Seminary, although founded in 17-1. a-id united tempo- 
rarily with Queen's (now Rutgers) College in 1810, does not appear to have had -niy 
library of its own distinct from the college library until after tin- year !<.' . when 
the Peter Hertxog Theological Hall was built. The theological portion of tin- -ollejj 
library was then removed into this now building, and the foundation win laid l.-r the 
present seminary library, which noxv numbers more than '20,000 volumes, and is pro 
vided with funds for very large increase. 

130 Public .Libraries in tlif United States. 

Besides the theological seminaries which have now been alluded to, 
eight other seminaries and theological departments of colleges were 
organized during the first quarter of this century, making in all twenty- 
one institutions for theological training in existence as early as the year 
1825. In 1838 there were from forty to forty-five of these seminaries in 
the country. At the present time there are from one hundred and 
twenty to one hundred and fifty. The largest number of volumes in any 
one of the theological libraries existing in 1838 was 13,000. Now there 
are two, (one of them not founded until 1837,) each of which num- 
bers more than 30,000 volumes ; three others which exceed 20,000, and 
eight more of 15,000 or upwards. In 1838 the aggregate number of 
volumes in all, our theological libraries was not more than about 100,000. 
Now it is between five and six hundred thousand. These figures will 
serve to show that our theological libraries, in respect both to their 
number and size, have shared in the general growth of the nation, es- 
pecially during the latter half of the century just closed. At the same 
time it will be seen how very recent is the greater part of this progress, 
two-thirds of these libraries having been founded during the past thirty- 
seven years, and four-fifths of the books they contain having been col- 
lected within the same period. 

The recent origin of our theological libraries does not of course 
imply that before their establishment we were destitute of any collec- 
tions of theological literature. We were not without an educated min- 
istry, even before the founding of our theological seminaries. The 
truth is that formerly a great part of theological as well as classical 
education was obtained in the college. A prominent design in the 
founding of our colleges was to provide the means for furnishing the 
land with an educated clergy. In some of our oldest colleges this was 
declared to be the leading end in view. Both Harvard and Yale were 
essentially, although not exclusively, theological seminaries. The same 
was true of Queen's College, in New Brunswick, N. J., which was char- 
tered in 1770 for the express purpose of preparing young men for the 
ministry. Hence it is not strange that the shelves of our college 
libraries were largely occupied by theological works. In fact it may 
be questioned whether, even from the first settlement of our country. 
we have been better supplied with books in any department than in the 
theological. And at the present day, notwithstanding the large number 
of distinctively theological libraries, the department of sacred litera 
ture is by no means excluded from the college library. Some of our other 
public libraries, also, which embrace all departments of literature, \M\\ 
special attention to the acquisition of theological works. Among these 
should be mentioned pre eminently the Astor Library in New York and 
the Pubfcc Library of Boston. The superintendent of the latter was 
able a few years since to affirm that "one of its strongest departments 
is that of theology and the cognate subjects." Still, there can be no 
question of the immense gain to the cause of theology which has corno 

TJieological Libraries. 131 

from, the formation of libraries specially devoted to that science. And 
there is a peculiar advantage in their connection with seminaries. By 
this means our first theological scholars are engaged for the work. They 
are the persons best qualified to make wise selections. The daily neces- 
sities of their employment, that of scientific instructors in theology, 
give them a living, personal interest in the acquisition of books, and 
insure the utmost care and combined endeavor for the systematic and 
proportionate building up of these libraries. The good result has been 
seen in the growth which we are able to record. The treasures of 
theological lore from Europe and the East have been flowing into our 
country more and more copiously during the past fifty years; and we 
hear of the agents of American theological schools as among the most 
vigilant and eager frequenters of the book marts of the Old World. lint 
it was still possible for a distinguished professor to say, even less than 
ten years ago : 

The investigations of our theological students are checked by tbe \rant of bonks. 
Among the difficult themes pertaining to the history of tbe church, or to the history 
of doctrines, or to the various methods of explainiag difficult scriptures, there is prob- 
ably not one which can be investigated as it needs to be in this land. 

There has, however, been real progress, and although our deficiencies 
are still exceedingly great, yet the enterprising spirit in this direc- 
tion which prevails in our schools is rapidly removing the reproach 
which has so long rested upon them, and is making their libraries more 
and more the fountains of original information in the various depart- 
ments of theology, and so rendering it less essential for the earnest 
student to. expend time and money in visits to the more thoroughly 
furnished libraries of Europe. 


The sources from which our theological collections have been derived, as 
well as the means by which they have grown up, are detailed with more 
or less minuteness iii the subjoined accounts; and the record will be found 
an interesting one. One source of large accessions has been through 
the donation or purchase of the libraries of deceased clergymen. This 
is a means of growth which is of especial advantage to a young institu- 
tion ; and it is not to be undervalued also by older and larger lihrai !>, 
provided the privilege be allowed the librarian of disposing of sin-h por- 
tions of the collection as would bring upon the shelves useless duplir 
or obsolete editions. Very many choice and rare books have been received 
from this source. The God in an Library, bequeathed by its collector to 
Andover Seminary, was a valuable accession of this kind: so at Princeton, 
the libraries of Dr. Joseph Addison Alexander and ot Dr. John M. Krel.s: 
at. Gettysburg!), the library of Dr. Krauth ; at Laoc Sr MIII.UX. oi KYv. 
Thornton A. Mills, D. D ; at Gharleston, S. C., of Kav. Tlimn is S..IN tli. 
D. D. ; at Drew Seminary, of Rev. John McClintock. D. D : at < Ihkfl 
of Rev. George B. Ide, D. D. But accessions of a similar kind from 

132 Public Libraries in the United States. 

beyond the sea have been of yet greater importance in imparting 
strength and richness to our collections. Several of our seminaries 
have been so fortunate as to obtain possession of the large and valuable 
collections of some of the most distinguished theologians of Germany 
who have passed away within the last thirty years. The library of 
the Catholic theologian, Dr. Leauder Van Ess, professor at the Uni- 
versity of Marburg, was purchased for the Union Seminary, in New 
York City. It "comprised about 20,000 volumes, and is especially 
rich in early editions of the Bible, of the Fathers, and of early the- 
ological writers." Among its treasures is a very rare collection of 
the pamphlets and writings of the Reformation, which was formerly 
among the closely guarded possessions of the Monastery of St. Mary, 
in Westphalia. The library of Dr. Neander, of Berlin, consisting 
of about 4,000 volumes, was obtained by the Baptist Seminary at 
Eochester, N.Y. That of Neander's successor, Dr. Niedner, also emi- 
nent in the department of ecclesiastical history, has added about the 
same number of volumes to the shelves of Audover. Dr. Friedrich 
Lticke, of Gottingen, also left a library of more than 4,000 volumes, 
which, through the beneficence of friends of the institution, was se- 
cured for the Cambridge Divinity School. And, more recently, the 
libraries of Dr. Gieseler, of Gofctingen, and of Dr. Hengstenberg, of 
Berlin, have found their way to Chicago, the former being now at the 
Congregational Seminary of that city, and the latter, of about 10,000 
volumes, constituting the larger portion of the library of the Baptist 
Theological Seminary. 

The fame of the original possessor of such collections gives them a 
value even apart from the intrinsic worth of the books themselves. 
And often they contain single works, or groups of publications, so rare 
that it would be impossible to procure them from any other source, 
and whose money value it would be difficult to estimate. In general, such 
an acquisition, provided it is made after due examination, and not solely 
on the strength of the owner's great name, is a prize worth having. Yet 
it is a gratification to know that our libraries are not exclusively, or 
mainly, built up by the accession of whole private libraries, even of the 
great German scholars. For it is evidently desirable that the selection 
of the books which are to make up the substance of a library should rest 
mainly upon the judgment of the learned men especially intrusted with 
the work of theological instruction. In a very good degree this appears 
to have been the method in American libraries. So that what was said 
of one of them twenty-five years ago, may be truly said of others also: 

It is a selected library, and not a chance accumulation of volumes rejected from the 
shelves of a multitude of donors. Profound theological learning, thorough bibliographi- 
cal knowledge and skill, have for the most part presided over the formation and 

It would of course be wrong to conclude from the small size of certain 
libraries, as given in the tables, that these are of less value for the 
uses of theological study than some others which have a much larger 

Theological Libraries. 133 

number of volumes. Thus the Bticknell Library, at Crozer Theological 
Seminary, is one of rare value, selected with extraordinary judgment, 
although numbering as yet not more than 8,000 volumes; and the 
Divinity School of Yale College reports only about 2,000 volumes on its 
own separate shelves, but the collection is one admirably chosen, and 
comprises the best and most recent books to meet the demands of 
theological students. 

One advantage of distinctively theological libraries, especially as 
connected with schools for ministerial education, is seen in their rela 
tion to the denominational divisions of the Christian world. A general 
library, or even a general theological library, might be in danger of 
omitting to supply in sufficient fulness the works relating to any one 
branch of the Christian church. But now each of the leading denomina- 
tions supports its own schools for the education of its clergy, and each 
of these schools has its library. These libraries, therefore, are under 
special obligation to collect and preserve all those documents which 
make up the literature and detail the history of their respective 
churches. By this means it may be expected that the history of the 
diverse and opposing phases of religious thought, and of all sections of 
the church, will be preserved and transmitted to future times with the 
greatest possible fidelity and completeness. 

There are reported twenty-four libraries which contain from 10,000 
to 34,000 volumes; and these twenty-four libraries belong to ten dif- 
ferent denominations. Three are Baptist, two Catholic, two Congre-a 
gational, three Episcopal, one Lutheran, two Methodist, seven Presbyte- 
rian, one Reformed (Dutch), one Reformed (German), and two Unitarian. 
And if we include those libraries which contain less than 10,00(1 volume-', 
the list of different denominations to which they belong is extended to tit- 
teen or sixteen. The building up of libraries is certainly a work in which 
the various sects may most profitably vie with each other. The vigor 
with which they have entered upon it promises great results, and tin- 
liberal spirit which appears to prevail in the composition of their libra- 
ries is worthy of all praise. 


The public theological libraries in Europe have not, as a general thing, 
attained a size sufficient to give them prominence in published acromu>. 
In London, there are two instances of important libraries which, although 
not. exclusively theological, may be considered as in some sense Itelon- 
ing to the same class with our General Theological Library in Boston. 
One of these is the Sion College Library, founded in 1G31 for the use of 
the clergy of the Established Church, and containing perhap 
volumes. The other is the Dr. Williams Library, intended more par 
ticularly for the use of the dissenting clergy, which as opened in 17'_". 
and contains now more than L'0,000 volumes. On the Continent 
there an* libraries holding a somewhat similar position, which are know n 

134 Public Libraries in the. United States. 

under the name of preachers' libraries, or ministerial libraries, or as 
libraries of particular religions communions. These are generally of 
moderate size. In Neuebatel, Switzerland, there is on-e of "these, a 
" library for pastors and ministers," founded by the reformer Farel, in 
1538, which contains about 8,000 volumes. And in Preetz, in the 
province of Schleswig-Elolstein, is a preachers' library of about 10,000 
volumes. These are among the largest mentioned. 

The arch iepiscopal libraries may be named in this connection. Among 
the principal of those in England is that at Lambeth Palace, in London, 
founded in 1G10 by George Bancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, and con- 
taining some 27,000 volumes of printed books besides a rich collection 
of manuscripts. On the Continent we find an archiepiseopal library at 
Erlau, in Hungary, founded in the second halt' of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, which has about 35,000 volumes, including 250 manuscripts and 
nearly 300 incunabula. In the same rank may be classed the various 
cathedral libraries, ranging in the number of volumes from. 2,000 or 
less to 15,000. 

There are also "Parochial" or "Church Libraries," existing in Great 
Britain and on the Continent. In England we find them numbering 
3,000 and 4,000 volumes. Their origin in that country dates from the 
year 1537, at which time the royal injunction was issued that " a book 
. of the whole Bible of the largest volume in English " should be pro- 
vided and set up in some convenient place within the church, " where 
the parishioners may the most commodiously resort to the same and 
read it." On the Continent a much larger church library is found at 
Halle, called the Marian Library, because connected with the Church 
of St. Mary. It was founded in 1502, and contains now nearly 20,000 
volumes, among which theology holds the principal place. 

Specially worthy of mention, also, are the monastic libraries of the 
Old World, a large number of which still exist, although a great many 
have been scattered, in consequence of the suppression and destruction 
of convents, and their treasures absorbed in other libraries. A notable 
example of monastic libraries is that of the Benedictines at Monte Cas- 
sino, in Italy, which contains about 20,000 volumes, including 1 some 800 
volumes of manuscripts. There are similar Benedictine libraries at St. 
Gall, in Switzerland, of about 40,000 volumes ; at Fulda, in Prussia, of 
50,000 volumes, founded by Charlemagne; and at Kremsmiinster, in 
Austria, of 50,000, besides 589 volumes of incunabula and 528 volumes 
of manuscripts. 

In all these various classes of the more distinctively religious libraries, 
and not less in the larger general libraries of cities and universities, 
have been stored immense and most precious treasures of theological 
literature, amongthem rarest printed books of the fifteenth century, and 
piles of venerable manuscripts. In view of these accumulations, which 
have been growing for centuries, we need not be ashamed to acknowl- 

Theological ' Libraries. 1 35 

edge that the theological wealth of our libraries is still comparatively 
small, especially in the rarer curiosities of literature ; although Amer- 
ican shelves are not wholly without specimens even of tin 

But our comparison must be chieiy with the libraries of theo logical 
schools. In EYigland we are not to look for separate libraries of this kind 
in connection with the Established Church, as the clergy of that chun-U 
do not generally have their professional training in separate schools. 
but as a part of their university course, or else in private. The same may 
be said of the Established Church of Scotland. Theology is of conr.-e 
one of the leading departments in the university libraries ; and at the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh there is an instance of a special theological library, 
in addition to the public library of the university. It was founded by 
Dr. George Campbell about the end of the seventeenth century, and 
comprises now upwards of 5,000 volumes. It is chiefly or entirely 
among the dissenting and the Catholic churches in Great Britain that 
we find separate schools for the training of the clergy. These theologi- 
cal colleges all aim at the creation of good libraries. The course of 
study in some of them includes, it is true, academical as well as theo- 
logical instruction, yet the libraries even of these probably do not differ 
essentially in character from our own, and have a preponderance of 
theological books. And as in their origin these seminaries, at least 
the Protestant ones, are generally not older than ours, so in the size of 
their libraries they do not go beyond, even if they equal our own. 

On the Continent there are similar theological schools, both under 
Catholic and Protestant management, and some of them of ancient date. 
In Tubingen, the Seminary of Evangelical Theology, founded in l.V>7. 
has a library containing from 20,000 to 25.000 volumes. There is also 
in the same place the Wilhelms Stit't Library, of perhaps 20,000 vol- 
umes, 10,000 of which are theological. In Strasbourg, the library of the 
Catholic seminary has about 30,000 volumes. In Cologne, in connec- 
tion with the Archiepiscopal Priests' Seminary, there is a library of 
about 20,000 volumes, founded in the seventeenth century. In Amster- 
dam we find libraries belonging to the various religious bodies, said to 
be chiefly composed of their respective denominational literature 
Among these is one, nearly two hundred years old, consisting of per- 
haps 10,000 volumes, which is connected with the Seminary of the Ana- 
baptist or Mennonite Congregation. Of more recently established theo- 
logical seminaries, there is one at Wittenberg, founded in is; 7, \\hich 
has a library of from 10,000 to 20,000 volumes and 100 manuscripts. 

As a result of our comparison, which is necessarily an impcriect one, 
it would appear that in respect to numerical contents, whatever may 
be trne as to the comparative value of those contents, the libraries ot 
theological schools abroad do not surpass our own. This in tlieca-e 
of some of them, is doubtless to be accounted for by their pro\imii.\ to 
the great university libraries which are equally accessible to the theo- 
logical students; s, for example, iu Tiibingen, where the university has 
a library of 280,000 volumes. 

136 Public Libraries hi tin' l^i/itfil States. 


ft is hardly necessary to say anything to prove the importance of a 
library to the theological seminary. It has been rightly termed the 
" heart" of such an institution. And these libraries deserve to be sus- 
tained and enlarged with reference to other and broader demands than 
simply the immediate requirements of the schools to which they belong. 
They should be made centres of theological science for the whole com- 
munity. It is right that the student in this highest of all sciences, who 
is currying his researches far beyond ordinary limits of investigation, 
should resort to these libraries with the expectation of finding in them 
all the helps which the learning of the world can furnish, at least within 
the acknowledged bounds of theological thought. And indeed no theo- 
logical seminary is complete, for the uses even of its pupils and pro- 
fessors, if it does not include within its alcoves many works, especially 
the large and costly books of reference, which lie outside the circle of 
theology. To be prepared for the various exigencies which from time to 
time arise in the history of the church and of religion; for the great 
tasks which force themselves on our theological scholars once it may 
he in thsee centuries, (as," for example, in the work now going on for 
the revision of our English Bible;) for such demands, as well as for 
the more common requirements of the faithful student, there is need 
of a liberal policy in our outlay for theological libraries. And this will 
prove in the end the true economy. If the library, which is the store- 
house of the Christian scholar, is left unreplenished, the evil result 
will sooner or later be felt in the parish and in the church. 


It may be allowable for us in passing to allude to the necessity of 
larger provision for the care and management of our theological libraries. 
This includes ot course the preparation of catalogues ; and it has been 
truly said, "In the economy of libraries there is nothing more impor- 
tant than the character of their catalogues. A poor library with a good 
catalogue will often be of more utility to the student than a rich library 
with a bad or carelessly compiled one." The libraries of our theological 
seminaries are so peculiarly dependent on the voluntary benefactions of 
the patrons of Christian learning, that there is special need of calling 
attention to this point. For there is reason to fear that these libraries have 
suffered from the want of adequate endowments in no particular more 
seriously than in this. It would seem to have been taken for granted 
that the books need only to be bought and placed upon the shelves, and 
that thenceforward they will not only take care of themselves, but will 
also, like the tiowers by the roadside, yield their sweetness spontaneously 
to the passer by. Nothing is more noticeable in the reports from the 
various libraries than the statements of the very small annual ex- 
penditure for the librarian's salary or for the care of the books. Out 
theological libraries may be emphatically said iu this respect to be 

Theological Libraries. 137 

cheaply conducted. There is not one of the larger ones which is provided 
with an adequate working force. Probably not more than one has a 
librarian who is expected to give his whole time to its supervision- 
Too often the leisure hours or half-hours of the busy professor, aided 
it may be by the intermittent half paid assistance of some student, are 
all that is afforded for this purpose. It would not be far from the truth 
to say that any theological library of 20,000 volumes, which is growing 
as such a library may be fairly supposed to grow, is defrauded of its 
due care, and the iwstitution to which it belongs is suffering from the 
injustice, unless it is allowed the undivided services of at least one edu- 
cated person. 

There have been of late years cheering signs of a new interest in onr 
theological libraries on the part of men of wealth. The subjoined re- 
ports make mention of several munificent gifts. We trust that these 
examples will be imitated by the friends of libraries which have been 
less favored. The excitement of a generous impulse in this direction 
would be one of the best results of statistics such as are presented 
in this Keport. And, while providing funds for the purchase of books 
and for fire proof buildings to contain them, it is to be hoped that tin-so 
friends will extend their generosity to the equally urgent need to which 
we have now referred, the support of librarians and assistants, without 
whose labors the books which are supplied cannot accomplish one-half 
of their appointed work. 



In treating of Catholic libraries for a publication which can necessa- 
rily give but limited space to each contributor, it will not be possible to 
do more than give a general idea of their scope. A Catholic library dif- 
fers from no other library except in the greater accumulation of matter 
illustrative of Catholic dogma and practice, or its larger collection of 
Catholic literature, especially in the departments of history and biogra- 
phy. All learning is welcome to the shelves of Catholic libraries, and 
nothing is excluded from them that should not equally be excluded from 
any reputable collection of books. Nor will even anti-Catholic \\oiks be 
found wanting to them, at least such as possess any force or origi- 
nality. The history of the church being so interwoven with that of the 
world since the days of Augustus Caesar, there is no period which is not 
redolent of her action, and consequently no history which dors not have 
to treat of her, either approvingly or the reverse. In reg ml to general 
literature, she preserved, during the long period of social and political 
disorder which followed the breaking up of the Roman Kmpiiv. all 
has come down to us from classic sources, and then-tore works of this 
character can be no strangers to shelves of Catholic libraries. Still less 

138 Public Libraries in the United States. 

can the Sacred Scriptures be, which Catholic hands collected, authenti-j 
cated, and handed down for the use ot the men of our time. Nor will the 
sciences be overlooked by ecclesiastics in forming their libraries, tor in 
past ages it was the care of their brethren, with such limited facilities 
as were at their command, and in days inauspicious for scientific inves- 
tigation, to cultivate them. 

Still the character of Catholic libraries changes with the circum- 
stances under which the books are brought together. And here it is 
necessary to go a little into detail, outside of the libraries themselves, 
in order to illustrate these circumstances. We will first speak of theo- 
logical schools, and under this designation include not only the semina- 
ries under the control and patronage of one or more bishops, for the 
education of their subjects for the secular priesthood, but the houses of 
study, or scholasticates, under the direction of the several religious orders 
for the education of their own members. Of course in libraries of this 
class a larger proportion of works on theology will be found than iu 
other Catholic libraries. Indeed, the statistics in this volume will prob- 
ably show that but .few Catholic libraries of any extent exist in this 
country, except those attached to theological schools. Even that at 
Georgetown, where this paper is prepared, owes the great number of its 
works of this class to the fact that it was for many years a school of 
theology as well as of letters. 

In all theological collections, the Bible, both the Old and New Testa- 
ments, must, as the principal authority iu theological teaching, whether 
of doctrine or morals, hold the prominent place. Commentaries and ex- 
positions in abundance will be found iu juxtaposition with the Bibles 
themselves. For the use of the professors, who are generally graduates 
of the best theological schools of Europe, if not for the use of some 
of the students themselves, versions of the Scriptures in the various 
Oriental languages will be needed. 

Next in authoritative rank come the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, 
from those who received instruction from the apostles themselves and 
committed their doctrine to writing, down to almost our own day ; for St. 
Alphousus Liguori, the latest on whom the Holy See has conferred .the 
title of Doctor of the Universal Church, died only in the latter part of 
the last century, and his authority is that which is principally followed 
iu the treatment of moral questions. Works also by later writers, 
principally on dogmatic subjects, are constantly appearing. The 
study of Dogma, embracing an investigation into all revealed truths, 
and therefore essential to those who are to instruct others authori- 
tatively, involves a reference to many learned books in which proof* 
and illustrations are elaborated to the last degree of exactness, 
side by side with every possible difficulty or objection that can b 
brought to bear against each doctrine treated of. Some works art 
occupied with the discussion of but a single point; others take iu a 
wide range, and some voluminous authors have published an entire 

Theological Libraries. 139 

course of dogma. Candidates for the scholastic (not the merely hon- 
orary) degree of Doctor of Divinity must defend successfully, in the 
presence of learned theologians, and against all objections proposed by 
them, a number of the most difficult theses in theology. None but 
those who have made long and thorough studies would dare undertake 
this ordeal; but at least the apparatus of learning is provided to this 
end in the libraries of theological schools. But for those who, either 
from advanced years, imperfect preliminary studies, feeble health, 
or from the immediate need in which their bishop stands for their serv- 
ices, are unable to make a long course, a shorter one is provided, ac- 
quired from approved coinpendi urns which will be found in every 
theological library, and as reference, in every ecclesiastical library of 
any kind. 

The study of Moral, the other great branch of Catholic theology, 
embraces a scrutiny into every question of morals that needs to be 
investigated by those who have the direction of consciences, or whose 
duty it is, in the tribiiHal of penance, to adjudicate upon matters 
affecting the rights of others. As solutions in these cases are some- 
times attended with considerable difficulty, and a grave responsibility 
is attached to the delivery of an opinion, authorities for reference must 
be ample and exhaustive. Such authorities, more or less voluminous, 
will be found in the theological libraries, and are relied upon in propor- 
tion to their world-wide repute, as representing the opinions of prudent, 
learned, and experienced men. 

So far, the domain of theology, strictly speaking, in Catholic libraries. 
But such libraries would be incomplete, both for the purposes of theo- 
logical study and for general reference, without the published acts of 
the General XJouucils ot the Church, especially those of the Council of 
Trent and of councils held within the country, national or provincial, 
or the decrees of a synod of the diocese, in ma'tters of discipline. To 
these are to be added the decisions and solutions of the various "con- 
gregations" in Koine, chiefly of that of " rites," and other documents 
emanating from the Holy See. The professor of ecclesiastical history, 
an indispensable member of the teaching faculty in every theological 
school, must also have his resources at hand in the library. 

Works on ritual supply the directions needed in all matters concern- 
ing both public worship and the private administration of the sacra- 
ments. Other works, technical or devotional, or combining both features. 
are prepared for the use of those who are studying lor the priesthood, 
or who are already ordained ; they are frequently only monitory in 
their nature, and some are intended especially for the guidance of mem- 
bers of religious orders. Of the latter class the Christian Perfection 
of Fr. Itodriguez, for the Jesuits, is :\\\ example. As in theological 
schools a course of rational philosophy of from one to three yean pie- 
cedes the study of theology, this department must also be well pi", 
vided for in the libraries attached to these institutions. \Vheie the 

140 Public Libraries in the United States. 

young men in these schools are educated as teachers, as is the case with 
the Jesuits, works on mathematics, physics, astronomy, meteorology 
chemistry, and other sciences, must be added. 

The attention given in these schools to sacred eloquence for practice 
in which students are required to prepare and deliver sermons in pres- 
ence of the community calls for tke best models of sacred oratory 
besides works on rhetoric and elocution. As models of composition 
arrangement, and intrinsic solidity, the sermons of the ancient fathers 
share equal attention with those of the great French orators of the last 
century, and no library for the use of ecclesiastics will be without a 
copious supply of the works of those and others of the best pulpit 
orators in the church. 

In regard to the ceremonial of the Church and plain chant, particular 
instruction is given rather in the preparatory seminaries than in the 
seminaries themselves, to which young men are transferred on reaching 
the requisite age or proficiency ; and in these preparatory schools for 
those who enter the secular priesthood, or in the colleges whence mem- 
bers of religious orders draw their candidates, the classics and modern 
languages are also taught thoroughly. An ignorance of Latin would 
debar or delay the entrance of a candidate into any theological school. 
Once in, these students are supposed to be sufficiently advanced to bo 
able to understand lectures or ordinary class instructions given in Latin 
sometimes necessary when the professor is of a foreign nationality 
and in some institutions they are even obliged to converse in Latin, 
except during hours of recreation. These circumstances are mentioned 
in order that it may be understood why the classics and elementary 
books on Latin and Greek do not necessarily constitute a marked feature 
of Catholic theological, though they do of Catholic, college libraries. 

Catholic libraries iu general and not those alone which are at- 
tached to theological schools will be found amply supplied with con- 
troversial works written by Catholic authors. Tiiese are needed, how- 
ever, not so much for the use of the owners as for that of non-Catholic 
inquirers who wish to be enlightened in regard to some controverted 
point, or who desire to learn the evidences upon which the Catholic. 
Church bases her claims to the credence of mankind. Catechetical 
works, of which there are a great number, answer this purpose still 
better when the polemic spirit has been allayed, and it is impossible to 
conceive of a Catholic library, large or small, without an abundance of 
both these classes of books. The controversial works discuss every ob- 
jection which can be alleged against the church or the practice of mem- 
bers of it, and are necessarily very numerous. 

Every age has left behind it these testimonies to the controversies 
that agitated it, and the present age is no less prolific than its prede- 
cessors, though the grounds of dispute are shifting now rather from 
dogma to historical questions and matters, of science, indicating tht 
lessening hold which doctrine has on the non-Catholic mind. 

Theological Libraries.. 141 

The catechetical works range from the little catechism in which 
every Catholic child and every non-Catholic adult who seeks to enter 
the church must be instructed, to the voluminous works which eveu 
the parish priest may consult for the purpose of instructing his people. 
A Catholic library will not fail to provide for all the requisites of 
devotion, not only in the ordinary prayer books, of which there is a great 
variety, but in-books of piety adapted to different conditions of life, or 
different spiritual needs or illustrative of some special devotion. Every 
private library in Catholic families abounds in these books. Prayer 
books, however, are rarely found on library shelves, any more than the 
Roman Breviary. The former are in the hands of the laity generally ; 
and the latter, the vade mecum of the clergy, must be recited daily by 
every ecclesiastic. Among books of piety are to be included a large 
number of books of meditation, chiefly for the use of ecclesiastics and 
members of religious orders, upon whom is enjoined the daily praotice of 
mental prayer, food tor which is sought in these volumes. Libraries 
which have to be consulted by the clergy, at least by those who preach 
missions to the people or retreats in religious houses an annual observ- 
ance must find in them material adapted to their purpose. The 
famous book of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, forms the 
basis of most of these compilations, but many others exist besides. 
Keligious biographies also abound in Catholic libraries, and as they 
embrace accounts of the lives of holy persons in every age since the 
origin of Christianity, from the martyrs of the Roman arena or the 
hermits of the Egyptian deserts, to our own day, and not only of those 
who have been decreed the honor of canonization, but of great numbers 
who have never been proposed for it, it may be imagined how compre- 
hensive a collection these books form. These lives also illustrate more 
or less the history of the times wherein the persons lived. 

The great work in folio of the Bollandists, the Acta Sanctorum, be- 
gun in 1643 and still in process of publication, is in fact a repertory of 
most varied learning. 

Ecclesiastical history, of course, forms an important element in Cath- 
olic libraries; but this history not only includes the exhaustive tomes of 
writers who take in the whole history of the church, but of others who 
illustrate a particular age, country, event or transaction. 

Works concerning the history of the church in the United States, or 
in particular States, form a growing collection. The current of con- 
temporary Catholic history is well shown forth through the monthly ami 
\\eekly publications which appear in many countries and languages. 
The Catholic quarterlies, however, and some of the monthly publica- 
tions, are devoted chiefly to literary or scientific criticism. The Catholic 
weeklies in this country are now so numerous that their pnsei vation 
iu libraries is seldom attended to. If this apology is needed for tin- 
absence from such libraries of publications that will form an impoitant 
reference hereafter for others besides Catholics, it ought to be couplet! 

142 Public Libraries in the United States. 

with the suggestion proper- to be made in a work which will be placed, 
in the hands of persons of all religions, that a general Catholic library 
ought to be established at some central point where every Catholic pub- 
lication, at least among those issued in this country, may have a place. 
Materials for history would gather in such a collection that might not 
readily be found combined in any other. 

Having thus touched upon the more important characteristics of Cath- 
olic libraries, it would be well perhaps to observe that while the leading 
ones in this country are attached to seminaries, colleges, or religious 
houses, there are many private collections of considerable value, espo 
cially those in episcopal residences, or belonging to gentlemen of the, 
clergy or laity who, together with literary tastes, possess the means to 
gratify them. 

Catholic libraries are also beginning to be formed in cities and towns, 
chiefly under the auspices of associations that seek to provide a safe 
and pleasant resort for young men in the evenings. In these libraries 
will be found the lighter Catholic literature, to which no reference has 
so far been made in this paper travels, sketches, poems, tales, &c., a 
few of which are by American and some by Irish authors, but the ma- 
jority by English writers, chiefly converts, or translated from the French, 
German, Flemish, and other continental languages. 

Finally, it would be well to observe that Catholic libraries are acces- 
sible for reference, if not for study, to all inquirers. In most cases non- 
Catholic visitors would doubtless be welcomed to them with great cor- 
diality. Those who have these libraries in keeping rather invite than 
repel scrutiny into whatever is distinctively Catholic in their collections. 



This Seminary was founded by the Synod of the Pacific of the Pres- 
byterian Church under the care of the General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian Church of the United States, and went into operation in the year 
1871. Tue library contains 5,000 volumes of valuable standard books. 
Its increase is by donations, and has averaged, since 187ii, about 100 
volumes a year. It possesses also some 500 pamphlets, but no manu- 
scripts worthy of mention. It is solely for the use and benefit of the 
students. The seminary, being yet in its infancy, has no building of its 
own, but several comfortable rooms for students have been fitted u[ 
and furnished by the St. John's Presbyterian Church, and the trustee* 
of University College have kindly placed at the disposal of the semi- 
nary sufficient room in the college building. 

By the liberality of the officers of the Mercantile Library Association, 
of the Mechanics' Institute, and of the Odd Fellows' Library Associa- 
tion, the students have the use also of these three large and rich col- 
lections of books. In property, money, and subscriptions, the funds of 
the seminary amount to 880,500. 

Theological Libraries. 143 


The seminary has had an active and organized existence only since 
October, 1867, and the library, now numbering 15,000 volumes, has been 
collected since that time. The first important step towards its forma- 
tion was the purchase, in 1809, of the library of Prof. E. W. Hengsteu- 
berg. of Berlin, consisting of about 10,1)00 bound volumes, and 2,000 or 
3,000 unbound books and pamphlets, chiefly in the departments of theol- 
ogy, church history, and biblical literature. The funds for this purchase 
were furnished by a few friends of theological education in Chicago. In 
October, 1871, there was purchased, through the liberality of D. 
Henry Sheldon, Adam Smith, and other gentlemen of Chicago, a 
very choice collection of works, (209 volumes,) relating to the Anabap- 
tists of Germany in the time of the Reformation, comprising the works 
of Bullinger, Zwingli, Fabri, Osiauder, Eck, and others opposing the 
tenets of the Anabaptists, and the responses of Hubmaier and other 
adherents of their doctrines. In March, 1873, the library (over 3,000 
volumes) of the late Rev. George B. Ide, of Springfield, Mass., was pur- 
chased by the trustees, and added to the collection. There have also 
been valuable donations from private individuals. 

No classified and complete catalogue of the library has, as yet, been 
prepared; but each separate collection has a catalogue of its own. 


The first step toward the formation of a library was taken in 1855, the 
year in which the seminary received its charter, by the purchase of the 
library of the late Dr. J. C. L. Gieseler, professor in the University of 
(iottingeu. During the following year, (1850,) 500 volumes were added 
by the liberality of Rev. Geo. W. Perkins, of Chicago. Rev. Win. Pat- 
ton presented several hundred volumes from his own collection, and 
rendered valuable aid by securing donations of books in England. 
Through the efforts of Prof. S. C. Bartlett, nearly $1,000 wero collected 
in Chicago, and expended in the purchase of books. In 1ST."., I lev. K. M. 
Williams, an alumnus of the 1 seminary, gave books to the value of $1,500. 
Other valuable contributions of money and books have been received 
from friends in various parts of the country, but the names are too 
numerous for insertion. Annual contributions for the purchase of books 
are made by the Alumni Society. 

There is, at present, no permanent library fund, except that known 
as the Patton binding fund, amounting to $1,000, the gift of Rev. u 
W. Patton, of Chicago. The amount received and expended during 
the year 1874-'75, was about $2,000. 

The library contains at present 5,500 volumes. The catalogue is in 

144 Public Libraries in the United States. 


This library was begun in 1859, and now numbers about 8,000 volumes. 
Many donations of books have been received, but no particulars are 
given. The sum of 82,500 towards a permanent fund was received from 
H. R. Corning, of New York. 

There is no printed catalogue of the library. 


The existence of this library, which was opened in 1869, is due in great 
measure to the efforts of Rev. Angelo M. Paresce, who, for several years 
prior to the opening of Woodstock College, had agents in the principal 
literary centres of Europe engaged in the collection of books. In this 
manner more than halt' the works which constitute the present library 
were obtained. 

The library now contains about 18,000 bound volumes, chiefly the- 
ological, and nearly 2,000 pamphlets. Among the works of special value 
are Walton's Polyglot, London, 1657; Cardinal Mai's critical works on 
the Old and New Testaments, 5 volumes; the :Hexapla of Origen ; the 
Holy Fathers, Migue's edition, 153 volumes Latin, and 161 volumes 
Greek; Durandus, 1539; Duns Scotus, 1609; Baronius, 59 volumes: 
the works of the Bollandists, 60 volumes; and among the curiosities a 
manuscript of the tenth century, parchment, written in Hebrew, being 
a scroll of the book of Moses, 97 feet long and 2 feet 10 inches wide, 
formerly used in a synagogue at Yemen ; an illuminated breviary of 
the thirteenth century ; and Antonini Theologia, in black letter, 1506. 
There are also works in the Turkish, Persian, Chaldaic, Coptic, Egyp- 
tian, Arabic, Russian, Armenian, and Chinese languages. 

The annual additions to the library average about 200 volumes and 300 

The library occupies a hall 75 by 41 feet, and 25 feet in height. The 
most noticeable feature of the room is the frescoed ceiling, on which is 
represented the solar system, forming not merely an artistic decoration 
but a reliable astronomical chart. 


This seminary was founded in 1807, and was opened for instruction Sep 
tember 28, 1808. The library was recognized as a constituent part of the 
institution from the beginning. 

Donations and bequests of money for the purchase of books have beeo 
received from time to time, a statement of which will be found below. 

There have also been gifts of books, from time to time ; the chief oil 
these being the bequest, in 1847, of the valuable theological library 
of the Rev. John Codman, of Dorchester, numbering 1,250 volumes. 

Theological Libraries. 145 

Mention should also be made of a very valuable gift of books, worth 
perhaps from $500 to $1,000, by the late Lieutenant Governor Samuel 
T. Armstrong, of Boston; and of a gift of some 60 volumes received in 
1843, from John Dunlop, of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

In 18G7, Mrs. Susan Flint Shedd, of Boston, presented a copy of 
Tischendorf's splendid fac simile edition of the Codex Siuaiticns, at a 
cost of not far from $200. 

In 1809 and 1870 a most interesting collection of pamphlets, n urn: 
ing more than 8,000, was given to the library by the Rev. William B. 
Sprague, of Albany, N. Y. Among these is a large number of the 
"election sermons" of early dates preached in Massachusetts and 
other States, besides many other sermons of the eighteenth century, and 
other publications of much value in reference to the religious history of 
this country. 

The libraries of two societies of students in the seminary the Society 
of Inquiry on Missions, and the Porter Rhetorical Society have, within 
the last twenty years, been transferred to the trustees, and many of the 
books, to the number of perhaps 2,500 volumes, have been placed on the 
shelves of the Seminary Library. 

The number of volumes in the library is now more than 34,000, (in- 
cluding duplicates,) besides 10,000 or 12,000 pamphlets. 

More than 10,000 volumes have been added during the past ten years. 
The largest accession at any one time in that period was by the purchase 
of the library of the late Dr. C. W. Niedner, professor of theology at 
the University of Berlin. This collection consisted of some 4,000 vol. 
umcs, chiefly Jn the German and Latin languages, among which are 
many rare and curious books, and works of great value to the theologi- 
cal student, especially in the department of history. 

The, Andover Library, considering the very moderate funds which 
have, been at its disposal, is reasonably well furnished in the several 
departments of theology, and to some extent is able to meet the more 
common demands in other lines of study. 

A catalogue of 161 pages, octavo, prepared by Mr. J. W. Gibbs, after 
wards professor in Yale College, was printed in 1819; and another of .").; I 
pages, octavo, by the Rev. Oliver A. Taylor, in 1838. But one supple- 
mentary catalogue has been issued; it comprised 67 pages, and was 
printed in 1849. 

For nearly fifty years the library occupied a hall, constructed for tin- 
purpose in the chapel, built in ISIS, by William Bartlet, of Newbm > 
port, one of the principal benefactors of the seminary. In ISUii it 
was removed to its present quarters in Brechin Ilall, 1 an He-ant 
sUno edilic',, built for its accommodation, at a cost of $41. ><><>, by the 
gift, of Messrs. John Smith, Peter Smith, and John Dove, of And.\er. 
To the three last named gentlemen the library is also indebted fora 

'So named by the donors in honor of their native place, Brochin, Scotland. 
10 E 

146 Public Libraries in the United States. 

permanent fund of $25,000, the income of which is to be devoted to the 
preservation of the building and to the purchase of books. 

Besides the above, the income of other funds, amounting to about 
$18,500, is now available for the purchase of books. These funds were 
given for this object by donors already named. 

The persons entitled to borrow books from the library are the officers 
and students of the theological seminary, the instructors of Phillips 
Academy, settled minivers of the gospel in Andover, and such other 
persons as may obtain special permission from the faculty. 

The library is open every week day, except during the vacations of 
the seminary. 

The following is a list of the principal gifts of money for the library, 
with the date of reception of each, chiefly for the purchase of books. 
It does not include a number of generous donations which have been 
made within the past ten years for the current salary of the librarian, 
among which was one of $3,000 from the three donors of the new library 

Donations of money. 

Moses Brown. Newbnryport, Mass., 1808. $1,000 

Hon. John Norris, Salem, Mass., 1808 1,000 

Capt. Stephen Holland, Newburyport, Mass., 180-i 500 

Hon. William Gray, Boston, Mass., 1811 833 

Hon. Isaac Tichenor, Binnington, Vt., 1812 ..' 20 

Henry Gray, Dorchester, Mass., 1816 3,000 

Jonathan Marsh, Newburyport, Mass., 1819 500 

Anonymous donors, 1865-'66 1, 100 

Ebenezer Aldeu, M. D., Randolph, 1871 100 

Rev. Theodore D. Woolsey, D. D., New Haven, Conn., 1873 50 

Bequests of money. 

Samuel Abbot, Andover, Mass., 1812 1,000 

Hon. William Phillips, Boston, Mass., 1827' 5,000 

Hon. William Reed, Marblehead, Mass., 1837 , 5,000 


This library was formed in 1860, and numbers about 12,000 volumes. 
Donations have been made to it as follows : In 1865 the Rev. Charles 
Burroughs, D. D., gave the Acta Sanctorum, in 61 folio volumes, at 
an expense of about $1,500. He also gave (l860-'65) $500; and be- 
queathed nearly all his private library, some 3,000 volumes, and 
$5,000. These bequests have not yet been received. Miss Arabella 
Rice left a bequest of $3,000. Mr. Eben Dale gave $500, and 
also left a bequest of $500. The late Messrs. James Read and Setli 

1 Mr. Phillips's f.ind, having been increased in accordance with the terms of the be- 
quest, amounts now to about $13,650, two-thirds of the income of which is available 
annually for the purchase of books. The available fund may therefore be callell 
about $9,000. 

- t urther details respecting this library, written by the librarian, will be found in 
the article entitled Public Libraries of Boston and Vicinity. 


Theological Libraries. 147 

Adams left bequests of $500 each. The trustees of the late Charles 
Sanders gave to the library 8500. Edward Brooks, now president 
of the institution; John G. Casing, William E.uerson Baker, and 
the late John Taylor, have each given $500 or more. These gifts 
were received between 1864 and 1874. Messrs. Peter C. Brooks, 
Jarnes Parker, Gardner B. Perry, Robert M. Cushing, F. Gordon 
Dexter, E. L. Tobey, George C. Shattuck, M. D., the late Rev. Dr. 
Nathaniel L. Frot'hihghaio, and the late Dr. John C. Hayden, have 
each given the association $300 or more. Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, EL Hollis Hannewell, Rev. Luther Farnham, and 62 others, 
have each given $LOO or more. All these donations were received 
between 1862 and 1875, and were chiefly from residents of Boston and 
vicinity. The number of volumes in the library is 12,000. There is 
no printed catalogue, but two manuscript catalogues, both arranged 
alphabetically, one by authors, the other by subjects. 


In the academic year 18-'5-'26 several boxes of books for the Divinity 
School of Harvard University were imported from England. Divinity 
Hall was then going up, and was ready for occupation by students, 
and for the reception of books in the summer of 1826, and these 
books were then sent there. About the same time circulars represent- 
ing the wants of the school and library were sent to clergymen "and 
others, soliciting donations. About 1829 the Rev. Thaddeus Mason 
Harris, of Dorchester, gave several hundred volumes from his private 
library. There have been other gifts, but the amounts an I names of 
donors are not specified. The last donation received was a bequest of 
800 volumes from the Rev. James Walker, D.D. 

The number of volumes now in the library is about 17,000, besides 
1,200 numbers of quarterly reviews, unbound. 


The institution was opened in December, 1825, and the library 
begun about the same time, by donations of books from a tew friends. 

The amount of library funds may be given as $25,000, though the li- 
brary has not yet been able to draw the interest on more than $10,000. 
The remaining $15,000 is subscribed and paid, but the interest cannot 
be used until the general endowment subscription is collected. Mean- 
while Mr. Gardner Colby, president of the board of trustees, gives to 
the library $500 annually, and has engaged to do so for the next SIM en 
years. The library has, therefore, $1,200 a. year to use lor the puivlu-e 
and binding of books. The salary of the librarian, $650 a year, is paid 
from the general funds of the institution. 

1 A further account of this library will be found in the sketches of umv. -r-it v nd 
college libraries, iu Chapter III. 

148 Public Libraries in the United States. 

The library has, during its whole history, received generous benefac- 
tions, but of the earlier ones no particulars are given. The largest re-j 
cent benefactors are Hon. J. Warren Merrill, of Cambridge, Mass. : 
Gardner Colby, of Newton, Mass. ; HOD. Isaac Davis, of Worces- 
ter, Mass. ; and Matthew Bolles, of Boston, who have contributed 
altogether about $20,000. 

The present number of volumes in the library is 13,000. The yearly 
additions average about 400 volumes. The yearly expenditure for new 
books is $1,000. 

For the last fifteen years the books have been selected, with few 
exceptions, by the professors, with a view to meeting their own wants 
and those of the students. 

There is no printed catalogue, but two card catalogues; one arranged 
by authors, the other by subjects. 

The library building, which is of stone, lighted from the top, was 
built about ten years ago. 


This seminary, founded by Daniel Drew, of New York City, was 
opened November 0, 1867. Mr. Drew gave to the seminary ninety- 
nine acres of land with the buildings thereon, fitted up two of these for 
dormitories, and subsequently built four professors' houses at an 
expanse of $20,000 each. In addition to this, he gave $25,000 for a 

Doctor McClintock, afterwards presideutof the seminary, was intrusted 
with the selection of books for a library, and the seminary opened with 
a collection ot some 5,000 volumes. In a year the number had increased 
to 10,000 volumes. Among the books purchased at this time was the 
collection on hymnology of David Creamer, of Baltimore. Nearly all 
the 665 volumes of this collection were hymn books, representing nearly 
all modern publications and many old and rare ones. 

After January, 1869, the purchases of books appear to have nearly 
ceased. After the death of Doctor AlcCliutock in 1870, his private 
library, about 3,000 volumes, was purchased for the seminary for the 
sum of $2,500, of which $2,000 were subscribed by frieuds in New York 

From 1870 to 1874 there were a few donations but no purchases; even 
the periodicals were not kept up, and, owing to changes in the office of 
librarian, little, if anyj. progress was made. Several students acted as 
assistant librarians gratuitous^. The library was moved from one 
part of the building to another, and, unless the number of books pur- 
chased was overestimated, not a few were scattered and lost. 

During the year 1874-'75 the books have been well protected and 
classified. An. assistant librarian with a salary has been appointed, and 
the library is in very good condition. A gift of $350 has lately been re- 
ceived from J. B. Cornell, for binding periodicals and making purchases. 

Theological Libraries. 149 

Numerous donations of books have been received, most of them small, 
though in many cases valuable, and the list of donors is too long for 

The library contained, June, 1875, 10,875 bound volumes, 4,05:) pam- 
phlets, and about 40 volumes of newspapers. Of the books, 8,300 are 
in English, 1,300 in German, 500 in French, 003 in Greek and Litin, 
and 150 Italian and miscellaneous. 

A manuscript catalogue, alphabetically arranged by authors and sub 
jeets, is approaching completion. 


The seminary of the Reformed (Dutch) Church of America was estab- 
lished in 1784 and was for many years connected with Queens, now Rut- 
gers College. The library, which was small, having perhaps 5,000 vol- 
umes, belonged to both institutions in common. 

In IS55 Mrs. Anna Hertzog, of Philadelphia, gave $30,000 for a build- 
ing to be called the Peter Hertzog Theological Hall. Into this build- 
ing when completed the theological bioks of the library were removed, 
and the foundation was laid for the present seminary library, which 
now contains about 20,000 volumes. Most of the original collection con- 
sists of works of Swiss and Holland theologians, which appear to have 
been given at different times by the ministers of the church. 

In 1874 a large fire proof structure was built for the library on the 
seminary grounds by Col. Gardner A. Sage, of New York. Into this 
building the books have been removed. Additions of standard books 
are constantly being made, and the seminary has funds on hand to in- 
crease the number to 80,000 volumes. 


Prior to 1821 the seminary possessed no regular library. In that 
year a union took place between the Associate Reformed Chun-hand 
the Presbyterian Church in the United States, one of the terms ot which 
specified that the theological library then belonging to the former, mainly 
consisting of books left by Rev. John M. Mason, I). I)., "shall he tr.m> 
lei red and belong to the seminary at Princeton." In accordance with 
this more than 2,400 volumes, forming that collection, were reeeixcd at 
I'riiieeton in 1822. Subsequently, however,* a small party of dissent- 
ers from that action of the Associate Reformed Church advanced a 
claim to the ownership of these books. Amicable litigation followed : 
and at last, in 1838 the chancellor of the State of New -Jersey having 
allowed the claim they were removed to New burgh, N. V. The I'l iemh 
of the seminary at once came to its relief, and by liberal donations laid 
the foundation of the present library. Prominent among these ! . nr 
factors was James Lenox, of New York City, who has not only en 
riched the library by a long succession of gifts in books, but, ohsn \ in- 

150 Public Libraries in the United States. 

the need of more secure protection for tbem, built the beautiful Gothic 
building known as Lenox Hall, completed in 1844, and since occupied by 
the theological library. 

Dr. Archibald Alexander acted as librarian till his death iu 1851 ; 
Dr. William Henry Green assumed the trust when he became professor 
of Oriental literature iu that year; and Dr. Charles Aiken, when he 
was elected professor of Christian ethics and apologetics in 1872. 

From the report of the trustees in 1851, it appears that the library 
then contained only 9,000 volumes. In 1852 the trustees represented 
to the general assembly of the church the need of regular grants for the 
increase of the library ; but the yearly reports still exhibited a slow 
rate of growth. In 1853, the Rev. W. B. Sprague, of Albany, N. Y., 
gave to the library a remarkable collectiou of pamphlets, mainly theo- 
logical. The 1,200 volumes of this collection probably include 20,000 
titles, and consist of long series of sermons preached at the elections in 
several States, ou fast, thanksgiving, ordination, funeral, and other 
occasions; orations and addresses before literary societies and at col- 
lege commencements; reports of benevolent associations in this country 
and in England; discussions of social questions; arguments elicited by 
theological controversies in both countries ; and literature of the civil 

In 1855 Mr. Samuel Agnew presented 730 volumes, mainly tbeologi 

In 1861 R. L. and A. Stuart, of New York City, purchased and pre 
seuted to the library the rare collection, consisting of 3,400 volumes- 
left by Pr"ofessor Joseph Addisou Alexander; and in 1862, gave $10,000 
iu United States bonds, yielding $600 a year. They have also made 
valuable gifts of books in every subsequent year; in 1868, the family 
of the late Rev. John M. Krebs gave his library, consisting of 1,147 
volumes ; in 1871,824 volumes of miscellaneous books came to the li- 
brary from the collection of the late Stephen Collins, M. D., of Baltimore. 

Many other benefactors have at various times enriched the library 
with their gifts. 

The number of volumes reported in the library in 1875 was 26,779, 
Among them are the four great polyglots of the Holy Scriptures, the 
Complutensiau, 5 volumes, folio, printed at Alcalain 1509-'17; the Ant 
werp, 8 volumes, folio, 1569-72; the Paris, 10 volumes, folio, 1628-'45 ; 
and the London, 6 volumes, folio, 1657; the Aunales Ecclesiastic! of 
Baromus and others, 42 volumes, folio; the works of Luther, Cal viu. 
and Melaucthon in many editions; the Benedictine and other editions of 
many of the Fathers, and the ancient impressions or modern reprints of 
worthies, confessors, and martyrs; the Codex Vaticanus Novi Testa- 
ruenti, folio, Rome, 1857-'71 ; the Codex Vaticanus Veteris Testament], 
published at Rome by Vercellone and Cozza, in 4 volu mes, quarto, 1872 ; 
the Codex Alexaudrinus Veteris Testament!, by Woide and Baber, 4 vol- 
umes, folio, London, 1786 and 1816-'2<S ; the Codex Bezoe Cantabrigien- 

Theological Libraries. 151 

sis, by Kipling, 2 volumes, folio, London, 1793 ; and the Codex Sinaiti- 
cus, by Tischeudorf, 4 volumes, quarto, St. Petersburg!!, 1862. In addi- 
tion to these is the splendid succession of twelve fac similes of palimp- 
sests and other ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures, published also by 
Tischeudorf, in quarto, between 1845 and 1870. These are the gifts of 
the Messrs. Stuart, and to these they have lately added the splendid 
fac simile of the Utrecht Psalter. 


The library of the seminary is nearly, if not quite, coeval with the 
seminary itself, which was incorporated April, 1S20. The founders of 
the seminary, the clergy of the Presbyterian Church in central and west- 
ern New York, became also the founders of the library, by giving their 
own books as a nucleus. 

During a period of thirty-five years from the foundation of the library 
it depended for its increase almost exclusively upon contributions of 
books. The list of donors during this period is too long for insertion, 
but, as the result of their liberality, the library in 1855 numbered 6,000 

The increase of the library during the last twenty years is due also 
in great measure to the gifts of its friends. 

Oue of the most valuable gifts to the library was received from S. R. 
Brown, D. D., missionary of the Ke formed Church, formerly in China, 
and now in Japan, and consisted of 264 volumes of Chinese works; 
among' them, besides the Chinese classics, the Imperial Chinese Diction- 
ary, the Imperial Statutes of China, and Dr. Morrison's translation of 
the Bible into the Chinese language. 

A copy of the Codex Sinaiticus was presented by Sylvester \Villard, 
M.D., in 1870. 

From 1821 to 1827 only five gifts of money are recorded. Four of 
these amounted to $94; the amount of the last, received from Arthur 
Tappan, is not mentioned, but with it 28 volumes of costly works 
were purchased. During the next twenty-five years small donations of 
money were undoubtedly received, but no record of them has been pre- 
served. After 1855, through the exertions of Rev. Fredeiick Stan. 
financial agent of the seminary, a permanent library fund of $1 1.< <MI wa> 
secured. Of this amount $5,000 were given by Simeon I'.enjamiii, of 
Klmira; $1,500 by T. G. Maxwell and brother, ot (Jcne\ a ; fl.'JM) by 
G. It. Mich, of Buffalo; $1,000 by Ferdinand I'.eebee, ol Fast I '.loom- 
field; $900 by Mrs. Sarah Downs, of Downsville, and smaller amounts 
Ity a few others. Robert Nelson, of Auburn, has reccnth added *.~i<H) to 
the fund. The interest only of the permanent fund is to be expended 
for books. 

Albert H. Porter, of Niagara Falls, has recently given $i!,WM) to 
be expended in filling an alcove with the .-tandard patriotic and nib 
binical works. Several hundred volumes have already been pun II.IM .1 

152 Public Libraries in the United States. 

The library now contains about 10,000 volumes. The average yearly 
additions during the fifty years of its existence have been somewhat less 
than 200 volumes. But, during the last eight years, the additions have: 
averaged over 300 volumes a year. 

In the biblical, critical and exegetical department, including the 
patristic and rabbinical works, there are a'jout 2,500 volumes; in the 
theological and homiletical department, about 2,000 volumes; in the 
department of religious literature, over 2,000 volumes; in the depart- 
ment of literature, about 2,000 volumes ; of United States and State 
government documents, about 1,000 volumes; and of pamphlets, bound 
and unbound, about 1,000 volumes. 

No catalogue of the library has yet been printed. Complete manu- 
script catalogues of authors and subjects are in separate volumes. 

The library is open daily except Sunday, the year round, and is free 
to the public for reference. 

The new library building, which cost $40,000, is the gift of Hon. Win. 
E. Dodge, and Hon. Edwin D. Morgan, of New York, who shared the 
expense equally. The capacity of the building is from 80,000 to 100,000 


The seminary was opened September 7, 1820, and the nucleus of a 
library was almost immediately formed by the liberality of a few indi- 
viduals. In 1821 the trustees reported 900 volumes, upwards of 300 of 
which were folios, and many of them extremely rare and valuable. This 
was exclusive of a valuable collection of theological books deposited for 
the use of the students by a gentleman of Connecticut. 

In 1821 the General Seminary of the Church, then in New Haven, was 
incorporated with the Theological School of New York, and the union of 
the two libraries formed a collection of about 2,500 volumes, a large 
proportion of which were folios and quartos. Valuable donations were 
received from a number of gentlemen, particularly the Eev. Mr. Price, 
of Tulworth, England, and John Piutard, of New York. Since then 
the library has steadily increased, by gifts and purchases from the 
library fund. In 1836 the sum of $10,000 was presented to the seminary, 
of which $4,000 were a gift from Trinity Church, New York ; a portion 
was from a legacy, and the remainder was raised by subscription. The 
whole amount was to be devoted to the increase of the library, $4,000 
to be immediately used in the purchase of books, and the remainder 
to be held in trust for the benefit of the library. 

The most liberal and constant donor to the library has been the 
Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning in the Diocese of 
New York. Every year additions are made to the library by this so- 
ciety, and in 1852 it gave 1,348 volumes purchased at the sale of thef 
library of the late Samuel F. Jarvis, D. D., for the sum of $3,153. 

Theological Libraries. 153 

Tin- special value of this gift lay in the fact that many of the books 
were purchased expressly to fill vacancies existing in tin- collection, 
and by these means it was. not only increased in numbers but its 
intrinsic value was greatly enhanced. 

A valuable collection of books, 552 volumes, from tin* 'library of the 
late Professor Walton, was placed in the library in 1873, in an alcove 
bearing his name. 

The library is largely theological, but comprises also works on general 
and on special history, on geography, biography, mythology, archiEol. 
as well as much encyclopaedic literature. It has also an extensive de- 
partment of ancient classical literature. Its collection .of works in 
lexicography is especially rich. The pamphlet collection, which is very 
large, embraces miscellaneous pamphlets from the year 1641 to date, 
journals of church conventions, serial pamphlets, reviews, and maga- 
zines. These are arranged and catalogued so that reference to them is 

The number of volumes in the library is 15,208; the number of pam- 
phlets, 7,481, of which 2,338 are serials and 5,143 miscellaneous, besides 
1,719 " notices," equivalent to 9,200 in pamphlet department collected 
since 1802. The catalogues of the library, though only in manuscript, 
are full and complete. 


The basis of this collection is the very valuable library of Leander Van 
Ess, the distinguished Kornan Catholic divine, editor of the Septuagint 
and Vulgate, purchased in 1839. That library consisted of 17,000 titles, 
containing an unusual number of rare and valuable works; about 500 
incunabula, (before 1510,) and manuscripts; some 1,800 works, orig- 
inal editions, produced in the He-formation century ; the chief large 
collections 6n councils, on church history, and especially on canon law; 
early editions, Benedictine and others, of the fathers and doctors ot the 
church ; some 200 editions of the Vulgate and of German Bibles, (the 
oldest, 1478;) in short, the most valuable collection of works of this 
character ever brought into this country. 

The Van Ess collection and about 8,000 volumes besides were given 
to the. library. 

The library now consists of about 34,000 volumes, almost entirely 
theological in character. There is no printed catalogue, int ;i full 
manuscript catalogue of authors, in 4 volumes, folio. There i> no liln.n \ 
fund. About $750 a year are expended upon the library tro-n the 
general funds of the seminary. There is no separate library building. 


The collection of the library began with the founding of the seminary 
in 1851. It aims to provide facilities for investigation in the \.moiis li- 

154 Public Libraries in the United States. 

partments of theology. Works on science, arts, and literature are to 

some extent included, but only as they have relation to theological in- 

Besides numerous small gifts of money and books, the library has 
received two important benefactions. Soon after its establishment the 
purchase, in Berlin, Germany, of the library of Dr. August Neander, the 
celebrated church historian, was effected through the liberality of Hon. 
Roswell S. Burrows, of Albion, X. Y. This library, specially rich in 
patristics and in material for historical investigation, was obtained for 
$3,000 in gold, a sum far beneath its real value. 

In the early part of 1872, the gift of $25,000 by John M. Bruce, of 
Yonkers, ST. Y., placed the library upon an independent basis. The 
yearly interest of this sum, amounting to $1,750, is devoted exclusively 
to the purchase of books. 

There are now about 10,000 volumes in the library. Xo catalogue has 
been printed. 


The library dates from theopeningof the seminary in 1829, and was for 
several years a miscellaneous collection, mainly classics and text books, 
given by friends as a nucleus. The first extensive purchase was made in 
1836, in Europe, by Professor Stowe, who made an admirable selection 
iu every department of theological literature. In 1865 a gift of $10,000 
was received from Rev. W. Van Vleck, of Cincinnati, an alumnus of 
the seminary. About $6,000 of this amount were applied to the pur- 
chase of book**, and the remainder added to the permanent library fund. 
In 1868 the library of the late Rev. Thornton A. Mills, consisting of 
about 800 volumes, was given by his widow ; and in 1875 about 200 vol- 
umes belonging to the library of the late Dr. T. E. Thomas, professor 
in the seminary, were given by Mrs. Thomas. The present number of 
volumes is 12,000. 

The library has an invested fund of $9,600. 

The Smith Library Hall was built in 1863, through the liberality of 
Preserved Smith, of Dayton, Ohio. 


Mt. St. Mary's library was founded by the Most Rev. J. B. Pur 
cell, archbishop of Cincinnati, who gave a collection of books from his 
own library as a nucleus. This collection was steadily increased by tho 
gifts of friends in this country and in Europe, and the library was be- 
coming very valuable, when, in 1863, a fire in the seminary building 
occasioned the loss of a great number of the books. In 1865 the founder 
gave another collection of 5,000 void. ties; and receiving about the samn 
time a bequest of 4,800 volumes, valued at about $25,000 from the late 
Very Rev. Father Collins, of Cincinnati, he transferred this also to th; 

Theological Libraries. 155 

The library now contains 15,100 volumes and 4,000 pamphlets. 
There is also a library of some 3,000 school books. About 2,500 volumes 
are 1 in the ancient classical languages, and over 4,000 in modern Euro- 
pean languages. Amongtheold and rare works are the following printed 
before or abo,ut 1500; Biblia Germanica, Cologne, 1468-'7(); the Deere- 
turn Gratiani, Strassburg. 1472 ; and Nicholas de Lyra's Commentaries, 
6 volumes, 1501. 

The plan of catalogue is the same as that adopted for the Public 
Library of Cincinnati. 



Soon after the establishment of the seminary at Allegheny in 1827, 
the Kev. Allan D. Campbell, of that city, was commissioned to visit 
Great Britain for the purpose of soliciting donations to the library. In 
response to his appeal, many valuable gilts of books were received. 

The library of the Rev. T. Charlton Henry, of Charleston, S. C., rich 
in- biblical learning, was at his decease given to the seminary. 

The Kev. Luther Halsey, D.D., professor in the seminary, has contri- 
buted about 3,000 volumes to the library. 

The llev. Charles C. Beatty, D. D., one of the earliest friends of the 
seminary, and its most munificent patron, has from time to time given 
costly works. 

The library fund amounts to $5,000, the interest of which is available 
for purchases. 

The total number of volumes is about 15,000, well arranged in a new 
building which is considered to be tire-proof. 


The Buckuell Library, belonging to this seminary, derives its name 
from William Bucknell, of Philadelphia, who, at the time of the organi- 
zation of the seminary in 1868, gave $25,000 to be expended in honks, 
and afterwards built a handsome fire-proof building for their accom- 

The fund has been nearly all used, according to the design of the 
donor, leaving only enough to continue serial works and periodicals. 

In the selection of this library the most scholarly care lias been exer- 
cised, and it has the very best works in each department represented. 
It abounds in books which pre-eminently belong to great libraries, books 
of the first importance, as the great Patristic Collections, the Thesauri, 
the Talmtidic Collections, the Documentary Collections of Councils. It 
has the leading theological reviews of the various < Imrches ; among 
them the very rare and valuable Altes mid Nenes : die Unschiil.l 
Nachrichten, complete in every respect, 1701-Vo : the Studien und Kiiii 
ken; the Journal of Sacred Literature; and theTheologische JahrbHrhei . 

156 Public Libraries in the United States. 

There ^are also the choice reviews of Oriental literature, the Journal of 
the German Oriental Society, 1847-'72; of history, the Zeitschrift fiir 
die historische Theologie, 1832-'73, 43 volumes, and many others. The 
library is very rich in the collected works of theologians, and is particu- 
larly strong in exegetic theology. The great fac-simile codices are 
nearly all here, (the Vatican, Vercellone, and Cozza.) rfere are also 
the choicest editions of the Septuagint, (Rome, 15S6;) Origen's Hex 
apla . ; the Syriac New Testament, (Widmanstadt, 1555;) the Itala, in 
the invaluable edition of Sabatier, 3 volumes, folio, Paris, 1751; and 
the Gothic of Ulfilas. In sacred philology and the associated parts of 
general philology, a good foundation has been laid. In works bearing 
on the matter of the Bible, the library is well furnished. In system- 
atic theology, symbolics, polemics, and apologetics, the works, though 
not numerous, are well selected; and there are a number of the best 
monographs on special doctrines. In no department is the library 
stronger than in historical theology, and few libraries can compare with 
it in the rich array of the works of the Fathers and of the medieval 
divines. There is also a great deal of choice general literature, the 
leading Greek and Roman classics, and many valuable books of general 
reference. The bulk of the library consists of the works of standard 
authors, and it is a library for scholarly research rather than a repos- 
itory of popular books. 

It numbers about 7,500 volumes. 



Soon after the establishment of the seminary, in 1826, the Rev. Benja- 
min Kurtz was commissioned to visit Germany and solicit funds towards 
its endowment, and gifts of books for its library. He procured several 
thousand volumes, German and English, comprising many of the stand- 
ard works in exegesis, dogmatics, ethics, homiletics, and ecclesiastical 
history. A considerable number of English theological works were 
added through the efforts of Rev. Dr. Sch mucker. About 1865 the 
widow of Professor Theophilus Hartman presented 75 volumes. In 1869 
the library of the late Rev. Dr. Krauth, 1,100 volumes, was added by 
purchase. Several of the adjacent Lutheran synods have from time to 
time contributed small sums for the purchase of books, but the library 
has at no time had any fixed revenue, and is still very deficient in Eng- 
lish theological literature. 

The library at present numbers 11,000 volumes. For the past ten 
years the additions have averaged 200 volumes annually. 

No catalogue has been published. A card catalogue is in use. 



The seminary was opened in March, 1825, with a library of about 100 1 
volumes. Shortly after, Rev. James R. Reily was sent to Europe to 

Theological Libraries. 157 

solicit gifts of money and books for the seminary. In many cities of 
Holland, Germany, and Switzerland, he met with great success; 329 
volumes were procured in Beidelberg; 31 L in Berlin ; 150 in Bremen ; 97 
in Basle; 90 in Amsterdam; and the collection 'made in Leipzig was 
valued at $700. Gifts of books were received in other places, and many 
valuable works were contributed by professors in the universities, not- 
ably Sack, Nitzch, Liicke, Creutzer, Slieudel, Gesenius. Mr. Reily also 
received nearly $7,000 in money, of which he expended nearly $1,700 
for books. 

In 1803, when the Reformed Church celebrated the tercentenary of 
the adoption of the Heidelberg Catechism, the seminary received lib- 
eral gifts. Rev. D/. Schaff, then professor in the institution, presented 
a number of select works, valued at $500. 

The library now numbers 10,000 volumes. It represents every de- 
partment of theological science, though it is richest in exegetical and 
historical works. There is a fund amounting to nearly $2,000, the inter- 
est of which is expended for books, mainly by German authors. 


The library was founded in 1845, at the same time with the school, by 
donations from, the Church of All Souls and the Church of the Messiah, 
New York, and from individuals living chiefly in New York and Boston. 
The only fund 'for the increase of the library, the interest of which is 
$72, was given by A. Worthiugton, of Cincinnati. 

The library contains 12,308 volumes. The annual accessions average 
about 200 volumes. A card catalogue of authors and subjects is being 

Between 1845 and 1850 Joshua Brookes, of New York, placed in the 
hands of the trustees $20,000, since increased by investment to $22,000, 
the annual income of which is expended for theological works and their 
distribution among western clergymen who make application for them. 
About 2,000 volumes are thus distributed annually among some 200 
clergymen. In this way 35,000 volumes of the best theological literature 
have been given to western settled clergymen, irrespec ive of denomi- 


The library of this school was established about 1805 by a gift of* '-.""" 
from Charles Easton, of New York, furnishing a nucleus of '.r>l \ ol 
.nines. It has been increased by the addition of the libraries of Key. I >r. 
.lames May, 932 volumes; and the Rev. Dr. Tinner, 874 volumes: by the 
gift of the Fair Library, 1,177 volumes; by the joint gift of.!. 1). Wolfe 
and Bishop Alonzo Potter, 1,300 volumes; by tin- v.ifl of William Apple 
ton, of Boston, 708 volumes; ami by sundry other gifts and purchases. 

158 Public Libraries in the United States. 

The library at present number-* about 6,578 volumes. There is a library 
fund yielding $180 a year, part of which is expended under the direc 
tion of a committee and the remainder allowed to accumulate. 


The library of this Roman Catholic college comprises about 0,500 vol- 
umes, mostly theological. The classification is as follows : Dogmatic 
and moral theology; Sacred Scripture; Canon law; The Fathers; Eccle- 
siastical history ; Profane history ; Liturgy; Greek and Latin classics ; 
Scientific works; Ascetical writers; Biography; English literature; 
Catholic periodicals; Dictionaries and public documents. 

The theological works are selected to meet the needs of students pre- 
paring for holy orders. 


There are two libraries in this college, one belonging to the monastery, 
and devoted exclusively to the use of the professors and members of the 
community, the other belonging to the college proper, and altogether 
for the students. 

The monastery library was founded in 1842, by the Very Kev. Dr. 
Moriarty, O. S. A., from donations of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts, 
by the fathers of St. Augustine's Church, Philadelphia, and by other 
members of the Augustinian Order in the United States. 

This library contains 5,000 volumes, 1,000 pamphlets, and 300 manu- 
scripts. The value of the annual additions averages about $200. The 
collection is chiefly of a theological character. It occupies a large 
room in the monastery building, and is accessible at all times to pro- 
fessors and members of the community. There is also a college or 
students' library, dating from 1846. of a more general character, con- 
taining about 3,000 volumes. 


The seminary was founded in 1829, and the first grant for the library 
was then made. In 1855 it numbered 5,487 volumes. In that year the 
library of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Smyth, of Charleston, containing over 
12,000 volumes, collected principally in Europe, was bought for the 

Besides gifts of books, from $28,000 to $30,000 have been raised by 
subscription, and expended for the library. There was, at one time, a 
small invested fund, but this, with the greater part of the endowment, 
was lost during the late war. 

The library now contains 18,884 volumes. The average yearly in 
crease is about 150 volumes. There is no printed catalogue, but one in 
manuscript, arranged alphabetically by authors. 

Tlieological Libraries. 



This library, begun in 1823, has now more than 10,000 volumes and 
3,000 pamphlets. It has received, by gift, the libraries of several clergy- 
men, and a bequest of $10,000 from one of its alumni. Its character is 
purely theological. 

Among its old and rare books are the second edition of Fox's Book 
of Martyrs, 1586 ; Baxter's Saint's Rest, edition of 1057 ; Antwerp Poly- 
glot, 8 volumes: Speculum Historiale of John Menklin, 1473, a large 
folio in fine preservation; Peter Martyr's Works, first edition, and 
King James's Bible, Barker's first edition, of 1011. It also has a goat- 
skin manuscript of great antiquity, from Cairo, Egypt. 


For further information respecting these and other theological libra- 
ries, see the general table of statistics elsewhere iu this report. 



Date of origin. 

Number of vol- 




Theological Institute of Connecticut 





Theological Department of Yale College 




Baptist Union Theological Seminary 






Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the 



Danville Theolo <T ical Seminary 







St. Mary's Theological Seminary of St. Sulpice. . 
Mt St. Clement's College 


9. (MO 

i.-<; i 













I.' -7, 

Now Brunswick . . . 

Theological Seminary of thti Uefornu'd I'lmrrli 
Theological Seminary of the Prenby tcrian Church 



| - 1 





Theological Department St. Lawrence University 



Xew York 

General Theological Seminary of the I'mtoaUul 


li 400 

Episcopal < 'Iniirli. 


M Ml 





- 1 


Public Libraries in the United States. 




-](>A JO .1.11(11111 \" 


. Carthagena 

Theological Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo . . 
Lane Theological Seminary 









15, 000 




18, 884 
10, 000 

10, 000 

Pennsylvania . 

South Carolina 


Mt. St. Mary's Seminary of the West 

Theological Seminary of the Diocese of Ohio 
United Presbyterian Theological Seminary 
Western Theological Seminary of the Presbyte- 
rian Church. 
Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lu- 
theran Church. 
Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church.. 
Philadelphia Theological Seminary of St. Charles 
Borromeo. ' 
Meadville Theological School ... 


. . .Allegheny City 

Gettysburgb. ... . 


Lower Merion 


Philadelphia Divinity School of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. 
Buckuell Library of Crozer Theological Seminary 
Monastery Library of Villanova Colle r e 



Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church 

. .Xear Alexandria. . . 
Hampden-Sidney . . . 

Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church. 

Xashotah House 




Librarian of the Law Department of the A r ew York State Library. 



It is not probably well known, outside of the legal profession, that 
the entire body of municipal la\v wbich governs and regulates society 
is contained in printed books. To these books, the bench and the bar 
must constantly refer in the discharge of their respective duties; a fact 
which goes far to corroborate the statement of Voltaire, that "books 
rule the whole civilized world." 

The multiplication of law books has been so rapid of late years, that 
few lawyers, indeed, can procure by their own private resources all that 
they need for their investigations. And this multiplication has corres- 
pondingly increased^ the number of volumes which it is necessary for 
every member of the profession who would be thorough and accurate 
in the discharge of his professional duties to consult. Hence public 
law libraries have become indispensable in the administration of justice. 

While a law library has narrower aims and a more specific character 
than a library of general literature, and although its collection apper- 
tains to the subject of jurisprudence only, yet the publications upon 
this subject have become so numerous and expensive as to place it be- 
yond the means of any, except State libraries and those of associations 
in the larger cities, to approach completeness. This is shown, when we 
consider the least number of volumes which a law library must have in 
order to claim for itself any fair degree of fullness. 

Law books may be classified generally as follows: Reports; Treatises; 
Statute Law. The practice of reporting the decisions of the judges 
began in the reign of Edward. I, and from that time we have a series of 
judicial reports of those decisions. In the time of Lord Bacon, these 
reports extended to fifty or sixty volumes. During the two hundred 
and fifty years that have passed since then, nothing has been done l>\ 
way of revision or expurgation; but these publications have been con- 
stantly increasing, so that, at the close of the year 1874, the published 
volumes of reports were as follows: English, 1,350 volumes; Irish, 175 
volumes; Scotch, 225 volumes; Canadian, 135 volumes; American, 2,400 
volumes. 1 With respect to treatises (including law periodica's and 

'TliiH rapid multiplication of the reports has rluiim-d tlio attention of the 
bar at various times in the past century, but no concerted action was Uken for cbcck- 
11 E 

162 Public Libraries in the United States. 

digests,) and without including more than one edition of the same work, 
it is safe to say that a fair collection would embrace at least 2,000 vol- 
umes. The statute law of England, Ireland, and Scotland is contained 
in about 100 volumes. The statute law of the United States, if confined 
to the general or revised statutes and codes, may be brought within 100 
volumes. If, however, the sessional acts be included, the collection would 
amount to over 1,500 volumes. It is thus seen that a fairly complete 
law library would embrace more than 7,000 volumes, which could not 
be placed upon its shelves for less than $50,000. 

The foregoing list does not include books which relate to the Roman 
law, as received and adopted in continental Europe. It has long been 
a complaint in Prance that the reports of decisions encumber the law 
libraries. In the catalogue of M. Camus, annexed to his Lettres sur 
la Profession d'Avocat, edition of 1772, the titles of nearly 2,000 vol- 
umes of select books for a lawyer's library are given, and not one of 
them had any reference to the English statute or common law. The 
addition of foreign law to the list would increase the total number of 
volumes to about 10,000. 

The expenditure necessary for the purchase simply of the annual law 
publications of the English and American press is so great that but few 
members of the profession and only the stronger libraries are able to 
keep up with the printing press in this regard. During the year 1874, 
there were published of reports as follows: English, Irish, Scotch, and 
Canadian, 22 volumes; American, 82 volumes; besides some 20 volumes 
of law periodicals, containing reports of cases not elsewhere reported, 
and several volumes of collected cases with valuable notes. There were 
also published of new treatises and new editions of old ones, English 
and American, upwards of 80 volumes; together with many volumes of 
digests, hand books, and works relating to the literature of the law, 
amounting in all to over 200 volumes, which would cost, at a low esti- 
mate, over $1,000. 

ing the evil until December, 1863, when, at a meeting of the bar of England, a com- 
mittee was appointed to consider plans of reform in the methods of law reporting. At 
that time there were in England, besides weekly serials, fourteen independent series 
of law reports. The profession was also embarrassed by the custom prevailing among 
judges of delivering oral opinions; so that the reporters acted not only as editors and 
digesters, but actually reported the words which fell from the lips of the court. The 
committee recommended that a set of reports should be prepared and published under 
the management of a council representing the whole bar. The recommendation was 
favorably received, and since the year 1866 the English reports have been published in 
a single series, under the supervision of the Council of Law Reporting. 

The system of law reporting in New York has of late years been the subject of severe 
criticism on the part of the profession, and in March, 1873, a committee was appointed 
by the Bar Association of the City of New York to prepare a plan of amendment. In 
this report the committee says: "From the year 1794 to 1873, a period of seventy-nine 
years, there were published in the State of New York alone 400 volumes of reports, more 
than one-third of the reports of Great Britain for five hundred and sixty-five years." 

Law Libraries. 163 

A word at this point on the subject of the publication and sale of law re- 
ports may not be inappropriate. If there is any one thing more than an- 
other that has become burdensome to the profession, it is the rapid multi- 
plication of these publications and their increased price. If Lord Bacon in 
his time, with only sixty volumes of reports then published, felt the burden 
to be so great as to lead him to propose to King James I to compile a digest 
of the laws of England, "and that these books should be purged and re- 
vised, whereby they may be reduced to fewer volumes and clearer resolu- 
tions," what shall be said of the grievance of the profession at the present 
day with upwards of 4,000 volumes in existence. The number of pages 
of reported cases in the English and American courts issued yearly is 
not less than 70,000. Add to these the yearly volumes of statute law 
and treatises and it is obviously only a problem of arithmetic to dis- 
cover the time when the walls even of our public libraries will no longer 
afford space for the load, and when some means must be, adopted to 
compress or abridge the contents of these thousands of volumes. The 
rapid accumulation of case-law may be somewhat checked by a wise 
discretion on the part of the reporters. In many of our American 
reports, if the irrelevant matter were stricken out, arguments abridged, 
and repetitions expunged, the size of the volumes would be reduced 
more than one-third; while others are prepared with a discrimination 
that is commendable. Just what and how reporters should report, 
may be difficult to state. If, however, they would follow more closely 
the quaint counsel of Sidney Smith, perhaps there would be fewer and 
better reports. His advice was, "to think upon Noah and the ark, and 
be brief. The ark should constantly remind him of the little time there 
is left for reading; and he should learn as they did in the ark to crowd 
a great deal of matter into a very little space." A writer has well said 
that "it is as true in law literature, in fact in all literature, as it is in 
finance, that much paper and poverty may co-exist." Each State 
should own the copyright in its judicial reports, and prevent any 
monopoly in their publication. The people should be supplied with the 
decisions of the courts at reasonable rates. The prices of the current 
volumes of the American reports vary from $1.10 to $10 a volume. 
While the reports of the New York Court of Appeals are sold at the 
former, those of Louisiana sell at the latter rate. The Ohio State 
reports are sold at $2.50, those of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, ami 
Indiana at $4.50; the reports of the United States courts and nf 
the several States, (other than those named,) sell at prices ranging I'nun 
$4.50 to $8 a volume. The whole American bar is interested in the 
question of what makes this difference. It is one, however, that has 
been very clearly answered by Mr. W. S. Scarborough, of Cincinnati, in 
the, following words: 

In Ohio, the reporter is a salaried officer, and hence the reports are the property of 
tin- Stiitc, and are copyrighted, though in the name of the n-p.>i t-i . in favor of the 
State. The same is trne of the reporter and tho reports of the Court of Appeals of t h. 
State of New York. Those reports are, iu terms, entered for copyright "in trust for 

164 Public Libraries in the United States. 

the benefit of the people of the State." In the highest courts of the other States, and 
in the Supreme Court of the United States, the reporter has either no salary or one 
admitted to be insufficient, and, under whatever limitations the legislature may choose 
to subject him, he gets his pay out of the reports. In all cases, before publication, he 
obtains a copyright in favor either of himself or his publisher. He never electrotypes 
or stereotypes, and is favorable to small editions. He knows that a certain, though 
limited, number of volumes will sell quickly, almost irrespective of price, and he gov- 
erns himself accordingly. Quite a portion of his edition is taken under some act or 
joint resolution, possibly of his own devising, at enormous rates, for the supply of State 
and Governme nt officials. Most of the copies so distributed, if not sold directly or 
indirectly to the profession by the recipients, are sure to be wasted and speedily to 
disappear ; and in a few years the reports are out of print, and the reporter is at length 
induced, with apparent reluctance, and upon the payment to him of a considerable 
bonus, to get out another edition. 

A public law library may be defined as one which is accessible, either 
without restriction, or upon conditions with which all can easily comply, 
to every person who wishes to use it for its appropriate purposes. Un- 
der this definition the public law libraries of the United States may 
be divided into those of the State, county, association, and school. It 
may be proper to add, however, that besides the libraries included in 
the foregoing classification, there are many of a quasi public character ? 
in the possession of the United States district courts and several State 
courts and judges, which are maintained at the public charge and for 
public uses, but are accessible only to their immediate custodians. 


Each State in the Union has a public library, located at the seat of 
government, maintained at the public charge and primarily for the use 
of members of the legislature. State officers, the courts and the bar. In 
most of the States, the collection of law books forms a department of 
the State library; in a few cases, however, the law books are contained 
in a separate library, called the Supreme Court Lib rary. These libraries, 
by reason of their situation and public maintenance, have demands made 
upon them that others do not have. The controlling purpose of these 
libraries should be to obtain a collection of such books as may directly 
assist the legislature, State officers, and the courts to an intelligent dis- 
charge of their public trusts. They should be sufficiently full to enable 
the bench and the bar to verify all the authorities cited in the reports 
and treatises, and furnish the means of tracing the progress of jurispru- 
dence. In short, they should be as complete as it is possible to make 

The reports and statutes of the State in which they are situated should 
doubtless be among the earliest purchases. Following these, the reports 
of the United States courts should be obtained. There is some differ- 
ence of opinion as to whether the reports of the several States, or the 
reports of the courts of England and Ireland, should rank next in order 
of purchase. If, however, the decision is to turn upon the measure of 
use of the volumes, preference must be given to the latter. The Scotch 

Law Libraries. 165 

and Canadian reports are also needed to complete this most essential de- 
partment. The principal law magazines and treatises in American and 
English law, the best editions of the Roman or civil law, together with 
the most celebrated commentaries thereon, and a selection of tin- lead- 
ing works relating to the commercial law of continental Europe, should 
be found upon the shelves of these libraries. The statutes of the United 
States and of the several States, and of Great Britain, are also highly 
important. State papers constitute a most valuable acquisition to 
these libraries. Under this head may be comprised the legislative 
journals and documents published by the State and United States gov- 
ernments, congressional debates, the debates of constitutional con- 
ventions, and the proceedings of other important political bodies, includ- 
ing the parliamentary debates, journals, and documents of Great Brit- 
ain and Canada. The state papers of the State and United .States gov- 
ernments and Canada, form a collection of over 0,000' volumes, and th.,- 
of Great Britain, 2,500 volumes. These publications are directly useful, 
and many of them quite necessary to economical and enlightened legis- 
lation, and a proper administration of the government. The recorded 
investigations and experience of the past, if accessible, supersede the 
necessity of re-investigation and suggest important lessons for the guid- 
ance of the legislator of the present day. 

Pains should betaken to collect theephemeraof jurisprudence. Among 
these may be mentioned civil and criminal trials, reviews of cases, 
arguments, opinions, essays upon law reform, and tracts upon a variety 
of subjects relating to the literature of the law. 

With reference to completeness, several of the State libraries already 
take high rank. In the department of reports, the libraries of New York, 
California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are undoubtedly the 
most complete, while the largest collections of statute law and S;.u 
papers exist in those of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. The 
matter of supplying deficiencies in reports and statutes has en- i 
the attention of several of the States under special grants there- 
for, as follows; Kansas, 1871 and 1S72, s.>,0()0; Indiana, 1S71, *i!,.1in ; 
Michigan, 187.3, $5,000; New York, 1874,81,500; K'hode Island, \*">. 
$1,500; Wisconsin, 1875, $3,500; California paid, in coin, the sum of 
$14,500 for law books in 180!); and Iowa completed the Knglisli, Irish, 
and Scotch reports in 1871 and 1872, at a cost of several thousand dol- 
lars. The States of Maryland. .Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are 
also engaged in like efforts, though under more limited grants. The 
tendency among the States at the present time is to increase the yearly 
grant to their respective libraries. It is believed that this tendency 
exists in the case of every State except the Slate of 'Tennessee, \\hieh, 
by a recent act, has reduced the yearly grant to her library from *-. 
to $500. 

Books are received into the State libraries from three sources, namely. 
(1) by purchase, (2) by donation, and (,'l) by exchange. In respeef to the 

166 Public Libraries in the United States. 

latter source, these libraries enjoy an advantage over all others. The 
system of inter-State exchanges is established upon a most reliable basis, 
viz, that of the publications of the States themselves; and these ex- 
changes have never been more regular and complete than at the present 
time. From this source the State library is supplied with the reports, 
statutes, and state papers of each of the several States and of Canada, 
and with the statutes and state papers of the United States ; and, in 
return, furnishes these governments, for their libraries, with the like 
publications of its own government. Each State library receives about 
450 volumes yearly from this source. 

In order, however, that libraries may reap full benefits from this sys- 
tem, great vigilance must be exercised by those in charge. Upon this 
point the remarks of Mr. White, State librarian of Massachusetts, in his 
report for 1873, are most pertinent. He says : 

As our States and Territories multiply, and as practiced officials are, through politi- 
cal changes, often superseded in office by inexperienced substitutes, not knowing or not 
regarding their duty in this respect, it requires constant watchfulness and frequent 
correspondence to prevent our series of State publications from failing of completeness. 
The deficiency becomes almost hopeless, if such publications are not obtained soon 
after issued, as the supply becoming soon exhausted by a free distribution, the volumes 
needed to keep sets complete cannot be furnished without difficulty. 

Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of securing the 
law reports at an early day after their publication. Delay in purchas- 
ing not only increases the difficulty of obtaining them, but their price 
almost invariably advances with time ; indeed, as a general rule, the 
best time to purchase a volume of reports, new or old, so far as price is 
concerned, is the present, and, if possible, before there has been such a 
lapse of time as would compel an order to be answered by the phrase 
" out of print." They belong to a class of books whose purchase can- 
not be long delayed and the character of the library sustained. The 
courts and the profession look for every volume of reports at the 
liest day after its publication. New treatises and new editions of old 
ones that are standard in their character are also imperatively demanded. 
There can be no delay, for every new decision is of immediate applica- 
tion. To this demand, entirely reasonable, the authorities of every 
library should respond to the extent of their power. 


In nearly all, if not all the States, provisiou is made by law for the 
distribution of the reports, statutes, and state papers of the State to 
each of the counties therein, which, together with such books as are 
purchased by means of small grants from the county treasury, by j 
order of the board of supervisors or of the county court, form what may 
be called a county law library, of which the county clerk is the custo- ; 
dian. This library is at the county seat, and exists for the use of I 
county officers and the courts. These libraries cannot be expected to j 
have a complete set of English and American reports and statutes, nor i 

Law Libraries. 167 

any very considerable number of text books. A complete set of the re- 
ports, statutes, and state papers of the State in which they are situated, 
with a few volumes of such treatises as are ordinarily used at nisi prius, 
will sufficiently meet the purposes of their establishment. To this ex- 
tent these libraries should aim to be complete, and in some of the States 
they have reached this standard. 1 


By reason of the rapid multiplication of law books, public law libra- 
ries have become a necessity. For the purpose of establishing and 
maintaining such libraries, associations have been formed in many cities. 
Keturns 1 have been received from about thirty of these libraries, show- 
ing collections ranging from a few hundred to 20,000 volumes each. 
They are strictly reference libraries, with few exceptions, and are free 
to members of their respective associations, and also by courtesy to the 
bench. So far as the bench and the bar are concerned, the object of 
these libraries, especially in the larger cities, is identical with that of 
the State libraries, and the same classes of books should be found upon 
their shelves, with the exception of State papers and session laws. The 
general statutes and codes of the several States, however, are impor- 
tant and should be secured. 

Several of these libraries are. quite complete in their collections of re- 
ports and treatises. Among others the following may be mentioned as 
possessing very full collections: Library of the New York Law Insti- 
tute, Social Law Library of Boston, Library of the Law Association of 
St. Louis, Library of the Law Association of Philadelphia, Cincinnati 
Law Library, Library of the Baltimore Bar, and the Library of the Bar 
Association of the City of New York. It is believed that it would be 
difficult to find a citation illustrative of the common law in any Kng- 
lish or American law book which any one of the libraries named could 
not furnish the means of verifying. 

1 In Massachusetts, county law libraries, to be accessible and free to all tlie inhabit- 
ants of the several counties, were created by the act of March, 1842, which const i- 
tuted the counselors and attorneys of each county a corporation for the ptllpOM of 
holding and managing said libraries under the genera) direction of tin- justices of tin- 
court of common pleas. By act of 1863, amendatory of act of JKV.i, tin- county com- 
missioners of the several counties are required to giant tor the county lihr.ny 
the entire amount received from clerk's fees, provided the same does not exceed $400 
a year; if the fees exceed that sum one-fourth of the surplus is to be so allottl. 
but the whole grant shall not exceed $1,000 a year, except in the .lin-iction of the com- 
missioners, v\ho may make additional grants in accordance with the act ot 1 -.'.'. 
The, law docs not apply to the county of Suffolk. 

Imperfect reports from a few Slates of this class of librai ies show that seventy-four 
"of the libraries contained 66,600 volumes, ranging from '-.'(id to-l.tmo volum. s. and mnk- 
ing an average of 900 volumes each. In Illinois, according to the report of tlie Hiipor- 
intendent of public instruction for 1870, there were nearly 1(1,000 volumes in tin- court 
libraries. EDITORS. 

168 Public Libraries in the United States. 


Of thirty eight law schools in the United States, twenty-one are in 
the possession of libraries ranging from 300 to 15,000 volumes each. 
The largest and most important library under this head is that of the 
Law School of Harvard University, which was begun by the purchase 
of the valuable collection of Mr. Justice Story, and lias received from 
time to time large accessions from private contributors. Perhaps no 
library in this country has such a rich collection of works on early 
Roman law and the commercial law of continental Europe as this. 

Next in size and completeness is the library of the Law School of 
Yale College, which numbers 8,000 volumes. This library contains full 
sets of American, English, and Irish reports, and many valuable works 
in jurisprudence and international law. 

While it would be well for these libraries to have a complete set of 
the English and American reports, very few of the schools can afford 
the expense of procuring and maintaining a library upon so broad a 
foundation. Doubtless their object will be fairly met, if they contain 
the reports of the State in which they are situated, those of the Su- 
preme Court of the United States, and a selection of the principal 
treatises upon American and English law. 

A review of the catalogues of the law libraries of those countries 
which have adopted the common law, shows that no one is so rich in 
collections of books that appertain strictly to the law as our own. 
While the English libraries have, perhaps, more books relating to the 
early Eomau law, and more of the earlier treatises upon the common 
law than the American, yet, in the department of reports, the Ameri- 
can libraries far exceed the English. A complete series of the English, 
Irish, and Scotch reports may, indeed, be found upon the shelves of 
several, if not all, of the public law libraries of England ; but not one, 
not even the British Museum, has a complete set of the American 
reports. In this country, however, as has been shown, several libraries. 
State and association, have complete sets of the English, Irish, Scotch, 
and American reports, numbering more than 4,000 volumes. Again, 
the English libraries have comparatively few of the American treatises, 
and are very meagre in American statute law, while the American 
libraries have very full collections in these departments, and all of the 
principal English treatises, together with a complete collection of Eng- 
lish statutes. 

Some of the English libraries have been centuries in accumulatin 
their treasures. The library of Lincoln's Inn, of London, is the oldest 
library in the metropolis, and dates its beginning from the year 1497 
that of the Middle Temple was founded in 1641, and the library of th 
Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh was established in 1680. Oiu 
American law libraries are a product of the present century. Ver 
few have had an existence of over fifty years. 

The enterprise that has characterized our national growth has been i 

Law Libraries. 


no department more manifest than in that of our libraries. Public treas- 
ure, as well as private munificence, has contributed to make them what 
they are. While a lack of means is the obstacle universally encoun- 
tered by those who have the growth of libraries in charge, still there is 
such a general sense of their value, on the part both of the authorities 
and of the profession, as cannot fail to insure their progress. 

Principal law libraries in the United States, not including those of the General Gorernmemt. 




Name of library. 

Date of origin. 

Ntllllllel i.l \i.| 


. . . Mobile 

Law Association 

! -i 



. . . Sacramento '. . 

Supreme Court 

1- - 


San Francisco 

Law Association 

1 -.4.500 


New Haven 

Law School of Yale College 


1 -' 1 

"> MM 


Chicago Law Institute 

1- .'. 

7 000 

Mount Vernon 

Morgan County 
Supreme Court, southern grand division 





Supreme Court, northern grand division 
Supremo Court, central grand division 




Leavenworth .. . 

Law Association 


1 - 



Louisville Bar 


4 000 


New Orleans 

Law A ssociation 

I-. , 




York County 15ar Association 


1 MO 



. . Boston 

Social Law Library 

!- 'i 


Cambridge .' 

Harvard University Law School 






Berkshire Law Association 



Essex County 



University of Michigan I.a\v Department 




Kansas City . 

Bar Association 



: - : 


St Louis 



New York 

. Albany 

Attorney General's Office - 







l-i I 



Sullivan County 




New York 

Supreme Court, first department, UrM .1 



Court of Appeals 

170 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Principal law libraries in the United States, <fc. Continued. 







Name of library. 









New York 


Fourth judicial district 



Court of Appeals 


8 500 


. . . Cincinnati 

Bar Association 



Cleveland., v 

Ohio State and Union Law College 




Dauphin County ' 




4 700 



8 5UO 


Schuylkill Connty 



State Law Library 


5 000 


. . . Tyler 

Supreme Court 





Assistant Surgeon United States Army. 



It is proposed in the following sketch to give some account of the 
resources available to the medical scholar and writer in the United States 
iu the way of libraries which have been formed with reference to his 
special wants, and to make some remarks on the formation and care of 
such collections. 

Comparatively few persons have any idea of the amount of medical 
literature in existence, or of its proper use and true value, and the result 
is that the same ground is traversed over and over again. Cases are re- 
ported as unique and inexplicable which, when compared with accounts 
of others buried in obscure periodicals or collections of observations, 
fall into their proper place and both receive and give explanation. Old 
theories and hypotheses, evolved from the depths of the inner conscious- 
ness of men too zealous or too indolent to undergo the labor of examin- 
ing the works of their predecessors, re-appear, and are re-exploded with 
the regular periodicity of organic life; and even when literary research 
is attempted, it is too often either for controversial purposes, to serve 
the ends of prejudiced criticism, or to support a charge of plagiarism? 
or else for th purpose of obtaining a goodly array of footnotes, which 
shall imply that the subject is exhausted, and give a flavor ot erudition 
to the work. This state of tlii ngs is by no means peculiar to medicine, 
but its literature is certainly an excellent illustration of the maxim "The 
thing which has been is that which shall lu>, and there is no new thing 
under the sun." 

The record of the researches, experiences, and speculations relating 
to medical science during the last four hundred years is contained in be- 
tween two and three hundred thousand volumes and pamphlets; and 
while the. immense majority of these, have little or nothing of what we 
call "practical value," yet there is no one of them which would not be 
called for by some inquirer if he knew of its existence. 

Hence, it is desirable, in this branch of liteiature, as in others, that in 
each country there should be at least one collection embracing every- 

172 Public Libraries in the United States. 

thing that is too costly, too ephemeral, or of too little interest to be obi I 
tained and preserved in private libraries. 

When the great work of Mr. Caxton, the History of Human Error, ty 
written, the medical section will be among the most instructive and im- 
portant, and also that for which it will be most difficult to obtain tin 

There are a number of valuable private medical libraries in this couuj- ! 
try of from four to ten thousand volumes each. Having been collected 
for the most part with reference to some special subject or department, 
they are the more valuable on that account. The majority of the med- 
ical schools also have libraries of greater or less value to the student. 

The collections relating to medicine and the cognate sciences, which 
are available to the public and are of sufficient interest to require no- 
tice in this connection, are those of Boston, Philadelphia, New York, 
Cincinnati, and Washington. No one of these indeed approaches com 
pleteness, but each supplements the other to such an extent that it sel- 
dom happens that bibliographical inquiries cannot be answered by 
referring to them in succession. 


The principal medical collection in Boston is that of the Boston Pub- 
lic Library, which now comprisesabout 11, 000 volumes, for the most parr, 
standard works and periodicals, the latter containing files of the princi- 
pal American and foreign publications. There is no separate printed 
catalogue of the medical section nor of any -of the medical libraries 
of Boston, which fact much impairs their practical usefulness. 

The Boston Athenaeum has about 5,000 volumes of medical works. 
The Boston Society for Medical Improvement has 1,000 volumes of 
bound periodicals. The Treadwell Medical Library at the Massachu- 
setts General Hospital contains about 3,5^2 volumes. Harvard Univer- 
sity Library, including the library of the medical school, has between 
5,000 and 6,000 volumes of medicine, including some of much rarity and 

A collection which gives promise of much usefulness is that of the 
Boston Medical Library Association, which, although only about a year 
old, already contains about 3,000 volumes and receives the most impor- 
ant medical periodicals. 

If the resources of Boston and vicinity in the way of medical litera- 
ture available to the student could be shown by a good catalogue indi 
eating where each of the several works may be found, the practical 
working value of the collections would be greatly enhanced. The diffi 
culties in the way of accomplishing such a desirable result, althougl 
great, do not appear to be at all insuperable, and might be readily 
overcome by the conjoint action of the medical societies and of thi 
libraries interested. The same remark will apply to the medical co\ 
lections of New York and Philadelphia. 

1 For statistics of the principal libraries of medical schools aud societies, see tabj'3 
at the end of this article. EDITORS. 

Medical Libraries. 173 


The library of the New York Hospital is the oldest and largest col- 
lection in the city, and now contains about 10,000 volumes. It is well 
housed iii a building which although not fire proof is comparatively so. 
The books are conveniently arranged, and there is room for twice the 
present number. It receives about 100 current periodicals, but with 
this exception does not contain ranch recent literature. An alphabet- 
ical catalogue of authors was published in 1845 ; three supplement- 
ary catalogues have since been printed, and a fourth is now in the 
press. The one published in 1865 is a list of the donation of Dr. John 
Wai son, consisting of 481 volumes of rare and valuable books. This 
library is for consultation and reference only, as no books are loaned, 
and is open daily, except Sunday, from 9 a. in. to 10 p. m. 

The collection of the New York Medical Library and Journal Assoria- 
tiou now contains about, 3,500 volumes, and is imunly valuable for its 
collection of periodical literature. It receives about 95 current journals. 
No catalogue of this collection has been printed. 

The Mott Memorial Library is free and numbers 4,700 volumes. 1 

The Academy of Medicine of New York City has recently taken steps 
to purchase a building, with the intention of forming a library which 
shall meet the requirements of so important a medical centre as New 
York, and valuable aid to this end from private collections is promised, 
notably from the library of Dr. S. S. Purple, which is remarkably com- 
plete in American medical periodicals and in early American medical 
literature. A large, well appointed, and well sustained medical library 
is much needed in the city of New York, and it is to be hoped that the 
eft'ort referred to will be crowned with success. The library at present 
numbers 3,000 volumes. 2 


The medical libraries of Philadelphia are large and valuable, and an 

'This library was foil tided by the widow of the emiuent surgeon, Valentino Mott. 
M. I)., and is free for consultation and study to medical students and mi'mbn> of tin- 
profession. Additions to the collection are made annually by Mr*. Mott and her son; 
the latter manages its affairs. It has no permanent fund for its increase. KM ii fc 

8 The Medico-Legal Society of New York, organized in November, !-?>'. IN^IIII in 
1873 the formation of a special library. The following is taken fiom a umilar i" b- 
lishrd by the president of the society in October, 1875 : 

"The Medico-Legal Society of Now York has voluntarily assumed tin- lalmr l' 
organizing and maintaining a complete library of all accessible works upon mrtliral 
jurisprudence especially in the English, French, and Gorman tunum-. 

"There is not at the present time any notable collection of such works in the United 
States. The great law libraries in the city and State of New York, and indeed in the 
United States, have only a few standard works of this character, and there is no reMOO 
to suppose any change is likely to occur presently in this regard. The medical libraries 
of the nation are nearly as poor as are the law libraries in works upon medical Juris- 

" The society, by a general resolution unanimously adopted, voluntarily assumed the 

174 Public Libraries in the United States. 

interesting account of their history and condition is given by Dr. Rich 
ard Dunglison. 1 

The library of the College of Physicians has received large additions 
within the last few years, and the most valuable working collec- 
tion in the country, with the exception of that in Washington. It 
numbers more than 19,000 volumes, receives about 80 current journals, 
and is rich in the early medical literature of this country. It is a ref- 
erence and consultation library to the public, and loans books to the 
members of the college. It is much to be regretted that it has no printed 
catalogue nor a catalogue of subjects in any form. It has about 5,000 
volumes of medical journals. 

The Library of the Pennsylvania Hospital, numbering 12, 500 volumes, 
is the oldest medical collection in this country, having been begun in 
1763. The last printed catalogue, issued in 1857, is a classed catalogue 
with an index of authors, on the plan of the catalogue of the Library of 
the Medical Society of Edinburgh, and is a valuable work for reference, 
which should be in every public medical library. A supplement to it 
was issued in 1867. 

According to Dr. Dunglisou, there is a remarkable absence of dupli- 
cation between this collection and that of the College of Physicians, and 
together they well represent the early medical literature of this country, 
especially of Philadelphia imprints. 

Since the Medical Department of the University of Penns.\ Ivania has 
occupied its new buildings in West Philadelphia, a valuable foundation 
for a medical library, consisting of about 3,000 volumes, has been pre- 
sented to it by Dr. Alfred Stille, provost of the university. 2 


In Cincinnati there is a small but valuable collection of medical books 
at the City Hospital. The Mussey Medical and Scientific Library con- 

obligation on the part of each of its members, of contributing one volume per annum 
to this library. A membership, which has grown from a small list to upwards of four 
hundred iu three years, and which bids fair to be the strongest, numerically, of any of 
the kindred societies, makes this means alone likely, iu time, to furnish a collection of 
great value. Liberal contributions of money have also been made by individual mem- 
bers, which have been iuvested in volumes, obtained by correspondence with all the 
dealers and most of the librarians of such works throughout the world. 

"A catalogue of the names of all works ever published on these subjects is in course 
of preparation by members of the society, and is now far advanced towards comple- 

Tbe annual reports of the society show that up to November, 1875, the contributions 
to the library bad been 390 bound volumes, 121 pamphlets, besides $498 for the pur- 
chase of books. EPITOKS. , 

'Philadelphia Medical Times. Reprinted, 46 pp. 8. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott 
& Co., 1871. 

2 This library is thus characterized by the generous donor : 

"The collection comprises upwards of 3,000 volumes, including a considerable num- 
ber of pamphlets. The bulk of the library consists of American, English, French, and 
German periodicals. The other works are in English, French, and German, and are> 
chiefly medical as distinguished from surgical." EDITORS. 

Medical Libraries. 175 

tains about 4,000 volumes and 2,000 pamphlets, and is at present a 
special deposit in the Cincinnati Public Library. 


The Library of the Surgeon-General's Office is deposited in the Army 
Medical Museum at Washington, but may be considered as the medi- 
cal section of the Congressional, or National Library, and is managed 
and catalogued in substantially the same manner as that collection. 
It now numbers about 40,000 volumes and 40,000 pamphlets, or, to state 
it in another form, about 70,000 titles. The library is intended to cover 
the entire field of medical and surgical literature, and is now an excel- 
lent foundation for a national medical library that shall be worthy of the 
name, and put the writers and teachers of this country on an equality 
with those of Europe so far as accessibility to the literature of the subject 
is concerned. 

It has been formed within the last twelve years, and is of course too 
young to contain many of the incunabula or the books noted as rare and 
very rare, which are the delight of the bibliomaniac; nor, indeed, has 
any special effort been made to obtain such. Yet there are few of the 
ancient authors whose works it does not possess, although not always 
in the most desirable editions. It is comparatively full in American, 
English, French, and German medical literature of the present century, 
and in works relating to surgery, pathological anatomy, and hygiene- 
Of the early medical literature of this country, that is, prior to 1800, it 
lias but little. It possesses a few valuable manuscripts, the oldest of which 
is a flue copy of the, Lilium Mediciuas of Bernard de Gordon, dated 1349. 1 


For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the practical work- 
ings of a large library, and who, therefore, do not appreciate the amount 

'There are libraries belonging to several schools in which the Eclectic aud Homeo- 
pathic theories of medicine are taught, the only one of the former reported being that 
of Bennett Medical College at Chicago, containing 500 volumes; and tin* largest of the 
latter class that of the Hahneinaim Medical College at Philadelphia, which numbers 
2,000 volumes. The American periodical literature of neither of these schools is ex ten - 
HJVC. The following statement is from the pen of the dean of the faculty of the Kclcctic 
Medical Institute at Cincinnati, also editor of the Eclectic Medical Journal. He thus 
sketches the history of the library of the institute: 

"Beginning in 1845, it was deemed an important object to secure a good medical 
library of books, both new and old, and as a nucleus of such, a private library WM 
purchased, at a cost of $1,500. It was a singular collection of books, both old ami r.u.-. 
and yet, with a few exceptions, it was wholly worthless for die uses of the medical 
student. The antiquary who desired to unearth old theories and crude method* of 
treatment would have been delighted with it. To this \\ere added, from time to timo, 
works of the present generation until, in 185:*, some it.UOO volumes had bwn 
collected, when, the library room being required for enlargement of the college httlln, 
the books were stored in a small room, and the college svas without a library for five 
Years. In 1858 changes in the building were again made, ami the books were dn-ted. 
some of them rebound, numbered, and catalogued, and made ready for um>. Hut Mill 
students were not inclined to use them, even with the aid of a nicely carpeted, lighted. 
and heated reading room, and, after two winters of disuse, the dust was allowwl to 

176 Public Libraries in the United States. 

of time and labor involved, the following account is given. It will give 
no information to the skilled librarian, who will see at once many de- 
fects in the mode of recording due in this case to the lack of cler- 
ical force. 

The working catalogue of this library is a card catalogue of the usual 
form ; that is, each separate work, whether it be a pamphlet of two 
leaves or a cyclopaedia of fifty volumes, is catalogued on a slip of stout 
paper about 7 by 5 inches, giving under the name of the author the ex- 
act title of the work, the place and date of publication and the collation, 
that is, the number of pages or leaves, the size or form of the book, and 
the number of plates or tables. These cards are arranged in drawers, 
according to names of authors in dictionary order, anonymous works 
forming a separate class. 

From these cards was printed the catalogue of authors, which was 
completed in 1873, and makes two volumes, royal octavo, of about 1,200 
pages each, with a supplementary volume containing the anonymous 
works, reports, periodicals, and transactions. The cards from which this 
was printed were then distributed according to subjects, the subjects 
being arranged in dictionary order. This forms the subject catalogue. 
As new books were added a second card catalogue was carried on for 
them, which is known as the supplementary catalogue. 

The subject catalogue above referred to has been very greatly ex- 
tended by a process of indexing original papers in medical periodicals 
and transactions. The preparation of this index was begun January 1. 
1874, since which date every number of current foreign medical jour- 
nals and transactions has been indexed as soon as received. When a 
number of the London Lancet, for instance, is received, the librarian 
indicates in it by a slight pencil check the articles which should be in- 
dexed. The journal is then handed to a clerk who indexes each article 
checked upon one of the catalogue cards. The top line is left blank for 
the subject. Next is given the name of the author, the title of the ar- 
ticle, literally transcribed, or if there be no title, one is made for it, and 

accumulate on the books, and they rested in peace uutil the tire of 1870, when they 
were fortunately consumed. 

"While thus somewhat unfortunate in our general library, we have to record 
marked benefit from a collection of books of a different character. In a medical col- 
lege there are often spare moments between lectures that students might improve, if 
books were at hand ; and quite frequently study would be much facilitated if refer- 
ence could be made to a standard authority, even for a moment. Often some im- 
portant fact will have escaped the learner's mind, which, could he recall it, would 
make an entire subject plain and enable him to meet a coming examination. A mo- 
ment's reference to an authority between lectures is sufficient, while without it thero 
might be complete failure. Frequently an entire train of thought is arrested by tbo 
want of a single fact which is an initial point ; the struggle of the mind to recall this 
fact is frequently sufficient to incapacitate it for the day. 

"A reading room furnished with several sets of the latest text books for referen 
was provided, and with most satisfactory results. The books were in constant use. 

"I believe that these working libraries are to be commended in all higher schools."- 

Medical Libraries. 


finally the abbreviated title of the journal, the year, the number of the 
volume, and the pagination. This mode of indexing is on the plan pur- 
sued in the Catalogue of Scientific Papers, 181)0-1803, compiled and 
published in six quarto volumes by the Royal Society of London. The 
number of the journal, with the cards thus prepared, is returned to the 
librarian, who indicates in pencil the subject under which each curd 
should be distributed, and the cards go to the subject catalogue. Tiie 
journal receives a red stamp showing that it has been indexed, is 
checked off on the register of periodicals received, and goes to the tiles. 

At first only foreign journals were thus indexed, it being known that 
Dr. J. M. Toner, of Washington, was preparing an index of American 
journals, which it is his intention to make complete to the year l^T'i. 
Upon inquiry, however, the work of Dr. Toner was found to be on a very 
different plan, as it includes all articles, whether original or copied, 
while on the other hand the titles of articles are much abbreviated. 

It has therefore been thought best to index all journals, American and 
foreign, beginning with January 1, 1875. At the same time as much as 
possible is being done to index preceding volumes of important journals 
and transactions, of which about 1,000 volumes were indexed during the 
past year. This work will be continued as rapidly as possible. The fol- 
lowing statistics show the total number of what may be called regular 
medical journals which have been established since the first, namely, 
Les Xouvelles Decotivertes sur toutes les parties de la Medecine, Paris, 
1(57!), as well as the time and labor which the making of such an index 
will require: 


Number begun. 

Number of volumes 
jmlil shed. 

Number tbat did not 
get beyond the 
first volume. 

Number represented 
in the library. 

Volu men reprwwnted 

in tin- liluiii v. 

Cuir. nt number, 
January 1. 1875. 










1 - 












lid -in in , 

















(iivnl I'.ritiiin . 


l, :t-J7 



i :. 








































Turkey '. 











, 814 


2 E 

178 Public Libraries in the United States. 

From this table it will be seen that the library DOW con tains about 75 per 
cent, of all that has been published in medical journals. It would not 
probably be desirable to extend an index of these farther back than 1800, 
as the works of Ploucquet and Reuss fairly cover all medical periodical 
literature of any importance prior to that date. A few of the journals 
will be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain ; but these will be for 
the most part of little practical importance. Several medical officers of 
the Army, whose stations made it possible to send sets of journals to 
them without too much inconvenience, have assisted in the work, and 
if this aid can be continued, it is hoped that the index will be completed 
in about two years. There is little doubt that it will then be printed, 
and it will form a valuable contribution to medical bibliography. 

Such an index is proposed in the preface to the Catalogue Raisonne 
of the Medical Society of Edinburgh, published in 1836, but Professor 
Maclagan states that nothing has been done in this direction. 1 

The important part of a medical library, that which will give it char- 
acter and value, and for deficiency in which nothing can compensate, is 
its file of medical journals and transactions. The difficulty of obtaining 
and preserving these is in proportion to the importance of the matter. 
The majority of them are essentially ephemeral in character; small 
editions are published ; they are rarely preserved with care, and even 
when attempts are made to preserve them by binding, it is often, and 
indeed usually, without sufficient attention to the collation, so that in 
examining files of old journals it will be found that at least one-half 
lack a leaf, a signature, or a number. This fact causes much trouble 
and disappointment to the librarian, and must always be kept in view 
in the collection of this class of literature. In the attempt to make a 
complete collection of American medical journals for this library, it has 
been repeatedly found that what purported to be the volume or number 
wanting to complete a file was defective. It is probable that there is 
not a complete collection in existence at any one point, although there 
are two public and at least three private collections in this country 
which are very full, those of the library of the Surgeon General's 
Office; of the College of Physicians, of Philadelphia; of Dr. Toner, of 
Washington; of Dr. Hays, of Philadelphia, and of Dr. Purple, of New 

The rarest American medical journals are probably some of those 
printed in the West and South; for instance, the Oliio Medical Reposi- 
tory (182G-'27) and the Confederate States Medical and Surgical Jour 
nal (1864-'63). 

Another class of medical literature which is important to the librr 
rian, and the value of which is usually underestimated, consists of me( 
ical theses and inaugural dissertations. To obtain complete series off 
these is even more difficult than to get journals, for the reason that the 
are more ephemeral, and because it is scarcely possible to ascertain wha 

Edinburgh Medical Journal, January, 1873, p. 585. 

Medical Libraries. 179 

have been published, or when the series may be considered complete. 
For a few schools, lists have been published of the theses presented by 
their graduates, such as Paris and Edinburgh, but even for Edinburgh, 
the only catalogue of the theses which the writer has been able to ob- 
tain, does not- show when the regular printing of all theses ceased. Cal- 
lisen has been led into error in this way in his otherwise very complete 
Bibliographical Lexicon, in which he gives the titles of many theses 
which were never printed, notably of the Universities of Pennsylvania 
and Transylvania. The value of these theses is fourfold. As m iterial 
for the history of medicine they may be taken to represent the theories 
and teaching of the school; they often contain reports of cases, or ac- 
counts of investigations made by the student under the direction of a 
professor, which are of much value, and they are necessary to medical 
biography, the more so as in most\>f the German universities a sketch 
of the life of the candidate is appended to the thesis. In addition to 
this, prior to the era of medical journalism, it was the custom for the 
president or one of the professors to add ah introduction of ten or twelve 
pages to the dissertation, treating on some subject usually having no 
direct relation to the thesis, and forming the sort of paper which would 
now be sent to a medical journal. The number of these theses in exist- 
ence is very great ; there are in the Library of the Surgeon-General's 
Office about 40,000. 

A few words of advice to those who may be desirous of forming a 
public medical library in connection with a medical school may be of 
some use ; at all events, they are the result of practical experience. The 
first thing is. to obtain works of medical bibliography, and a list of a few 
which will be found the most useful is appended. In addition to these 
it will be necessary to make arrangements to obtain regularly as pub- 
lished the catalogues of medical books issued or furnished by the fol- 
lowing booksellers : 

In Boston, Schcenliof & Moaller, James Campbell ; in New York City, 
Wm. Wood & Co., L. W. Schmidt, B. Westermann & Co.-, E. Steiger, 
Siechert & Wolff, P. W. Christern; in Philadelphia, II. C. Lea, LimU.iy 
& r.lakiston. 

The next thing is to take steps to obtain the current inedir-il periodicals 
as completely as possible, aiid also the current ephemeral pamphlets, such 
as reports of hospitals and asylums, boards of health and health offi- 
cers, transactions of medical societies, addresses, ntc. These things, as 
a rule, cannot be purchased, and while they may usually lu> had lor the 
asking at the time of their publication, it will be found very difficult, it' 
not impossible, to get them after a few years, or it may be only a few 
months, have elapsed. 

With regard to the purchase of books, so much depends on the amount 
of funds available that no general advice can he given Th majority ' 
large works, of which there is little danger that the supply will I.. 
hausted for several years, should not as a rule be purchased at the time 

180 Public Libraries in the United States. 

of their publication, unless they are wanted for immediate use. In a 
year or two they can be obtained at a much reduced price. It will often) 
be good economy to buy a lot of books in bulk, even although a number 
of duplicates be thus obtained, and this is especially the case at the 
commencement of the formation of a collection. Oa a small scale the 
same rule applies to the purchase of bound volumes of pamphlets. All 
duplicates should be preserved for purposes of exchange. It may seem 
hardly worth the trouble to preserve what most physicians would throw 
at once into the waste-basket, but unless this is done the library will 
never be a success. There need be no special haste about the disposal 
of duplicates, as they increase in value with age. 


The pamphlets in the Library of the Surgeon -General's Office have 
been disposed of in three ways : First, there are 760 volumes of bound 
pamphlets, mostly purchased in that condition, which are for the 
most part classified according to subjects ; these volumes are num- 
bered consecutively. Second, about 2,000 pamphlets are bound in 
separate volumes. These are numbered as single volumes, a*nd include 
those which are considered rare or especially valuable. The remainder 
of the pamphlets, including the majority of the inaugural dissertations 
of the German universities, are kept in file-boxes. These boxes are 
made of walnut, and the pamphlets stand in them with their title- 
pages looking toward the back of the shelf, the boxes being of widths 
suitable for octavos, quartos, etc. The box has no top, and the rear end 
slides in and out, and caii be fixed at any point. Each box will hold 
about 100 pamphlets. 

The boxes are arranged on shelves suited' to their height, thus pre- 
venting the admission of dust. The front of the box has a ring, by 
which it can be pulled out, and presents an ample surface for labeling 
its contents. By loosening the rear end, which can be done by a touch, 
and withdrawing it, the title of the work is before the examiner, and a 
pamphlet can be added or withdrawn without disturbing the others. 
When a pamphlet is required for use it is bound temporarily in stout 
covers, the backs of which are pressed together by a strong spring. 
These covers have an enameled card on the side, on which is written in 
pencil the title of the pamphlet within. This can be readily erased to 
make room for the next. 

The theses of the schools of Paris, Montpellier, and Strasbourg are 
bound in volumes, following the usual arrangement for those schools. 

With regard to binding, it is believed that the advice of the Libra 
riaii of Congress is the best that can be given: "Bind in half tur- 
key, and in most cases let the color be a bright red." Binding in 
calf should not be used, except to match what has already been so bound. 
The binding in of covers and advertisements is an important point, and 
gives increased value to a volume so bound ; indeed, it is sometimes imj 
possible to collate serial publications without the assistance of the cover^. 

Medical Libraries. 181 

Following is a list of works which will be found especially useful 
for reference in medical bibliographical work, and which should lu> in 
every medical library. For additional titles consult Pauly, infra, pp. I 
to 15. 

ALLIBONE, S. A. A critical dictionary of English literature a*id Brit- 
ish and American authors. 3 v. Roy. 8. Phila., 1863-'71. 

ATKINSON, J. Medical bibliography. 8". London, 1834. 

BUUNET, J. C. Manuel dulibraire et de I'ainateur de livres. 5me ed. 
6 v. Roy. 8. Paris, 1860-'(>5. 

CALLISEN, A. C. P. Mediciuisches Suhriftsteller Lexicon der jet/t 
lebenden Arzte, Wundiirzte, Geburtshelfer, Apotheker, mid Natur- 
forscher aller gebildetea Volker. 33 v. 8. Copenhagen, 1830-'45. 

HALLER, A. v. Bibliotheca anatomica. 2 v. 4. Tiguri, 1774-'77. 

Bibliotheca chirurgica. 2 v. 4. Beruse, 1774-'75. 

Bibliotheca medicine practice. 4 v. 4". Basiliae et Berna 1 , 177G-'88. 
PAULY, A. Bibliographic des sciences tn6dicales. 8". Paris, !S7-'-'7 I. 
PLOUCQUET, G. G. Literatura uiedica digesta; sive, Repeitorium 

medicinae practical, chirurgia3 atque rei obstetrical. 4. v. 4". Tubin- 

gae, 1808-9. 

ROY, G. H. a. Catalogus bibliothecrc medicae. 5 v. 8. Amst., 1830. 
WATT, R. Bibliotheca Britanuica; or a general index to British and 

loreign literature. 4 v. 4. Edinburgh, 1824. 

CATALOGUE raisonne of the Medical Library of the Pennsylvania Hos- 
pital, by Etnil. Fischer, xxvi, 750 pp. 8". Philadelphia, 1857. 
CATALOGUE of the library of the New York Hospital, arranged alpha- 
betically and analytically. 194 pp. 8. New York, 1845. [With 

supplements to the same published in 1861, 18G5, and 18G7.J 
CATALOGUE of the library of the Surgeon-General's Office, United States 

Army, with an alphabetical index: of subjects. 2 p. 1., 451 pp. Roy. 

8. Washington, D. C., 1872. 
CATALOGUE of the library of the Surgeon-General's O Jice, Uuited States 

Army. 3 v. Roy. 8. Washington, 1873-'74. 
CLASSED catalogue of the library of the Boyal College of Surgeons of 

London. Ixii, 1171 pp. 8". London, 1813. 
CATALOGUE of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London. 

vii, 702 pp. 8. London, 1856. 
INDEX to the above, vii, 293 pp. 8". London, 1800. 
I'.ntLiOTiifcQUE irnperiale, departement des imprimes. Catalogue des 

sciences m6dieales. Vols. 1 and 2. iii, 7!)t pp., 1 1. j 77S pp, 1 I. 

Imp. 4". Paris, 1857 and 1873.. 
KOXIEB, Victor. Essai d'une bibliographic universelle de la m.-d.-eino, 

de la chirurgie, et de la pharmacie militaires. 2.U pp. S". Paris, 

DICTLONNAIBE des sciences medicales; biographic m-dieale. 

J. L. Jourdan.j 7 v. 8". Paris, C. L. I-\ Parickoucke, 1820-'25. 


Public Libraries in the United States. 

REUSS, J. D. Repertoriura conitnentationuni a societatibus litterariis 
editaruin. Tomes X-XY. Scientia et ars inetlica et chirurgica. 6 v. 
4. Gottinga?, 1813-'20. 

ENGLEMANN, WM. Bibliotheca medico chirurgica et anatomico-physio- 
logica. Alphabetisches Verzeicbniss der mediciniscben .... Biicber 
\velcbe vom Jahre 1750 bis 1847 in Deutschland erscbienen sind. 734 
pp. 8. Supplement Heft 1848-'G7. 350 pp. 8. Leipzig, 1848-'G8. 

CATALOGUE of scientific papers, (1800-1863.) 
by tbe Royal Society of London. 6 v. 4. 

Compiled and published 
London, 1867-'72. 

Table of the principal medical libraries in the United States. 

[For further information respecting the following and other medical libraries in the United States 
see general table of statistics elsewhere in this report.] 



Date of origin. 

Number of vol- 


1 -.'>) 


3, 54-2 



a 500 


l)ist. of Columbia. 


.Washington . 
-Lexington .. 

Surgeon-General's Office, United States Army ...... 

Savannah Medical College 

Transylvania Medical College of Kentucky University 
University of Louisville, Medical Depa r tment ...... 


.Brunswick . 

Medical School of Maine 



Harvard University Medical School 

Medical Library Association of Boston 

Tread well Library, Massachusetts General Hospital. 
Essex South District Medical Society 

Worcester . . . 

Worcester District Medical Socie ty 
Alban y Medical Co'.le "e 


New York... 
New York . . . 
New York . . . 
New York . . . 

Mott Memorial Free Medical and Surgical Library.. 

New York State Lunatic Asylum 


Cincinnati Hospital 

Rhode Island 

Cincinnati .. 
Cleveland. .. 
-Providence .. 

Cleveland Medical College 

College of Physicians.... 

Pennsylvania Hospital 

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy 

University of Pennsylvania, Medical Department .. 
Rhode Island Hospital ...... 

a The library contains, in addition to the bouud volumes, a collection of 40,000 phauiphlets relating 
to medicine and surgery. 



Cf the Smithsonian Irutitulion. 



In every general library, as a matter of course, are works on science, 
and usually a section devoted to science or its different subdivisions. 
Very few, however, have collections that are of much importance ; ami 
even in libraries of quite largo size (e. #., over 50,000 volumes) the stu- 
dent may apply in vain for many works that are the standard manuals 
in their departments. The rich literature involved in the publications 
of learned societies and other scientific periodicals also is almost wholly 
unrepresented. Even as a rule, judging from personal knowledge and 
the examination of a large number of catalogues, the scientific works in 
general libraries are, or at least have been, mostly school books, pre- 
pared in many cases by men unrecognized as scientific experts, and 
often far behind the dates of their title pages in information as to the 
status of the science. This fault has to some extent been rectified 
since the publication and popularity of the works of Huxley, Tvndall, 
Helmholtz, and a few others, but is still in a large degree perceptible. 
Among those general libraries in which more or less attention has bt*cn 
paid to the selection and acquisition of scientific works may In- espe- 
cially mentioned the Library of Congress at Washington, (with which 
the Library of the Smithsonian Institution is incorporated.) the l'..>ston 
Public Library, the Astor Library of New York, and the IVabody Insti- 
tute of Baltimore. 1 Each of these is, however, deficient in many stand- 
ard works, and an active investigator who should wish to become ac- 
quainted with the literature of any subject would soon be arrested in Ins 
researches if obliged to depend on any one of them. The libraries of a 
few learned societies are, then, the chief sources of information, and 
to these the student must necessarily resort, if engaged in exten 

'These several libraries are especially mrntitmril l>cr.niM- their ooiitonUi art bMt 
known to the writer, and in :iny case they are pro-eminent in wealth of Hcientiti.- lit-r- 



184 Public Libraries in the United States. 

bibliographical investigations. But tbe societies which can afford the 
requisite facilities are extremely few. and the general libraries just al- 
Inded to are far richer than most of the societies devoted to scientific 
subjects are in their own branches. In fact, there are considerably less 
than a dozen which demand special notice. The objects of this article 
may be best subserved by a notice of the libraries of the several cities, 
beginning with and then diverging from Washington. 


Taken altogether, Washington probably affords almost if not quite as 
many facilities for the scientific student as does any other city on the 

First is the General Library of Congress, which, including the collec- 
tion of books deposited by the Smithsonian Institution, is the largest 
in the country, and its efficient and untiring chief has been most assid- 
uous in his endeavors to make it worthy of its position as a national 
library. It contains now over 300,000 volumes, and at least 00,000 

Next in wealth, and superior to any in its specialty, is the library of 
the Surgeon-General's Office, which is almost exclusively devoted to 
works on the different departments of medical art and science and cog- 
nate branches, including chemistry. Its completeness may be inferred 
from the number of books, about 40,000 volumes and 40,000 pamphlets. 

Applied science is the specialty of the Patent-Office Library, and the 
standard works, at least on the various branches of science and their 
technical applications, are tolerably well 'represented among the _J3,000 
volumes on the shelves of the library. 

A special astronomical library is possessed by the United States Naval 
Observatory; it contains about 7,000 volumes, and has been for some 
years under the direction of Prof. J. E. Nourse. 

A library, composed mostly of works on hydrography and geodesy, 
and related subjects, has bsen collected at the United States Cjast Sur- 
vey Office; it has about 6,000 volumes. 

A collection of works on meteorology and cognate branches has 
been formed by the Signal-Service Bureau of the War Department, and 
contains about 2,900 bound volumes and 410 pamphlets. 

Thus, with all these libraries combined, the student of any branch of 
science may have tolerable facilities in this city for elaborating any 
given subject and reviewing its history, but there are many lamentable 
deficiencies. These are probably most evident in the department ot 
natural history. In every branch of this science there are striking de- 
siderata ; for instance, the opus magnum on mammals Schreber am 
Wagner's, and many illustrated works on birds, reptiles, and fishes; ii 
conchology, Kiister's edition and continuation of Martini and Chem 
nitz's Systernatisehes Conchylien-Cabinet and Sowerby's Thesanrn.- 
Couchyliorum ; and some of the most, and too often the most, indis 

Scientific Libraries. 185 

pensable works on the classes of insects, crustaceans, worms, echinoderrus, 
and polyps, as well as a number of classic works on plants ''< nowhere 
to be seen in the city. In fact, many of those works which aiv true text 
books for the scientific naturalist cannot be here found, and conse- 
quently the student must either suspend his investigations (as several 
have done) and ultimately, perhaps, give them up in despair altogether. 
or inflict on the scientific world works whose imperfections redound to 
the discredit of himself as well as of the science of the country. A 
few years ago the case was far worse, and no branch of /ooi 
botany, or geology could be prosecuted with thoroughness in the c 
Even the means for obtaining some idea of what had been elVeeted 
for the several branches of science in more favored hinds, through the 
medium of reports on progress, were unavailable, and some of those re- 
ports are still wanting in all Washington libraries. No work or paper 
of magnitude in any department of the natural sciences has been pub- 
lished by a resident of Washington without the aid furnished by libra- 
ries outside of the city, and even yet none relating to foreign animals 
or plants could be prepared without extraneous bibliographical assist- 
ance. The discredit ueces sarily resulting from this state of affairs is 
mostly chargeable to the too meagre appropiiations for library ptirpo^--. 
in which respect there is a remarkable contrast between our Govern- 
ment and the British, as well as other enlightened nations. 


Baltimore has no general first class library as yet, nor any speeial 
one of notable importance. It is, however, the seat of a rapidly grow- 
ing and well administered library, (that of the Peabody Institute,) 
containing now about 58,000 volumes, which in proportion to its si/.e is 
well provided with works in different branches of science and especially 
on the natural sciences. For this selection it is chiefly indebted to the 
scientific proclivities and talents of its first and present librarians. Dr. 
J. C. Morris and Mr. Philip Uhler. In it are to be found some important 
works which are in none of the libraries of Washington. 


Philadelphia has several well equipped scientific libraries, chief of 
which are those of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and 
of the American Philosophical Society. 

The academy's library has about 30,000 volumes and ;r,ooi) pam- 
phlets, chiefly relating to the several branches of natural history. It is 
unquestionably, as a whole, the most coa plete library in iis .special de- 
partment in the United States, and has very few rivals anywhere. The 
collection o periodicals is very good if not quite as good as that be- 
longing to the Smithsonian Institution deposited in the Congressional 
Library and all the classes of the several kingdoms of nature are well 
represented on its shelves. Especially worthy of note are the secti* 

186 Public Libraries in the United States. 

of ornithology and couchology; these are almost, if not quite, unsur- 
passed in extent and completeness. The costly illustrated works which 
have been published in such profusion on those groups, and the rare 
opuscules and pamphlets, issued from time to time by amateurs and col- 
lectors, have been alike obtained. Extremely few works that would be 
likely to be ever called for are wanting, and it has been claimed that 
only two conchological publications are lacking. Although this is a 
rather extravagant claim, every student who has availed himself of the re- 
sources of the library will be prepared to admit its surpassing richness. 

The library of the American Philosophical Society, although much 
inferior in completeness to that of the Academy of Natural Sciences, is 
still good, containing about 20,005 bound volumes and 15,000 pamphlets. 
Among these are many of rarity and value. Every branch of science is 
tolerably well represented by the contents of its rooms, but in no de- 
partment is there a full development of the literature of the subject. 

Among other special libraries in Philadelphia, those of the Franklin 
Institute and the Entomological Society are noteworthy. These, to 
some extent, supplement those already mentioned, but neither is by 
any means complete. 


New York is less rich in bibliographical facilities for the scientific stu- 
dent than either Washington or Philadelphia, at least so far as public 
libraries are concerned. The Astor Library, those of the scientific schools, 
(Columbia College in the city and the Stevens Institute of Hoboken,) 
that of the New York Academy of Sciences, ( former 1 y the Lyceum 
of Natural History, in New York,) and that of the New York Museum 
of Natural History, collectively furnish considerable bibliographical 
resources for the literary scientist. The Museum of Natural History 
is gradually amassing a library which promises to be of considerable 
importance at a not distant future. It has acquired, through the lib- 
erality of friends, two collections which are rich in their specialties, 
the works on mollusks assembled by Dr. John Jay during a life of de- 
votion to conchology, and those relating to fishes, obtained at great ex- 
pense and with rare knowledge by Mr. J. Carson Brevoort. The first, 
purchased for the museum by Miss Wolfe, is perhaps only second (except, 
possibly, as to the quite recent literature) to the corresponding section 
in the library of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia ; the 
second, obtained for the library through the liberality of Mr. Roberb 
Stuart, is unequaled in the country, and there are extremely few 
ichthyological treatises which are not contained therein ; it is especially 
rich in inaugural theses and authors' extras of articles originally pub 
lished in periodicals. The other departments of the library are compar 
atively poor. 


In New Haven there is no first class public library but that of Yal< 
College. The many eminent scientists connected with the college ant 

Scientific Lilr<n ies. 187 

tbe Connecticut Academy of Sciences (among whom may be especially 
mentioned Professors J. D. Dana aud O. C. Marsh) have severally ac- 
quired libraries which collectively furnish the means for prosecuting 
bibliographical studies in great detail in almost every department of 



Boston and Cambridge are well provided with public or semi-public 
repositories for scientific bibliographical investigations. In Bo.ston are 
three noticeable libraries. The Boston Public Library takes special care 
in the selection of scientific works, and ranks next to the Library of 
Congress in the number of volumes, (having 297,615 volumes March 
1, 1870, and about 181,000 pamphlets.) The American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences, during the almost century of its existence, (it was 
founded iu 1780,) has accumulated a collection of about 16,000 volumes 
and 2,000 pamphlets, and the several branches of science have been 
cared for. The Boston Society of Natural History has had for some 
time considerable means, (about $13,000 a year, 1 ) and its efficient libra- 
rians have brought its library up to a tolerable condition for general 
investigation, although it does not yet furnish the means for detailed 
bibliographical work, at least in most branches, like the Academy of 
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. In Cambridge the means for literary 
scientific researches are supplied by the good college libraries, supple- 
mented by the private collections of the professors. No exact data are 
at hand respecting the extent of the collections of works on the mathe- 
matical sciences. The natural sciences are known to be quite well repre- 
sented by works collected by the late Professor Agassiz and his son for 
their own use, and given to or deposited in the library of the museum of 
comparative zoology. 

The neighboring city of Salem has a society library (that of the Essex 
Institute) wbich, although small, (comprising 30,635 volumes and !". H>> 
.pamphlets,) is, in proportion to its size, quite rich in scientific publica 
tions, obtained partly in exchange for its own publications and partly 
through the customary means of acquisition. 

Those thus described a,re believed to be the only places or public 
society libraries in the country which could furnish the means for any 
thing like exhaustive studies of the literature of any given scientific 
subject. There are, however, in a number of other places, public or 
semi-public libraries, which, to a greater or less extent, are enabled to 
administer to the needs of the student of a local fauna or specific 
subject. Such are especially Albany, with its State Library and the 
Albany Institute; St. Louis and San Francisco, with their Academies of 
Sciences ; Chicago, with its Public Library as well as the Chicago 
Academy of Sciences; Buffalo, with the r.nlValo Society of Natural 
Sciences; Charleston, with the Elliott Society of Natural llisi,.r\ : and 
'A small poitiou of this sum is applicable for library purpose*. 

188 Public Libraries in the United States. 

New Orleans, with the New Orleans Academy of Science. The libraries 
in these several cities, however, so far as can be inferred from published 
reports and hearsay, are very incomplete and partial in their scientific 
departments. In fine, the experience of the author in a number of cases 
has been that in no instance could any bibliographical study on an 
extensive scientific subject be prosecuted to a satisfactory conclusion 
in any one city, although the means for so doing are best provided 
in Philadelphia; and in the present state of our libraries a visit to 
that place is necessary before concluding any such investigation. Next 
to Philadelphia, there is no very decided choice, in some respects 
Washington offering the most facilities, and in others Boston. An 
outlay of less than $5,000, to be expended under a competent scientific 
bibliographer, would, however, give either the decided predominance 
in every department of scientific literature. Of the four principal cities, 
so far as the experience of the author has gone, the convenient resources 
of New York for research are the least effective. 


Among. the most important and really indispensable works of refer- 
ence for the scientific investigator, and indeed for any student who de- 
sires to become familiar with the progress of science in its several 
branches, are the annual volumes in which are recorded the various 
contributions to the literature of science during the successive years. 
Yet, strangely enough, they are rarely met with in our libraries, and 
the existence of such annual epitomes of scientific literature is known 
only in part, and sometimes absolutely unknown, to our librarians. 
After visits to all the libraries in the city of Washington, the author is 
able to preent only the present quite imperfect list of these valuable 
publications. Several of the series are entirely unrepresented in the 
libraries, and others only by fragments or odd volumes. In default of 
these annual reports, the labors of the investigator are not only much 
increased by the necessity of examining in detail all the periodicals in 
which by any chance papers might be published ; but the chances even, 
then would be great that some article of importance might be over-' 
looked. It is true that in previous articles on the same subject refer- 
ences may be given to the previous literature, but there is often no 
means of ascertaining to what extent bibliographical researches have 
been undertaken, and the previous investigator may have been more 
unfortunately situated with regard to means of investigation than the 
new one. A sine qua non, therefore, not only of a professed scientific 
library, but of every library that professes to administer to the needs of 
other than the elementary student, should be a complete collection of 
the annual records of scientific literature for each department of science. 
The cost is quite small, and if the series were present in at least the 
more important libraries of the land, fewer volumes marked by the 
almost absolute ignorance on the part of their compilers of the latest 
developments of science would be issued than at present. It is to ba 

Scientific Libraries. 

hoped that the following may be of use in giving some idea of tbe 
character, scope, and extent of the series in question. Tin- nm>t 
serious defect in most of these is the lateness of issue, sum.- being 
in publication several years behind the periods for which they an- issued. 
While this is, of course, to be regretted, the length of time taken al! 
more for the elaborate and exhaustive collection of the literatim- of tin- 
respective years, and the present need of the student will be sul>sei\rd 
to a gre-it extent by the catalogues enumerated und.-r tin- HIM head, 
which are issued with comparative promptitude, and give tin- tit!. 
the academical publications as they severally appear. 


BIBLIOTIIECA Historico-Naturalis Physico-Xatnralis, Physiro-CIn-mira -t Matlifina- 
tica ; o'lrrsy.stematisch ireordneteUbi-rsieht dt-r in Dcntschland uinl ili-in Aii>land<-aiif 
dem Gebieteder gesarnmten NatnrwissenBchaften HIM! der Maihenmtik m-ii eiM-liirii- 
eiit-n Biicher, heransgegeben von Dr. H. Metzger, Professor an der Ftn.staeademic /u 
Miindcn. Vieruudzwanzigster Jahgang. 2 Hef'te. Verlag von VaiuK -nln.i-i k iV 
Rnprecbt, in Gottingeu. [1874-75. H.] 

Also issued by the booksellers B. Westermanu & Co., with the follow- 
ing additional title printed on the cover : 

Bihliotheca Historico-Naturalis, Pliysico-CMieinica t Mathcinatica. A rla>silifd cata- 
lo^im of all books on natural history, chemistry and mathematics published in 
many, England, France, Netherlands etc. etc. 1874. [2 parts.] <>ni<i.s may bo di- 
rccti'd to B. Westermanu & Co., foreign booksellers, 524 Broadway, NY\v Y-ik. 

This publication, which is distributed gratuitously 1>\ the publi>lin>. 
purport* to give, in a classified manner, the works published trom \ear 
to year in the different departments of natural and mathematical M-i- 
cnces. Experience shows that it is quite a useful publication, which 
should be in every scientific library, but it is of comparatively little per- 
manent value; many titles are overlooked, and the titles given are 
often imperfect. The periodical is issued in two half-.> early paits. 

EEPERTORIUM d^r Natiirwisst-nsrhafti-n. Monatliche Obersiclit<lfr in-n.-sirn \i l.-it-n 
auf dem Gebiete der Naturwissenschaften. HiTaiisgi-gehon von d-r Ki-daction lr- 
tnrlbrscher. I. Jahrgang. [Berlin. Fcrd. Diiiiimlt-rs VfrlagslMichhaiidliin^, 1~7">. ] 
[(^iiaifo, issued in monthly parts of 4 leaves each, with two column*, nnmln-icd on 
cadi |>ai;( , at 4 marks a year.] 

In this new periodical are recorded the titles (and titles onl\) of the 
articles published in the prominent transactions and proceedings of >n 
entitle societies as well as in the sc ientitic maga/ines of all [tait^ ot tin- 
world. It, therefore, furnishes an excellent synopsis foi the investigator, 
and to a considerable extent relieves him of the incc>sn\ ,.f looking 
through numerous publications when in search of specific iniormation. 


.JAIIKT-l'CH iiber die Fortschritto der Mathematik im V.-rein mit andnrcn Mtli<- 
k.-rn luM-ansgegebeu von Carl Ohrtmann, 1-Vlix Miill.-r, All., it \Van{Tiii. Flhiftor 
Baud. Jain-gang. 1873. Berlin, Druck nud Verlag von GeorgBelmr. 1H70. (- 
This publication is devoted to the synopsis of the contents of works, 

190 Public Libraries in tlie United States. 

etc., in pure mathematics. These are analyzed under the following 
heads : 

Ersler Abschnitt. Geschichto and Philosophic. History and philosophy. 

Capitel 1. Geschichte. History. 

Capitel 2. Philosophic. Philosophy. 
Zwe.iter Abschnitt. Algebra. Algebra. 

Ciipitel I. Gleichungen. : Equations. 

Capitel 2. Theorie der Formen. Theory of forms. 

Capitel 3. Elimination nnd Substitution, D-iterminanten, Invarianten, Covarian- 

ten, symmetrische Fnnctionen. 
Drifter Abschnitt. Zahleutheorie. Theory of numbers. 

Capitel 1. Allgemeines. General. 

Capitel 2. Theorie der Forrnen. Theory of forms. 

Capitel 3. Kettenbriiche. Continued Fractions. 
Vierter Abschnitt. Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechuung und Coinbinationslehre. Doctrine 

of probabilities and theory of combinations. 
Fiinfter Abschnitt. Reihen. Series. 

Capitel 1. Allgmeines. General. 

Capitel 2. Besondere Reihen. Special series. 

Secftster Abschnitt. Differential- und Integralrechnung. Differential and integral cal- 

Capitel I. Allgemeines (Lehrbiicher etc.) General (text books, etc.) 

Capitel 2. Differeutialrechnung (Differential, Fnnctionen von Differentialen, 
Maxima nnd Minima). Differential calculus (differentials, functions of differ- 
entials, maxima and minima). 

Capitel 3. Integralrechnnng. Integral calculus. 

Capitel 4. Bestimmte Integrate. Definite integrals. 

Capitel 5. Gewohnliche Diff t ;rentialgleichungtjn. Common differential eq-iations. 

Capitel 6. Partielle Differentialgleichungen. Partial differential equations. 

Capitel 7. Yariationsrechnung. Calculus of Variations. 
Siebenler Abschnitt. Functionentheorie. Theory of functions. 

Capitel 1. Allgemeines. General. 

Capitel 2. Besondere Functionen. Special functions. 

Achttr Abschnitt. Rfeine, elementare nnd synthetische Geometrie. Pare elementary 
and synthetic geometry. 

Capitel 1. Principien der Geschichte. Principles of history. 

Capitel 2. Continuitiitshetrachtungen. Analysis situs. 

Capirel 3. Elementare Geometrie. (Planimetrie, Trigonometric, Stereometric.) 
Elementary geometry (planimetry, trigonometry, stereometry). 

Capitel 4. Darstellende Geometrje. Descriptive geometry. 

Capitel 5. Neuere synthetische Geometrie. New synthetic geometry. 

A. Ebene Gebilde. Plane forms. 

B. Riiuinliche Gebilde. Spheriral forms. 

C. Geometrie der Anzahl. Geometry of numbers. 

Nenntcr Abschnitt. Analytische G o:netrie. Analytical geometry. 
Caiiifel 1. Coordinate!!. Co-ordinates. 
Ca])itel 2. Analytische Geometrie der Ebene. Analytical Geometry of planes. 

A. AUgemeine Theorie der ebenen Curven. General theory of plane curves. 

15. Theorie der algebraischeu Curven. Theory of algebraic curves. 

C. G^rade Linie nnd Kegclschnitte. Straight lines and conic sections. 

]). Audere specielle Curven. Other special curves. 
Capitel 3. Analytische Geometrie des Riumes. Analytical geometry of space. 

A. AUgemeine Theorie der Fliicheu uud Raumcurven. General theory of surfac* 
and spherical curves. 

Scientific Libraries. 191 

B. Thebrie <ler algebraischen Flsichen und Raumcnrven. Theory of algebraic 
surfaces and spherical curves. 

C. Raumgebilde ersten, zweiteu, dritteu Grades. Bodies of the first, second, and 
third grades. 

D. Andere specielle Raumgebilde. Other special bodies. 
Capitel 4. Liniengeometrie. Linear geometry. 

Capitel 5. Verwandtschuft, eindeutigo Trausformationen, Abbildungeii. AtVmitv, 
simple transformations, figures. 

The preceding is simply a reproduction of the table of contents of the 
first two parts of the fifth volume. The third (and last) part lias not \ t 
come to hand, and the first four volumes are at present inaccessible and 
cannot be found. 


FORTSCHRITTE (Die) der Physik im Jahre 1870. Dargestellt vou der PhysikalUf -h.-n 
Gesells-ihafc zu Berlin. XXVI. Jahrgang. Redigirt von Prof. Dr. B. Sehwalbe. Ber- 
lin. Druck und Verlag von Georg Reiiner. 1875. [8, Ixiv, 1021 pp.] 

The progress of physics in each year has, for more than a qu rter of 
a century, been recorded under the auspices of the Physical Society 
of Berlin. The memoirs epitomized have been considered in the last 
complete volume (the record for 1870) under the following heads : 

Erster AbsohnM, Allgemeine Physik. General physics. 

1. Maass und Messen. Measure and measuring. 

2. Dichtigkeit. Density. 

3. Molekularphysik. Mo'ecular physics. 

4. Mechanik. Mechanics. 

, r >. Hydrodynamik. Hydrodynamics. 

6. Aerodynamik. Aerodynamics. 

7. Collision und Adhiision. Cohesion and adhesion. 
Ztcelte.r AbuchnUt. Akustik. Acoustics. 

8. Physikalische Akustik. Physical acoustics. 

9. Physiologische Akustik. Physiological acoustics. 
D fitter Abschnitt. Optik. Optics. 

10. Theorie des Lichts. Theory of light. 

11. Fortpflanziing, Spiegelung und Brechung des Lichts. Velocity, n-nVrtion, and 

refraction of light. 

12. Objektive Farben, Spektrum, Absorption. Objective colors, spectrum, absorp- 


13. Pliotoni (itrie. Photometry. 

14. Phosphorescon/ uriil Fluorescent. PhoiphoresciMico and tlmnvsi-.-nce. 

1"). Intertet-enz, P.liirisntio:i, I) >p;>illm)<-lmu'.j, Krystallo;>tik. Inti-rlVn-u , ;> 
i/.ation, double refraction, and ci'ystaloptics. 

16. C'.u-.misrho \Virkiingii des Lichh-, IMioto^rapliii-. Clitvn '-l''t. 


17. Physiologische Optik. Physiological optics. 
H. () : )tisc,hc Apparabe, Optical sipparatn-*. 

I'iiTtiT .Ihni'hiiill. WaniK'lehre. Thi-rinics. 
H). Tlieorie der Wiirino. Theory of heat. 

JO. Th.-rmoiiietrie und Ausd.'linung. TliiTinomotry and i>xp:in-i<n. 
yi. (^nr.llcn der \Viinue. Sources of heat. 
21. Audenuig des Aggregatzustandos. Change of molecular .slriirturc. 

192 Public Libraries in the United States. 

23. Specifische Wiirme. Specific beat. 

24. Verbreitnng der Wiirme. Distribution of heat. 

Fiinfter Abachnilt. Elektricittitslehre. Electricity. 

25. Allgemeine Theorie der Electricitat uud des Magnetisinus. General theory of 

electric! fy and of magnetism. 

26. Electricitiitserregung. Induction of electricity. 

27. Elektrostatik. Electrostatics. 

28. Batterieentladung. Discharge of batteries. 

29. Galvanische Ketten. Galvanic chains. 

30. Galvanische Messapparate. Galvanometric apparatus. 

31. Tneorie der Kette. Theory of the chain. 

32. Elektrochemie. Electro-chemistry. 

33. Thermoelektricitiit. Thermo-electricity. 

34. Elektrische Warineerzeuguug. Heat produced by electricity. 

35. Elektrisohes Licht. Electric light. 

36. Magnet ismus. Magnetism. 

37. Elektromagnet ismus. Electro-magnetism. 

38. Elektrodytiamik, Induction. Electro-dynamics, induction. 

39. Elektrophvsiologie. Electro-physiology. 

40. Amvendiingeu der Electrioitat. Applied electricity. 
Suchster Abuchnitt. Physik der Erde. Physics of the globe. 

41. Meteorologische Optik. Meteorological optics. 

42. Meteorologie. Meteorology. 

43. Erdmagm'tismns. Terrestrial magnetism. 

44. Atinospharische Elektricitat. Atmospheric electricity. 

45. Physikalische Geographie. Physical geography. 


JAHRESBERICHT iiber die Fortschritteder reiuen,pharmacentishen nnd technischcn. 
Chemie, Physik, Mineralogie uud Geologic. Beiicht iiber die Fortschiitte der Chemie 
uud verwandter Theile anderer Wissenschaften. Fiir 1869. Giessen. J. Rick- 
ei'sche Buchbandlung. 1872. [8.] 

Tlie reports for 1857 to 1869 have also a second title-page, viz : 

Jahresbericht iiber die Fortschritte der Chemie und verwandter Theile anderer 

[ Fiir 1H57-1860.] Von Hermann Kopp und Heinrich Will. 1858-62. 

[Fiir 1861-1862.] Unter Mitwirkung von Th. Engelbach, W. Hallwachs, A. 
Kuop ; herausgegeben von Hermann Kopp und Heinrich Wills. 1863. 

[Fiir 1833-1867.] Uuter Mitwirknug von C. Bohn [1863-65]. Th. Engelbach 
[1863-67], A. Kuop, [1863], Al. Naumann [1867] , K. Zoppritz [1887], herausge- 
geben von Heinrich Will. 1864-69. 

[Fiir 1808.] Unter Mitwirkung von Th. Engelbach, Al. Naumann, W. Stiidel her- 
ausgfgeben von Adolph Strecker. 1870. J. Ricker'sche Buchhandluug. . . . 1872. 

[Fiir 1869.] Unler Mitwirknug von A. Lanbenheimer, Al. Naumauu, F. Nies, F 4 
Rose ; herausgegeben von Adolph Strecker. Fiir 1869 Giesseu. J. Ricker'sche 
Buchhaudlung. 1872. [Suppl. title, xxxvii, 1372 pp.] 

The literature of chemistry in the last completed volume at ban 
(published 1872) is epitomized under the following heads : 

Allgeneine und ftkytikalisokf Chemie. General and physical chemistry. 
Krystallkunde. Crystallography. 

Scientific Libraries. 

Allgetneine theoretisch-chemische Untersnchungen. General theoretic chemical in- 

Thermisch-chemische Untersuchungen. Thermo-chemical investigations. 

Electrisch-chemische Untersuchungen. Electro-chemical investigations. 

Magnetisch-chemische Untersuchungen. Magneto-chemical investigations. 

Optisch-chernische Uutersuchungen. Optico-chemical investigations. 
Ua-organische Chemle. Inorganic chemistry. 

Sanerstoff. Oxygen. 

Schwefel. Sulphur. 

Selen. Selenium. 

Chlor. Chlorine. 

.Tod. Iodine. 

Fluor. Fl uori ne. 

Stickstoff. Nitrogen. 

Phosphor. Phosphorus. 

Bor. Borax. 

Kohlenstoff. Carbon. 

Silicium. Silicon. 

Metalle, Allgemeines. Metals, general. . 

Kulium. Potassium. 

Natrium. Sodium. 

Lithium. Lithium. 

Baryum. Barium. 

Strontium. Strontium. 

Calciu m. Calcium. 

Beryllium. Beryllium (cerite metals). 

Mangan. Manganese (Jargonium). 

Eisen. Iron (ferruin). 

Chrom. Chromium. 

Kobalt und Nickel. Cobalt and nickel. 

Zink. Zinc.- 

Iridium. Iridinra. 

Cadmium. Cadmium. 

Kupfer. Copper (cuprum'*. 

Blei. Lead (plumbum). 

Zinn. Tin (stannum). 

Titan. Tiiauiuin. 

Bismuth. Bismuth. 

Antiruon. Antimony (stibium). 

Uran. Uranium. 

Molfbdiin. Molybdenum. 

Tantal uud Niob. Tantalium and niobium. 

Vanadium. Vanadium. 

Quecksilber. Mercury (hydrargyrum). 

Silber. Silver (argentum). 

Gold. Gold (aurum). 

Platinrnetalle. Platinum. 
Organlscfie Chemle. Organic chemistry. 

Allgemeines. General. 

Cyanverbindungen. Cyanides. 

Kohlenwasserstoffe, Alkohole and deren Substitntionsproducte. Hydrocarbon, 
alcohols, and substitute products. 

Aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe und Verbindungen. Aromatic bydrocarbow as* 

their comp unds. 
Aldehyde. Aldehydes. 
13 E 

Public Libraries in flie United States. 

Acetone. Acetones* 

Siiuren. Acids* 

Amide und Nitride. Amides and Nitrides. 

Organische Basen. Organic bases. 

Kohlenhydrate und Ahnliches. Carbon hydrates and similar compounds. 

Eigentbiluiliche Pflauzenstoffe und Piianzenanalysen. Peculiar products and 

analyses of plants. 
Pflanzenchemie und Pflanzenanalysen. Vegetable chemistry and analyses of 


Eiweisskorper. Albumines. 
Thierchemie. Animal chemistry. 
Analytische Chemie. Analytical chemistry. 
Allgemeines. General. 

Erkennung und Bestimmung unorganischer Substanzen. Recognition and deter- 
mination of inorganic substances. 
Erkennung und Bestimmung organischer Substanzen. Recognition and deter" 

ruination of organic substances. 
Apparate. Apparatus. 
Technische Chemie. Technical chemistry. 
Metalle, Legirungen. Metals, alloys. 

Metalloide, Siiuren, Alkalien, Salze. Metalloids, acids, alkalies, salts. 
Schiesspulver, Spreng- und Ziindmaterialien. Gunpowder, material for blasting 

and percussion. 

Mortel, Cement, Thon, Glas. Mortar, cemeut, clay, glass. 
Agriculturchemie. Agricultural chemistry. 

Xahrungsmittel. Food. i 

Brennstoffe. Fuel. 
Leuchtstoffe. Illuminators. 
Pflanzen- und Thierfaser. Animal and vegetable fiber. 

Farberei . Dyeing. 
Mineralogie. Mineralogy. 
Allgemeines. General. 

Metalloide. Metalloids. 

Metalle. Metals. <*' 

Telluride. Tellurides. 

Arsenide. Arsenides. 

Antimonide. Antiinonides. . 

Snlfuride. Sulphides. 

Oxyde. Oxides. 

Oxydhydrate. Oxyhydrates. 

Oxydoxydulhydrate. Protoxyhydrates. 

Silicate. Silicates. 

Silicate mit Basen R O. Silicates with bases R O. 

Silicate mit Basen R. 2 O 3 . Silicates with bases R. 2 O 3 . 

Silicate mit Basen R O und R- 2 O 3 . Silicates with bases R and R* 3 . 

AVasserhaltige Silicate. Hydros! licates. . I 

Silicate mit Titanaten, Boraten n. s. w. Silicates with titauites, borates, &c. 

Titanate. Titanites. 

Tantalate und Niobate. Tantalates and niobates. 

Molybdate. Molybdates. 

Vanadinate. Vanadiuates. 

"Wolframiate. Wolframiates. 

Phosphate. Phosphates. 

Arseuiate. Arseniates. 

Nitrate. Nitrates. 

Scientific Libraries. 195 

Borate, Borates. 
Snlfate. Sulphates. 

Sulfate mit Carbonaten. Sulphates with carbonates. 
Carbonate, Carbonates. 
Fluoride. Fluorides. 
Chloride. Chlorides. 
Organoide. Organoids. 

Unbekannte Mineralien. Unknown minerals. 
Versteinerungsraittel. Materials for petrifaction. 
Pseudomorphosen. Pseudomorphs. 
Paragenesis. Paragenesis. 
Chemische Geologic. Chemical geology. 
Allgeraeines. General. 

Wasseruntersuchungen. Examination of waters. 
Meteoriteu. Meteorites. 

JAHRESBERICHT iiber die Fortschritte anf dem Gesammtgebiete dor Agricnltnr* 
Chemie. Begriindet von Dr. Robert Hoffmann. Fortgesetzt von Dr. Ednard Peters. 
Weiter fortgefiihrt von Dr. Th. Dietrich, Prof. Dr. H. Hellriegel, Dr. J. Fittbojcen, 
Prof. Dr. R. Ulbricht, . . . Elfter und zwolfter Jahrgaug: die Jahre 186S and 1 
Mit einem vollstiiudigeu Sach- und Namen-Register. Berlin. Verlag von Julius 
Springer. 1871. 

This is a record of the progress of agricultural chemistry, the first 
volume of which (for 1858-1859) was published in I860. It was originally 
and for the first ten years of its issue published in annual volumes; 
from 1860 to 1865 under the editorship of Dr. Robert Hoffmann, and from 
1866 to 1868 under that of Dr. Eduard Peters, but the last volume 
accessible to the present bibliographer contains a summary for the 
biennial period 1868 and 1869. 

JAHRESBERICHT Uber die Fortschritte der Pharmacoguosie, Pharmacie nnd Toxi- 
cologie. Herausgegeben von Med.-Rath Dr. Wiggers mid Dr. A. Huscinami, . . . 
Neue Folge des mit Ende 1865 abgeschlossenen Canstatt'schen phannac. Juliivs- 
berichts, l[-7] Jahrgang, 1866[-1872J. 26[-zweiunddreissig.ster] der ganxen Kuihe 
Jahrgang. Gottingen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht's Verlag. 1867-[187:i]. [Jubres- 
lM-richt fur 1872-1873, 660 pp.] 

This series interests not only the pharmacist, but also the vegetable 
physiologist and anatomist, as well as to some extent the systentatist 
and likewise the zoologist, the articles on the poisons and poison glatuN 
of venomous animals being epitomized. The literature is systematically 
recorded under three primary heads, viz : 
I. Pharmacognosie. 
II. Pharmacie. 
III. Toxicologie. 

JAHRESRERICHT Uber die Fortschrltto der Thierchrmii>. H.-raiis^og.'li.Mi von Dr. 
Richard Maly. . . . Dritter Band, filr das .lahr 1^71. Wion, 1-7:.,' Willielm 
Ilraumilller, k.-k. Hof- und Universitatsbuchhiindler. 

The reports of progress in animal chemistry of course conrorn the 
zoologist as well as the chemist. The literature is discussed under the 
following heads : 

196 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Capitel I. Eiweissartige Stibstanzen. Albuminous substances. 

II. Albuminoiide (dem Eiweiss nahesteheude Sfcoffd). Albuminoids (sub- 
stances resembling albumen). 

III. Kohlenhydrate. Carbonhydrates. 

IV. Fette. Fats. 

V. Andere Substanzen des Thierkorpers. Other substances of the animal 


VI. Blut. Blood. 

VII. Milch.- Milk. 

VIII. Ham. Urine. 

IX. Speichel, Magen- und Darmverdauung u. s. w. Saliva, gastric and in- 
testinal digestion, etc. 
X. Leber und Galle. Liver and gall. 
XI. Muskeln. Muscles. 
XII. Knochen. Bones. 

XIII. Eier. Eggs. 

XIV. Gesamnitstoffwechsel. Nutrition. 

XV. Fermente (Giihrung), Fiiulniss u. s. w. Ferments (fermentation), de- 
composition, etc. 
XVI. Pathologisches (Fieber, Eiter u. s. w.). Pathological (fever, pus, etc.) 


To the general record of progress in zoology are devoted two general 
reports and several on limited and special branches, e. g. anthropology, 
anatomy, etc. The general reports (one German and one English) 
should both be consulted, for although most of the memoirs are noticed 
in both, quite a large number are referred to only in one or the other. 
Each, too, has its special points of excellence. In some departments the 
German periodical is fuller and more satisfactory in its notices, and in 
others the English. The English work, however, exhibits one element 
of decided superiority to the German, and that is the more uniform repro- 
duction of the complete original titles of the articles reviewed. Both are 
quite full in their synoptical notices, and of late years, not only the 
numerous monographic works, but also the zoological contents of between 
200 and 250 periodicals, (in the Zoological Kecord for 1874, 238 are 
enumerated,) altogether aggregating between 30,000 and 40,000 pages, 
have been catalogued or epitomized. In both series, the literature of 
the several branches is reviewed by experts in such branches, and dis- 
cussed in a rigidly systematic order. 

ARCHIV fur Naturgeschichte. 

[I-VL] In Verbindung mit mehreren Gelehrteu herausgegebeu von Dr. Ar. Fr 
Aug. Wiegmaun, ausserord. Professor an der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat z 
Berlin. Erster [-Sechster] Jahrgang. Zweiter Band. [IV-VI. Bericht iiber 
Leistungen im Gebiete der Naturgeschichte wiibrend der Jahre 1837-1839.] Bei 
lin, 1838 [-1840]. In der Nicolai'schen Buchhandluug. 

[VII-XIV.] Gegriiudet von A. F. A. Wiegmanu. la Verbindung mit Prof. D 
Grisebach in Gottingeu, Prof, von Siebold in Freiburg, Dr. Troschel in Berlii 
Prof. A. Waguer in Miincheu und Prof. Rud. Wagner in Gottingen. Herausge 

Scientific Libraries. 197 

geben von Dr. W. F. Erichson, Professor an der Friedricb-Wilhelms-UnivereitSt za 
Berlin. Siebenter [-Vierzehnter] Jahrgang. Zweiter Band. Berlin, 1841 [-1848], 
in der Nicolai'schen Bnchhandlung. [8.] 

[XV-XXL] Gegrundet von A. F. A. Wiegmann. Fortgesetzt von W. F. 
Erichson. In Verbindnng mit [mehreren] heraasgegeben von Dr. F. H. Troschel, 
Professor an der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat za Bonn. Fiinfzehnter [-Einnnd- 
zwanzigster] Jahrgang. Zweiter Band. Berlin, 1849, Verlag der Nicolai'acheu 
Bncbbandlung. [8.] 

[XXII-XLI.] Gegrundet von A. F. A. Wiegmann. Forfcgesetzt von W. F. 
Erichson. In Verbindung mit Prof. Dr. Leuckart in Leipzig herauagegeben von 
Dr. F. H. Troschel, Professor an der Friedrich-Wilhelins-Univereitiit zu Bonn. 
Zweiundzwanzigster [-Einundvierzigster] Jabrgang. Zweiter Band. [XXII- 
XXIII. "Verlag der Nicolai'schen Buchhandlung" and XXIV-XLI] Berlin, 
Nicolai'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. . . . 1857 [-1875]. 

This periodical is issued in numbers forming two volumes for each 
year, the first containing original memoirs, and the second the report < 
on the progress of the several branches of zoology. The dates on tin 1 
title-pages are quite misleading, inasmuch as they indicate the year 
succeeding the period of progress recorded, but in reality the volumes 
of the record are sometimes not concluded for several years after. Thus, 
of the record for 1873 only the first of three parts has been received in 
Washington, and that only in September, 1815, although the completed 
volume, if former practice is followed, will bear the date 1874. 

Two volumes of the Archiv are published each year, the firsj; of 
which is restricted to original articles, and the second alone contains tin- 
record of progress. 

Bericht iiber die Leistungen in der Naturgeschichte der Viigel wiibrend des Jahrex 
1874. [Report on the publications on the natural history of birds during the year 
1874.] Von August von Pelzeln in Wien. 

Bericht tiber die Leistungen in der Naturgeschichte der Siingethiere wiihrend des Jahren 
1874. [Report on the publications on the natural history of mammals during tin- 
year 1874.] Von Troschel. 

Bericht iiber die Leistungen in der Herpetologie wiibrend des Jabres 1874. [Report 
on the publications in herpetology during the year 1874.] Von Troschel. 

Bericht iiber die Leistungen in der Ichthyologie wiihrend des Jabres 1874. [Roport on 
the publications in ichthyology during the year 1874.] Von Troscbel. 

Bericht iiber die Leistungen in der Naturgeschichte der Mollusken wiihrend dc.IahrH 
1874. [Report on the publications on the natural history of the molluHks during tin- 
year 1874.] Von Troscbel. 

Cephalopoda. Brachiopoda. 

Cephalophora. Tunicata. 


The contributors to the volume for 1859, the last complete one at 
hand, on the other groups were as follows : 

Bericht iiber die Leistungen in der Naturgeschichte der Insekten wiibrend de Jhrr 
1869. [Report on the publications on the natural history of insect* during the yrr 
1869.] Von Friedrich Brauer in Wien. 

Orthoptera. Lepidoptera. 

Neuroptera. Aphaniptera. 

Coleoptera. Diptra. 

Hymenoptera. Hemiptera. 

198 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Bericht iiber die wissenschaftlichen Leistungen iu der Naturgescbichte der niederen 
Thiere wiihrend der Jahve 1868 und 1869. Z\veite Hiilfte. [Report on the scientific 
publications on the natural history of the lower animals during the years 1868 and 
1869. Second half.] Von Dr. Rud, Leuckart. 
Echinodermata. Protozoa. 


ZOOLOGICAL (The) Record, viz : 

[v. 1-6.] The Record of Zoological Literature. 1864. Volume first. Edited 
by Albert C. L. G. GUutber, M. A., M. D., Ph. D., F. Z. 8., etc., etc. Lon- 
don : John Van Voorst, Pater ooster Row. M.DCCC.LXV. [H.] 

[v. 7-9.] The Zoological Record for 1870 [1871, 1872, and 1873], being volume 
seventh [eight, ninth, and tenth] of the Record of Zoological Literature. Edited 
by Alfred Newton. M. A., F. R. S. London : John Van Voorst. M.DCCC.LXXI. 

[v. 10.] The Zoological Record for 1873 ; being volume tenth of the Record of 
Zoological Literature. Edited by Edward Caldwell Rye, F. Z. S., librarian to 
the Royal Geographical Society. Explorate soluni : sic fit via certior ultra. 
London : John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row. M.DCCC.LXXV. [8. xxiv, 
543 pp.] 

Iii the last cited volume the literature is discussed in the order aud 
by the authors indicated below. 

This record is published in annual volumes, bound in cloth, at the rate 
of a guinea a volume. 

Mammalia. By Edward Richard Alston, F. Z. S. 

Aves. By R. B. Sharpe, F. L. S., F. Z. S., &c. 

Beptilia. By A. W. E. O'Shaughuessy. 

Pisces. By A. W. E. O'Shaughnessy. 

Mollusca. By Prof. Eduard von Martens, M. D., C. M. Z. S. 

Molluscoida. By Prof. Eduard von Martens, M. D., C. M. Z. S. 

Crustacea. By Prof. Eduard von Martens, M. D., C. M. Z. S. 

Arachnida. By the Rev. O. P. Cambridge, M. A., C. M. Z. S. 

Myriopoda. By the Rev. O. P. Cambridge, M. A., C. M. Z. S. 

Insecia. The general subject, by E. C. Rye, F. Z. S. 

Coleoptera. By E. C. Rye, F. Z. S. 

Hymeuoptera. By E. C. Rye, F. Z. S. 

Lepidoptera. By W. F. Kirby, M. E. S., &c. 

Diptera. By E. C. Rye, F. Z. S. 

Neuroptera. By R. McLachlan, F. L. S. 

Orthoptera. By R. McLachlan, F. L. S. 

Rhynchota. By E. C. Rye, F. Z. S. 
Vermes. By C. F. Lutken, Ph. D., F. R. D. A., &c. 
Echinodermata. By C. F. Ltttkeu, Ph. D., F. R. D. A., &c. 
Coelenterata. By C. F. Lutken, Ph. D., F. R. D. A., &c. 
Protozoa. By C. F. Lutken, Ph. D., F. R. D. A., &e. 


BERICHT iiber die Fortschritte der Anatomiennd Physiologic im Jahre 1857[-1871]. 
Herausgegeben von Dr. J. Henle [1860 Dr. W. Keferstein] und Dr. G. Meissner, 
. . . [1857-1868. Als besondere Abtheilung der Zeitschrift fur rationelle Medicin.] 
. . . Leipzig uud Heidelberg. C. F. Winter'sche Verlagsbuchhaudlung, 1858[-1872]. 

This series, which was so long the most complete review of anatomical 
literature for the successive years, was, unfortunately for the convenience 

Scientific Libraries. 199 

of investigators, brought to a formal close with the Bericht for 1871 
(" Mit diesein Bande schliessen wir die Keihe unseier Jahresberichte. 
Henle. Meissner"). It gives not only a quite full resume of the papers 
published from year to year relative to human anatomy, but also those 
on comparative anatomy when involving the consideration even second- 
arily of the human organization ; it further, under the head of aids to 
investigation (Hiilfsmittel), gives useful lists at least of works and 
articles on the microscope and microscopical manipulation. 

The contents of the last published volume are arranged under the 
following heads : 

Bericht iiber die Fortschritte der Anatomie irn Jahre 1871. [Report on the progress 
of anatomy in the year 1871.] Von Dr. J. Henle. 

Allgerneine Anatoinie. General anatomy. 

Handbiicher. Manuals. 

Hiilfsmittel. Auxiliaries. 

Allgemeine Histologie. General histology. 

I. Gewebe mit kugligen Elementartheilen. Tissues with spherical elementary 

II. Gewebe mit faserigen Elementartheilen. Tissues with fibrous elementary 

III. Compacte Gewebe. Compact tissues. 

IV. Zusammengesetzte Gewebe. Complicated tissues. 
Systematische Anatomie. Systematic anatomy. 

Bericht iiber die Fortschritte der Physiologic im Jahre 1871. [Report on the pro- 
gress of physiology in the year 1871.] Von Dr. G. Meissner. 

Hand-und Lehrbiicher. Manuals and elementary works. 

Erster Theil. Erniihrung. Nutrition. 

Ztceiter Tfieil. Bewegung, Empfindung, psychische Thatigkeit. Motion, sensa- 
tion, psychical function. 

Autoren-Register. Index of authors. 

JAHRESBERICHT iiber die Leistungen und Fortschritte in der gesammten Medicin. 
(v. 1, Fortsetzuug von Canstatt's Jahresbericht.) Unter Mitxvirkung /uliln-i.'h.T 
Gelehrten herausgegeben von Rud. Virchow und Aug. Hirsch. Unter Special-Rf- 
daktiou von [Dr. E. Gurlt und] Aug. Hirsch. [I.-XL] Jahrgang. H.-ri. lit fdr das 
J;thr[1866-]1874. Erster Band [-Zweiter Baud]. Berlin, [1867-] 1875. Verlagvou 
August Hirschwald. 

In this series is incorporated a very full epitome of the researches in 
human anatomy and physiology for each year; in the last volume 1*73 of 
the large pages being exclusively devoted to the record of progress in 
those branches by the following gentlemen, viz : 

Descriptive Anatomie, Prof. Riidiuger, Miinchen. 

Histologie, Prof. Waldeyer, Strassburg. 

Entwickelungsgeschichte, Prof. Waldeyer, Strassburg. 

Physiologische Chemie, Prof. Salkowski, Berlin. 

Physiologic I : Allgemeine Physiologic, allgemeine Muskel- mid Nor\ -MI Tliy.HioloK'*. 

Physik der Siune, Stimme und Sprache, thierische Wiirnie, Athmung, Prof. Ruaeutb*!, 

Physiologic II: Haemodynamik und specielleNerven-Pbysiologir. 1'i-t. \ N 

Konigsberg, uud Prof. Goltz, Strassburg. 

200 Public Libraries in the United States. 

These reports on anatomy and physiology appear to be published iu a 
limited (perhaps author's) edition, separate from the rest, under the 
title Jahresbericht iiber die Leistungeii und Fortschritte in der Anato- 
inie und Physiologic. Unter Mitwirkung zahlreicher Gelehrteu heraus- 
gegeben von Eud. Virchow und Aug. Hirsch. (See Bibliotheca histori- 
co-uaturalis, physico-chemica et mathematica, XXIV. Jabrgang, 109.) 

JAHRESBERICHT iiber die Leistungen und Fortschritte im Gebiete der Ophthaluio- 
logie, herausgegeben im' Verein mit uiehreren Fachgeuossen und redigirt von Dr. 
Albrecht Nagel. . . . [Erster-] Z welter Jahrgang. Bericht fur das Jahr [1870 nud] 
1871. Tubingen, [1872-]1873. Verlag der H. Laupp'schen Buchhandluug. 

In these reports is recorded the current literature relative to the eye, 
morphological and physiological as well as pathological, and conse- 
quently they will prove to be of service in directing the zoologist as 
well as physicist in his investigations. The mode of treatment is exem- 
plified iu the abstract of the table of contents of the second Jahres- 

Opbthalmologiscbe Bibliographic des Jabres 1871, zusammengestellt von Prof. A. 

Anatomie des Anges ; Eeferent, Prof. G. Schwalbe. 
Eotwickelungsgeschichte des Auges ; Referent, Prof. W. Waldeyer. 
Physiologie des Auges; Referent, Prof. A. Nagel. 
Pathologie uud Therapie der Augenkrankheiten. [By various.] 


ARCHIV fur Authropologie. Zeitscbrift fur Naturgeschichte und Urgescbicbte des 

[I-III.] Herausgegeben von C. E. v. Baer in St. Petersburg, E. Dasor in Neuen- 
burg, A. Ecker in Freiburg, W. His in Basel, L. Lindenschuiit in Mainz, G. 
Lncae in Frankfurt ana M., L. Riitimeyer in Basel, H. Schaaff hausen in Bonn, C. 
Vogt in Genf uud H. Welcker iu Halle. Uuter der Redaction von A. Ecker uud 
L. Lindenscbmit. Erster Band [-Dritter Band]. Mit zablreicben in den Text 
eingedruckten Holzstichen nnd litbographirten Tafeln. Braunschweig, Druck 
und Verlag von Friedricb Vieweg & Sohn. 1866[-1868]. 

[IV-VIL] Organ der deutschen Gesellscbaft fiir Antbropologie, Ethuologie und 
Urgescbichte. Herausgegeben von C. E. v. Baer in St. Petersburg, E. Desor in 
Neuenburg, A. Ecker in Freiburg, F. v. Hellwald in Wien, W. His in Basel, 
L. Lindenschmit in Mainz, G. Lucae in Frankfurt am M., L. Riitimeyerin Basel. 
H. Schaaffhausen in Bonn, C. Semper in Wiirzburg, R. Virchow iu Berlin, C 
Vogt in Genf und H. Welcker in Halle. Redaction: A. Ecker, L. Lindenscbmit 
und der Generalsecretair der deutschen authropologischen Gesellschaft. [Viertei 
Band] -Siebenter Band. Mit in deri Text eingedruckten Holzstichen und litbo. 
graphirten Tafeln. Braunschweig, Druck und Verlag vou Friedrich Vieweg uud 
Sohn. [1870-] 1874. 

To this periodical, in addition to critical notices in the body of each 
volume, is attached a full and well considered notice of the literature 01 
anthropology for the successive years (Verzeichniss der anthropologi 
schen Literatur), in which the contributions to the various branchet- 

Scientific Libraries. 

of the science are arranged under their authors' names in alphabetical 


B 3TANISCHER Jabresbericht. Systematise!] geordnetes Repertorinm der IntanUchftii 
Literatur aller Lander. Uoter Mitwirkung von Prof. Dr. Ascherson in Berlin, Dr. 
Askenasy in Heidelberg, Dr. Batalin in St. Petersburg, Dr. Engler in Miincben, Prof. 
Dr. Fluckiger in Strassburg, Dr. Focke in Bremen, Dr. Geyler in Frankfurt am M.. 
Prof. Dr. Just in Carlsnihe, Dr. Kalender in Kiiln, Prof. Dr. Kanitz in Clansenburg, 
Prof. Dr. Kuy in Barlin, Dr. Kuhn in Barlin, Df. Levier in Florenz, Dr. L>ur in Berlin, 
Dr. Lojka in Pesth, Dr. A. Mayer, Dr. II. Miillor (Thurgan), Oberlehrer Dr. H. Miiller 
in Lippstadt, Dr. Peyritsch in Wien, Prof. Dr. Pfitzer in Heidelberg, Dr. J. Schruter in 
Rastatt, Dr. Soraner in Proskau, Prof. Dr. Strasburger in Jena, Dr. H. de Vries in 
Amsterdam, Prof. Dr. A. Vogl in Wien, Dr. E. Wanning in Kopenir.igon, berautgege- 
ben von Dr. Leopold Just, Professor am Polytechnikum in Carlsnihe. Enter Jahr- 
gang (iy?3). Berlin, 1875. Gebriiler Barntraeger (Ed. Eggere). 

No volume of this has been seen by the writer; but, according to Dr. 
Farlow, the following authors have contributed on the respective sub- 
jects indicated : 

Physikaliscbe Physiologic. Hollandische Literatur. Dr. H. de Vries. 

Technische Botanik. Prof. Dr. A. Vogl. 

Ungarische Literatur. Prof. Dr. Kanitz. 

Gefiisskryptogam. Dr. Knhn. 

Morphologic der Coniferen nnd Gnetaceen. Prof. Dr. Strasbnrger. 

Hybridation. Entstehung neuer Arten. Dr. Focke. 

Moose. Dr. H. Miiller (Thurgan). 

Pharmaceutische Botanik. Prof. Dr. Fluckiger. 

Morphologie der Zelle. Bacillariaceen. Prof. Dr. Pfitzer. 

Morphologie der Gewebe. Dr. Loew. 

Flechten. Dr. Lojka. 

Russische Literatnr. Dr. Batalin. 

Italienische Literatur. Dr. Levier. 

Befruchtung und Ausstreuungs-Einrichtungen. Verbreitungsmittel der I'llaii- 

zen. Oberlehrer Dr. H. Miiller (Lippstadt). 

Systematische Monographieen und aussoreuropiiische Floren. Dr. Engler. 
Algen. Dr. Askenasy. 

Morphologic der Monocotylen und Dicotylen. Dr. E. Wanning. 
Pflanzenkraukheiten. Dr. Sorauer. 

Pflanzengeographie uud europiiische Floreu. Prof. Dr. Ascherson. 
Paliiontologische Botanik. Dr. Goyler. 
Chemische Physiologie. Prof. Dr. Just. 
Pilze. Dr. J. Schroeter. 
Bildnngsabweichungen. Dr. Peyritech. 
Schlkligung der Pflauzeu durcb Insekten. Dr. Kalender. 
Ernilhrung niederor Organisnien. Dr. A. Mayer. 

REPERTORIUM annuutn literatnrae botanicae periodicaecuravit J.A.van BommHen, 
custos bibliothecae Societatis Teyltrianae. TDIIIIIS primus. MDCCCLXXU. H*r- 
lemi, Erven Loosjes, 1873. [8. Title, xvi, 22J pp.] 

In this repertory are enumerated the titles of the botanical contribu- 
tions to 101 periodicals of various kinds, as well as the floras and mono- 

202 Public Libraries in the United States. 

graphic works, so far as they had been noticed in the periodical works 
published in 1872. No indications other than those furnished by the 
titles themselves are given of the contents of the articles, but references 
are given to bibliographical notices in various journals. The work, use- 
ful as it is, must be consulted with caution. Thus, under the head 
"America Septentrionalis," the author, deceived by the ambiguous name 
adopted in the paper cited, has enumerated an article on the shells of 
the family Unionidse (Lea, J., Naiades of North America) among the 
botanical memoirs relating to this continent. The compiler has adopted 
for his enumeration the classification employed by Dr. L. Pfeiffer in his 
Synouymia botanica locupletissima generum, sectionum vel subgeue- 
rum, Cassellis, 1870. 

Morphologia Universalis. 

Morphologia cellulae. 

Morphologia telae (contextus cellulosi). 

Morphologia partium externarum. 
Morphologia SpeciaHs. 




Cryptogamae vasculares. 


Vires moleculares in plaiitis. 

Functiones cbemicae plantarnra. 

Universales vitae couditiones plantarum. 

Mechanica crescendi. 

Mofcus periodic! et externis stimulis excitati organorum plantarura. 


Morphogenia (Etitstehuug der Pflanzenformea). 
Monographia. '. . 

Plaatae cryptogamae. 



Cryptogamae vasculares. 



Terrae arcticae. 





Belgium foederatuin. 





Hispania et Lnsitania. 




Scientific Libraries. 203 


Arcbipelagus Malayanus. 

America septentrionalis. 
America ceutralis et raeridionalis. 
Australia Oueania. 

Opem argtimenti mixti et generis universalis. 
Geographia plantarum. 
Palaeontologia (Generalia). 

Plantae sacrorum bibliorum et de plantis veterum critic!. 
Horti botanici et musea varia. 
Methodus studii botanici. 
Collectio herbariorum. 
Vitae botanicorum. 
Historia botanices. 
Botauica applicata. 


Revue de ge"ologie. 

Ponr l'anne~e 1860 par M. Delesse, ... et M. Laugel, . . . Extrait des Aunales des 
mines, tome xx, 1861. Paris. Dunod, e"diteur, . . . 1861. 

Pour Fanne'e 1861 par M. Delesse, . . . et M. Laugel, ... Un extrait de cette 
revue a 6tG public" dana les Annales des mines, tome ii, 1862. Paris. Dunod, 
e"diteur, . . . 1864. 

Pour les anne"es 1862 et 1863 par M. Delesse, ... et M. Laugel, ... Un extrait de 
cette revue a 6tG publi6 dans les Annales des mines, tome vi, 1864. III. Paris 
Duuod, e"diteur, . . . 1865. 

Pour les ann<es 1864 et 1865[-1871 et 1872] 1 par M. Delosso, . . . et M. de Lappa- 
rent, . . . Un extrait de cette revue a 6te"publi6 dans les Annalesdes mines, tonic viii, 
1865 [etcj. IV[-VIII ?] Paris. . Dunod, e"diteur, . . . 1866[-1874]. 

The volumes of this series, as indicated ou their title-pages, are re- 
printed in whole or part from the Anuales des mines. The bibliography 
of the subject is given in tolerable detail, but the original titles of the 
memoirs analyzed are rarely reproduced with exactness. They are 
summarized under the following heads, being nearly those adopted by 
Dana in his Manual of Geology : 2 

I. Prdliminairei. 

Ouvrages do ge"ologie. Goueralitc's sur le globe. 

II. Geologic lithologiqne. 

E"tudo des rocbes et de leur gisement. Roches proproment dites et roohtt 

III. Geologic historique. 

f! tnde des terrains au point de vue stratigrapliique ot ple\mtolo^lqae. L >! dn 
developpeuient des vdg6taux et des aniuiatix qui vivaient piuidant la form.k- 
tion de ces terrains. 

1 Onlj' tho first six reports (for 1860 to 1867) are in a separate form in the Library 
of Congress. The rest are only known to tho author from bring included in the 
volumes of the Annales des mines. 

-" La classification qui a 6t6 suivie dans cette revue et a pau prJ^oolI'' -I > 
de gdologie de M. J. D. Dana, et, comme les aiiudes prtcddeutes, elle comproDilr* cinq 
parties." Revue pour 1871 et 1872. 

204 Public Libraries in the United States. 

IV. Geologic gfographique. 

Esamen des cartes et des descriptions ge"ologiques. Goologie agronomique. 

V. Geologie di/namiqiie. 

J5tude de* agents et des forces qui ont proluit des change:neats g-Sologiques, 
ainsi que de leur mode d'action. 

GEOLOGICAL (The) Record for 1871. An account of works on geology, miner.ilogv , 
and palaeontology published during the year. EJited by William Whittaker, B. A., 
F. G. S., of the Geological Survey of England. London : Taylor and Francis, Red 
Lion Court, Fleet street. 1875. [8. xvi, 397 pp.] 

This record, of which the first and only volume yet published has 
but lately appeared, is designed to catalogue, and to some extent to 
summarize, the publications that from year to year appear relative to 
geology and the auxiliary branches of science. One hundred and 
eighty-six periodicals or reports are recorded as having bean examined 
for articles in addition to the monographs; " there are altogether more 
than 2,000 entries." The titles of the respective articles are reproduced 
in the languages of the originals. The literature is arranged and dis- 
cussed under the heads below enumerated. 

Stratigraphical and descriptive geology. 

1. British Isles. W. Topley. 

2. Europe. G. A. Lebonr. 

3. Arctic Regions. G. A. Lebour. 

4. America. G. A. Lebour. 

5. Asia. F. Drew. 

6. Africa. 

7. Australasia. R. Etheridge. 
Physical Geology. Prof. A. H. Green. 

1. Volcanic phenomena ; metamorphism ; underground temperature ; changes 

of level; formation of mountains. 

2. Denudation ; glacial phenomena. 

3. Rock formation. 

4. Cosmogony; miscellaneous. 
Applied and economic geology. W. Topley. 
Petrology. F. W. Rudler. 

Mineralogy. F. W. Rudler. 

Mineral waters. 

1. Vertebrata. L. C. Miall. 

2. Invertebrata. Prof. H. A. Nicholson. 

3. Plants. W. Carrnthers. 
Maps and sections. 
Miscellaneous and general. 

Index. By H. B. Woodward. 


All the branches of science, in addition to the annual records of progr 
ress, have one or more notable bibliographies, which are indispensable 
to the student. The most important of these are immediately herein 

Scientific Libraries. 205 

after enumerated^ and indications in nost cases given of their rela- 
tive completeness and value. 


POGGENDORFF (J. C.). Biograpbisch-literarisches Handworterbncb znr Gescbicbte 
derexacten Wissenscbaften ; eutbaltend Nacbweisiingeu iiber Lebeusverbiiltnisse uud 
Leistungen von Matheruatikern, Astronomen, Physikern, Cbemikern, Mineralogen, 
Geologen u. s. w. aller Volker and Zeiten, gesammelt yon J. C. Poggendorff, Mitglied 
der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. [2 vol.] Leipzig, 1863. Verlag von 
Jobaun Ambrosias Barth. [8 U .] 


Erster Band. A-L. [viii, 398 1., witb 1584 columns.] 
Zweiter Band. M-Z. [title, 337 1., with 1468 columns, 4 pp.]. 

This is merely a partial catalogue*of the writings of the more promi- 
nent investigators, mainly of the physical sciences, accompanied, in most 
cases, by brief biographical data respecting the authors. 

KEUSS (Jerom David). Repertoriuni commentationmn a societatibtis litterariis edi- 
tarum. Secundum disciplinarumordineui digeasit J. D. Reuss, in univenitate Georgia 
Augusta Philos. et Histor. litter, professor et sub-bibliothecarius, [etc.] [See con- 
tents.] Gottingae, apud Henricuui Dieterich. [1801-1821. 16 vols. 4. 46 Tb. 

1 Gr.] 


[Tom. I-VL] Scientia naturalis. 

Tom. I. Historia naturalis, generalis et Z3aloii. H31. [i p. 1., ivr, 574 pp.] 
Tom. II. Botanica et mineralogia. 1802. [viii, 60t pp.] 
Tom. IH. Chemia et res metallica. 1805. [viii, 231 pp.] 
Tom. IV. Pbysica. 1805. [viii, 416 pp.] 
Tom. V. Astronornia. 1804. [viii, 548 pp.] 
Tom. VI. Oeconomia. 1803. [xvi, 476 pp.] [Varia.] 

Tom. VII. Matbesis; Mecbanica; Hydrostatic*; Hydraulica; Hydroteclini.-a : 
Aerostatica; Pneumatica; Technologia; Arcbitectura civilis; Saieatia nuvalis ; 
Scientia militaris. 1808. [xiv, 514 pp.] 

Tom. VIII. Historia. Siibsidia historic*; (Gjographia; Clinm>l>,'ii : M >:n neuU 
veterutn populorum ; Inscriptions; Numi et res mnuiria.; Ars diploiuatioa ; 
Heraldica;) Historia nnivorsalis; Historia generis humaui ; HUtori* myili 
Historia specialis ; Asia) ; Africa) ; Americic; Europu) ; Historia ecolesiastioa ; 
Historia litteraria. 1810. [xii, 674 pp.] 
Tom. IX. Pbilologia; Lingua) ; Soriptorea Latini ; LitLorai ologantiores ; Poeli 

Rbetorica; Arsantiqua; Pictnra; Musica. 1H10. [xii, '230pp.] 
Tom. X-XVI. Scientia et Are medic* et cbirurgica. 
[X.] 1. Fropcedeutica ; Anatomia et l'liysi.)loia ; Hy-ioiue; 1'atb. 

Nosologiageneralis; Semeiotica. 1813. [xviii, 440 pp.] 
[XL] 2. Materia rnedica; Pbarmacia. 1816. [xx, 423pp.] 
[XII-XV.] 3. Therapia genoralis et specialis. 

[XII.] P. I. contiueus A, B, C. 1817. [xii, 3f,l p|>. ] 
[XIII.] P. II. continens D, E, F, G, H. 1818. [xii, 5S1 pp.] 
[XIV.] P. III. continens I-S. 1820. [xiv, 476.] 
[XV.] P. IV. contiuens T-Z. Operationes ebiriirgic ; 
sis, legalis et politica. 1820. [xiv, 507.] 

206 Public Libraries in the United States. 

[XVI.] Ars obstetrica. 1821. 
Ars veteriuaria. 

A most useful index to the contents of the transactions and other pe- 
riodical publications of learned societies, at least up to the end of. the 
eighteenth century. The primary arrangement is by subjects, the clas- 
sification being a rigorous systematic one; but there are indexes of au- 
thors to the several parts. 

LONDON (Royal Society of). Catalogue of scientific papers. (1300-18(53.) Compiled 
and published by the Royal Society of London. Vol. I [-Vol. VI]. London : 
printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottisvvoode, printers to the Queen's 
Most Excellent Majesty. For her Majesty's Stationery Oifice. 1337 [-1372]. 


Vol. I. 1867 [List of periodicals ; A-Clu. Ixxix, 980 pp.]. 
II. 1868 [Coa-Gra. iv, 1012 pp.]. 
III. 1869 [Gre-Lez. v, 1002 pp.]. 
1 IV. 1870 [Lhe-Poz. iv, 1006 pp.]. 
V. 1871 [Pra-Tiz.-iv, 1000 pp.]. 
VI. 1872 [Tka-Zyl. xi, 763 pp.]. 

This is, to some extent, complementary to the Eepertorium commen- 
tationum of Reuss, and i^ a useful and indeed an almost indispensable 
auxiliary for the scientific investigator. All the articles published in 
periodical literature (the publications of scientific societies" as well as the 
scientific magazines) are herein enumerated under the authors' names 
in alphabetical order. A supplementary volume, it is understood, is no\v 
in press, which will include the contributions to the periodical literature 
published between 1863 and 1874. It is also contemplated to publish 
another series in the same form, combining all the articles according 
to subjects. If this intention is completed, a collection will be thus 
formed which must necessarily be accessible, either through public 
libraries or private means, to every man engaged in active scientific 


SOHNCKE (L. A.). Bibliotheca mathematica. Verzeichniss der Bilcher Uber die 
gesammten Zweige der Mathematik, als : Arithmetik, hohere Analysis, construirende 
und analytische Geometric, Mechanik, Astronoraie und Geodiisie, welche in Deutsch- 
land nud dein Anslande vom Jahre 1830 bis Mitte des Jahres 1854 erschienen sind. 
Herausgegeben von L. A. Sohncke, weil. Prof. d. Mathematik in Halle. Mit eiueni 
vollstiindigen Materienregister. Leipzig. Verlag von Wilhelm Eugelnianu. 1354. 
[8. xviii, 388 pp.] 

Quite a full catalogue of separately published volumes and theses, 
enumerated under authors' names in alphabetical order, in five separate 
sections, viz : A. Mathematik iiu Allgemeiueu und Arithmetik im Besou- 
deren (mathematics in general and arithmetic especially), B. Hohere- 
Analysis (higher analysis), C. Construirende und aaalytische Geometric 

Scientific Libraries. 207 

(descriptive and analytical geometry), D. Mechanik (mechanics), uiul 
E. Astronomie und Geodiisie (astronomy and geodesy). An alphabeti- 
cal index of subjects, under which authors' names are mentioned, with 
references to the pages where the titles are given, is added. 

WOLFF (Emil Th.). Quellen-Literatur der theoretisch-organischen Cheinic oder Ver- 
zeichniss der vom Anfang des letzten Viertheils des vorigen Jahrhunderts Im zum 
Schluss des Jahres 1844 ausgefiilirtea chemischen Untersuchungen iiber die Kigen- 
schaften und die Constitution der organischen Substanzen, ihrer Verbiudungen and 
Zersetzungsproducte. Mit steter Berticksichtiguug der Literatur di-r Clu-mie ID ihrer 
Anwendungauf Agricultur, Physiologie und Pathologic aus den wichtigt-rendeutschrn 
nnd franzosischen Zeitschriften der Chemie and Phannacie gesamruelt, in syatema- 
tische Ordnuug zusamrnengestellt und mit ausfiihrlichen Sach- and N^menregUtera 
versehen von Emil Th. Wolff, Doctor der Philosophic. Halle, Edouard Antou. lr*45. 
[8, xii pp., 202 1., with 808 columns. Price, 2 Th.] 

ZUCHOLD (Ernst Amandus). Bibliotheca chemica. Verzeichniss der auf dem Ge- 
biete der reinen, pharmaceutischen, physiologischen und teehnischen Chemie in den 
Jahren 1840 bis Mitte 1858 in Deutschland nnd im Auslande erschienenen Schrif- 
ten. Von Ernst Amandns Zuchold. Mit einem ausfiihrlichen Sachregister. Oiittin- 
gen. Vandeuhoeck & Ruprecht's Verlag. 1859. [8. viii, 342 pp. Price, 1 Th. l."> 

The titles are arranged under the names of the authors in alphabeti- 
cal order, but an analytical index of subjects is added, under which the 
names of authors contributing thereto are specified, with reference to 
the pages of the body of the work. The work is useful, but very incom- 

RUPRECHT (Rudolph). Bibliotheca Chemica et Pharmaceutics Alphabetischei 
Verzeichniss der auf dem Gebiete dor reinen, pharmaceutischen, physiologischen uu 1 
technischen Chemie in den Jahren 1858 bis Ende 1870 in Djiitschland und im Aus- 
lande erschienenen Schriften. Von Rud. Ruprecht. Mit einem ausfiihrlichen S:n-!i- 
register. Gottingen, Vaudeuhoeck & Ruprecht's Verlag. 1872. [8. Title, 125 pp.] 

A continuation of the preceding, and arranged aosording to the sauna 


AGASSIZ (Louis John Rudolph) and STRICKLAND (Hugh E.). Bililiogrnphia /- >!'- 
K\-M et Geologi:c. A general catalogue of all books, tracts, and m-in..ii-> 
and geology. By Prof. Louis Agassiz, corr. menil). I'.rit. Ass,.,'. Adv. Be. A Cor- 
rected, enlarged, and edited by H. E. Strickland, M. A., F. O. 8. &c. [vol. 1\ : ] -( 
Sir William Jardine, Bart., F. R. S.,E. & C.) [Vol. I-IV as below]. L->iidnn : priut,-,! 
for the Ray Society. 1848 [-1854]. 8. 


Vol. I. Containing periodicals, and the alphabetical list from AtoHY\V. - 

[I p. 1., xxiii, 506 pp.] 

Vol. II. Containing the alphabet ical list from CAB to FYF.- 
\ 01.111. Containing the alphabetical list from GAB to MM 

Vol. IV. Containing the alphabetical list from NAC to ZWI.-1854. [3 1'- L 


208 Public Libraries in the United States. 

This work in its time was of considerable use to zoologists and geol- 
ogists who simply wisbed to ascertain what a given writer had published 
upon a subject and where it might be found. The articles are cata- 
logued in each case under authors' names alone, and the articles of any 
given author are not arranged according to any uniform method, chro- 
nological or otherwise ; the titles also are often taken at second hand 
or ill translated forms, the originals not having been accessible to 
the authors. This, therefore, at once indicates the absence of many 
works available for consultation. A critical examination amply con- 
h'rins this supposition. The work was originally prepared for Pro- 
fessor Agassiz's private use, but was subsequently accepted by the Ray 
Society for publication, and Mr. Strickland, the editor, by his biblio- 
graphical ability and care has greatly increased the number of titles 
and otherwise improved the work, so that he should be treated as a 
co-author. A catalogue of the publications of societies (Pars prima? 
acta societatum, diaria, et tractatuum syllogas contineus) is prefixed to 
the alphabetical arrangement under authors, and is the model which 
the Smithsonian Institution has adopted for the catalogue of periodical 
works in its own library. The work has now been superseded by Carus 
and Engelmaun's Bibliotheca Zoologica. 

ENGELMANN (Wilhelm). Bibliotheca historico-natnralis. Verzeichniss dor Biicher 
iiber Naturgeschichte welche in Deutschland, Seamlinavien, Holland, England, 
Frankreich, Italien und Spanien in den Jahren 1700-1846 erschieneu sind. Von 
Wilhelm Engeltnann. Erster Band. Biicherkunde. Hiilfemittel. Allgemeine 
Schriften. Vergleichende Anatomie und Physiologic. Zoologie. Palaeontologie. 
Mit einem Narnen- und Sachregister. Leipzig. Verlag von Wilhelm Eugelmanu. 
1846. [8. ix, 786 pp.] 

Also entitled on opposite (left hand) title-page : 

Index librorum historiam naturalem spectantiam ab anno MDCC ai MDCCCXLVI 
in Germania, Scandinavia, Anglia, Gallia, Belgio, Italia atque Hispauia impressorum. 
Edidit Gnilielmus Engelmann. Pars Prima, continens historiam naturalem in univer- 
suui, anatomiam et physiologiam couaparatain, zoologiatn, palaeoutologiam. Cum 
iudice scriptorum et rerum. Lipsiae, suinptibus Guilielini Eugelmaun. MDCCCXLVI. 

CARUS (Julius Victor) und ENGELMANN (Wilhelm). Bibliotheca Zoologica. Ver- 
zeicbniss uer Schriften iiber Zoologie, welche in den periodischen Werken euthalten 
und vom Jahre 1846-1860 selbstandig erschienen sind. Mit Einschluss der allgeuiein- 
naturgeschichtlichen, periodischen uud palaeontologischen Snhriften. Bearbeitet 
von J. Victor Carus, Professor der vergleicheuden Anatomie in Leipzig nud Wilhelm 
Engelmann. Zweiter Band. Leipzig. Verlag von Wilhelm Eugelinauu. 1861. 
[8. 1 vol. in 2, viz : x, 1-950 pp. ; xxiv, 951-2144 pp.] 

Also entitled on opposite (left hand) title-page : 

Bibliotheca Historico-Naturalis. Heransgegeben von Wilhelm Engelmann. Supple- 
ment-Band, euthalcend die in den periodischan Werken aufgenommsnen und die vom 
Jahre 1846-1860 erschienenen Schriften. Leipzig. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann. 

Scientific Libraries. 209 

As indicated by the title-page, the last work is complementary and 
supplementary to that published by Eugelmaun in 1846 under the title 
Bibliotbeca Historico-Naturalis. It is, however, far superior in every 
respect to the previous work. 

The series is one of the most complete and useful of scientific bibliog- 
raphies, so far, at least, as the supplementary volume is concerned. It 
embraces not only the special works that have appeared since the year 
1700, but also all the memoirs and articles that have appeared in the 
numerous periodical publications of different countries. In the supple- 
mentary volume the primary arrangement is according to subjects under 
the following captious: 


I. Hiilfsmittel. Auxiliaries. 

II. Geschickte der Naturwisseuscuafteu. History of natural sciences. 

III. Perioclische Schrifteu. Periodical writings. 

IV. Vermischte naturhistorische Schrifteu. Miscellaneous natural history writ 


V. Naturhistorische Liinder- und Reisebeschreibungen. Natural history of 

different countries and voyages. 


A. Vergleichende Anatomie uud Physiologic. Comparative anatomy aud phy- 


B. Vermischte zoologische Schriften. Miscellaneous zoological writings. 

C. Thiergeographie. Faunen. Animal geography. Faunas. 

D. Schriften iiber einzelueGruppeu. Writings upon special groups, viz: 

I. Wirbellose Thiere iui Allgemeiueu. Invertebrate animals in 

II. Protozoa. 

III. Coelenterata. Polypi et medusa;. 

IV. Echinodermatn. 
V. Vermes. 

VI. Arthropoda. 
VII. Rotatoria 

VIII. Crustacea. 
IX. Myriapoda. 

X. Arachnida. 

XI. Insecta. 
XII. Mollusca. 

XIII. Wirbelthiere im Allgemeiuen. Vertebrates in general. 

XIV. Pisces. 

XV. Reptiliaet amphibia. 
XVI. Amphibia. 
XVII. Reptilia. 
XVIII. Aves. 
XIX. Mammalia. 
XX. Homo sp. 


I. Allgemeines und Vermischtes. General and misn-llaiK-nns. 
II. Petrefacten eiuzelner Liinder und Orte. Fossils of single lands ami region* 
III. Petrefacten einzeluer Schichten. Fossils of single strata. 

14 E 

210 Public Libraries in the United States, 

IV. Fossile Pflanzeu. Fossil plants. 

1. Im Allgerneineu. In general. 

2. Einzelne Fatnilien, Gattungen untl Arteu. Single families geuer.v, and 

V. Fossile Thiere. Fossil animals 

1. Im Allgemeinen. In general. 

2. Einzelne Gruppen. Single gronps. 

A. Wirbellose Thiere irn Allgemeinen. Invertebrate animals in general. 

B. Protozoa. 

C. Polypi. 

D. Ecbinodermata. 

E. Vermes. 

F. Crustacea. 

G. Arachnida et insecta 
H. Mollnsca. 

I. Wirbeltbiere im Allgemeinen. Vertebrates in general. 

K. Pisces. 

L. Ampbibia et reptilia. 

M. Aves. 

N. Mammalia. 


GIEBEL (Dr. Cbristopb Gottfried). Tbesaurns- Oruithologiae. Repertorium der ge- 
sammten ornitbologischen Literatur und Nomenclatur siimtutlicber Gattungen uuci 
Arten der Vogel nebst Synonymen und geograpbiscber Verbreitung. Von Dr. C. G 
Giebel, Professor der Zoologie und Director des zoologiscben Museums der Univer- 
sitiit in Halle. Erster Band. Leipzig. F. A. Brockhaus. 1872. 

Of this work, two volumes, in four half- volumes, have been published. 
viz: Erster Band, xi, 868 pp., 1872; Zweiter Band, vii, 788 pp., 1875. 
A third volume is proposed to complete the work. The numerous mis- 
takes and carelessness of execution render it a very unreliable work 
The bibliographical portion (Repertorium oruithologicum) occupies the 
first 252 pages of the first volume. The titles of papers are collected 
under twenty-three general heads, viz : 

I. Ornitbologia generalis. Systema. Nomenclature. 
II. Opera periodica. 

III. Opera illustrata et collectiva. 

IV. Monographic. Familue. Genera. Species. 
V. Pterylograpbia. 

VI. Anatomia. Physiologia. 
VII. Embryologia. 
VIII. Oologia. Nidologia. 
IX. Propagatio. 
X. Biologia. 
XI. Migratio. 
XII. Distributio geograpbica. 

XIII. Europa. 

XIV. Europa Septentrionalis. Terrse Arcticse. 
XV. Britanuia. 

XVI. Germania, Austria. (Holland : a.) 
XVII. Gallia (Belgium). 

Scientific Libraries. -J 1 1 

XVIII. Earopi Meridionalia (Hispania. Italia. Helvetia. G.-w^ia. Tarcia. 

Insulie Mediterraneif). 
XIX. Kussia. 
XX. Asia. 

XXI. Arcbipolagus Malayanus (Moluccie. Philippina?). 
XXII. Australia. Oceania (Nova Guinea. Nova Zjlaudia. Polynesia). 
XXIII. Africa. 

XXIV-VI. America Sjptentrionalis, Centralis, Meridionalis. 
XXVII. Aves ininstrossc, abuormes, hybridie. 
XXVIII. Palseornithologia. 
XXIX. Avos domesticse et captivae. 
XXX. Ornitbologia agraria et venatoria. 
XXXI. Oruithologia vulgaris. 
XXXII. Collectiones. 
XXXIII. Taxidermia. 

The manner in which articles are collected under these several heads 
makes it very difficult to know exactly where to look for many, and 
there is no index of authors. The work has been very generally and 
severely criticised by ornithologists ; but as thera is no other at present 
of the same scope, it is a useful one. It mast, however, be consulted 
with extreme caution. 


BOSGOED (D. Mulder). Bibliotheca Ichtbyologica et Piacatoria. Catalogs van 
boeken en gesohriften over de uatuurlijke gescbiedeuis van de visscbon en walvi.i- 
scbeu, de kunstmatige viscbtedlt, de vissclierijen, de wetgeving op de vi3scherij"ii, 
enz. Bawerkt door D. Mulder B >sgoed, bibliothecaris van hot R jtterdatmch Lees- 
kabinet. Haarlem, de erven Loosjes. 1874. 

Also entitled : 

Bibliotbeca Icbtbyologica et Piscatoria. Catalogue de livrcs et d'6crits snr 1'liistoir.- 
naturelle des poissous et des ce'tace's, la pisciculture, les pi-chos, la Irgislatinn des 
p"cbes, etc. Rddigd par D. Mulder Bosgoed, bibliothe"caire du Rotterdaniscb Lces- 
kabinet. Haarlem, cbez lesbdriticrs Loosjes. 1874. [8. xxvi,47lpp.] 

A tolerably full bibliography of ichthyology, but of minor value, in- 
asmuch as the articles are only enumerated under the authors' names 
under a few very general heads, viz : 



a. Allgemeene werken. G6u6ralit5s, dictionnaires, encyclop : li. <. t -\<-. 

b. Visscben von ver-scbillende laiidou en woreld<lo'l-n. KuKrli- soorten. 

de diffiSrents pays. Espoces stfpardes. 

c. Do baring en baringacbtige visscbeu. Lo bareng. 

d. De zalra en zalmacbtigo visscben. Lo santnon. 

e. De walvisch en walviscbacbtigo dieren. Los cvt 
/. Kuustmatige viscbtcelt. Pisciculture. 


a. Allgemoene werkon. G6"u6ralite*8. 

b. Haringvisscberij. Pcche du harong. 

c. Walviscbvangstou reizon tor walvisubvangst. IVcbo -Jo la bnloinc et JOOTBM1 

de baleiniers. 

d. Kabeljauwvisscberij. IV-ebo <!< 1: 

212 Public Libraries in the United States. 

e. Kustvisscherij. Oestervisscherij en vesterteelt. Peche cotiere. Peche et culture 
des hultres. 

/. Eiviervisscberij. Heugelkuust. Zalmvisscharij. Peche fluviale. Poche ;i la i 
ligne. Peche du saumon. 

g. Tontoonstellingen van visscherij-voortbreugselen, gereedschappeu, enz. Exposi- 
tions de produits et engins de peche. 

h. Wetgeviug op de visscherijen. Legislation des pecbes. 

i. Tractaten betrekkelijk de visscherijen. Traite^ et conventions conceraant les 

k. Addenda. 

Alpbabetiscb register. Table alphabe"tique. 


BINNEY (William G.). Bibliography of North American conchology previous to the 
year 1880. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by W. G. Biuney. 

Part I. American authors. Washington : Smithsonian Institution. March, 1863. 

(Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, vol. V, article 1. 8. vii,650 pp.) 
Part II. Foreign authors. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. June, 1864. 
(Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 174, vol. IX, article 1. 8. 3 p. 1., 306 

A quite complete and elaborate bibliography of all data relative to 
American couchology and conchologists, but very indigested, no 
uniform arrangement having been adopted for the classification of the 
titles, and no complete index having been yet published, although long 


PERCHERON (A.). Bibliographic entomologique, compreuant 1'indication par ordre 
alphabe~tique de noins d'auteurs (1) des ouvrages entomologiques public's en France 
et a 1'etranger, depuis les temps les plus recules jusques et y compris I'anue'e 1834; 
(2) des monographes et m6moires conteuus dans les recueils, journaux et collections 
acade"miques fraucaises et e~trangeres ; accompagne"e de notices sur les ouvrages p6- 
riodiques, les dictionnaires et les ine~rnoires des socie'te's savantes ; suivie d'une table 
me'thodique et chronologique des matieres; par A. Percheron. [2 tomes.] A Paris, 
chez J. B. Bailliere, [etc.] ; a/Londres, meme uiaison, [etc.] 1837. [8. 2 vols.] 


Tome premier, [xii, 326 pp., viz : A-Q.] 

Tome second. [2 p. 1., 376 pp., viz: R-Z, pp. 1-140; Anonymes, pp. 141-215; In- 
dication des dictionnaires, ouvrages pe"riodiques, et m6moires des soeie'te's savau- 
tes, les plus utiles a consulter, pp. 217-242; Table des articles, par ordre de 
matiere et da chronolbgie, pp. 243-372 ; Errata, pp. 373-376.] 

Quite a full and valuable work, but supplanted now by the Bibliotheca 
Eutomologica of Dr. Hagen, to whom it evidently served as a model and 
basis for his work. 

HAGEN (Hermann August). Bibliotheca entomologica. Die Litteratur iibir das 
ganze Gebiete der Entomologie bis zum Jahre 1862. Von Dr. Hermann August Ha- 
gen. [2 Biinde.] Leipzig. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann. 1862 [-1863]. 8. IT 
Thlr. 20 Ngr. 


Erster Band. A-M. [xii, 566 pp.] 1862. 

Zweiter Band. N-Z. Hit einem systematischen Sachregister. [1 p. ]., 512 ppJ| 

Scientific Libraries. 213 

This is one of the most complete and carefully prepared of scientific 
bibliographies. The titles, when the authors are known, are primarily 
arranged under the names of authors in alphabetical order, and under 
each author's name in chronological sequence. When initials or evident 
pseudonyms alone are given under such names, and where the authors 
are entirely unknown, the titles are arranged under subjects, viz : 1. All- 
gemeines nnd Vermischtes (general and miscellaneous) ; 2. Lepidoptera ; 
3. Bombyx mori ; 4. Apis mellifica ; 5. Yespa und andere Hymenoptera; 
G. Cochenille manna; 7. Schiidliche Insecten (injurious insects); 8. Lo- 
custa; 9. Gryllotalpa, Gryllus, Blatta, Forficula ; 10. Pulex ; 11. 
Schiidliche Diptera (injurious diptera) ; 12. Cimex ; 13. Aphis; 14. 
Ameisen (ants), Termiten; 15. Meloe; 10. Maikitfer-Schaden ; 17. Hal- 
tica; 18. Dem Weiustock Schiidliche Insecten (insects injurious to the 
vine) ; 19. Den Fruchtbiiumen Schiidliche Insecten (insects injurious to 
fruit trees) ; 20. Dem Gemiise Schiidliche Insecten (insects injurious to 
vegetables) ; 21. Dem Getreide Schiidliche Insecten (insects injurious 
to grain); 22. Forstschiidliche Insecten (insects injurious to forests); 23. 
Den Biichern und Zeugen Schiidliche Insecten (insects injurious to books 
and textile fabrics) ; Entomologische Vereine (entomological societies). 

An excellent synoptical reference is given to the authors who have 
treated of the various subjects connected with entomology, under gen- 
eral heads and numerous minor heads, viz : 1. Hiilfsmittel ; Allgemeines 
(auxiliaries, general), under 17 heads ; 2. Allgemeine Eutomologie (gen- 
eral entomology), under 35 heads; 3. Specielle Entomologie (special 
entomology), under the names of the orders, families, etc., in systematic 
order ; 4. Anatoraie (anatomy), under 25 heads ; 5. Physiologie (physi- 
ology), under 28 heads ; 6. Biologie (biology), under 30 heads ; 7. Nutzen 
(lurch Insecten (benefits from insects), under 44 heads; 8. Schadcn 
durch Insecten (injuries from insects), under 47 heads. 


KRTGER (M. S.). Bibliographia botanica. Handbnch der botanischen Liti-nitnr in 
systematischer Ordnung uebst knrzen biographischen Notizen iiber die botiinNrli.-n 
Schriftsteller. Zum Gebranche furFreunde nnd Lebn-r <ln rilan/.-nknn.l.-. V.m M. 
S. Kriiger. Berlin, Hande u. Spener. 1841. [8. vi, 404 pp. Trice, 2Tli.] 

PRITZEL (G. A.). Thesaurus , literature botanicm omnium gentium iml- a r.-ruin 
botanicarum initiia ad nostra usque tempora, <|uindoeini millia opornm m-i-tineus. 
Curavit G. A. Pritzel. Lipsiae,Brockhaii8. 1H51. [-1". Title., viii.MT pp. 1'ri. -.-. 1 I 
Th. ; on writing paper, 21 Th.] 

A valuable bibliography, but mostly confined to special mmio-raphs 
and theses, and rot including the periodical literature to any rxtmt : 
it is consequently iar less comprehensive than the corresponding 
work of Carus aiid Engelmann for zoology, and -even than Agttl 
and Strickland's work for zoology and geology. The titles of tin- v 
enumerated are arranged under the names of authors, in alphabet! 
order, and the contributions of each author in chronological seqnc 
This is followed by an analytical synopsis, in which the various essays 

214 Public Libraries in the United States. 

are distributed under special Leads and in rigorous systematic order. 
A second edition has been in part, and, perhaps, wholly published, 
although the writer has only seen the first three parts. 

ZUCHOLD (Ernestns Arnandus). Additamenta ad Georgii August! Pritzelii Thesan- 
rum literatarae botanicae collegit et composuit Ernestns Amaudus Zuchold. [Ex 
annalibus societatis naturalis Halensis, quibus titulus cst Jabresbericht des natur- 
\vissenecbaftlicben Vereines in Halle. (Berlin, 1853), seorsim iinpressuui.] Halis, 
typ. express. Ploetzianis. [Lipsiae, T. O. Weigelin cornni.] 1853. [8. 60pp. Price, 
20 Ngr.] 

As indicated by the title, a supplement to the first edition of Thesau- 
rus literature botanica?, but of inferior value. 

PRITZEL (G. A.). Iconnm botanicarum index locupletissinaus. Die Abbildungeii 
sichtbar bliibender Pflanzen und Farnkriiuter ans der botaniscben und Garteulite- 
ratur des XVIII. und XIX. Jabrbunderts in alpbabetiscber Folge zusauunengestellt 
von G. A. Pritzel. Berlin, Nicolai, 1855. [4. Title, xxxii, 1184 pp. Price, 7 Tb.] 
Zweite [Titel-] Ausgabe, daselbst. 1861. [4. Price, 4 Th.] 

This work gives, under a systematical botanical arrangement, ref- 
erences to the plates of plants published in works of generally recog- 
nized merit. 

The subjoined table will show the principal societies and schools in 
the United States which possess libraries of a scientific character, and 
the extent of each library, as indicated by the number of bound vol- 
umes. In addition, the dates of organization of the several schools and 
societies are given, and, in the case of the latter, the number of mem- 
bers, and the number of pamphlets in the libraries, so far as reported. 
Several societies recently formed, having but the beginnings of libra- 
ries, are included, because they represent the development of new 
branches of science. 

A number of libraries that would be excluded from the table by a 
rigid system of classification have been admitted, in order to show, in a 
measure, the collections that have grown out of the necessities of the 
various applications of science. 

Scientific Libraries. 


Table of the principal libraries of schools of science and scientific societies. 

[For additional statistics of these and other scientific libraries, see general tame at the end of this 





I s 

\llllllT III 


Sheffield Scientific School 

1 -r . 


. . .TTrbana 

Illinois Industrial University 



La Fayette 

Purdue University 



Iowa State Agricultural College 

' -r - 

- i , 

. . . Manhattan 



Maine State College of Agriculture and Me- 
chanic Arts. 
United States Naval Academy 




U, -. 

Massachusetts . . 


Massachusetts A gricnltural College 

!- ' 

1 300 


1-, , 


Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Ady- 




tum for the Blind. 
Botanical Gardens, (Harvard University) . . 


2, 500 



o 'no 


Museum of Comparative Zoology ........... 



Jamaica Plain .... . 

Bussey Institution (Harvard University).. 

1 500 


Worcester County Free Institute of Indus- 


1 000 


. . . L/ansin <* ...... 

trial Science. 
Michigan State Agricultural College 


4 900 

New Hampshire 


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy 
New Hampshire College of Agriculture and 


1- - 



Mechanic Arts. 
Thayer School of Civil Engineering 

1 -'-' 


New Jersey . . 


. ,, . 

1 145 

School of Mines of Columbia College 







Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 



"West Point 

United States Military Academy 




Ohio A "ricultural and Mechanical College . . 





Wanner Free Institute of Science 



State College P O 




Public Libraries in the United States. 


5 5 

< 3 

I : 


-T i -' - 

= a = 


!zi K Z 

5 5 
r: o 71 


jo a a q ta n x 



a - 
o c 
b>5 !? 


j | 


: 1 : 

jo J 8 q ra n x 


o _ = 





r S ^ T"' 
= II 11 


S | 

s o o rj a. 

o _ ' 

i<" .~r =- 


o o c 
O 2 C 
t- o c 

o o c 

i i 


5* O O O 

0000 = 
o o rs t" or. 


Ir? o s c 
^J O ^3 C 

n o --c ^- '; 

O O C: 


jo j 9 q tu n x 

n o" ^ 

-"" Si 

I! = 




r <f 

S o 

I 5 

o 2 

S I 



3 s : 

2 s 


= 2 
v n 

C- TI = 

pazi naq^ 


00 t- 

00 00 


1 1 


i ' ? 


i 1 


x .'- 

O -H O 

::::::::::::: :::::::::: 


American Oriental Society 

Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 

Bureau of Statistics 
Coast-Survey Ofliee 

Department of Agriculture 
Naval Observatory 


Signal-Otlico, United States Army 
Surgeon-General's Ollice, United States Army 
A moriean Jtfocirical Society 
Chicago Astronomical Society 
Chicago Academy of Sciences 
Dearborn Observatory 

Illinois State Natural History Society 
Stale Hoard of Agriculture 

Academy of Natural Sciences 
Iowa Instituto of Science, and Arts 

Now Orleans Academy of Sciences 

York Instituto 

Maryland Academy of Sciences 

American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
Boston Society of Natural Jlistory 
.... Handel and lla\dn Society 


Connecticut Now Haven 
New Haven 

Dist, of Columbia.. Washington 



lllin,, in ___<:iiic,:i.-o..- 






...New Orleans 



A A .5 








Scientific Libraries. 



o o 

1 ' " | 

o^ . ^ 

-.' -J s! 

.:,- > ..:> |.n mmec! ... i MllbfMtMd -".",, ,,.- 1,-, ,,,..,,,. Bprapwta fcmbMB ,,..,...1. \ ..,-.' thMwn thefollow 
: Aeafemyof X.tund Science ten Fnuiciaco, {&.; N-wark. X. J.. Scimtlflc AimiiciHti..ii ; Bocietj oj Nmtural HUtory. ChwlMton, 8 < K*""" - N -' ' ' \, V,'i , 
M>k.KiM.; Sodetr of Natanl Hcionoot, Toledo, Oliio; Kirtlund S.M-i<:lj ol Natural Scieuco, Cleveland, Ohio ; WISCOIIMM lOMMaj .-i B \nn 4TOM 

Atlllc AAAocriAtinn Ann ArlMir \ti li 

; ,.r ^- -. ; ; i'.,|.|, :..,,:; ,ti..n. '. I "... s,,, ,1 in. 1 n,|,- o ,.., -]..., !;,-.- . }.. .:,". , ^ n, . v.L. L. ' -1 , 1 .1 n.l r< 1., -1 , .,1 ,,, u -i, 

d Books and pamplil- t.t. 


: S 

>> *-> 



1 1 

J25 * 



I s i I i = 

i J"ii 

^ ^ A " 

s i i 

1 : " 



5 S 8 


>-i LT "p s r- o 

o o 



1 l^ 

i 1 

of e* 

" o" -*~ .-T of of <s~ rt" o 

CO '"' 




-' ' ^ -' i if 2 



11 ^11 

1 1 

2 | 55 

to e< c-. T 

s s i g 

"3 i" 


322 - 2 - SS2 . SS - 2 " 



Z 00 

S?S33ol^S 3; 

Massachusetts Horticultural Society 
Observatory, (Phillips Library) 

T^aanY Ttiatit.lltA - 

Peabody Academy of Science 
Worcester County Horticultural Society 

Shattuck Observatory of Dartmouth College 
Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Scieuco . . . 
A llmnv Institute ... 








Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 
American Ethnological Society 
American Geographical Society .* 
A inerican Institute of Architects 
New York Academy of Sciences 
Cincinnati Society of Natural History 
State Board of Agriculture 

( tlioAnratnrv 

State Agricultural Society 
Delaware County Institute of Science 
Academy of Natural Sciences 

American Philosophical Society 

_, ... T ... . 

High School Observatory 
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society 
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society , 
Orleans County Society of Natural Sciences 
SUte Agricultural Society 



Hampshire ...Hanover 
Jersey Mt. Holly 

V.,_l, A MI-HI \- 




I 3 ! k! i ? 


<j pc fc X X '/, - 


._..! I_ t 11.. . ,!..,, 


- * -a i ' 
i I! IB B 

i _._. g ' j 

- >> J 
! a a 8 *B I 






A majority of the convicts in the State prisons of the Northern and 
Western States can read ; a large proportion both read and write, and 
many, before their incarceration, received higher instruction .than is im- 
parted in the common schools. According to an official report 1 to the 
legislature of New York in 1867, the number of prisoners unable to read 
at the time of commitment varied from one-twentieth in Vermont to one- 
third each in Wisconsin and New York, (Sing Sing prison,) which two 
prisons contained the largest proportion of illiterate inmates. The 
report adds: 

Of convicts who give themselves in as able to read, from a fourth to a half cannot, 
as a general thing, do so without spelling out more or less of the words. 

The reports of the State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Penn- 
sylvania, at Philadelphia, show that of the 7,092 convicts received in a 
period of forty-three years, beginning with 1829, 1,418, or 19.99 per cent., 
could neither read nor write ; 1,124, or 15.85 per cent., could read ; and 
4,550, or 64.16 per cent., could read and write. 

In the Southern States the proportion of illiterate convicts is consid- 
erably larger. Thus the warden of the North Carolina Penitentiary re- 
ported in February, 1875, that of the 455 prisoners but 75, or about 16.5 
per cent., could read. In the Mississippi Penitentiary one-fourth of the 
convicts are reported as making use of the library ; while that in'the 
Virginia Penitentiary is used by one-third of the convicts. According 
to a report 2 made in 1874, the number of convicts in all the State prisons 
and penitentiaries proper, in 1873, was 18,520. From thirty-four prisons 

1 Report on the Prisons and Reformatories of the United States and Canada, made to 
the legislature of New York, January, 1867, by E. C. Wines, D. D., LL. D., and Theo- 
dore W. Dwight, LL. D., commissioners of the Prison Association of New York. As- \ 
sembly document 35, p. 231. 

2 Transactions of the Third National Prison Reform Congress, being the third annual 
report of the National Prison Association of the United States. 8. New York, Office of 
the Association, 1874, pp. 376, 382. 


Libraries in Prisons and Reformatories. 219 

statistics of the education of the prisoners were received and reported as 
follows, the percentages given being averages for the whole number: 

Percentage of prisoners who were unable to read, and of those who read with diffi- 
culty on their admission prisoners, therefore, who were virtually illiterate, forty- 
eight ; percentage of prisoners having a fair common school education, fifty-one ; per- 
centage of prisoners having a superior education, oue. 

Deducting from the total number of convicts all unable to read, and 
making allowance for those who read but imperfectly, there still remains 
a large proportion of the American prison population that can and will 
read if .an opportunity is afforded. Impressed by this fact, and actuated 
by the belief that the difficulties of prison discipline would be lessened, 
greater efficiency of administration secured, the moral sense of the pris- 
oners quickened and improved, and thus an important end of imprison- 
ment, the reformation of the criminal, rendered of easier attainment, 
many philanthropic men and women, distinguished by their efforts iu 
behalf of prison reform, began at an early day a movement to furnish 
libraries to prisons. The collections thus made were designed to form a 
necessary adjunct to the Sunday and secular schools which, by the energy 
and perseverance of these philanthropists, were about the same time 
organized for the instruction of convicts, as well as to supply the intel- 
lectual and moral wants of those who did not need primary instruction. 

The first notice we find looking toward the formation of a prison 
library in our country is iu a code of rules and regulations enacted by 
the inspectors of the Kentucky penitentiary as early as the year 1SOU. 
The following is the provision of the code on this subject: 

The convicts shall be encouraged to employ any leisure time iu reading, and dona- 
tions of books will be thankfully received ; and the keeper shall take care of them, 
and procure a list with the names of the donors. 

It is not stated that any considerable collection of books resulted from 
this invitation. 

Prison libraries owe their origin to the benevolence of individuals and 
societies, stimulated by the appeals of statesmen and philanthropists 
like Livingston, Seward, Sumuer, Mann, Dwight, Bacon, How. , IflM 
Dix, and a host of others who, forty years ago, devoted themselves to in- 
culcating correct views as to the purposes of imprisonment, eradicating 
the evils which beset prison administration, and ameliorating the con- 
dition of prisoners. Their efforts laid the foundations of many prison 
libraries, the beneficial influences of which were sooner or later r 
uized by legislators, so that now, in many of the States, the prison libra- 
ries receive a regular annual grant from the public treasury lor thru 
increase and maintenance. In 1845, after " four years' personal study 
and observation of the penitentiaries, jails, and almshonses iu the 
Northern and Middle States, with occasional visits to others adjacent," 
Miss D. L. Dix made a report 1 in which will be found a thorough di 

1 Remarks on Prisons and Prison Discipline in the United States. By D. L. Dix. 
Boston, Muuroe & Francis, 1845. 

220 Public Libraries in the United States. 

cussion of the several questions of prison management, and much in- 
formation regarding the reformatory agencies employed. Eespecting 
libraries, the report affords the Following information : 

Thomastown, Me. The prison is deficient in a supply of books. 

Concord, N. H. There is a small library, and each prisoner is supplied with a weekly 
temperance paper and a religions paper. 

Charlestown, Mass. Some hundred volumes of books are in circulation, presented by 
several individuals from time to time, but chiefly purchased, first by the sum of $30 
sent by the mother of a life prisoner to her son to furnish him with proper read- 
ing. Books were purchased with this sum, and these he used for a time, and then put 
them into general circulation, that his fellow-prisoners might be benefited thereby. 
A donation of $50 was opportunely sent from New York by persons friendly to this 
important means of promoting good in prisons; the sum -was expended as designed 
by the donors. At the last session of the legislature $100 were appropriated to add 
to the number and variety of works already in use. The additions to the library 
have for these several years past been made by the prisoners, who, on being discharged 
have often left the books which they brought with them, or which have been furnished 
by their friends. 

Auburn, X. Y. The supply of books at this, as at other prisons, is quite inadequate 
to the wants of the prisoners. I think there were less than 350 volumes in a condition 
for use. 

Sing Sing, X. Y. Books have been, through the efforts of intelligent persons interested 
in the reform of the prisons, contributed, and these, with the efforts of the officers, have 
aided in the improvement of the convicts. 

Trenton, JV. J. Some have received books, but there are too few belonging to the 
prison library to afford much advantage. 

Baltimore, Md. The Maryland Tract Society has liberally proposed to establish a 
library of appropriate books for the use of the convicts, and much good is expected to 
result therefrom. 

Allegheny, Pa. The prison library is receiving additions from time to time. 
Philadelphia, Pa. A -well chosen library, established by the benevolence of Mr. J 
Bacon, which is gradually increasing through the good offices of those who appreciate 
this mode of instructing the prisoners, is in continual circulation. 

Dauphin County Jail, Harrisburg, Pa. Has a well chosen library. 

Philadelphia, Pa., County Jail. The prisoners are supplied with suitable work, and 
with books. 

The library of the State Penitentiary at Philadelphia was, as we have 
seen, begun by the gift of Mr. Bacon, in 1829 ; that at Sing Sing, N. Y., 
owes its origin to the benevolence of Governor Ssward, who, in ISiO, 
directed the officers of the prison to select books for the prison library 
to the amount of $300, which he paid ; the library of the prison at Al- 
ton, 111., was given in 1846, by the convicts in the Charlestown, Mass., 
prison. The following account of the donation is from Prison Disci- 
pline in America: 1 

About a year ago, a clergyman from Alton, 111., visited the prison and was requested 
by the chaplain to perform the evening service ; after which he made a short address 
to the prisoners a mark of attention from a stranger which always gives them pleas- 
ure. He expressed his high gratification with the neatness, order, and contentment 
which prevailed there, and his particular delight in seeing the library, observing thati 
they were much better off in this respect than the inmates of the State prison at Al-i 

1 Prison Discipline in America. By Francis C. Gray. London, John Murray, Albe-^ 
marie street. 8. 1848. pp. 53, 54. 

Libraries in Prisons fuel 

ton, who had no books at all. The .next day, as the chaplain was walking 
one of the workshops, a prisoner having asked leave to quit his work and speak to 
him, told him that he had some books winch hi; could spare and should like to send to 
the prisoners at Alton, if permitted, and so hid some of his shopmates. The chaplain, 
having conferred with the warden, stated in the chapel, after evening pray.-rs. tint 
such an application had been made to him, ami added, that if any prisoner h:id l> >k^ 
which he wished to soud to tha Alton prison he might leave them in tli- adj lining 
room, on coming to prayers the next morning. He also sent wor.l to his fri.Mi-i 
clergyman, that if he would call at the prison the next day he wunlil li-nl *>:\\ lok* 
for Alton. The reverend gentleman went accordingly and took with him a large silk 
handkerchief to carry off the books. What was his astonishment to find, in the room 
adjoining the chapel, more than four hundred b;mml volumes, besides traits aad 
pamphlets. The silk handkerchief would not do, and the prisoners requested permis- 
sion to make boxes to pack the books in. 

The prison libraries gradually increased in number, and in 1837, accord- 
ing to the report of Drs. D wight and Wines, before quoted, there were 
in 13 prisons 20,413 volumes ; being an average of 1,570 volumes to each. 
The largest prison library in the country at that time was that at Sing 
Sing, with 4,000 volumes, and the smallest reported was that of the Wis- 
consin State Prison, with 250 volumes. The report says : 

The legislatures of many of the States make a fixed annual appropriation for the in- 
crease of the prison libraries. New York appropriates for her thrrr pri- 
Pennsylvania for her two, 150; Michigan, $300; Massachusetts, $'200; Connecticut, 
$100 ; New Hampshire, 50 to $100 ; Vermont, 25. The legislatures of Ohio, Wisconsin, 
and other States appropriate for this purpose only on application by the prison author- 
ities, accompanied with a statement of the necessities, and the amount required to meet 
the same. 

According to the latest reports received at the Bureau of Education 
there are forty prison libraries in the United States, containing in the 
aggregate 61,095 volumes, being an average of 1,527 volumes to each. 
The largest library reported is that in the State Penitentiary at Phila- 
delphia, which numbers nearly 9,000 volumes, besides 1,000 school 
books: and the smallest, that in the State Penitentiary of Florida, 
which in 1873 reported 40 volumes. 

The legislatures of thirteen States make annual appropriations for 
the purchase of books, the amount varying in different States from $30 
to $800; live prisons report "occasional appropriations;" the libraru-. 
of the remainder receive. additions from purchases made from visitors' 
fees, earnings of prisoners, contributions, and by donations of books. 

The following abstract of the regulations respecting the uso of books 
by the convicts in several prisons is taken from the report of l>rs. 
D wight and Wines : 

In the prisons of Ohio and Wisconsin prisoners are not allowed a choice a t<> tin- 
books to be read by them, but are furnished, in the former once in two wcvk-*. nn.l tin- 
latter once each week, with such as the officers may clious,- to giv.- them. In all tin- 
' other prisons visited by us the convicts are allowed to select such books as m:\ 

their taste. 


The method of distributing the books to the prisom-is varies in different \>\ ~ 
In Massachusetts the following plau is adopted : The convicts uro allowed to Uke out 

222 Public Libraries in the United States. 

one book at a time, on -Mondays and Saturdays, and they keep it a fortnight. If it is 
\vanted for a longer period, permission must be obtained from the librarian. Each 
volume is numbered, and every prisoner has a catalogue and card, and puts down on the 
card the numbers of (say twenty to fifty) such books as he would like to read, so that he 
may be sure of securing some one. He lays his book, after he has read it, on the stool 
in his cell, with the card in the book, and the runner takes it and carries it to the 
assistant librarian, who changes the book and sends back another. As the book is 
read the number is rubbed off the card, and another one place 1 in its steal. 

A somewhat similar method of distribution is pursued in the Eastern Penitentiary, 
Pennsylvania. The books are distributed every two weeks, and each applicant is al- 
lowed to take out one large volume, or two of more moderate size. Every convict has 
in his cell a printed catalogue and a card-slate, on which he marks eighteen numbers, 
out of which the librarian is able to obtain some book that will suit his taste, though 
not always the one that he would prefer. 

A very different plan from either of the above is adopted in two of our New York 
prisons those at Sing Sing and Clinton. There the prisoners come in squads or com- 
panies once in three weeks, and each one selects one or two volumes for himself of those 
that may be upon the shelves at the time. No doubt a good deal of time is con- 
sumed in this way, and the work might be done, is done in other prisons, in a much 
shorter period. But it is at least doubtful whether it would be wise to change the 
method on this ground. There are obvious advantages, and those connected with the 
higher ends of prison discipline, in the mode of distribution practiced in these prisons. 
The coming of several hundred prisoners every three weeks into the chaplain's office 
affords him the opportunity of becoming personally acquainted with them, and of 
dropping into their ear, perchance into their heart, many a wise counsel and exhorta- 
tion. These opportunities, we have reason to think, are gladly embraced and faith- 
fully used. 

At Auburn a plan is in use differing from either of the above, and, as it strikes us, 
inferior to both. Prisoners have the privilege of exchanging their books once a week. 
The chaplain sends a quantity of books to each shop, together with a list of the same, 
to the keeper ; and thus the exchange is effected in the shop where they are at work. 
The objection to this is, first, that it limits the convict's selection to a very small part 
of the library, and, secondly, that it must ba a source of more or less disorder in the 

The rule in all prisons is to examine books on their return ; but it is enforced, as 
indeed all rules are, with different degrees of stringjucy. In the Wisconsin prison, if 
books and they are carefully scrutinized when returned are found soiled, dog eared, 
or in any way marred or defaced, the offender is deprived of the privilege of the 
library for a certain time, which is longer or shorter according to the extent of the 
injury done to the book. All injuries to books are recorded for future reference. 

We are sorry to be obliged to report that in many State prisons, our own among the 
number, very inadequate provision is made for prisoners reading at night. In 
England, there is a gas-burner in every cell ; in America, such an arrangement, we 
believe, is quite unknown. Lights, whether from gas or oil, are placed in the corri- 
dors, and very often at such a distance from each other that scarcely one prisoner in ten 
can see to read. For about five months in the year, the convicts are locked in their 
cells from thirteen to fifteen hours a day. There are prisons (we wish the number 
were less) in which, during all these long and dreary hours, only those few prisoners 
whose cells happen to be near the lights can make any use of their books; all the rest 
being condemned to intellectual starvation, with ample stores at hand, as Tantalus 
was to eternal thirst, with the water reaching to his chin. Thus is left to the dark- 
ness of his cell and the deeper, sadder darkness of an ignorant, benighted mind, many 
a young man, who, if opportunity were afforded him of acquiring useful knowledge 
might, despite his fall and its forlorn consequences, be awakened to hope, to cheerful- 
ness, to virtue. More than once have we heard bitter lamentations by convicts ovei 

Libraries in Prisons and Reformatories. j _'.". 

their inability, from want of light, to occupy themselves in reading while locked in 
their cells during the long winter evenings. We look upon such deprivation as a 
hardship and a wrong ; and we have known it to be, in many ways, most hurtful in 
its consequences. We think it no more than right, and certainly it would be good 
policy, that prisoners should have at least two hours of light for reading every night 
during the winter mouths. 

In the Illinois Penitentiary at Joliet, a copy of the catalogue is kept in each cell, 
and the selections made from it by the convicts are written, by number, upon ih- 
library slate with which each cell is also provided. Taese slates are collected once in 
ten days by the librarian, and the books are issued according to the selections, and 
placed in each cell while the men are at work. The convicts are allowed lights io 
their cells, and can read from the time of quitting work (which is 6 p. m. from M ircli 
to November, 4.45 p. m. the reminder of the year) uutil 9 o'clock p. in., and all d.iv 
Sunday, except the time token for chapel exercises. 


The character of the books composing prison libraries iu 13G7 is de- 
scribed in the report last quoted : 

The character of the books composing the prison libraries is, as might be expected, 
quite miscellaneous. Works on religion, histories, biographies, travels, works on 
science and general literature, and standard novels (those of a sensational character 
being generally excluded) predominate. It is not strange that the preference should 
be given, in the majority of cases, to story books, magazines, and the lighter literature, 
but the reading of convicts is by no means confined to works of this character. His- 
tories, travels, biographies, and even treatises on science and philosophy, find many 
readers. This we found to be pre-eminently the case in the Massachusetts State Prison, 
where Humboldt's Cosmos and other works of a no less elevated and philosophical 
character have been read through by many of the convicts. Indeed, the testimony is 
quite uniform to the effect that numbers of the prisoners are most evidently growing 
in useful knowledge ; and we think, from the evidence before us, that there is mi ,. 
reading, and that of a solid character, too, done by the convicts in our American Stat*- 
prisons than by any equal number of working people taken promiscuously in ftve 
society. On this subject, Mr. Cordier, of Wisconsin, says: "I really bclicv.- that no 
convict, unless he be a perfect idiot, leaves the prison without having his mind im- 
proved, and without having gained some knowledge." 

The library of the State Penitentiary at Philadelphia contained in 
February, 1875, exclusive of school books, 8,737 volumes, classified a< 
follows : Keligious, 701 ; instructive, 3,421 ; entertaining, 3,724 ; ( 
man, 839 ; French, Latin, etc., 52 volumes. 

The printed catalogue of the library iu the Illinois lVnit'iitiary *!i 
that it contains a greater proportion than abave of works that inulit 
be classed as " entertaining," though a fair proportion of them are 
standard works of their class. 


That the libraries are highly valued by tin- prisoners is amply at- 
tested by the extent to which they are used. D.'S. Dwight and Wines 
say on this point : 

In all our State prisons, the proportion of prisoners who take out books is very lrg< ; 
indeed, the general if not the universal rule is, that all draw books who are able t 

224 Public Libraries in the United States. 

read. We were anxious to ascertain whether the books so taken oat are really read by 
the persons receiving them. The answers to our inquiries on this point were unanimous 
to the effect that such was undoubtedly the fact iu the great majority of cases. On 
calling for the proofs of this, they were stated to be, first, the appearance of the books 
when returned; secondly, observation of the prisoners in their cells; thirdly, their 
comments on the books ; and, fourthly, questioning them on* the subject matter of the 
volumes taken out. In reference to the second of the above named proofs, the Rev. 
Mr. Ives, of Auburn, remarked : " In passing through the galleries, I see the men al- 
most all engaged in reading. I have often been through on purpose to see what 
proportion were thus engaged, and have found ninety-seven out of one hundred. In 
the shops it is the same, when their tasks are finished." Wardens and chaplains of 
other prisons made substantially the same statement. Convicts iu all the State prisons 
have considerable time which they can devote to reading if they are so disposed. 
Everywhere they have the whole of Sunday, after deducting the portion spent in pub- 
lic -worship and the Sabbath school, where such exists. Besides this, they have for 
reading, during the day and evening, on an average from two to four hours. In the 
New York State prisons, prisoners are allowed to take their library books to the work- 
shops and read in them after they have finished the task of the day; but nowhere 
else, as far as we could learn, even where task work is in vogue, except occasionally 
by special permission. In far the greater number of State prisons the convicts are 
not allowed to take or read secular newspapers, but the reverse of this is true as re- 
gards magazines. In Wisconsin, and we believe also in Missouri, both classes of pub- 
lications may be taken by the prisoners. 

The average proportion of convicts " using the library" in 25 prisons, 
as reported in 1875, was nearly 78 per cent. The chaplain of the Sing 
Sing (X. Y.) Prison, in reporting that 99 per cent, of the convicts use the 
library, remarks : 

You may think that we give a large proportion who use the library, for it is in fact 
larger than the proportion who read. But many who cannot read draw books and 
get their fellow convicts to read to them. 

The warden of the Illinois Penitentiary reported : 

To an average of 1,350 convicts, we issue constantly from 1,050 to 1,150 volumes 
Only one book is allowed to each convict. 

The library of the Kansas Penitentiary, with 1,500 volumes, reports 
a monthly circulation of 1,500 volumes. 

In the State Penitentiary at Philadelphia, with an average of 654 
convicts, (527, or 82.11 per cent, of whom use the library,) there were 
issued in the year 1874, 38,978 volumes, or nearly 74 volumes to each 
reader during the year. 

The Western Penitentiary, at Allegheny, Pa., had, during the year 
1873, an " aggregate population " of G33. The 3,000 volumes in the 
library circulated as follows : 

The total number of books issued during the year was 1*2,840. Of these there were 
novels and romances, 3,812 ; histories, 1,5:25 ; travels and poems, 1,438 ; magazines, 
1,410; religious and scientific works, 1,254; biographies, 1,117; German, 709; mis 
cellaneous, 1,575. 


The remarkable extent to which prison libraries are used by convicts 
suggests at once the question : What influence does this reading exer 

Libraries in Prisons and Reformatories. -J :.'."> 

ou piison discipline and on the character of the convicts ? A few facts 
and conclusions, presented by men who have improved their facilities 
for .personal observation and investigation outweigh while they coin- 
cide with the general opinions of those who have not enjoyed similar 
opportunities, and are more valuable than a volume of theories as an 
answer to this question. Drs. Dwight and Wines, in the report before 
quoted, say : 

We made it a point of spacial inquiry to ascertain the opinions of prison officers, 
both wardens and chaplains, as to the utility of libraries in prisons. With a solitary 
exception that of Dr. Campbell, of the Western Penitentiary, Pennsylvania, who re- 
gards the library as " of doubtful influence'' we found a perfect agreement among 
these officers in thinking a prison library a most important instrument of good. With 
singular unanimity they represent it as valuable in communicating useful knowledge 
to the prisoners ; in elevating their minds; in beguiling many a tedious and weary 
hour; iu making them cheerful and contented; in affording them good material for 
reflection, and so diverting their minds from brooding over past offenses and meditat- 
ing schemes of future mischief; in affording good topics of conversation with thorn; 
in improving the discipline of prison ; and in constituting one of the best and most 
effective of reformatory agencies. We quite agree, too, with Mr. Hill 1 in thinking it 
important that a prison library should contain many books which, while free from any- 
thing immoral or irreligious, are both interesting and entertaining. This will tend to 
create a taste for reading, to inspire a liking for other than sensual pleasures, and to 
give the mind cheerful subjects of thought, in addition to those of a more serious cast. 
A. due mixture of books of this cheerful type, so far from interfering with reading of a 
more solid and even religious character, adds fresh zest to such reading. 

Mr. Gray writes as follows 2 respecting the use of books in the Cbarles- 
town prison : 

There is a library in the prison, to the support and increase of which >lon a vrar are 
appropriated from the earnings of the prison by law, and books are taken cut and re- 
turned by the convicts once a week. Many prisoners also have books of their own in 
their cells purchased from their money in the warden's hands. One of them is now 
reading Latin, and another studying Greek. 

Rev. B. I. Ives, chaplain of the Auburn (X. Y.) Prison, in his annual 
report for the year 1808, says : 

As many as 95 per cent, of the convicts draw books from the library, and many "( 
them become great readers. There is nothing that so much aids in keeping up the dis- 
cipline of the prts m as a good library. A man of c\ten>i vr observation has well said: 
" ' MIC of the great instrumentalities for promoting the reformation of convicts is a ju- 
diciously selected library. By affording them facilities for reading, their thoughts are 
not only (livened from the gloomy reflections natural to their condition, but llu\v are 
led into channels of thought which will inevitably tend to elevate and inspir* them to 
lo!>k to the future with higher hopes, more enlightened vie\\>. of tin- world, and a 
!cr respect for the community they may be thrown among \\li.i innu 


Rt'v. D. A. Shepard, chaplain of the same prison in 1SG9, reports: 

The convicts make a great use of the books. If deprived of them for a single week, 
which unavoidably occurs at the quarterly exchange, they become restless, and mop- 
than ordinarily troublesome; and. to prevent this, we circulate a large iminlxTof tracts 
during this interval. 

1 Crime : its Amount, Causes, and Remedies. By Frederick Hill. ". London, 

- 1'rison Disci] line in America, p. '<:!. 
15 E 

226 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Rev. Levi Smith, chaplain of the Clinton (N. Y.) Prison, says i;i liis 
report for the year 18G9 : 

About nine-tenths of the men read more or less. Nearly all are eager tor b 
Some are very studious and seek works of science and other substantial reading. The 
library is therefore a great blessing. It relieves the loneline s of the cell, controls and 
informs the mind, and induces quietude and contentment. 

The warden of the Iowa State Penitentiary, in his biennial report 
dated 1874, remarks : 

Among other incentives to good order is the prison library. The convicts able to 
read are urgently recommended from time to time to employ their otherwise idle time 
in reading the books found in the library. 

The report of the chaplain of the Kansas State Penitentiary, tor the 
year 1873, says : 

The prisoners who can read are eager for reading matter; many use a portion of the 
small amount allowed them from their earnings to provide themselves with books and 
papers, and no less thau seventy are regular subscribers ibf some magazine or journal. 

The report of the chaplain of the same prison for the year 1874 con- 
tains the following: 

A book is the prisoner's companion; if it is goo.l, it serves as a sedative in discipline 
and as a stimulant to the moral, mental, and physical well being of the prisoner. X 
instrumentality is more important in securing the ends for which prisons are estab- 
lished than a well selected and regulated library. 

The chaplain of the Western Penitentiary, at Allegheny, Pa., reports 
in 1873: 

The library is one of our most efficient agencies for instruction and entertainment. 
Its privileges are highly appreciated by the mass of the inmates. The books are well 
taken care of in the cells. la no instance during the year has there been any depriva- 
tion of privileges of the library on account of abuse of its volumes. All books issued 
to the cells are carefully examined on their return to the library. In many instances 
extracts are copied and carefully studied for future service. 

Similar extracts might be multiplied did space permit. The testi- 
mony of prison officials as to the value and usefulness of the libraries 
is uniform. 



The first reform school in the United States was opened in Xe\v York 
in the year 1825, with nine inmates. It originated in the philan- 
thropic efforts of Edward Livingston, John Griscom, and others, who 
sought to arrest vicious youth on the road to prison and train them to 
become worthy members of society. The following year a similar school 
was opened in Boston, and in 1828 the House of Refuge was established 
at Philadelphia. In the first quarter of a century from the foundation 
of the school in New York there were but five others for a similar pur- j 
pose in operation in the United States. 

In May, 1857, a convention of superintendents of houses of refuge and 

Libraries in Prisons and Reformatories. 2i > 7 

schools of reform was held in New York, when plans for the improve- 
ment of those institutions were discussed. Seventeen reformatories 
were represented, and the statistics presented showed, since 1825, 
20,658 inmates, 3,530 of whom remained under care. The average age of 
inmates on admission was 12f years and the number of pupils reformed 
was estimated at 75 per cent. 

In 1872 Mr. F. B. Sauborn, secretary of the Massachusetts board ot 
State charities, estimated 1 the number of pupils in the reform schools ,.t 
the United States the preceding yeir at 12,093, not including an e<|;ial 
number (estimated) in " strictly educational anil preventive establish- 
ments." He says : 

Perhaps the percentage of worthy citizens trained np am >n^ t!i- wliol.- -.'. i 
preventive and reformatory schools would be as high as 75. 

From the very first, moral and intellectual instruction was relied on 
as among the most powerful means of reformation. 

Of libraries as an adjunct of education in the reform schools in the 
United States, no statistics appear to have been published before the 
year 1870, when the task was undertaken by the Bureau of Education; 
returns for the year 1888 were obtained from 20 reformatories, 13 of 
which reported libraries ranging from 100 to 2,500 volumes each, con- 
taining in the aggregate 20,545 volumes. The whole number of inmates 
up to that time had been 66,519, and the average for the year lsiJ> 
was 7,463. 

For the year 1874, more or less perfect returns were received from 5fi 
reformatories. The aggregate number of inmates in 43 since their foun- 
dation was reported at 110,622; the aggregate number of inmates at 
date of report was 11,185, distribute I among 49 schools; 40 reported 
libraries containing altogether 35,012 volumes; and 15 reported an ag- 
,uiv_;:ii(' increase of books during the year amounting to 1,915 volu .\ 
Lifer returns from 49 houses of correction, houses of refuge, and 
other reformatory institutions under State, municipal, and corporate or 
private control, place the aggregate number of volumes in the libraries 
at 51,406, an average of 1,050 volumes to each. The largest library oi 
this class is that of the New York House of Kefuge, which numbers 
over 1,000 volumes. During the first forty-seven years of its existence 
this house received 14,275 inmates. The reports of oflh-ors of reforma- 
tories bear unvarying testimony to the benefit* derived from libraries 
ami reading rooms in the schools under their care, and whore neither 
exists the deficiency is lamented. 

SIM- p.-ipiu 'on juvenile reformatories in the United States of America, in 
tions of tlio International Penitentiary Congress, held at London, .Inly :>-!'>, I-?.'. 8. 
London, Longmans, Green & Co., 1872. See also abstract ot : .in.K [ >rt"o:i 

tln International Penitentiary Congress of London, hy K. ('. \Vim-i,H>. P., I.I. I' 
I'nitrd states Commissioner. 8. W^liin^ton. (iovi-rninent lYintiiu-Oln'cp, 


Public Libraries in the United States. 

Table of prison libraries in the United States. 

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The first idea suggested by a demand for " professorships of books 
and reading" is not unlikely to be this: that the department indicated 
is too large, or, rather, too indistinct, for the work of one professor; too 
much like Mr. Carlyle's " professorship of things in general." Bat upon 
considering the subject matter of various perfectly regular and satis 
factory professorships commonly existing, the reasonableness of this 
one will quickly appear. Indeed, some of these, when cited, will be 
seen to call for some explanation of an apparent pre-emption of the very 
ground claimed by the new settler. Thus, we have in abundance in 
collegiate institutions, professorships of "belles-lettres," of "English 
language and literature," of "rhetoric and oratory," of "modern lan- 
guages and literature," all these separately or together. Do they not, 
or do not some of them, cover the very ground proposed .' 

To answer this inquiry will leave it unnecessary to do more th i;i 
merely refer to other parallel cases of large subjects for professorships. 
Such are mental and moral philosophy, natural philosophy, theology, 
modern history, law. It is qiite superfluous to describe the immensity 
of each of those fields of labor, and indeed the overwhelming nature of 
the themes of some of them. As to the sufficient importance of the 
proposed new subject, that will be referred to presently ; but that it 
is not too large for a professorship, as professorships go, there can 
hardly be a doubt on a comparison with these cases. 

To recur to the suggested question of definitions. The partly synony- 
mous literary chairs above named may perhaps be described as follows 

1. "Modern languages an I literature" usu illy implies the study o 
German, French, Italian, or Spanish not so often of other modern Ian 
guages and this often iu an elemantary manner, with gram uir. diction 
ary, and the ui3inorizing of conjugations, declensions, and phrases 
mere primary school work, in fact. Even if the instruction goes furthei 
it is pretty sure to mean (very properly, of only other modern 
languages than English. 

>,f Jtn(,fc <u,<l Reading. 

'2. "Rhetoric and oratory." This line of teaching looks mostly to 
spoken rhetoric, and is commonly not greatly, if at alj, CDuc3rned with 
the reading of books or with writing them. 

3. " English language and literature " of course excludes the stuJy of 
other literatures, than our own, except in translations. The oaenpant 
of a chair with this title will, however, commonly instruct either in 
English composition, in the history of the English language, or in the 
history of English literature. All these are necessary, of course, and 
perhaps a sufficiently vigorous and accomplished man, in a sufficiently 
small institution, might undertake the proposed new department along 
with these, for they are not far distant from each other; bat they are 
by no means the same thing, any more than the law and the gospel are. 

4. "Belles-lettres" is about the same as what is still called in some 
institutions, "the humanities," as what used to be called more than 
now, " polite literature ; " and the professor of these would seek to ac- 
quaint his pupils with poetry, fiction, and the drama, rhetoric and ora- 
tory, literary criticism, perhaps also with more or less of history, and 
perhaps of philology. And the same observation may be made as to 
annexing the proposed new department to this one as under the pre- 
ceding- head. 

The new field, then, is not actually occupied, in any complete way, 
though doubtless some hints pertaining to it are more or less subjoined 
to some of the above enumerated courses of instruction. What will the 
new chair teach ? 

Not the history of literature, nor any one literature, nor any one de- 
partment of literature, uor the grammar of any language, nor any one 
language, nor language itself, nor any form of its use, nor even any 
particular form of thought. It is something higher than any of 
these ; it is not any one subject, any one field of investigation, but 
it is a method for investigating any subject in the printed records of 
human thought. It might be compared with the calculus in applied 
mathematics; it is a means of following up swiftly and thoroughly the 
best researches in any direction and of then pushing them further ; it 
seeks to give a last and highest training for enlarging a-iy desired de- 
partment of recorded human knowledge. It is the science and art of 
reading for a purpose ; it is a calculus of applied literature. 

Before leaving thjs definition of the proposed new d 'pirtment of 
study, something should be said of the various printed courses of read- 
ing and similar manuals that are extant. These may be supposed by 
some to contain all that is necessary to enable any student to do well 
enough without any teacher. This, however, is not at nil the case. 

Foreign treatises of the kind are practically worthless for American 
purposes and need not be examined; and those which we have are 
thoroughly incompetent for the work required. Watts on the Im- 
provement of the Mind, for instance, is quite obsolete, Pycrofl's 
nook, of which an edition has been issued with additions by an 
American editor, contains pome sensible suggestions, but it i tl. 

232 Public Libraries in the U.iitrl Stat 

years old. Chancellor Kent's, prepared still earlier, (in 1840,) for the use 
of the members of the New York Mercantile Library Association, is 
simply a list of books on a classified schedule of subjects, beginning with 
Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophou, and ending with Kuox's Essays, 
Drake's Literary Hours, Verplanck's Essays, Irving's Essays, under 
the title of Geoffrey Crayon, Dr. Chanuing's Discourses and Iteviews, 
Fisher Ames's Works, Webster's Speeches, and Everett's Speeches. To 
most of the titles is appended a brief valuation of the books, and while 
the whole was a good and kind thing for the chancellor to do, and is 
far from foolish, it is heavy and conventional, and thirty-five years old. 
Knapp's Advice in the Pursuit of Literature, like Chancellor Kent's, 
was made out with a view to the advantage of the New York Mercan- 
tile Library Association, to which it is dedicated. It consists of brief 
sketches of eminent authors and important literary eras, ancient and 
modern, with a good many poetical extracts. It is executed with a 
fair share of taste and discrimination, but it is forty-three years old. 
A number of lists of books recommended, with more or less suggestion as 
to order of reading, have been issued by publishers ; but these are only 
trade lists, with a variation. President Porter's work, Books and Read- 
ing, issued only a few years ago, is a collection of solid didactic essays, 
but consisting largely, as every such treatise must of necessity consist, 
of generalizations, which are like army coats ; they fit no one exactly, 
because they must fit almost anybody somehow. But no book can serve 
the purpose of a live man. 


No better exponent of the accepted theory of college education will be 
found than the experienced, conservative, and thoughtful president of 
Yale College, to whose bot>k on the subject under consideration refer- 
ence has just been made. In his inaugural, delivered October 11, 1871, 
he stated this theory in substance as follows: 

Our higher education (meaning our college, or, as President Porter 
wishes it could be first made and then rightly named, our university 
education) should be 

First. Conversant with the past, including 

a. The doings of the past ; 

b. The record of those doings. 

Second. A learned education ; that is, based to a liberal extent on 
learning, properly so called, and given at seats of learning. 

Third. Nevertheless, in appreciative and friendly relations with the 
thought and progress of the present. 

Fourth. Provident for the future, by sending out graduates having 
the best possible training, both intellectual and moral. To tins end 
two rules (or parts of one rule) as to the method pursued are indis- 
pensable for observance, viz : 

a. It is culture, training, that is to be given rather than such and 
such quantities of knowledge. That is 

Professorships of Book* anil /.'"//>/. 

b. The results to ba sought for are not so much immediate ones aa 
remote ones. 

Now, these heads of doctrine are as harmonious with tin: exposition 
herein, made as if they had been worked oat for the same purpose, in- 
stead of having been prepared without the remotest reference to or even 
knowledge of each by the author of the other, and four years apart. 
Eead over once more the above four heads of President Porter's dis- 
course, and ask after each, "Will the course on books and reading. 
above proposed, serve this purpose '?" And the answer will be, \ 
every time; and it will serve it, too, with a striking directness and 

But it may possibly be objected that there are enough kinds of pro 
sorships already. . The general question involved is important, being 
that of the progressive subdivision of departments of education ; and a 
brief exposition of it is in place here, since it involves the particular ques- 
tion of the proposed additional department. 

As the whole field for mental activity and the accumulated stores gath- 
ered in it increase, the number of different sorts of this activity increases. 
The extent of their separate departments in one sense diminishes ; but 
no earnest specialist has ever found his field too narrow ; witness the 
story of the German philologist. This scholar, it is related, famous for 
profound researches on the third declension in Latin, approaching his end, 
and advising his sou, also a promising philologist, warned him against 
attempting too much by alleging his own example. "Too late," said 
the dying professor, "I have realized that I ought to has-e devoted my 
life exclusively to the dative case." 

There has been a steady and interesting progress in what Mr. Her- 
bert Spencer calls " differentiation " in all the history of human learn- 
ing. Four centuries ago, in the early days of printing, a populai 
encyclopaedia, or the book that then stood for such, instead of b< 
twenty-one quarto volumes, like the Encyclopaedia Britannica, or even 
ten large octavos like Chambers's Cyclopaedia, was one small quarto 
volume, with not so great an extent of reading matter in it as the Old 
Testament. And there was then really nothing so very absurd in a 
man's professing all that was known. There is a well-known Latin 
phrase of that period which describes such a man: " Qui frw, <iu< 
tern, qui omne scibile, novit," i.e., "Who knows the three, the seven. 
in short, all that there is to know." Xow, this three and seven 
the " trivium " and " quadrivium," or courses of three studies and <>i 
four studies, first three alone and then both together. The three 
were grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and the additional four were arith- 
metic, music, geometry, and astronomy. And in the small extent to 
which they were known at all, a quick-witted, talkative, p.-rs.tii (snob U 
was the Admirable Crichton, for instance) might lecture aMy e:i<>ii_'li 
for the period on the whole of them. Even these seven may, ot'e..ii: 
be ranged as only three language, music, ami mathematics, showing 

234 PuUic Libraries in tlie United States. 

a still earlier stage of learning. But now we have, for instance, compo- 
sition, sacred rhetoric, hoiniletics, besides the three old departments of 
language, music, sacred and secular, instrumental and vocal, and dif- 
ferent departments of each, and so on. All the natural sciences have 
been added - r the whole of mechanics, pure and applied ; a number of 
industrial pursuits, even, and so on, until the number of separate de- 
partments of knowledge is such, and the extent of research in each has 
become such, that a pretender to know all the learning of to-day would 
either be hustled off to a lunatic asylum, or would be ticketed with 
some keen descriptive jest, like those which paid off Lord Brougham 
for undertaking to know more than was practicable. " Distinguished 
by vast and varied misinformation," one of these said of him ; and the 
other (imported from France, by the way) was to the effect that " if 
the lord chancellor (Brougham was then such) only knew a little law, he 
would know a little of everything." 

The extent of recorded knowledge, then, is now such that it is per- 
fectly hopeless to attempt to master it ail. Of works already printed 
there are, literally, millions. To this number are added, includ- 
ing the printing world, i. e.. Christendom, not less than twenty-five 
thousand new works each year. Also, probably five thousand volumes 
each year of magazines and reviews ; also, a quantity of newspapers, of 
which numerals can only give a notion even less accurate and adequate 
than the foregoing roughly estimated, but not extravagant totals. There 
are said to be about five thousand in the United States, the hive of 
newspapers. Suppose we have as many as all the rest of the world ; 
that gives a total of ten thousand. If only one in twenty of these is a 
daily, that gives a total of six hundred and thirty -four thousand dif- 
ferent newspapers issued a year. To read through a first class daily, 
would take a swift reader two hours. Suppose, however, it only took 
five minutes to read a book and one minute to read a newspaper ; then 
he who should read all the current issues of the book and periodical 
press, (pamphlets are omitted, it will be observed, from this estimate, 
and no allowance made for reading up on past books,) would have to 
provide for the purpose five hundred and forty -four days of twenty-four 
hours each, every year ; or more than thirteen hundred working days a 
year, of ten hours each. But if, instead of this one-minute and five-min- 
ute scale, we allow -what it would really take to read each book and 
paper; if we allow also for reading up the volumes issued since the 
first book with a date was printed, 1457 restricting ourselves to the 
English language, omitting all but local periodicals, and making any 
other fair allowances that can be imagined while the fanciful nature 
of the estimate is admitted, the mass of reading matter it covers is 
simply enormous; immeasurably beyond the acquiring powers of any 
one mind ; a field superabundantly ample in size, as it is in significance 
of contents, to justify a technical professional guidance in examining it 
and selecting from it. 

Professor si nps of LW,-.s an -I li,n ///,</. 235 


So far as ordinary readers are concerned, the printed ivcjrds ot \> i>t 
and present human knowledge and mental activity are thus a track: 
if not a bowling wilderness, in which a guide, philosopher, and friend will 
find ample occasion for his services. The matter of reading i.s at piv 
in a wholly unorganized, unscientific, empirical condition, like navigation 
before the use of the compass and the application of scientific astrouo:n\, 
or like mining before the introJuetion of scientific geological and minn 
alogical investigations and of scientific engineering. Every one di-> 
wherever he fancies ; he may possibly find a deposit of gjld, bat he may 
find only mare barren ro^k or slag or dirt. (X- parhap-; it m iv !. still 
more aptly compared with the physician's profession, in which famous 
and successful practitioners begin their lectures by saying, " Medicine, 
gentlemen, is something that physicians know nothing abaut," and in 
which an advertising quack, whatever his effect on the graveyard, will 
sell a great many more doses to fools, and make a great deal more money 
out of them, than a conscientious and scientific gentlemen in treating 
people of good sense. 

The low comparative merit of American literary and scholastic work 
as a whole, compared with that of England, France, and Germany, i> 
another very important reason for scientific dealing with literature. N > 
doubt our literature is improving; and no doubt we have many good 
writers and workers in various fields of thought. Bat every one who lias 
had occasion to examine at the same time, as one does who is purchas- 
ing for a large library, the average issues of the American press and the 
English press, for instance, will be prompt toalmit the great superiority 
of the average foreign article. . In the lifetime of Mr. Hawthorne, there 
may have been but few English novel writers his equal, and but one or t wo, 
if any, his vsuperior. Bat the bast hundred Eaglish novels of any given 
year were then greatly better than the best hundred American novels 
of that year. There may not be a better historian uow at work in I. 
land than Mr. Motley; but the English historical books issued this \r.n 
are collectively a great deal more useful and valuable than the American 
ones. And so on through most subjects 011 which books are written. 
This is not an agreeable statement to make, but it is a state of things 
which requires to be fully understood and appreciated, if we are e\ er to 
esaape it. It is not disgraceful, it is not disc juragin.4 ; it is tin- p-r.'cctly 
natural and necessary and invariable experience of a new p -op!e with 
small money capital, handling vast unimproved lands, foivvd tod.> rather 
than to read. So that in fact it is only just now that we are earning to 
the sacial state where we are iva ly to produce a train:- 1 literary class. 
Thus far we have not done it, whatever may have been the case with a 
few individuals, and we have had no business to do it. Ax, plow, 8teaiu 
engine, not pen and palette, have been thus far our proper implements; 
and we have done a noble " spot of work " with them. Exactly now. at 

236 Public Libraries in tlie United States. 

the end of our first national century, it is gool to sum and value just 
this total of attainments. Anil exactly such a scientific instruction in 
books and reading as is here discussed is one of the influences which 
will do most to correct our views, to raise our ambition, to bring us up 
to the present limits of attainment in knowledge and in thought, and to 
prepare us for extending those limits. Comparing our past with that of 
Europe, we have had at most two centuries and a half of literary ex- 
istence the same length, by the way, as that of our political existence ; 
which is not true of any European nation. Now, roughly speaking, our 
higher education system may be dated back to 1638, the origin of 
Harvard College. Compare this period with the duration of the corre- 
sponding institutions in Europe, where the date of foundation of the 
universities of Bologna, Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge is a matter of 
doubb; but where that of Bologna was existing in 1158; of Paris al- 
ready in 1250, when the Sorbonue was founded; where that of Prague was 
founded in 1348, and four more, at Vienna, Heidelberg, Cologne, and 
Erfurt, before the year 1400. Here we have the European nations, some 
of them rooted in a civilization already ancient, and having higher 
educational systems, now six and seven centuries old and more. Is it'a 
discredit to us that, in our brief existence, and with our 'other work to do, 
we are not now as far forward as they in special scholarship ? Not at all. 
We are in advance of those nations in things enough. We have done 
more than might reasonably have been expected in the very direction 
under discussion. 

Certainly, the influence of trained thiukersandstudentsindirectiugthe 
choice and valuation of books, and times and modes of reading, will do 
much to cause a demand for better and better books, and thus to cause 
the appearance of better and better writers ; for if crude, silly, cheap, and 
easy writing is the only kind that people will buy, it is the only kind 
that can be produced except by rich persons and the great works in 
literature have not, as an invariable rule, been produced by the rich. 

Another argument in favor of scientific guidance for reading is that 
we have, as a people, so little time for it. We are still deeply 
mortgaged to our lands; and, until we have developed from the earth a 
larger amount per man of permanent capital than yet exists, we shall, 
as a nation, continue to have but little time for reading. It follows, of 
course, that we need to use the more skilfully what time we have. 

These considerations have been meant to show the desirableness of 
the proposed instruction, in view of the condition of reading as actually 
pursued among us at present, and in view of our present educational 
attainments. But such instruction is furthermore indicated with equal 
directness and clearness by the general present tone and tendency of 
the best public opinion in regard to educational systems of the higher 
class. That opinion has, at present, a distinct set towards the employ- 
ment of a thorough, systematic, and scientific training in lines of attain- 
ment other than scholastic. It is not meant at all by this to suggest 

Professorships of Looks and 7.VW,'////. 237 

anything about the question of relative values of subjects of education. 
Whatever. these may be, the fact referred to is shown plainly enough in 
the recent growth of scientific and technological schools of various 
kinds; some separate, others in connection with some university organ- 
ization. We have professorships of agriculture, of physical culture, of po- 
litical economy, of aesthetics, of mechanics, and so on, every one of them 
useful and desirable. And in like manner it is in accordance with thespirit 
of the educational movement of to-day, that we should have professor- 
ships of books and reading ; for the knowledge of what to read and how 
to read it is the indispensable completion and finish to any one of the 
previous or other courses of study in any university or high grade insti- 
tution of learning. No other department, in fact, could be contrived, 
so adapted to be the last symmetrizing and polishing process to a com- 
plete education. ' . 


An instructor, if he is fit for his business, must adjust his methods to a 
great extent to suit his own gifts or deficiencies and those of his pupils. 
All that can be done here, therefore, is to make a few suggestions to 
show that there are many practical questions as to range and choice of 
subject matter, and as to modes of procedure. 

As far as possible, the instructor should adapt his teaching to the 
peculiarities, if any, of his individual pupils. A good many of them will 
have no very marked peculiarities. For these, and in the beginning for 
all, the general course must be begun and followed. As one develops 
a strong love for metaphysics, another for historical sociology, another 
for military history, another for biography, and so on. each of these 
should be shown the relative value and capabilities of his chosen topic : 
should be taught how to pursue that specialty without too much neglect- 
ing others, and how to take up along with it the related brandies. As 
deficiencies in attainment appear, they should be put in course of cure. 
The tendency to reading for mere amusement should be carefully 
watched and limited. If inferior books are preferred, the pupil should 
not be too suddenly forced away from them, but should be gradually 
trained to like better ones. Especial care should be taken to habituate 
the student to the investigation and mastering of subjects, rather than 
to the mere reading of books; to teach him not to pile up lumber and 
bricks, but to plan and build an edifice. The various mechanical n 
of retaining a hold on one's reading should be recommended, ami, if 
possible, put in practice, always permitting the student whichever, on 
trial, he finds best for his own mental habits. With one the vowel 
system, "Index Kerum," will do; with another, a regular slip catalogue; 
while a third may prefer a system of commonplacing, without so much 
indexing, and a prodigy may any day rise up whose memory, " wax 
to receive and marble to retain," will enable him to cite, and pcrli 
to recite, volume and page without making a single note. Peri 
some may like to try a mnemonic system, and if they do, they should. 

Pnblu: Lihi-(trirx in tin:, f.'nifr'f Xtui- 

The habit of making oral and written analyses and summaries of books 
and parts of them should be cultivated as far as possible. It is a great 
and wonderful secret to learn, that in many cases this practice of search- 
ing out the anatomy of works already created, transmutes itself, in 
time, into the power of creating other works, just as the profoundest 
knowledge of anatomy has belonged to the greatest sculptors. 

Reading can usually be for one or more of only three purposes, viz : 

1. Entertainment ; 

"2. Acquisition of knowledge ; 

3. Literary production. 

The first is hardly worth teaching; the object here being merely 
to train to good taste in selec'ion and good sense in indulgence. The 
second is, or should be, pretty sufficiently practiced in the undergradu- 
ate and university course, though a skillful teacher in the proposed de- 
partment would greatly re-enforce the methodology of every class in the 
college. In fact, his course would coincide better with a professed 
course in methodology, by name, than with either of the partly 
synonymous courses referred to in the beginning of this paper; 
it would necessarily be based, if it was a correct course, upon a 
complete and detailed methodology. 

It is, however, the third sort of reading alone that for literary pro- 
ductionwhich is the ideal of the scientific use of books, and the one 
for which the course should primarily be modeled. It will be found 
easy to relax from its thorough- work quite as often as desirable. All 
these suggestions, it will be seen, point towards making the student in- 
dependent of his teacher as soon as possible, for they tend to set him 
to doing his own thinking, and, indeed, his own acting, at the earliest 
practicable period. 

A hygiene for the eyes, for the stomach, in fact for the whole economy 
of students, should be thoroughly taught; showing, for instance, how to 
manage artificial light ; how to get the most work out of the eyes with- 
out ruining them ; how to jive so as to keep the brain in the best work- 
ing order, and so on. A capacity for understanding how, and how 
much, a book is useful for the student, himself, and a habit of ascer- 
taining this with distinctness, should be taught; but this done, it is a 
question whether the maximum of literary power and accomplishment 
requires much more. It is better to try to bring something good to 
pass for one's self than to be watching to see whether other people have 
done well or ill. 

The question of pursuing one's reading into other languages, ancient 
or modern, will require various decisions ; so will that of using or of 
making translations. The use of reference books will often need to be 
taught ; and some enthusiastic student may be encouraged to begin to 
prepare some kind of reference book for himself, as a first essay in pro- 
ducing something from his reading. The work may be of intrinsic 
value; and if it is not, it will be valuable to have made it. The relative 
and positive importance ar.d value of our own and other literatures 

Professorships of Books and Rewlin'i. 

will require to be considered, and the bird of our country must not be 
let soar any higher than a due union of literary patriotism and of cos. 
mopolitauisui may permit. The proper mode of reading periodicals and 
of newspapers should be carefully inculcated, for there is ii propr; 
well as an improper mode of reading even newspapers. Here, the 
practice of making scrap books will properly come up fur consideration. 
Without attempting to elaborate these and similar details into a com- 
pleted system, which would suit nobody except the maker, and probably 
not even him very long, this enuinaration is sufli jient to show that 
under this title of "books and reading'' a good many practical quest; 
would naturally arise, and that there is abundant material for establish- 
ing by this or an equivalent name a new department of our higher edu- 
cation, which shall take cognizance of important matters at present very 
little attended to. 

As everywhere else, it would make all the difference in tin- world 

about the success of the new course of study what manner of man should 

teach it. It would be easy enough to enumerate the qualifications of .1 

literary archangel and then say, all these he should have. Practically, 

the best man must be got that can be had; that is all. But he should 

be not merely as good a scholar as possible, but he needs in a peculiar 

degree the gift of teaching and a union of conservative and progressive 

qualities. Some college professors are logs that have drifted into an 

eddy; incapables, whose friends have hoisted them into their chairs t> 

get rid of the burden of them at the expense of a school; and other-. 

of distinguished ability in their specialties, have either no aptitude 1m 

instructing or no desire to instruct. But the professor of books and 

reading will be worse than useless unless he is a man who takes the full 

pleasure of instructing. For such a man, the nature of the subject, ami 

its peculiar adaptation to the minds of young men of college age, will 

render his work a keen delight. He may range over the whole la-Id >i 

human history, knowledge, and activity; his teaching may be a system 

atizing of all these, and at the same time a course of applied mental 

philosophy, as he stimulates and guides the various minds before him. 

and of morals, as he develops the ethical significances t>f all his themes 

Such a discursive activity would not suit everybody; but for min<! 

a certain class and that a very valuable class it would be simply 


240 Public Libraries in the Unite?! States. 



The value of books as a means of culture is at this day recognized by 
all men. The chief allies and instruments of teachers, they are the best 
substitutes for teachers, and, next to a good college, a good library may 
well be chosen as a means of education. Indeed, a book is a voiceless 
teacher, and a great library is a virtual university. A literary taste is 
at once the most efficient instrument of self-education and the purest 
source of enjoyment the world affords. It brings its possessor into ever- 
renewing communion with all that is noblest and best in the thought of 
the past. The garnered and winnowed wisdom of the ages is his daily 
food. Whatever is lofty, profound, or acute in speculation, delicate or 
refined in feeling, wise, witty, or quaint in suggestion, is accessible to 
the lover of books. They enlarge space for him and prolong time. More 
wonderful than the wishing-cap of the Arabian tales, they transport 
him back to former da\-s. The orators declaim for him and the poets 
sing. He becomes an inhabitant of every country, a contemporary of all 
ages, and converses with the wisest, the noblest, the tenderest, and the 
purest spirits that have adorned humanity. All the sages have thought 
and have acted for him; or, rather, he has lived with them; he has 
hearkened to their instructions; he has been the witness of their great 
examples; and, before setting his foot abroad in the world, has ac- 
quired the experience of more countries than the patriarchs saw. 

The most original thinkers have been most ready to acknowledge 
their obligations to other minds, whose wisdom has been hived in books. 
Doctor Franklin traced his entire career to Cotton Mather's Essays to 
do Good, which fell into his hands when he was a boy. The current 
of Jeremy Bentham's thoughts was directed for life by a single phrase, 
"The greatest good of the greatest number," caught at the end of a 
pamphlet. Cobbett, sit eleven, bought Swift's Tale of a Tub, and it 
produced what he considered a sort of "birth of intellect." The genius 
of Faraday was fired by the volumes which he perused while serving as 
an apprentice to an English bookseller. One of the most distinguished 
personages in Europe, showing his library to a visitor, observed that 
not only this collection, but all his social successes in life, he traced 
back to " the first franc he saved from the cake shop to spend at a book 
stall." The French historian Michelet attributed his mental inspira- 
tion to a single book, a Virgil, he lived with for some years ; and he 
tells us that an odd volume of Racine, picked up at a stall on the quay, 
made the poet of Toulon. Books not only enrich and enlarge the mind, 

Professorships of Books and Reading. 241 

but they stimulate, inflame, and concentrate its activity; and though 
without this reception of foreign influence a man may be odd, he can- 
not be original. The greatest genius is he who consumes the most 
knowledge and converts it into mind. What, indeed, is college educa- 
tion but the reading of certain books which the common sense of all 
scholars agrees will represent the science already accumulated ? 

A well known American writer says that books are only for one's idle 
hours. This may be true of an Emerson; but how many Emersons are 
there in the reading public? If the man who gets almost all his informu 
tion from the printed page, " needs a strong head to bear that diet," what 
must be the condition of his head who abstains from this aliment f A 
Pascal, when his books are taken from him to save his health, injured 
by excessive study, may supply their place by the depth and force of 
his personal reflection ; but there is hardly one Pascal in a century. 
Wollaston made many discoveries with a hatful of lenses and some 
bits of glass and crystal; but common people need a laboratory as rich 
as Tyndall's. To assume that the mental habits which will do for a in in 
of genius will do for all men who would make the most of their facul 1 
is to exaggerate an idiosyncrasy into a universal law. The method of 
nature, it has been well said, is not ecstacy, but patient attention. 
''There are two things to be considered in the nutter of inspiration; 
one is, the infinite God from whom it comes, the other the finite capacity 
which is to receive it. If Newton had never studied, it would have been 
as easy for God to have revealed the calculus to his dog Diamond as 
to Newton. We once heard of a man who thought everything was in 
the soul, ami so gave up all reading, all continuous thought. Said 
another, ' If all is in the soul, it takes a man to find it.'" It is true that, 
as Ecclesiasticus tells us, "a man's mind is sometimes wont to tell him 
more than seven watchmen that sit above in a high tower;'' but it is 
also true that the man will hear most of all who hearkens to his own 
mind and to the seven watchmen besides. 

No doubt books,like every other blessing, may be abused. " Heading,' 
as I'.acon says, "makes a full man;' 1 and so does eating; but fuln- 
without digestion, is dyspepsia, and induces sleepiness and ilabbin 
both fatal to activity. The best books are useless, if the book woim i> 
not a living creature. The mulberry leaf must pass through tl.e silk 
worm's stomach before it can become silk, and the leaves \\liii-li ai 
clothe our mental nakedness must be chewed and di-. -\ living 

intellect. There are readers whose wit is so smothered under tin- wriglit 
of theiraccnmlations as to be absolutely powerless. It \\ as said of Holiei t 
Southey that he gave so much time to the minds of other men tl at I 
never found time to look into his own. Robert 11 all said ol I>i HppU 
that he piled so many books upon his head that his brains could I 
move, it was to such helluoHe* lihrnntm, or litera.y anacondas, 
possessed by their knowledge, not possessed of it, that 
Malmesbury alluded, when he said that had he read as many I 
16 E 

242 Public Libraries in the United States. 

other men, he would have known as little. There is in many minds, as 
Abernethy complained of. his, a point of saturation, which if one passes, 
by putting in more than his mind can hold, he only drives out some- 
thing already in. It was one of the advantages of the intellectual giants 
of old, that the very scantiness of their libraries, by compelling them to 
think for themselves, saved them from that habit of intellectual depend- 
ence, of supplyingone's ideas from foreign sources, - which is as sure to 
enfeeble the thinking faculty as a habit of dram drinking to enfeeble 
the tone of the stomach. But though books may be thus abused, and 
m my fine wits, like Dr. Oldbuck's, lie " sheathed to the hilt in ponder- 
ous tomes," will any man contend that such abuse is necessary ? The 
merely passive reader, who never wrestles with his author, may seem to 
be injured by the works he peruses ; but in most cases the injury was 
done before he began to read. A really active mind will not be weighed 
down by its knowledge, any more than an oak by its leaves, or than was 
Samson by his locks. Great piles of fuel, which put out the little fires, 
only make the great fires burn. If a man is injured by multifarious 
knowledge, it is not because his mind does not crave and need the most 
various food, but because it u goes into a bad skin." His learning is 
mechanically, not chemically, united to the mind ; incorporated by con- 
tact, and not. by solution. 

Such being the value of books, how can the college student better 
spend his leisure time, beyond what is required for sleep, meals, bodily 
exercise, and society, than in reading? But what books shall he read, 
and how shall he read them 1 Shall he let his instincts guide him in the 
choice, or shall he read only the works which have been stamped with 
th e approval of the ages ? How may he acquire, if he lacks it, a taste 
for the highest types, the masterpieces, of literature 1 Are there any 
critical tests by which the best books may be known, and is there any 
art by which u to pluck out the heart of their mystery?" These ques- 
tions, if he is a thoughtful young man, anxious to make the most of his 
time and opportunities, will confront him at the very threshold of his 
college life. Of the incompetency of most students to answer them for 
themselves those persons who have watched them when drawing books 
from college libraries can have little doubt. Not to speak of the under- 
graduates who read merely for amusement, or of the intellectual epi- 
cures who touch nothing bat dainties, nibbling at a multitude of pleas- 
ant dishes without getting a good meal from any, how few r even of 
the laborious and conscientious students who would economize their 
precious moments, read wisely, with definite purpose or plan ? How 
many, ignorant that there is a natural order of acquirement, that, for 
young readers, biography is better than history, history than philoso- 
phy, descriptive poetry than metaphysical, begin with the toughest, 
the most speculative, or the most deluding books they can find ! How 
many, having been told that the latest works in certain departments of 
knowledge are best, plunge at once into Mill, Spencer, Buckle, Darwin, 

Professorships of Books and Eeadlng. 243 

and Taine! books pre-eminently suggestive to well trained minds, but 
too difficult of digestion for minds not thoroughly instructed. There is, 
perhaps, no more frequent folly of the young than that of reading hard, 
knotty books, for the sake of great names, neglecting established 
facts in science, history, and literature to soar into regions where their 
vanity is flattered by novel and daring speculations. 

Again, how many students real books through by rote, without inter- 
est or enjoyment; without comprehending or remembering their con- 
tents, simply because they have been told to read them, or because so n man has profited by them! Who has not seen young in -n plo 1- 
ding wearily through bulky volumes of history or science, utterly un- 
suited to their actual state of develop nent, under the dehuion tint 
they were getting mental strength and illumination, when, in fact, they 
were only inflaming their eyes and wasting their precious time ? An 
heroic freshman, full of enthusiasm, and burning to distinguish him< -it 
by some literary conquest, fancies that it would be " a grand thing'' to 
possess himself of universal history, and so he attacks the history of the 
world, in seven volumes, by M.Charles Rollin. He plods through Hume, 
(ribbon, Robertson, and other "works which no gentleman's library 
should be without," journeying over page after page with incredible p.i- 
tience, and with a scrupulous attention to notes, and, in in rare cases, to 
maps, that is morally sublime. No tome is too thick for him, no type too 
small; whether the author is luminous or voluminous, it is all the same to 
him. Years pass, perhaps the young man graduates, before the truth 
Hashes upon him that the object of reading is not to know books but 
things; that its value depends upon the insight it gives; and that it is no 
more necessary to remember the books that have made one wise th in it 
is to remember the dinners which have, made one strong. Hi- ; 
instead of enriching and invigorating his mind he has taken tin- most 
en'ectual course to stultify it. He has crammed his head witli tae.ts, but 
has extracted from them no wisdom. He has mistaken the husks ot' 
history tor the fruit, and has no more assimilated his heterogeue 
requisitions than a millstone assimilates the corn it grinds. The corn 
wears out the millstone, giving it a mealy smell ; and the books have 
worn out the student, giving him only the faintest odor of 
culture and discipline. Almost every college has its literary Calvin V. \ 
sons living skeletons that consume more mental food than the strong 
mid healthy, yet -receive from it little nourishim-nt iv:n. lining \\- 
and emaeiated on much, while the man of sound constitution 
vigorous on little. 

Thediirnmllii'sofdee.idmg wh it b .'ist. iv i 1 M* _riva!ly multiplied in 
our day 1>.V the. enormous number of volumes that wei^h down the 
shelves of our libraries. In the National Library at Paris i: 
there are S(M,Oim separate volumes, or, avoiding to A late writ. 
mate. 1 IS.Tiit) acres of printed p.iper! Tin- library of the lln: 
Museum, which eonlaiiis over 70(,0(H) separate volumes, is said to h.ive 

244 Public Libraries in the United States. 

forty miles of book shelves. And yet the largest library in the world 
does not contain over a quarter part of the books that have been printed 
since the time of Gutenberg and Fust, while new books are flying from 
the press as thick as snowflakes on a wintry day. Five thousand new 
publications are issued in a year in England, and it has been ascertained 
that over ten thousand works, including maps, or a million volumes, are 
poured forth annually from the press of Germany alone. The Leipsic 
catalogue contains the names of fifty thousand German authors, and 
it is estimated that the time will speedily come when the number of 
German writers will exceed that of German readers. What reader 
is not appalled by such statistics ? Who can cope with even the mas- 
terpieces of literature, to say nothing of the scientific and theological 
works, whose numbers are increasing in geometrical ratio I De Quincey 
calculates that if a student were to spend his entire life from the age of 
twenty to eighty in reading only, he might compass the mere reading of 
some twenty thousand volumes; but, as many books should be studied 
as well as read, and some read many times over, he concludes that five 
to eight thousand is the largest number which a student in that long 
life could hope to master. What realms of books, then, must even the 
Alexanders of letters leave uncouquered ! The most robust and inde- 
fatigable reader who essays to go through an imperial library cannot 
extract the honey from one-twentieth of this hive j though he read from 
dawn to dark, he must die in the first alcoves. 

It is true that, in another vie-w, the facts are not quite so discouraging. 
Newton said that it' the earth could be compressed into a solid mass it 
could be put into a nutshell ; and so, if we could deduct from the world 
of books all the worthless ones and all those that are merely repetitions, 
commentaries, or dilutions of the thoughts of others, we should find it 
shrunk into a comparatively small compass. The learned Huet, who 
read incessantly till he was ninety-one, and knew more of books per- 
haps than any other man down to his time, thought that if nothing had 
been said twice everything that had ever been written since the crea- 
tion of the world, the details of history excepted, might be put into 
nine or ten folio volumes. Still, after all deductions have been made, 
the residuum of printed matter which one would like to-read is so great 
as to be absolutely terrifying. The use of books is to stimulate and re- 
plenish the mind, to give it stuff to work with, ideas, facts, sentiments ; 
but to be deluged with these is as bad as to lack them. A mill will not 
go if there is too little water, but it will be as effectually stopped if there 
is too much. The day of encyclopaedic scholarship has gone by. Even 
that ill-defined creature, " a well-informed man," is becoming every year 
more and more rare; but the Huets and the Scaligers, the Bacons, 
who " take all knowledge to be their province," and the Leibnitzes, who 
presume " to drive all the sciences abreast" must soon become as 
extinct as the megatherium or the ichthyosaurus. The most ambitious 
reader who now indulges in what Sidney Smith calls the foppery of 

Professorships of Books and Reading. -J 1 ."> 

universality, speedily learns that no individual can grasp in the limits 
of a lifetime even an elementary knowledge of the many provinces of old 
learning, enlarged as they are by the vast annexations of modern dis- 
covery ; and, like Voltaire's little man of Saturn, who lived only dur- 
ing five hundred revolutions, or fifteen thousand of our years, he c;> H 
. plains, as he closes his career, that scarcely has he begun to pick up a 
little knowledge before he is called on to depart. 

For all these reasons we cannot but think that our colleges, while 
they provide the student with libraries, should also provide him with a 
professor of books and reading. It is not enough to introduc hi:n to 
these quarries of knowledge; he should also be taught where to sink 
his shafts' and how to work them. Mr. Emerson, speaking of such a 
professorship in one of his later essays, says, "I think no chair is M 
much wanted." Even the ripest scholar is puzzled to decide what books 
IK- .shall read among the myriad* that clamor for his attention., then, 
must be the perplexity of one who has just entered the fields of literature ! 
If in Bacon's time some books were "to be tasted, others to be swal- 
lowed, and some few to be chewed and digested," how much greater 
must seem the necessity of discrimination at this day, when the amount 
of literary pabulum has quadrupled and even quintupled! Is there 
not, then, an absolute necessity that the student who would economi/e 
his time and make the best use of his opportunities, should be guided 
in his reading by a competent adviser? Will it be said that, according 
to the theory of a collegiate education, the studies of the currieulum 
will demand all his time; that he will have no spare hours lor general 
culture f We reply that, as a matter of fact, whatever the theory, in 
no college does the student, as a rule, give his whole time to the regular 
lessons, however long or difficult. Unless very dull or poorly prepared. 
the student does find time to read often several hours a day and he is 
generally encouraged to do so by the professors. The question, tii 
fore, is not whether he shall concentrate all his time and attention upon 
his text books, but whether he shall read instructive books, for a defi- 
nite purpose and under competent direct ion, or shall acquire, without 
direction, the merest, odds and ends of knowledge. 

We live in a day is the, practice in every calling to ntili/.e 
things which were once deemed valueless. In some of the great cities 
of Europe even the sweepings of the streets are turned to a.-,-,unf. 
being sold to contractors who use them as dressing for farms. In the 
Tinted States Mint at Philadelphia the visitor to the gold room nut 
a rack placed over the lloor for him to walk on; on inquiring 
purpose, he is told that it is to prevent the visitor from earn 11 = 
with the dust of his feet the minute particles of precious \\liich, 
in spite ol the utmost care, will fall upon the ll<ior when tin- rougher 
edges of the bar are tiled, and tin- sweepings of the huilding - 
\carly thousands of dollars. Mow much more pin-ions are tin- minute 
fragments ot time which are wasted by the \oiin_ lly b\ those 

246 Public Libraries in the United States. 

who are toiling in tbe mints of knowledge! .Who can estimate the 
value to a college student of this* golden dust, these raspings and parings 
of life, these leavings of days and remnants of hours, so valueless singly, 
so inestimable in the aggregate, could they be gleaned up and turned 
to mental improvement ! Let us suppose that a young man, on entering 
college, economizes the odds and ends of his time so far as to read 
thoughtfully twelve pages of history a day. This would amount, omit- 
ting Sundays, to about three thousand seven hundred pages, or twelve 
volumes of over three hundred pages each, in a year. At the end of 
his college course he would have read forty-eight volumes, enough to 
have made him master of all the leading facts, with much of the phi- 
losophy, of history; with the great, paramount works of English liter- 
ature ; with the masterpieces {in translations) of French, German, 
Spanish, and Italian literature, and with not a little of the choicest 
periodical literature of the day. What a fund of knowledge, of wisdom, 
and of inspiration would these forty-eight volumes, well chosen, well 
understood, and well digested, be to him ! What a quickening, bracing, 
and informing study would even one great book prove! The histories 
of Hallarn, Grote, Merivale, Mominsen, Milman, Macaulay, Motley ; 
Clarendon's gallery of portraits, Gibbon's great historic painting; any 
one of these might tlate an epoch in the student's intellectual life. The 
thorough, conscientious study of any masterpiece of literature, Dr. 
Johnson thought, would make a man a dangerous intellectual antagonist. 
Over and above all this, the student would have formed habits of self- 
improvQinent and of economy in the use of his time which would be of 
more value than his acquisitions, and would influence his whole life. 

In saying this we do not forget that it is not well for the intellectual 
worker to be always in the harness, or to be a slave to the clock. We 
have no sympathy with those persons who, with a pair of compasses, 
divide the day into portions, allotting one portion and no more to one 
thing, and another portion to another, and who think it a sin to lose a 
minute. On the contrary, we believe there is profound truth in the say- 
ing of Tillier that "le temps le mieux employe est celui que 1'on perd." 
Much of our education, even of our best education, is acquired, not only 
out of school, but out of the study, in the hours which morbid or 
mechanical workers consider lost. Deduct from our acquisitions all that 
is learned in seemingly idle hours, in times of recreation and social in- 
tercourse, and the residuum would be a heap of bones without flesh to 
cover them. Making, however, all deduction for necessary rest and 
relaxation, we still believe there are few students who cannot find time to 
read twelve pages a day. Are there not many who, through ignorance 
of what to read, and how to read, and even of the chief advantages of 
reading, waste double this time? 

Will it be said that it is enough for the student to read a few choice 
authors, to absorb thoroughly a half-dozen or more representative 
books, and that these he can select for himself? Xo doubt there are 

Professorships of Books and Reading. 247 

advantages in thus limiting one's reading. So far as reading is not :\ 
pastime, but a part of the systematic cultivation of the faculties, it is 
useful only so far as it implies close and intimate knowledge. The mind 
should be not a vessel only, but a vat. A man may say that he IMS 
read Milton's minor poems, if he has skimmed over them lightly as he 
would skim over the columns of a newspaper, or if he di.sp itdics them 
as a person boasted that he had gone through a geometry iu one after- 
noon, only skipping the A's, and B's, and crooked lines that seemed to 
have been thrown iu to intercept his progress ; but he h,w not rea 1 them 
to any good purpose until they have fascinated his iuugiuation and 
sunk into his memory. Really great b>>oks must b3 re id and 
with ceaseless iteration, must be chewed and digested till they are 
thoroughly assimilated, till their ideas pass like the iron atoms of the 
blood into the mental constitution ; and they hardly begin to give 
weight and power to the intellect, till we have them so by heart that 
we scarcely need to look into them. It is not in the number of facts 
one has read that his intellectual power lies, but in the number he ran 
bring to bear on a given subject, and in his ability to treat them as data, 
or factors of a new product. It is hardly possible to censure too 
sharply what Sir William Hamilton calls "the prevailing pesti- 
lence of slovenly, desultory, effeminate reading." A great deal of the 
time thus spent is but the indulgence of intellectual dram drinking, 
affording a temporary exhilaration, but ultimately emasculating both 
mind and character. The Turk eats opium, the Hindoo chews tobacco 
and hotel nut, the civilized Christian reads; and opium, tobacco, ami 
books, all alike tend to produce that dizzy, dreamy, drowsy state of 
mind which unfits a man for all the active duties of life. But true as all 
this is, " the man of one book," or of a few books, is, we fear, a I'topiau 
dream rather than a reality, in this nineteenth century. The young 
man who has a keen, vigorous appetite for knowledge, and who would 
be abreast, with his age, will never be content to feed on a few choice 
authors, oven though each be a library. He knows that as the . Vina/on 
and the. Mississippi have hundreds of tributaries, so it is with e\ 
great si ream of knowledge. Ho sees that such are the interrelations 
and overlapping* of science that, to know one subject well, it is neccs. 
sary to know something of a thousand others. IIerec,g:ii/"s, ^.oncr or 
later, the fact that, as Maclaurin says, " our knowledge is vastly greater 
than the sum of what all its objects separately could afford: and when 
a new object comes within our reach, the addition to our knowlcd_ 
the .greater the more we already know; so that it increases, not a tin- 
new objects increase, but in a much higher proportion." Aboveull, bo 
knows that, as in our animal economy it is a disastrous policy to eat ex- 
clusively the nitrates which contribute to the muscles, the phosphates 
which feed the brain and nerves, or the carbonates which develop 
fat, so we starve a part of our mental faculties it we limit our 
diet to a few dishes. The intellectual epicure who would feed on a lew 

248 Public Libraries in the United States. 

choice authors is usually the laudator temporis acti, the indiscriminate 
eulogist of the past; and this, of itself, renders worthless all his recipes 
for mental culture, and cuts him off from the sympathy of the young. He 
is forever advising them to read only classic authors, which would be to 
live in an intellectual monastery. It is quite possible to feed a young 
man with too concentrated a diet. It has been truly said by a wise 
teacher that if there is one law more sure than another in intellectual 
development, -it is that the young must take their start in thought and 
in taste from the models of their own time ; from the men whose fame 
has not become a tradition, but is ringing iu clear and loud notes in the 
social atmosphere around us. 

.There are some persons, no doubt, who are opposed to all guidance 
of the young iu their reading. They would turn the student loose into 
a vast library and let him browse freely in whatever literary pastures 
may please him. With Johnson they say, " Whilst you stand deliber- 
ating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both ; 
read anything five hours a day and you will soon be learned." Coun- 
sel, advice in the choice of books, they condemn as interfering with the 
freedom of individual taste and the spontaneity which is the condition 
of intellectual progress. " Read," they say to the young man, " what you 
can read with a keen and lively relish; what charms, thrills, or fasci- 
nates you; what stimulates and inspires your mind, or satisfies your 
intellectual hunger; 'in brief, sir, study what you most affect."-' No 
doubt there is a vein of wisdom in this advice. It is quite possible to 
order one's reading by too strict and formal a rule. A youth will con- 
tinue to study only that in which he feels a real interest and pleasure, 
constantly provoking him to activity. It is not the books which others 
like, or which they deem best fitted for him, that he will read and read 
with profit, but the books that hit his tastes most exactly and that sat- 
isfy his intellectual cravings. Xo sensible educator will prescribe the 
same courses of reading for two persons or lay down any formal, cast 
iron rules for the direction of the mental processes. That which is the 
most nutritious aliment of one mind may prove deleterious and even 
poisonous to another. 

To some extent, too, the choice of books may be left to individual 
taste and judgment. There are some minds that have an eclectic qual- 
ity which inclines them to the reading they need, and in a library they 
not only instinctively pounce upon the books they need, but draw ;it 
once from them the most valuable ideas as the magnet draws the iron 
filings scattered through a heap of sand. But these are rare cases and 
can furnish no rule for general gu idance. To assert that a learned and 
judicious adviser cannot help the ordinary student in the choice of 
books, is to assert that all teaching is valueless. If inspiration, genius, 
taste, elective affinities are sufficient in the selection and reading of 
books, why not also in the choice of college studies! Why adopt a 
curriculum! The truth is, the literary appetite of the young- is often 

Professorships of Books and Eeading. 249 

feeble, and oftener capricious or perverted. While their stomachs gen- 
erally reject unwholesome food, their minds often feed on garbage and 
even poison. The majority of young persons are fond of labor saving 
processes and short cuts to knowledge, and have little taste for books 
which put much strain on the mind. The knowledge too easily acquired 
may impart a temporary stimulus and a kind of intellectual keenness 
and cleverness, but it brings no solid advantage. It is, in fact, "the 
merest epicurism, of intelligence, sensuous, but certainly not intellec- 
tual." Magnify as we may the necessity of regarding individual pecu- 
liarities in education, it is certain that genius, inspiration, or an affinity 
for any kind of knowledge, does not necessarily exclude self knowliv. 
self criticism, or self control. As another has said, " If the genius of a 
man lies in the development of the individual person that he is. his 
manhood lies in finding out by study what he is, and what he may be- 
come, and in wisely using the means that are fitted to form and perfect 
his individuality." 

Will it be said that there are manuals or " courses of readings," such 
as Pycroft's, or President Porter's excellent work, by the aid of which 
an undergraduate may select his books without the aid of a professor? 
We answer that such manuals, while they are often serviceable, can 
never do the work of a living guide and adviser. Books can never 
teach the use of books. No course of reading, however ideally good, 
can be exactly adapted to all minds. Every student has his idiosyn- 
crasies, his foibles, his " stond or impediment in the wit," as Bacon 
terms it, which must be considered in choosing his reading matter, so 
that not only his tastes may be in some degree consulted, but " every 
defect of the mind may have a special receipt." 

A professor of books and reading should be a man of broad and 
varied culture, with catholic tastes, a thorough knowledge of bibliog- 
raphy, especially of critical literature, and much knowledge of men : 
one who can readily detect the peculiarities of his pupils, and who, in 
directing their reading, will have constant reference to these as well as 
to the order of nature and intellectual development. While he may pre- 
pare, from time to time, courses of reading on special topics, and 
especially on those related to the college studies, he will be still more 
useful in advising the student how to read most advantageously: in 
what ways to improve the memory; how to keep and use commonplace 
books; when to make abstracts; and in giving many other hints 
which books on reading never communicate, and which sn^' 
themselves only to one who has learned after many years of experience 
and by many painful mistakes the secret of successful study. He will 
see that the young men who look to him as their guide read broadly 
and liberally, yet care "mult urn lj< ,< potiiix quum nittlt<t." He will^S 
that they cultivate " the pleasure grounds, as well a< the corn fields of 
the mind ;" that they read not only the most famous books, but the K 
reputed current works on each subject; that they lead by subjects and 

250 Public Libraries in the United States. 

not by authors ; perusing a book uot because it is the newest or the 
oldest, but because it is the very one they need to help them on to the 
next stage of their inquiries; and that they practice subsoil plowing 
by re-reading the masterpieces of genius again and again. Encouraging 
them to read the books they " do honestly feel a wish and curiosity to 
read," he will teach them to discriminate, nevertheless, between true 
desire, the monition of nature, and that superficial, false desire after 
spiceries and confectioneries, which, as Carlyle says, is "so often mis- 
taken for the real appetite, lying far deeper, far quieter, after solid 
nutritive food;'' and, discouraging shortcuts in general, he will yet 
often save the student days of labor by pointing out some masterly 
review article in which is condensed into a few pages the quintessence 
of many volumes. Perhaps one of the greatest services which such a 
teacher might perform for the undergraduate would be in showing him 
liow to economize his reading how to transfer or inspirit into his brain 
the contents of a good book in the briefest time. At this day, the art 
of reading, or at least one of the arts, is to skip judiciously, to omit all 
that does not concern us, while missing nothing that we really need. 
Some of the best thinkers rarely begin a book at the beginning, but 
dive right into the middle, read enough to seize the leading idea, dig 
out the heart of it, and then throw it by. In this way a volume which 
cost the author five years of toil, they will devour at a night's sitting, 
with as much ease as a spider would suck the juices of a fly, leaving the 
wings and legs in the shape of a preface, appendix, notes, and conclusion, 
for a boiled joint the next day. It is said that Patrick Henry read 
with such rapidity that he seemed only to run his eye down the pages 
of a book, often to leap over the leaves, seldom to go regularly 
through any passage; and yet, when he had dashed through a vol- 
ume in this race-horse way, he knew its contents better than any- 
body else. Stories similar to this of " the forest-born Demosthenes" 
are told of some of his contemporaries. Wonders are recounted of 
their powers of perusal; how Johnson would swoop down upon his 
prey like the eagle, and tear out the heart of a book at once ; how 
Burke, reading a book as if he were never to see it again, devoured two 
octavo volumes in a stagecoach; and how. package after package of 
these sweet medicines of the mind were thrown in to Xapoleou on the 
island of St. Helena, like food to a lion, and with hoc presto dispatched. 
It is said that Coleridge rarely read a book through, but would plunge 
into the marrow of a new volume, and feed on all the nutritious matter 
with surprising rapidity, grasping the thought of the author, and fol- 
lowing out his reasonings to consequences of which he had never 
dreamed. Chief- Justice Parsons of Massachusetts, who, according to 
Chief-Justice Parker, " knew more law than anybody else, and knew 
more of other things than he did of law," read books with a similar 
rapidity, taking in the meaning not by single words but by whole sen- 
tences, which enabled him to finish several books in a single evening. 

Professorships of Books and Reading. 


Thierry, the historian, tells us of himself that from the habit of devour- 
ing long pages in folio, ia order to extract a phrase and sometimes one 
word among a thousand, he acquired a faculty which astonished him, 
that of reading in some way by intuition, and of encountering almost 
immediately the passage that would be useful to him, all the vital 
power seeming to tend toward a single vital point. Carlyle devours 
books in the same wholesale way, plucking out from an ordinary vol- 
ume " the heart of its mystery" in two hours. It is absurd, of course, 
to suppose that every man, above all, that young men, will bo able 
with profit to dash through books as did these great men; but all stu- 
dents can be taught how, by practice, to come nearer and nearer to siu-h 
a habit. It is a miserable bondage to be compelled to read all the words 
in a book to learn what is in it. A vigorous, live mind will fly ahead 
of the words of an author and anticipate his thought. Instead of pain- 
fully traversing the vales of commonplace, it will leap from peak to i>eak 
on the summit of his ideas. Great quickness, acuteness, and power of 
concentration are required to do this ; but it is a faculty suseeptible of* 
cultivation and measurably attainable by all. The first thing to be 
learned by eve^ student is how to read. Few know how because few 
have made it a study. Many read a book as if they had taken a HUTU- 
mentum militare to follow the author through all his platitudes ami 
twaddle. Like the American sloth, they begin at the top of the tree 
and never leave it till they have devoured all of which they can strip it, 
whether leaves or fruit. Others read languidly, 'without re-acting on 
the author or challenging his statements, when the pulse should beat 
high, as if they were in battle and the sound of the trumpet were in 
their ears. A reader who knows the secret of the art will get through 
a book in half the time, and master it more thoroughly than another 
who, ignorant of the art, has plodded through every page. 

A word, in conclusion, touching the cost of such a professorship as 
we have advocated. In the leading colleges we believe there should U- 
a chair of " books and reading" specially endowed ; but in the smaller 
colleges its duties might be discharged by the professor of English liter- 
ature, or by au accomplished librarian. 





The libraries of the General Government hive grown out of the exi- 
gencies of its administration. Before the Government was removed 
from Philadelphia to Washington, members of Congress and the execu- 
tive officers of the several departments were obliged to avail them- 
selves of the courtesy of a proprietary library. The new Capitol offered 
no such facilities. The Library of Congress was therefore begun, and 
lias grown, as ueeds required, until it now numbers over 300,000 volumes 
and 60,000 pamphlets. 

As the business of administration increased, and its cares were 
divided by the creation of new departments, a reference library for each 
was found necessary for the proper conduct of business. In like man- 
ner, it became essential from time to time to form libraries in a number 
of the bureaus of the departments. With three or four exceptions, 
these libraries have been formed with reference to the special duties 
devolving on the respective bureaus. 

The establishment of the Naval School at Annapolis and the Military 
Academy at West Point necessitated libraries in each. 

The subjoined notices, several of which have been prepared by the 
librarians iii charge of the collections named, will show the growth 
and importance of the libraries referred to, as well as of some not so 
directly connected with the Government, such as those at military gar- 
risons and arsenals, at the several navy yards and marine hospitals, and 
on board ships of war. 

Small collections of reference books are also found in the principal 
custom houses and mints, and at the places of holding the United States 
distiict courts. 

Libraries of the General Government. 


Librarian of Congress. 

The Library of Congress had its origin in the wants of our National 
Legislature for books and information. Its establishment, like th r 
some of the government libraries of other countries, was almost 
with the existence of the Government in a permanent form, the origin 
of the Library of Congress dating from the year 1800, about the time of 
the establishment of the seat of Government at Washington. 

The Continental Congress, assembled at Philadelphia during the 
period of the Revolution, represented a government consisting of a mere 
league of colonies, without central power or authority ; and it was (Im- 
pendent for library aid upon the chance researches of its members, and 
the gratuitous use of -books tendered them by the Library Company of 
Philadelphia. Thus it formed no library of its own, and after the ndop- 
.tion of the Constitution in 1789, while the controverted question of the 
ultimate seat of government remained unsettled, there was little motive 
to enter upon the collection of a permanent library. 

The first appropriation made by Congress for the purchase of books 
was on the 24th of April, 1800, in the fifth section of "An act to make 
further provision for the removal and accommodation of the Govern- 
ment of the United States." Tins act appropriated the sum of $5,000 
"for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Con- 
gress at the said city of Washington, and for fitting up a suitable apart- 
ment for containing them, and placing them therein." The selection of 
books was devolved upon a joint committee.of both Houses of Congi 
to be appointed for that purpose. And the statute provided : 

That said books .shall be placed in one suitable apartment in the Capitol iu the said 
city, for the use of both Houses of Congress, and the members thereof. 


Congress met in October, 1800, at the city of Washington, for the first 
time. In the unfinished condition of the original Capitol, the t\v.> 
Houses, with the Supreme Court, were all crowded into the north wing 
of the new building, and little was done for the accommodation of the 
nascent Library of Congress. At the next session, which num-m-d un- 
der the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, in December, 1801, that oilu-.-i 
appears to have taken an earnest interest in the library, and. at his sug- 
gestion a statement was made, on the first day of the session, n-sju-rt- 
ing the books and maps purchased by the joint committee <>l CongreM. 
A special committee was appointed at this session on the part of lx)th 
Houses to take into consideration the care of the books, and t> maU- . 
report respecting the future arrangement of the same. This rr|> 
made to the House by John Randolph, of Virginia, December 21, lst. 


Public Libraries in the United' States. 

formed the basis of "An act concerning the library for the use of both 
Houses of Congress," which was the first systematic statute organizing 
the Library of Congress, and which still continues substantially in force. 

This act of organization, approved January 26, 1802, located the Li- 
brary of Congress in the room which had been occupied by the House of 
Representatives. It empowered the President of the Senate and the 
Speaker of the House to establish regulations for the library. It created 
the office of Librarian, and vested his appointment in the President of 
the United States, requiring him to give bond for the safe keeping of 
the library and the faithful discharge of his trust. It further restricted 
the takiug of books from the Library of Congress to the members of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives, together with the President 
and Vice-Presidetit of the United States. This regulation was subse- 
quently extended so as to invest with the privilege of drawing books 
from the Library of Congress the heads of Departments, the judges, 
reporter, and clerk of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Claims; 
the Solicitor of the Treasury ; the disbursing agent of the library ; the 
Solicitor- General and Assistant Attorneys-General ; the Secretary of 
the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives; the Chap- 
lains of both Houses of Congress, the members of the Diplomatic 
Corps, and the Secretary and Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
resident in Washington. 

The disbursement of funds for the purchase of books is under the 
direction of a joint committee of both Houses of Congress on the Li- 
brary, consisting of three Senators and three representatives, who also 
have power to make all regulations not inconsistent with law in rela- 
tion to the Library of Congress, or either of its departments. 

In the early years of the library there was little occasion for official 
work with a view to its wider usefulness ; and the care of the few 
books accumulated (which amounted only to 3,000 volumes up to the 
year 1814) involved but little time or trouble. Hence, the earliest libra- 
rian placed in charge of the books was, in the case of each Congress, 
the Clerk of the House of Representatives for the time being, who 
employed an assistant to take the immediate care of the books. The an- 
nual appropriation for the purchase of books during these early years 
was only $1,000. 

On the 25th of August, 1814, the Capitol was burned by the British 
army, which invaded and held possession of Washington for a single 
day, and the Library of Congress was entirely consumed with it. During 
the following month, Ex-President Jefferson, then living in retirement 
at Monticello, and overtaken by pecuniary embarrassment, tendered to 
Congress, through the Committee on the Library, his private collection 
of books, as the basis for a new Congressional Library. The offer w;ts 
to furnish the books (numbering about 6,70f) volumes, of which a manu- 
script catalogue was submitted) at cost, and to receive in payment the 
bonds of the United States, or such payment as might be " made con- 

Libraries of the General Government. 

venient to the public." This proposition was favorably reported from 
the committees in both Houses of Congress, but excited eai n->t d.-bate 
and opposition. The final vote in the House upon the passant* of tin- 
bill authorizing the purchase, at the price of $23,950, was 81 yeas and 
71 nays. 

On the 21st of March, 1815, Mr. George Watterston was appoint. .1 
Librarian of Congress by President Madison, and a room in the building 
temporarily occupied by Congress was appropriated for the reception 
of the Jefferson library. A catalogue of the collection was printed the 
same year (1815) in a thin quarto of 210 pages, which is little more than 
a rough finding-list of an imperfect character. It is noteworthy that 
on the title page of this volume the collection is styled "The Librarv 
of the United States," instead of the Library of Congress, which lat- 
ter designation has since been generally employed. 

At the next session of Congress, the library was removed from tin 8 
temporary building (which was the Post-Office Department of that day) 
to the brick ediSce on Capitol Hill which had been erected as a tern- 
porary home for Congress, until the Capitol should be rebuilt upon the 
old site. The annual appropriation for the purchase of books was raised 
to $2,000 a year in 1818. This continued until 1824, when the sum of 
s5,000 was appropriated; and the same amount continued the average 
annual appropriation for twenty or thirty years thereafter. The annual 
accessions of books under this modest appropriation were not great, al- 
though the selections were generally judicious, and resulted in bringing 
together a library formed with a view to the highest utility, and with 
some general unity of plan. In the year 1824, the library was finally 
removed to the central Capitol building, which had been completed, 
where an apartment 92 feet in length by 32 feet in width (still occupied 
as the central library hall) was fitted up to receive the books. 

There the library continued to grow, slowly but surely, until it had 
accumulated, by the year 1851, 55,000 volumes of books. On the IMth 
of December of that year the calamity of a second fiie overtook the 
Library of Congress. A defective flue, which had been neglected, and 
was surrounded with wooden material, communicated the llames to the 
adjoining shelving, and the entire library, then, as now, occupying the 
western front of the Capitol, was soon wrapped in llames. The fire 
occurring in the night, its extinction was attended with great delay, so 
that only 20,000 volumes were saved from the flames. These, ho\\. 
embraced the more valuable portion of the library at that time, includ- 
ing the whole of the department or" jurisprudence, American hi- 
and biography, and political science. But the important divisions of 
geography, voyages and travels, English and Kuropean histon, tine 
arts, natural history, poetry, the drama, &;., were entirely destroyed. 
Starting anew in 1852 with the little nucleus of L' volume-, tin- 

jibrary of Congress soon arose from its ashes, and has since continued 

to grow in a greatly accelerated ratio. The Congress of that day took 


Public Libraries in the United States: 

a wise and liberal view of the situation, and appropriated at the same 
session the sum of $72,509 for the reconstruction of the library rooms, 
ami $75,01)1) additional for the immediate purchase of books. The 
library hall, under the superintendence of Thomas U. Walter, esq., 
Architect of the Capitol, was rebuilt in fire proof material, the walls, 
ceiling, and shelves being constructed of solid iron finished in a highly 
decorated style. 

The Library of Congress thus furnished the first example of an inte- 
rior constructed wholly of iron in any public building in America. 

The liberal appropriation made by Congress for books soon began to 
show its fruits in the acquisition of multitudes of volumes of the best 
literature in all departments ; and many expensive art publications, sets 
of periodicals, and valuable and costly works in natural history, archi- 
tecture, and other sciences were added to its stores. By the year 1800 
the library had grown to about 75,000 volumes. 

Soon after the outbreak of the civil war in 18(>1 the regular appropria- 
tion for the purchase of books was increased from 87.000 to $10,000 per 
annum, the great cost of imported books rendering it very difficult to keep 
up with the current literature of value and to continue to supplement 
the deficiencies of the collection within the limits of the former meagre 


In the year 1866, the Library of Congress received a most important 
accession in the transfer to its shelves of the whole collection of books 
gathered by the Smithsonian Institution, and representing twenty years' 
accumulation since its establishment. This collection was a most valu- 
able complement to the library already gathered at the Capitol, being 
well supplied with books in the natural and exact sciences, and quite 
unique in the multitude of publications of learned societies in all parts 
of the world and in nearly all of the modern languages. With this 
large addition (numbering nearly 40,000 volumes) the Library of Con- 
gress became at once the most extensive and valuable repository of ma- 
terial for the wants of scholars which was to be found in the United 
States. By the terms of transfer of the Smithsonian Library, Congress 
became its custodian during such time as the Kegeuts of the Smith- 
sonian Institution should continue the deposit, it being stipulated that 
the expense of binding and cataloguing of all books should be defrayed 
by Congress in return for this valuable and annually increasing addi- 
tion to its stores. This arrangement, while it relieves the funds of the 
Smithsonian Institution from an annual charge in maintaining a library, 
secures to the National Library an invaluable scientific department with- 
out material cost ; and the deposit, supplying as it does a much larger 
library of use and reference to the scholars of the country than is to be 
found in any one body elsewhere, is likely to be a permanent one. 

Libraries of the General Government. 


In the following year (1807) Congress became the purchaser of a 
extensive historical library, formed by the late Peter I-'. in . of \V.ish 
iugton. This collection represented nearly fifty years of B 
accumulation by a specialist devoted to the collection of books, pa-n 
phlets, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, &(., relating to the coloni/ation 
and history of the United States. This purchase, which w.i .1 at 

the price of $100,000, included, besides nearly <;o,iMK) articles (or titles) 
in books, pamphlets, and manuscripts, the entire unpublished mateiials 
of the Documentary Distory of the United States, a work to which Mr. 
Force had dedicated his life, and nine folio volumes of which. embiae 
ing a portion only of the history of the revolutionary period, had been 
published. This wise and timely pnrchas" saved from dispersion one ot 
the most valuable private libraries ever gathered by a single hand, and 
has treasured up in a national fire proof repository multitudes of orig- 
inal political and military papers, and historical documents, which are 
unijue, and throw'much light upon onr revolutionary history, as \\ell a* 
upon that of subsequent periods. 

Ily the accessions of succeeding years, the department of Ameiican 
history has been still further enriched by assiduous care in selecting 
from catalogues at home and abroad, and purchasing at every important 
auction sale whatever works were not already in the Library of Coiiu 
illustrative of the discovery, settlement, history, topography, natural 
hist.oiy, and politics of America. 


The law department of the Library of Congress was con'stituted by 
act of -Inly 1 I, IS.'5'J. Prior to that time the whole collection had been kept 
together ; but the wants and convenience of the justices of the Supreme 
Court of the I'nited States would, it was found, be -really promoted by 
removing the department of jurisprudence into a sepaiale room 
more conveniently accessible to the court and confeience rooms of ; 
tribunal, l.y the same act the Librarian of COII-K -s> \\.is re.|iine.l to 
take charge of the law library, which was made a pait of tl e Library 
of Congress, x-.iliject to the same regulations as the general librai J 
that the justiei-xo! the Supreme Court \\eie eti.pow el ed to make such rules 
for the use ot I he s.ime by themselves and the attorneys ;u,d counsellor 
of said court during its sessions as they should drVm pi.-p-i. I'm 
nnal appropriation for the pi "I law books \\ a - $1,000, 

ami a sum of *~, d.i.i was twice 
department, whieli, at the, timo it fl '."11 

volumes. From 1 >.V> L> I he pi .->eii t lime t he annual 'ted 

for law books has been $-',OIW. Tin- law ijbiai\ m* 

room adjacent to the main collect wm, on t he same ll. i in 

oihe Moor underneath, near what ua> th.n the Sui 
1, i 

258 Public Libraries in the United States. 

room, it was finally lodged in the Supreme Court room itself in De- 
cember, I860, the court having been transferred to the former Senate 
chamber on the upper floor. 

The Law Library of Congress is rich in the 'English and American re- 
ports, of which it possesses full sets, many of them being in duplicate. Iii 
civil law it contains all the leading works, .and many of the more obscure 
collateral treatises. In the statute law of the several States, and of tin- 
chief foreign nations of the globe, it is well equipped; its collection of 
treatises in every department of the common law and miscellaneous law 
literature, both in English and French, is large, though far from com- 
plete; while its collection of sets of all important law periodicals, 
whether English, French, or American, surpasses that of any other 
library in the United States. It now numbers upwards of 35,000 vol- 
umes, exclusive of works on the law of nations and nature, and the 
journals and documents of legislative bodies, which form a part of the 
general Library of Congress. 


It may be said that the central idea of a library for the use of a legis- 
lative body should be completeness in the two departments of jurispru- 
dence and political science. Yet a library adequately contributing to 
the enlightenment of the legislators of a nation must necessarily em- 
brace much more than this. There is, in fact, no department of science 
or literature which may not require at any moment to be drawn upon to 
lend its aid. Further than this, as the Library of Congress is also freely 
open for the use and reference of the much larger public, resident or 
temporarily ^sojourning at the seat of Government, it must inevitably, 
by the mere law of growth, become sooner or later a universal library, 
in which no department shall be neglected. While, therefore, the im- 
portance of rendering it approximately complete in books relating to 
law and government has been kept steadily in view, it has also been 
assiduously enriched in other directions. Its accumulation of authori- 
ties in English and European history and biography is especially exten- 
sive. Its collection of periodicals is very rich, and there are few Eng- 
lish or American reviews or magazines of any note of which com- 
plete sets are not to be found upon its shelves. An admirable selection 
of the more important literary and scientific periodicals published in 
France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and other countries of Europe, is 
also to be found here? 

As the library of the American people, supported and constantly en- 
larged by taxation, it is eminently fitting that this library should not 
only be freely accessible to the whole people, but that it should furnish 
the fullest possible stores of information in every department of human 
knowledge. While, therefore, more particular attention has been de- 
voted to rendering the library complete in jurisprudence, history, and 
Americana, there is no department which has been neglected iu its 

Libraries of the General Government. 

formation ; and it is, accordingly, becoming measurably complete in 
many directions which, were it merely the Library of Congressand for 
the sole use of a legislative body, would not receive special attention. 
As one example, it may be stated that this library contains much the 
largest collection of the county and town histories of Great Britain and 
of genealogical works, to be found in America. 

The present numerical extent of the Library of Congress may be summed 
up in saying that it contains 300,000 volumes, besides about 60,000 pam- 
phlets. But this estimate by enumeration, although commonly tin- 
item asked for, is very far from constituting a practical test of the vain*' 
of any library. Non multa, sed multum applies with strict pertinence to 
the intellectual wealth stored within the alcoves of a great library. 
And with regard to the careful selection and winnowiug of books, so 
that we may be sure to have the best on any given subject, no matter 
what other collection contains the most, it may be said that it has been 
the steady aim to secure for the Library of Congress the most compre- 
hensive materials which can be contributed to the enlightmentof read- 
ers upon every theme that interests men. Further than this, sugges- 
tions of books wanting in the collection have been welcomed from all 
quarters, and whenever found worthy of incorporation in the library, 
they have been procured. 


The catalogue system of the Library of Congress is substantially that 
adopted in most great and rapidly growing public libraries. The canl 
ratalogue'is kept constantly complete to date by incorporating daily the 
titles of works added to the collection. The printed catalogues, how- 
ever, comprise two divisions an alphabetical catalogue by autlunV 
names, and a classed catalogue by subjects. The annual catalogues of 
accessions to the library, which were published in a series of bulky 
volumes from 1867 to 1872, have been discontinued, on account of the 
great cost of producing them in comparison to their utility, and will be 
replaced by a, more frequent issue of the general catalogue, embracing 
the whole contents of the library, pamphlets included, which hitler 
were omitted from the annual catalogues for economical reasons. The 
next general catalogue, complete to the year 1S7<5, will (ill four or more 
royal octavo volumes, and in it will be embraced the feature of record- 
ing full collations of every book and pamphlet, including publishers' 
names, first introduced in the catalogues of this librarx in IStlT. A 
logue of the more important accessions of the last three years 1 >;.; 1 - 
accompanied by an index to subjects and titles, was recently issued. 

A labor recently undertaken in connection with the catal<> 'm 

of the library, and by authority of Congress, is the preparation of ft 
complete index of topics to the documents and debates of <'. 
This is a \\oik of vast extent, embracing the contents of about 1 
volumes, including the Annals of Congress, the Register of Debates, the 

260 Public Libraries in the United States. 

Congressional Globe and Record, the journals of tbe Continental Con- 
gress, tbe complete set of congressional documents, (including the par- 
tial reprints in the American State Papers,) the Statutes at Large, &c. 
Considering the great extent and rich material of the documentary his- 
tory of the Republic, the most of which has been completely buried from 
view by the want of any index or other key to unlock its stores, this 
task, when completed, may be expected to yield valuable fruit in bring- 
ing to light the sources of our political history, as well as furnishing an 
important aid to the legislative, executive, and judicial officers of the 
United States. 


It remains to consider, briefly, oue distinctive field of the operations 
of the Library of Congress, namely, its copyright accessions. By an 
act of Congress approved July 8, 1870, the entire registry of copyrights 
within the United States, which was previously scattered all over the 
country in the offices of the clerks of the United States district courts, 
has been transferred to the office of the Librarian of Congress. The 
reasons for this step were threefold : 1. To secure the advantage of one 
central office at the seat of Government for keeping all the records re- 
lating to copyrights, so that any fact regarding literary property can 
be learned by a single inquiry at Washington. 2. This transfer of 
copyright business to the office of the Librarian of Congress adds to the 
registration of all original publications the requirement of a deposit of 
each publication entered, in order to perfect the copyright. This secures 
to the library of the Government an approximately complete representa- 
tion of the product of the American mind in every department of printed 
matter. The resulting advantage to authors and students of being cer- 
tain of finding all the books which the country has produced in any 
given department is incalculable. 3. The pecuniary fees for the record 
of copyrights are now paid directly into the Treasury, instead of being 
absorbed, as formerly, bj r the clerical expenses in the offices of the dis- 
trict clerks. 

The average number of copyright entries is not far from 12,000 per 
annum. As two copies of each publication are required to be deposited 
in the library as a condition of perfecting copyright, the annual receipts 
under this head amount to nearly 25,000 articles. Of this large number, 
however, one-half are duplicates, while a very large share are not books, 
but musical compositions, engravings, chromos, photographs, prints, 
maps, dramatic compositions, and periodicals. Yet there is, even in the 
accumulation of what some critics might pronounce trash, an element 
of value which will receive increasing illustration in the future. By 
the constant deposit of copyright engravings, photographs, wood-cuts, 
chromos, and other objects of art, the library must iu time accumulate a 
large and attractive gallery of the fine arts, richly worthy of attention as 
representing the condition and progress of the arts of design at different 
periods in the United States. 

Libraries of the General Govern // 261 

By the required deposit, also, as a condition of the copyright, of every 
book and periodical on which an exclusive privilege is claimed, there 
will be gathered in a permanent lire proof repository the nu ans of tracing 
the history and progress of each department of science or literature in 
this country. As a single example of this, consider how great a benefit 
it must be for those who are interested in the profession of education 
to be secure of finding in a national library a complete series of school 
books produced in all parts of the United States for the period of half a 
century. AVhat seems trash to us to-day may come to morrow to have 
a wholly unsuspected value ; while that which is worthless to one reader 
may contribute a very solid satisfaction to another. 

There should be in every nation one great library, and that the prop- 
erty of the whole people, which shall be inclusive, not exclusive, in its 
character; which shall include not a selection merely, but all the pro- 
ductions of the, intellect of the country, year by year, as they appear 
from the press. Thus only will our National Library be fitly repre- 
sentative of the country; thus only will it discharge its function 
as the custodian and transmitter to future generations of the whole 
product of the American press. No one who is familiar with the 
tendency to disappear, or the rapid consumption, so to speak, which 
overtakes so large a portion of the books that are issued ; no one who 
has sought in vain for a coveted volume, which has become almost 
to the world from the small number of copies printed, and the swift de- 
struction through the accidents of time, can fail to appreciate the value 
of a collection thus truly complete and national. 


This library is attached to the Clerk r s office of the I louse. There 

illeetion of public documents as early as ITs'.i, which formed the 
nucleus of the present library. The books are almost exclusively < 
legislative and executive character, and are partu-ularly for the use of 
the. members of the House. They are subject to the order of the in 
bers, but are not to be taken from the city. The library is in charge of 
a librarian appointed by the House. Including duplicates, the library 
numbers Km. ODD volu; 


The library of the I'nited States Senate was begun as a regular In 
in 1S.VJ, though it traa established Ma ie|H^i(nry of public document* ami 
State papers in 1 7> '. ll \\asat lii-t at I aclu-d to t he office of t he S, 
t.u\ of the Senate. The collect ion consist s cut 11 ely of public documen I s. 
It contains a complete set of State pa; lining uitli the tirM pub- 

lished b\ dales \ Seaton, and t he maniisc npt journals ot "the Sen 
from the fust session, held at NVu \ 01 k. beginning March 1. I. 
The library mini! < mi \o!mt, 

262 Public Libraries' in the United States. 


The library of the Executive Mansion dates back to the administra- 
tion of President Madison, and is simply a miscellaneous family library, 
containing, however, in addition to miscellany, a number of executive 
documents for special reference for the use of employes. Small addi- 
tions are.made from time to time from the contingent fund. 

The number of volumes in the library is 1,453. The first appropria- 
tion for its increase was made in 1850, and amounted to $2,000. 



Librarian of the Slate Department. 

This library has been growing from the time of the organization of 
the Government; its foundation maybe dated from the resolution of 
Congress of September 23, 1789, which made it the "duty of the Secre- 
tary of State to procure, from time to time, such of the statutes of the 
several States as may not be in his office." Although it cannot be said 
that the idea of forming a miscellaneous library was contemplated, yet 
the fact possesses considerable interest that this resolution was the first 
authorization of a collection of books by the Congress of the United 

The real character of the library was determined by the necessities of 
the service. After the organization of the Department of State, a 
demand was created for works on the law of nations, diplomatic his- 
tory, and cognate topics, which led to the gradual accumulation of 
Auieriean and foreign histories, voyages, treatises on political science, 
political economy, and works affording liberal information on the sub- 
jects of investigation of the Department. 

Few data have been preserved respecting the growth of the collection. 
Two subject catalogues, issued in 1825 and 1830, furnish the only records 
of its early history. The first, a small octavo, covers sixty-eight 
pages, and accounts for eight hundred and seventy-five titles in three 
thousand volumes. The second, of one hundred and fifty pages, small 
octavo, shows an increase within five years to about thirteen hun- 
dred titles in four thousand six hundred volumes. Since the date of 
the latter, an accurate statement of the increase cannot now be furnished. 
It is estimated that there -are at present about six thousand titles in 
twenty-three thousand volumes. Of these, there are, in English titles, five 
thousand; in French, Italian, and Spanish, one thousand. 

This estimate, of course, does not include the large and valuable col- 
lection of newspapers nor the publications of Congress. Of the former 
there are four thousand seven hundred and fifty bound volumes, com- 
prising files of the principal journals of the United States and Europe, 
preserved from an early date by the Department. There are of English 

Libraries of the General Government. :M:; 

papers alone seven hundred volumes; the files of South American and 
West Indian journals could hardly be duplicated. The library i > 
also, complete sets of the most important reviews and magazines. Of 
congressional publications, it has a quite full, though not complete, 
collection. In documents relating to foreign aff.iirs, it is natur.illy rich. 

In the peculiar province of the library may be noted, briellv, works 
on the law of nations, commentaries and dissertations, diplomitie 
usages and formularies, collections of treaties ami negotiations, foreign 
statutes and digests, reports of cases of common, civil, and muuicipil 
law at home and abroad, state papers, and treatises on tin- prinri; 
of law. Here are Rymer's Foadera, Duinont's Corps universe! diplo- 
matique and N6gociations touchant la paix de Munster, etc. 

The resolution of Congress of 1789, before referred to, is still in force, 
and the library duly obtains the published acts of the legislature .it 
the States and Territories. This collection is one of great importance, 
numbering six thousand seven hundred volumes. 

Although the purchases have been mainly regulated by necessity, 
the library has accumulated through long years of slow but steady growth 
many works of miscellaneous literature, embracing the standard Knglish 
and Continental writers in the best editions and in appropriate bindi: 
Among tlit-rn are many rarities to attract the bibliophile in tin* shape of 
f ilitioHc* principes and specimens from celebrated presses, such a> Masker- 
ville, Kl/evir, and Pickering. Foremost among the works relating 
to the early history of the American continent 'is a copy of the first 
right parts of Do Dry's Great Voyages, the Latin versions, mostly of 
rlie first, impressions, in excellent condition. Here are also copies of (Jar 
-ia, Uarcia, Herrera, and Torquemada. Of collections of voyages the 
library possesses Hakluyt, Navarrette, Churchill, Burney, and Pinker 
ton; and of special travels by sea and land, the relations of the must 
notable from iln 1 time of Nearchus to the present day. In biography 
and history, the library is even more full; in these classes its real 
strength lies. Among them may be found the first French and second 
Knglish editions of Mayle, t he first edition of the Biographia Uiitani 
the quarto series of old chronicles edited by Douce, Kills, and ot!i. 
and I'etitofs collection of French historical memoirs. These neces- 
sarily brief references afford hut little information of the extensive his 
torical material the library contains, not only of systematic histories ..i 
the principal nations of the world, but of rarer works, memoirs of 
periods and princely houses, the secret histories of courts that ha\<- 
more or less relation to diplomatic alfairs, collections ol tracts and pub- 
lic documents and of histoiical dissei tat ions. 

The departments of lexicographical and statistical works are vci \ full, 
to meet t he requirements of the general work of the I >.-p irlmciit. 

The library po>-e^es large stores of pamphlets, made up lor lh* 
most part of the publications o| foiei^n governments rel.itin- to th,< 
intercourse of nations, eomme! ee, and finance. 

264 Public Libraries in the United States. 

The preparation of a complete catalogue has been for some time 
past in contemplation ; but tor various reasons the work lias been 
delayed. Since the removal of the books to the new building occu- 
pied by the Department of State, a card catalogue has been under- 
taken, on a very comprehensive plan, to supply the need of a thorough 
analytical index to the working material of the library ; and good 
progress has been made. The work is of considerable importance, as 
the beginning of a systematic bibliography of international law and 



A small reference library was begun in this Department as early as 
1803, but not till 1867 was any considerable collection of general litera- 
ture acquired and made accessible to the employes of the Department. 
The library now numbers 8,450 volumes, a large part of which is com- 
posed of works on biography, history, and fiction. Books can be drawn 
daily, except Sundays, by employes. v 


This library was begun in 1866, when the Bureau was established. 
A few works, chiefly anuual publications of a statistical character, 
have, from time to time, been purchased for the Bureau ; but the 
additions to its library consist chiefly of the statistical publications of 
foreign governments, official documents of the United States and of 
various State and municipal governments thereof, and reports of cham- 
bers of commerce and other associations. The library now contains 
about 0,000 volumes, of which upwards of 1,100 are in foreign languages, 
including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Scan- 
dinavian, Bohemian, Hungarian, and Russian. There are also about 
2,500 unbound pamphlets. The library is used chiefly by the officers 
and clerks of the Bureau in compiling statistics. 


The nucleus of this library was formed in 1780. It is composed 
almost exclusively of legal works and public documents. It is only 
for the use of employe's, for reference, and contains 2,000 volumes. 


The library of the Light-House Board was begun in 1852, and consists 
mainly of scientific treatises needed for reference by the employes of 
the office. For a small library it possesses an unusually large number 
of valuable books, among which are Annales deChimie and Annales de 
Chimie et de Physique, 2C1 volumes, from 1789 to 1872, early copies 
of which are not known to be in any other library in the country : 
Pellet's Traite de la Chaleur; Belidor's Science des Ingeuieurs, printed 
1729; Stephenson's Bell Rock Light-House; and Smeaton's Eddystone 
Light-House, 1793. The library numbers 1,500 volumes. 

Libraries of the General Government. 


This small library was begun in 185S, ami consists almost entirely of 
technological works required for purposes of reference in the duties of 
the office to which it belongs. It numbers 250 volumes. 


The library of the United States Coast-Survey Office contains about 
3,000 volumes. The collection is the growth of years, receiving its ac- 
cretions from donations, exchanges, and purchase. It is restricted 
mainly to such scientific works, journals, and periodicals as are n< 
sary and useful in the prosecution of the work committed to the ofli 
and other employes of the Coast-Survey. 

The library contains works on mathematics, astronomy, and geodesy, 
topography and hydrography, navigation and engineering, chemistry, 
physics and mechanics, geology, meteorology, electricity and magnet- 
ism ; also scientific journals, and the proceedings of societies, astro- 
nomical and philosophical, both at home and abroad. 

Among the foreign periodicals may be found Poggemloi fTs Aimalen der 
Physik, Diugler's Polytechnic Journal, ComptcsRendns, Peters's Astron- 
omische Xachrichten, Bulletin de la Socie"te de Geographic, Petermann's 
Mittheilungen, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Memoirs 
of the Royal Astronomical Society. 

Among the American periodicals are the American Journal of Science 
and Arts, Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science, Reports of the Smithsonian Institution, and Journal of the 
Franklin Institute. 


This library was begun when Lewis Cass was Secretary of War, in 
IS: 51*. It consists largely of works on military science, though it likewise 
possesses valuable collections on law, history, and biography, together 
With public documents. It also contains all the Government medals, 
and is well supplied with valuable maps and charts sho\\ing t 
and plans of battles of many European wars, and also of our own wai>. 
Hooks may bi', drawn only by otlhvrs and employes of t he Department 
a itl officers of the Army when in Washington. It is open once a week 
for delivery of books. The library contains 13,000 volumes. 


The. library of the artillery school at Fort Monroe. Ya.. lor the instruc- 
tion of ollicers of that arm of the military service, \\a* be-jun in IS'Jl. It 
had its origin in a jjil'l of .'100 volumes of professional woiks by < 'olonel 
11. S. Archer, inspector general, I'liited Stales Arm\. 

The library has been increased from time to time \>\ presentation of 
duplicates from the library of the I'nitcd Slates Miln.u\ \, ,,i,'< 
West Point, and by purchase. It contains npwanU of I'.:.MO \nlumea , 

266 Public Libraries in tlie United States. 


This library was begun in 1838, and consists of valuable works on 
military tactics, engineering, pyrotechny, military and civil law. It 
contains 2,200 volumes. 


The library of this Office is made up almost entirely of public docu- 
ments. It has, however, a full and complete collection of manuscript 
reports of the military history of the late civil war, from 1880 to 18H5, 
including those of the late confederate government, and all official cor- 
respondence relative to the war, which is now in progress of publica- 
tion. It numbers 1,700 bound volumes. 


A full description of this library, which now numbers 40,000 volumes 
and 40,000 pamphlets, will be found in Chapter VI of this report. 


The library of the United States Signal Office was begun in 1871. The 
books are entirely of a scientific character, consisting of works on 
meteorology, telegraphy, cipher and military signaling, and examples 
of messages in different ciphers. Exclusive of maps, charts, and pam- 
phlets, the library contains 2,900 volumes. It exchanges with twenty- 
one different institutions. More than 500 tri-daily maps and bulletins 
have been sent out to foreign societies since 1874. 


The library of the United States Military Academy was begun in 1812. 
Its growth from its establishment cannot be ascertained, the records 
and many books having been destroyed by the fire of February 19, 1838. 
The additions by decades have been : 


1838-1847 2,494 

1848-1857 3,895 

1858-1867 4,000 

1868-1875 4,645 

Present number of volumes, 25,000; of pamphlets, about 800 ; manu- 
scripts, 28. There is a printed catalogue. 


The library of this Department comprises historical, legal, and scien- 
tific works, especially those which relate to naval affairs. It is used for 
reference, and is accessible to employes and officers of the Navy. Books 
are purchased from the contingent fund. This library receives works 
occasionally, on nautical affairs, from officers at foreign stations. It 
numbers 4,000 volumes. 

Libraries of the General Government. 267 


This library consists chiefly of medical and scientific works ; is u>. 1 
only for reference in performing the duties of the Office ; and numbers 
1,000 volumes. 


The library of the Bureau of Navigation is made up chiefly of scien- 
tific works on navigation and nautical astronomy ; is used only for refer- 
ence; and numbers 1,250 volumes. 


This library, numbering 7,000 volumes, was begun in 1807. It con- 
sists largely of hydrographic, meteorologic, and nautical works, together 
with numerous maps and plates. The collection is chiefly for reference. 
It supplies public libraries at home with its publications, and exchanges 
with hydrographic offices, geographical and other scientific societies. 

BY PROF. J. H. NOUH6E, U. S. X., 

Librarian United States Naval Observatory. 

On the founding of the Observatory, 1843, Lieut. James M. Gilliss,U. S. 
N., visited the chief observatories in Europe in reference to the con- 
struction of the buildings aud the purchase of the instruments to be 
used in making astronomical and meteorological observations. 

To the proper success of the institution Lieutenant (lilliss judged 
the formation of a scientific library also to be essential; lie there- 
fore submitted for the approval of the Navy Department the selection 
and purchase of such standard works directly related to astronomical 
operations as should form the basis of an adequate collection. He 
consulted the eminent astronomers, Airy, Schumacher, Kncke, and La- 
mont, in reference to this object; being guided also by t lie catalog,, 
the library of the 1 ligh School Observatory of Philadelphia, at that da;e 
almost the only observatory existing in the United States. 

Lieutenant Gilliss'sselectionsembraced 700 volumesof English. l-Yench, 
and Cierman standard publications which he purchased at London. Pai i>, 
and Leip/ig. He reported to the Secretary of the Navy "that much 
interest had been evinced in the success of the Naval Observatory by 
the distinguished savants whom he had the honor to meet : that in token 
of their gratification at the establishment of an institution by the United 
States where Science would be prosecuted, contributions had been made 
by the K'oyal Society, Royal Astronomical Society, the A>trom>ii 
K'oyal at Greenwich, Berlin, Brussels, and Munich, ami the Aslronoii 
at Cambridge, Dorpat, Prague, and Oxford; by the F,ngli>h Admiralty, 
the Honorable F,ast India Company, t li" 1 lydrographer o!' t he K"\ .tl 
Navy, and by various authors of repute, and that the < >!>, i \ atoi y 
been placed on the list of correspondents to rereive from date the 
following publications: The Transactions, the Memoirs of 

268 Public Libraries in the United States. 

the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Astronomical Observations of 
Greenwich, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Dorpat, Munich, Prague, 
Brussels, Hamburg, Madras, and Berlin." 

The basis of a library adapted to the legitimate purposes of an astro- 
nomical institution having been thus secured, accessions have been 
received from the date of its founding, to a very limited extent, by pur- 
chase, but largely by exchanges with the most noted institutions at home 
and abroad. These exchanges are effected through the offices, chiefly, 
of the Smithsonian Institution. The resident legations respond very 
cordially, also, in forwarding volumes to foreign public institutions. It 
is worthy of note that the expenses of preparing and publishing the an- 
nual volumes of the Observatory are largely returned by the exchanges 
received, which are here building up a scientific treasury of an astro- 
nomical, mathematical, and geodetic character for public use. 
The collection, which is approaching 7,000 volumes, while directly 
promoting the daily work of the institution, has always been, and re- 
mains, available for use by the superintendent of the Nautical Almanac 
and by officers of the different branches of the Government, when em- 
ployed on astronomical or geodetic duty, such as surveys of our boun- 
dary lines or of our lake or sea coasts which involve astronomical 
observations, the determination of differences of longitude by telegraph 
lines, etc. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to add that the library has ahvays 
been available for the work of individual astronomers and scientists, 
also, from whom frequent calls continue to be made for information from 
its archives. A copy of its annual publication is forwarded to the libra- 
ries of the separate bureaus of the Government, as well as to our own 
observatories and scientific institutions, including each State library, 
and the libraries of our chief colleges. A copy is also sent to such 
individuals as furnish evidence of their ability to appreciate, or of their 
being themselves engaged in, practical astronomical work. 


Librarian of the United States Xaval Academy. 

A short time after the establishment of the Naval School at Annapo- 
lis, Md., in 1845, the Navy Department transferred to it a number of 
volumes which had been in use in United States ships of war for purposes 
of instruction and in navy yards ; which collection, with small additions 
made to it from time to time between 1845 and 1851, constitutes the nu- 
cleus of the present library. 

A board of officers was detailed by the Navy Department in October 
1849, to frame acode of regulations for the reorganization of the institution. 
On the 1st of July, 1850, these regulations went into operation, the name of 
the institution having thereby become the United States Naval Academy. 

Beginning with 1851, and onward thereafter, important additions 
were made to this inconsiderable collection, so that in 1855 it contained 


Libraries of the General Government. 269 

4,751 volumes, in 1865, 9,598 volumes, and in. 1875, 17,678 volumes: in 
addition to which it possesses 26 manuscripts, 705 pamphlets, a set of 
the United States Coast Survey Charts, a set of the British Admiralty 
Charts, and others. 

In making additions to the library, the chief aim has always been t<> 
render the largest possible aid to the several departments of instrm 
tion, and especially to make the professional collection equal to all 
genc.ies. The library possesses a very large number of the most ap- 
proved treatises on all naval subjects published here, in (livat Hritain, 
or in Continental Europe. Every new publication of this sort. \vh.-ii >t 
merit, is speedily added to the collection. 

The total amount of money applied to the increase of the library is 
estimated at $35,180. 

In the summer of I860 a catalogue was printed and published, in- 
dicating the possession, on the 30th of June of that year, of S.:> i^ 


The library of this Department was begun in 1862, and consists chiefly 
of public documents, but a small portion of it being general literature. 
It is used only for reference by the employes of the Department. The 
number of volumes is 6,000. 


The library of the Interior Department was begun in 1S50. It has 
been increased from year to year by means of the contingent fund. In 
is; 1, l,oi>7 volumes were added. It is a library of miscellaneous litcia 
tu re, and open to the employe's of the Department. The collection em- 
braces many works of value and interest. The number of volume- 
r,r>M). There is a printed catalogue of the library. 

Since January, 1S7;~>, statistics of the circulation have been carefully 
kept, and an abstract of the result will bo found elsewhere in this report 


The formation of this library was begun in 1S70. It contains about 
.~),<iOO bound volumes, (-.insisting mainly of works relating to education, 
and nearly 15,000 educational journals and pamphlets. The dej. 
ments of American, State, and city reports on public education, and of 
catalogues and reports of American colleges, school* of science, and ; 
fcssional schools and, academies, are \ cry complete. The lil>i.n\ a!-. 
possesses a large collection of reports of reformatoiy and charitable 
institutions in which schools are maintained. 

There are full sets of reports on education t> 1:11 and 

Ireland, C.ermany. France, Austria. Ucluium. Holland. S\\ if /ei land. 
Italy, Sweden and Nor\va\ , the Urili>h ( 'olonics. I'.i .1 - I. .iml the \ 
gentine Republic; and pretty full, though not complete, set-* from l> 

270 Piiblic Libraries in the United States. 

mark, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Chili, Mexico, 
Ecuador, and the United States of Colombia. Recently a large acquisi- 
tion has been made of the catalogues and reports of American public 
libraries, comprising some 500 of the former and 700 of the latter. The 
library also contains probably the largest and best collection of current 
American periodical literature relating to education to be found in the 
United States, and regularly receives the more important foreign edu- 
cational periodicals. 


The hospital possesses two libraries: the first, a smj.ll medical library 
of 200 volumes for the use of the medical officers ; the secoud, a general 
library of 1,200 volumes for the use of the patients. Both were begun 
at the opening of the hospital in 1855. About one-fourth of the patients 
use the general library. The library is sustained partly by the General 
Government and partly by contributions. 


The library contains 500 volumes, composed entirely of law books 
and documents relating to public lauds. Charts and maps of all the 
surveys in the country may also be found in this library. 


President qf the National Deaf -Mute College. 

The nearness of the great libraries of the Government makes it 
unnecessary for this library to emulate those of other colleges. About 
1,200 volumes have been collected, on miscellaneous subjects, mainly 
such as would be often consulted as books of reference by professors 
and students. 

The college has, however, recently secured a very important collection 
of works relating to the instruction and treatment of the deaf and dumb, 
surpassed in extent and value, it is believed, only by the library of the 
brothers Guyot, eminent teachers of the deaf and dumb in Holland. 

This collection was gathered by the late Charles Baker, Ph. D., who 
was for the period of forty-five years head master of the Yorkshire 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, at Doncaster, Euglaud. Dr. Baker 
has for many years been recognized as one of the ablest teachers of 
deaf-mutes in the world. He has published many educational works 
of value, and was eminently successful in his management of one of the 
most flourishing of the British institutions for deaf-mutes. In the course 
of a life full of engrossing official labors, Dr. Baker found time to col- 
lect more than COO volumes concerning the deaf and dumb. Among i 
these are found works in Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, German, and 
Dutch; besides very many in English. From the sixteenth century on 
through the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth, these volumes 

Libraries of the General Government. '211 

were published ; among the earlier being found works of Jerome Car- 
dan, Juan Pablo Bonet, John Bulwer, William Holder, John Wallis, 
Kenelm Digby, George Sibscota, George Dalgarno, and John ( 'onrad 

Those who may be desirous of consulting the Baker Library, will 
interested to know that in the annual report of the Columbia Institution 
for the Deal' and Dumb, for the year ending June ::n, 1^7">, a romp: 
list of titles may be found. 

It is the purpose of the officers of the institution to publish hereafter 
a full descriptive catalogue of the collection. 


Librarian of the Patent-Office Library. 

This library may be said to have been founded by the act of Congress of 
March 3, 18,39, appropriating $1,000 from the patent fund for the pur- 
chase of " necessary books " for the use of the Patent < Mlice. Designed 
as a collection for reference in the examination of applications for pat- 
ents, in order to determine the question of novelty of invention. a- 
quired by law, it has grown mainly in the direction of teehnologieal 
publications, including full sets of many of the periodicals devoted to 
special industrial arts, and all the more important treatises on machines 
arts, processes, and products in the English, French, and German lan- 
guages. Prominent among such works, the library contains a series 
of the Knglish patents from their beginning, continuing to date, 
numbering upwards of 2,(I(M) volumes, text and plates; a series of the 
French patents, as published, numbering some ISO volumes of text, and 
as many of plates ; and others less voluminous, as the patents of I'.cl- 
gium, Austria, Italy, etc. The library contains also a large number <>t 
encyclopedias of every description, while the transactions of engineer- 
ing and other societies, a few of the best reviews, scientific period:, 
and works on science of a somewhat general character, have considera- 
bly extended the scope as well as the si/.e of the collection. 

It now contains about -">. <><>( volumes, and still adhering to its orig- 
inal purpose is believed to preserve the character of the be.-! techn- 
ical library in the country. It is a useful resort for the slrnh of the 
applications (f science to art in every depart ment and in all kinds oi" 
practical or utilitarian investigation. It labors under the great d: 
Vantage Of Want of room, which restricts convenient display, and which 
must very soon arrest either its growth or its a\ ailability u: \ ed 

by some extension. 

The books are freely open to consultat ion in the library hall i 
persons, but can be taken out only by employes in tin- dis.-; 
trieir otlicial duties. The library is largely used by inventors their at- 
torneys, and all interested in patent business, as well a* by m< 

272 Public Libraries in the United States. 

science in pursuit of special information. The number of persons using 
it annually cannot be accurately stated, but must amount to several thou- 

No special appropriations for the increase of the library have been 
made for many years, but it has been sustained by the precarious sup- 
ply derived from the general contingent fund of the Office. 

In regard to the distribution of the published patents: By joint reso- 
lution of January 11, 1871, 150 copies of the specifications and drawings 
are authorized to be gratuitously supplied to the capitol of every State 
and Territory freely open to the public, and to the clerk's office of the 
district court of each judicial district of the United States. The Com- 
missioner is further authorized to supply at cost a copy of the same to 
any public library which will pay the expenses of transportation and 
binding and preserve the volumes under proper custody for convenient 
access to public inspection. 

The Official Gazette is published and sold at the price of $0 per annum, 
each member of Congress being entitled to one copy for himself and to 
eight copies for distribution to public libraries only. 


Although a small collection of law books had been made in the Office 
of the Attorney General as early as 1831, it may said that the library 
of the Office owes its origin to the efforts of Mr. Caleb Gushing, who, 
while Attorney-General, in 1833, made extensive additions of standard 
treatises on American and foreign law. It has since steadily increased, 
and now forms an excellent collection of American, English, and Span- 
ish-American law books, including valuable works on Roman law. Con- 
gress appropriates $3.000 yearly for the purchase of books. The library 
numbers 12,000 volumes. 


This library was begun in 1843 by the appropriation therefor of $250 
by Congress. It consists almost wholly of law books and official docu- 
ments for reference, and numbers 6,000 volumes. 



Librarian of the Department cf Agriculture. 

The library of the Department of Agriculture contains about 7,000 
volumes, and is annually increased by an appropriation of $1,500 by 
Congress, and by the exchange of its annual and monthly reports with 
various agricultural and philosophical societies in Europe. In the sub- 
jects of agriculture and natural history, and their kindred branches of 
botany, geology, entomology, aud chemistry, this library is undoubtedly 
the most complete on the continent. 

Libraries of the General Government. 2 , 

The library contains nearly complete sets of the annual reports on 
agriculture and geology of the different State boards of agriculture in 
all the principal States for the last twenty years; also the transac- 
tions of the Linnsean and Royal Societies of. London; Curtis and 
Hooker's Journal of Botany, from 1787 to the present time ; Sowei 
English Botany, in 9 volumes; the splendid work of Ettingshauseu and 
Pokauy, Der Naturselbstdruck, in 7 volumes folio, a present from the 
Emperor of Austria; the reports of the chief agricultural and horti- 
cultural societies of Europe and Australia, and the principal scientific 
journals of Europe. 

Of the annual reports of this Department 230,000 copies were printed 
annually for ten years for distribution through members of Congress 
and otherwise to agricultural societies; for 1872 and 1873, 125,000 copies 
only. Of the monthly reports, respecting the prospect for the crops of 
the current season, 25,000 copies are published and distributed through- 
out this country and Europe. 


The foregoing libraries of the General Government number, according 
to the latest reports, in the aggregate, 656,070 volumes and 116,505 
pamphlets ; the latter but imperfectly reported. 

Following will be found notices of libraries for the use of soldiers and 
seamen, which are encouraged and aided by the General Government, 
but are mainly supported by their beneficiaries and by the benevolence 
of .societies and individuals. 


This library was begun in 1850, and contains 2,500 volumes. It re- 
ceived some accessions from hospitals at the end of the war, in 1865, 
but has been chiefly maintained from the soldiers' fund. Attached to 
it is a reading room furnished with the leading newspapers and peri- 


By a wise provision of the Army Regulations, libraries have been in- 

stitnted and are maintained at each military post. Some of these are 
of very considerable value. Being purchased from savings accruing 
from rations, and each company of a re^imi'iit owning a pro rat a share, 
the library of a post is dispersed -as the com] > to different stations. 

As tlio Army was suddenly increased in 1851, the attention of phi- 
lanthropic men was newly awakened to the intellectual needs of the 
soldier, and the United States Military Post Library Association, of 
New York, was organi/ed in that your to supply reading for him 

The aims of this association have met with a great degr. t BUC 

The soldier on our most remote, frontier is now, through this agency. 
regularly supplied with the best reading. 
18 E 

274 Pttllic Libraries in the United States. 

The report of the association for tbe year 1875 presents the following 
facts : 

Number of books of history, travel, fiction, etc., forwarded to Army posts, 4,672 : num- 
ber of religions papers to Army posts, 80,000 ; secular papers to Army posts. l?-%i><iii 
magazines, 9,875 ; 18mo publications of the association, 7,000 ; pampblets forwarded, 
2,625 ; number of literary commissions transacted for Army posts, officers, chaplains, 
and soldiers, 2,750 ; value of transportation furnished by United States Government. 
!$2,500; value of books purchased for United States military posts, 2,900; value of 
books donated to United States military posts, $2,000 ; value of periodicals purchased 
for United States military posts, $10,600 ; value of periodicals donated to United States 
military posts, $4,200. 

Of our receipts during the year, about $15,000 have come from the Army itself, largely 

from the reading associations of the enlisted meu. 

* * * # ' * * # 

At the kind suggestion of Mr. William Libbey, of this city, a plan was matured dur- 
ing the year, similar to the loan library system of the American Seamen's Friend So- 
ciety, for the collection of about 75 volumes of special books, in a neat library case, to 
meet the wants of such men ns were disposed to make use of them. 

The books are of a very readable character, comprising some of the best works in our 
language, and including selections from the best authors in prose and poetry. There 
is a sufficient admixture of religious and temperance books; also, some works of his- 
toiy, popular science, travel, fiction, etc., purely secular. 

Mr. Libbey sent, in his own name, and paid for, the first ten of these libraries, at a 
cost of $500. Twenty-two libraries have thus far been sent to various stations, and are 
uow iu service. 

Libraries are found at nearly every post and garrison, from the most 
remote, at Sitka, in Alaska, to the oldest military post iu the United 
States. The one first named, the only library in Alaska, contains about 
600 volumes. The largest miscellaneous military library is that at Fort 
Columbus, N. Y., which contains over 2,500 volumes ; that at Willet's 
Point, N. Y., has an aggregate of 2,300 volumes; that .at Fort Warren, 
Mass., contains nearly 1;500 volumes ; those at Fort Wayne, Detroit, and 
at Omaha Barracks, Nebr., number about 1,200 volumes each. 

Reports have been received from 78 garrison and regimental libra- 
ries, which contain iu the aggregate 32,300 volumes. Of these libra- 
ries, 36 contained from 300 to 2,556 volumes each. 


At the headquarters of the Army at Washington, D. C., there is a 
library of considerable value, the formation of which was begun by 
General Grant when General-in-Chief of the Army, and to which im 
portau t 'additions have been made by General Sherman. It contains 
1,300 volumes. The books have been selected with careful attention to 
the purposes for which such a collection, is needed. 


The four branches of this Home, situated at Togus, Me., Hampton 
Va., Dayton, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wis., contain about 17,000 volumes, 
mostly contributed by individuals. The expenses of administration are 
paid from the general funds, from which, iu some instances, purchases ol 
books have also been made. At the Milwaukee branch, a catalogue ol 

Libraries of the General Government. 


the library was prepared and printed in 1ST. 1 ). At the central branch, 
Dayton, a history of the home and of Guepin of Nantes have been 
published by the Historical arid Monumental Society, the members of 
which, 1,500 in number, are inmates of th'e Home. At the central 
branch are two libraries, described by the chaplain as follows: 

The Putnam Library was established July 4, ISfH, and contains 3,000 volumes, com- 
prising history, biography, travels, and many valuable works on art ; also a fine collec- 
tion of books on architecture, ancient and modern, comp lete works of the best novel- 
ists of America and foreign lands. The, library, though small, is one of the most select 
and valuable anywhere to be found, and is entirely the gift of Mrs. Mary Lowell 1'ut- 
nain. of Boston, Mass. This library is valued at $12,000. 

Mrs. Putnam lias ;ilso presented about -200 paintings, chromos, lithographs, and other 
pictures, which adorn the walls of the library hall. 

The Thomas Library, which occupies thosimj hill, was established in October, 
!*<)!>, and contains 5,100 volumes, principally made up of history, travels, biography, 
and the better class of light literature; it is valued at $7,500. With very few except ions 
these books have been given by the soldiers who serve 1 under Ma.j. Gen. Ccorge H. 
Thomas, in whose honor the library is named. About two hundred of the best new * 
papers of the land, secular and religious, come regularly to the reading room; also the 
leading magazines and pictorials are regularly received. 

The annual report of the secretary of the board of managers of the 
Home for the year 1875, presents the following information: 

The libraries of the several Homes have steadily increased, both in size and value, 
daring the year. The central branch reports the largest increase, owing mainly to 

the continued (houghtfulness of its kind patron, Mrs. Mary Lowell Putnam, of Huston. 
'Ilie use made of these libraries is evidenced by the fact that ">",|-ji> voliinie> wen- 
taken out and road during the past year, not including the hundreds of valuable works 
of reference, etc., daily consulted, but which, by the rules, cannot be taken from the 
library rooms. 

The reading rooms, which are large, well furnished, and beautiful halls, are supplied 
with all the leading newspapers and magazines of this country (mostly pn-sented by 
the publishers) and some of (lie more, prominent onesof Kiiglaud, France, and (iermany. 
The rooms air always crowded, both day and evening, and tin- papers read until they 
are sometimes literally worn out in the handling. Tim following table will .show the 
number of volumes in each library; the increase during the year: the niimbor of 
papers and magazines received; and the number of books taken out and read at each 
branch during the year: 











Number of volumes in library..... ..... 


:: 968 

i wo 

i.; -, . i 

Increase during year. 






Number weekly papers received 






.Number maga/.ines and periodicals received.. 




Number books I a ki'iion t and read durin"t he veai 

The nnnihcr of imn;itrs November 3i>, 1^7"), was 4,O40, of wbuin 
3,094 were able to read and write. 

27G Public Libraries in the United States. 


The wants of our sailors as well as of our soldiers in respect to libra- 
ries are also provided for, partly by Government, but mainly by volun- 
tary effort. Each of the navy yards and several of the marine hos- 
pitals have a library, the largest, that at the Brooklyn navy yard, 
containing about 4,500 volumes. Seven libraries of this class reported 
contain an aggregate of 11,506 volumes, the number ranging from 
400 to 4,500 in each. Afloat, the sailor is also furnished with suitable 
reading. The subjoined statement by Commodore Am men, U. S. N., 
will indicate what is done in this way by the General Government ; 
the interesting sketch of the operations of the American Seamen's 
Friend Society of !New York, by Kev. H. H. McFarland, and the notice 
of the work of the Pennsylvania Seamen's Friend Society of Philadel- 
phia, will indicate what is done by those societies. The Protestant Epis- 
copal Church Mission Society for Seamen, of New York, expends $500 
annually for books which are donated to sailors and ships. 


Three thousand dollars are annually appropriated to purchase and 
maintain ships' libraries. 

All vessels of war in commission, about forty at this time, as well as 
the different shore stations, eight in number, are furnished with libraries. 

The number of volumes contained in ships' libraries varies with the 
rate of the vessel, flag-ships having additional books. In general they 
number as follows: For flag-ships, 124 volumes; second rate, 85; third 
rate, 48 ; fourth rate, 30. 

The books are all either professional or necessary adjuncts to enable 
the commanding' and other officers to perform their duties intelligently. 

Sailing directions, nautical and astronomical works, charts, and other 
information necessary to the practical work of navigation, are not 
included in the library. 

Vessels of war of all sizes usually make an assessment on officers and 
men, scaled on relative pay, and purchase the current literature of the 
day, embracing, in large vessels, several hundred volumes, which are 
issued and turned in, and, upon the expiration of the cruise, divided 
among the subscribers. 


It is impossible to determine the beginnings or trace the early results 
of furnishing books, for use by their crews, to sea- going vessels in the 
ports of the United States. Probably a few ship owners, from philan- 
thropic or other motives, had long done this to some extent, but no sys- 
tematic work had been attempted in this country until the year 1859, 

Libraries of tlie General Government. :>77 

when the American Seamen's Friend Society began to place its loan 
libraries for seamen upon American and provincial vessels sailing from 
New York and Boston. It is a distinctive feature of this system that 
the books are loaned, not given, to the crews, an I that pi ins are taken 
to secure from some person in charge of each library, either upon th- 
vessel's return to port or through prior correspondence, a record of its 
reading and usefulness. Effort to secure this is in large measure suc- 

These libraries are put up in portable wooden cases, 20 by 13 inches 
in size, consecutively numbered, at a total expense of $20 each the 
funds being provided by voluntary contributions to the society's treasury 
for this specific purpose, and contain, on the average, thirty-five vol- 
umes, always including the Sacred Scriptures, unless it is ascertained by 
inquiry that the vessel is already supplied therewith. Accompanying 
the Scriptures are five or six carefully chosen religious books and a 
selection of miscellaneous volumes. 

Contributions for these libraries are received from Sabbath schools, 
churches, and individuals from a wide area of country. The growtli 
in this department of the society's operations has been continuous. 
In 1859-'GO, 10 libraries were sent out; in 1874-'75, 454; a total to 
May 1, 1875, of 5,233. Reshipments of these libraries to the same 
date amount to 3,773, the books in all cases being inspected and 
refitted before such reshipment. The number of volumes issued lias 
been 228,25(5, and the number of seamen to whom they have been avail- 
able, so far as known, is 212,726. They are placed upon vessels (mainly 
upon sailing vessels) voyaging to all parts of the globe. The whole 
number furnished to United States naval vessels and hospitals to M iy 
1, 1ST."), is 810, containing 30,156 volumes; and the total number of men 
on these vessels, to whom they have been accessible, is 96,102. 

These books are now widely and earnestly sought for by seamen. 1 A 
perienee enables the society to adapt its selections to their tastes and 
requirements with judgment, and every year adds testimony that they 
are carefully read and thoroughly appreciated. 

It would be, dilliriill to overstate the results of this enterprise 
from an educational, a reformatory, or a religious point of view. The 
libraries are composed, for the most part, of books in the English lan- 
guage, but visitation by the agents of the society, and the inclusion, 
in each, of one or more books in < Irrman, Spanish, Swedish, French. 
Italian, Danish, or other European tongues, secures some fitness in read 
ing matter to the respective nationality of every crew. And among 
certain classes of seamen, the whole tone of sailor life, has been im- 
proved, as shown by the. lessening of profanity and intern eranee ; the 
awakening and culture of a sense of manhood: as well as by the begin- 
ning and growth of Christian faith. It will not be doubted, moreo\ 
that among these classes there has been a general elevation of the sjand 
ard of discipline, with benefit to all interoted. 

278 Pullic Libraries in the United States. 

Such results, though as yet partial, can only be comprehended by a 
knowledge of the condition and surroundings of the common sailor in 
the past. In the United States, as in other countries, these have been 
such that the sailor, in maritime cities, has been dreaded by all other 
classes like a pestilence. Habitually dissipated and often riotous when 
on shore, abusing his physique to such a degree that a generation of 
common seamen has ordinarily passed out of existence in each twelve 
to fifteen years, it was the exception and not the rule, two generations 
since, when one of them could read or write. Thus, with both mental 
and moral powers unexercised, his position among his fellow men was, 
practically, that of an outcast. Satisfying evidence affords ground 
for belief that a change is taking place among these men, under the 
force of enlightened Christian effort, and in it these loan libraries are 
performing a most salutary and important part. 

The interest felt in the society's work in other countries is shown by 
the gift to it in 1874 of 300 in gold, ($1,626,) by the Countess of Ab- 
erdeen, in Scotland. This sum was forwarded to send out and to keep 
afloat, through the society, one hundred libraries in memory of her son, 
George, sixth Earl of Aberdeen, for more than three years a sailor on 
American vessels, and lost at sea, six days out from Boston, Mass., 
January 27, 1870, while first mate of the schooner Hera of that port. 


This society began its operations in the year 1861. Its work is akin 
to that of the sister society of Xew York, but witli more reference, per- 
haps, to the supplying of vessels entirely manned by foreign sailors. It 
has, during the fifteen years of its existence, supplied sailors with more 
than 50,000 volumes of suitable books. Many entire libraries in the 
Danish, Swedish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, German, 
Norwegian, and Russian languages have been sent out. In addition to 
this, ninety-four United States vessels, one naval asylum, and one naval 
hospital have been furnished with libraries by the society. 






The first formul acknowledgment of copyright by law in America 
was an act of the State of Connecticut in January, 17S3, followed, 
in March, 1783, by a law passed by Massachusetts for "securing t> 
authors the exclusive right and benefit of publishing their literary pro- 
ductions for twenty-one years." These were local acts, confined to State 
limits. Tue Congress of the Confederation, May L'7, 1783, recommended 
to the several States to secure to authors or publishers of iiew hooks 
the copyright of such books for not les-s than fourteen >cars. Virginia, 
in 17s.".. and New York, in 178C, passed laws securing exclusive rights 
to authors. 

These rights were, of course, limited to the State within which the 
author resided. But when the Constitution which consolidated tin- 
States into a nation came, to be formed, its framers incorporated into it 
a c.ausc which forms the foundation of all the legislation of Congress 
on the subject and of all exclusive rights to literary property. This 
provision of the Constitution (art. I, sec. S) confers upon Congress the 
power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing 
for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their 
inventions and discoveries." The first legislation under this power wa 
the act approved May 31, 1700, "An act for the encouragement of learn- 
ing, by securing the copies oi maps, charts, and books to the authors 
ami proprietors of such copies, dining the time theiein mentioned." 

The act of May 31, 171)0, gave to the author (being a cili/eii of the 
Ull.ted Stales) of any book, map, or eh.irt the sole right to print or .sell 
his copyright \\oik lor the term of foniteeii \cai>. At the expiration 
of that time, the author, or his heirs, mi-lit extend the n>p\ii;Jit four- 
teen \ears longer. Certain conditions \\eie n<pnied tor seeming cop\ 
lights, and penalties attached to their infi ingemcnt . 

280 PuUic Libraries in the United States. 

An act supplementary to this act to secure copyrights, approved April 
29, 1802, extended the privilege of copyright to persons who should in- 
vent, design, etch, etc., any historical print or prints. The penalties for 
infringing on copyrights were increased, and persons professing to have 
secured a legal copyright but failing to comply with the required terras 
were subject to a fine of $100. 

The foregoing acts were repealed February 3, 1831, and by the act 
then passed the term of copyright was extended to twenty-eight years, 
with the privilege of renewal for the further term of fourteen years, on 
condition that the author, or his widow or children, should, within two 
mouths from .the date of renewal, publish a copy of the record in one 
or more newspapers for the space of four weeks. Information must 
also be given of the copyright secured, by inserting in each copy of the 
book, map, chart, etc., on the title-page or page following: "Entered 
according to act of Congress," etc. 

By act of August 10, 18 16, it was directed that the author of any 
book, map, print, etc., for which a copyright was secured, should for- 
ward, within three months after publication, one copy each to the libra- 
rians of the Smithsonian Institution and Congressional Library, for the 
use of said libraries. 

By act of March 3, 183"), all book s, maps, charts, and other publica- 
tions entered for cop yright and required to be deposited in the Library 
of Congress and Smithsonian Institution, were allowed to be sent 
through the mails free. 

The act of August 18, 1856, gave to the proprietor of any dramatic 
composition (copyrighted) the exclusive right to print or perform it 
upon the stage during the whole period for which the copyright was ob- 
tained ; the penalty for violation to be, for the first performance, $100, 
and for every subsequent performance, $50. 

By act of February 38, 1SG1, appeals or writs of error are allowed 
from decisions of circuit courts in copyright cases to the Supreme 
Court of the United States, without regard to the amount in contro- 

By act of March 3, 1805, photographs may be copyrighted upon the 
same conditions aud to the- same extent as prints and engravings. 

By act of July 8, 1870, all records and other things relating to copy- 
rights, and required to be preserved by law, were placed under the con. 
trol of the Librarian of Congress, to be kept aud preserved in the Con- 
gressional Library, and the librarian is charged with the immediate care 
aud supervision of copyright matter, and is required to perform all 
acts and duties touching copyrights which had previously been in 
charge of the clerks of the district courts of the United States. And 
further, no person is entitled to a copyright, unless he shall, before 
publication, deposit iu the mail or deliver to the Librarian of Congress 
a printed copy of the title of the book or description of the article for 
which he desires a copyright, aud within ten days of the publication 

Copyright, Distribution, Exchanges, and Duties. 281 

thereof forward two copies of such copyright book or other article, 
addressed to the Librarian of Congress ; and a copy of every subsequent 
edition wherein any changes are m-ide. In default of such 
deposit in the Library of Congress, said proprietor is liable to a penalty 
of $25, to be collected by the Librarian of Congress in the name of the 
United States. 

No right of action for infringement of copyright can be maintained, 
unless the author slnll have given notice, in the several copies of every 
edition of his copyright, by inserting the words ' Entered according 
to act of Congress," etc., or, at his option, the word " Copyright," to- 
gether with the year the copyright was entered, and the name of the 
party by whom it was taken out. 


In December, 1813, Congress ordered that a copy of the public jour- 
nals and documents of that and every succeeding Congress should be 
sent to each college, university, and historical society in the United 
States ; in 1814, the American Antiquarian Society, at Worcester, Mass., 
was added to the list ; in 1817, one set of State Papers was directed to 
be sent to each college and univers ity ; in 1819, a copy of Seybert's Sta- 
tistical Annals was to be sent to each university and college; in 1820, 
a copy of the journal of proceedings of the Convention which formed 
the Federal destitution was directed to be sent to each college and 
university; in 1822, the returns of the fourth census were distributed 
to the same institutions; in 1828, a copy of the secret journals of the 
old C ongress, of Pitkiri's Statistics, and Seybert's Statistical Annals, 
to cacti State library, and to one incorporated athena-uin in each State; 
in IS.'.o, a copy of the Diplomatic Correspondence of the Revolution to 
each institution and library before mentioned; in 1832, the returns of 
the lil'tli census and compilation of congressional documents, as before 
mentioned; in 1833, Van Zandt's Statistical Tables, nnd Documentary 
History of the Revolution, were ordered distributed; in is:; I. similar 
distribution of the diplomatic correspondence from 17s;> to 1781) was 
made; in 1841, a Catalogue of the Library of Congress, and the returns 
of the, sixtli census were distributed; in 1SH, maps and charts of i he- 
Survey of the Coast of the United States, as b.-foiv mentioned, and to 
foreign governments; in IS 1.1, the History of Oregon, California, and 
other Pacific Territories, as hefoie mentioned ; in IS Hi. 1. it tic A. I'.rown'.H 
edition of the Laws and Treaties of the 1'nitcd States, as before men- 
tioned, and to each navy yard ; in ISI'J, the Oflieial Kegisier tor each 
year to c.ich .State and Territory; in isn an 1 is:,o. a cop\ of the 
port of the \Villvcs Imploring K ^edition to MC!I Stale and Teniton 
then or thereafter to be organi/ed ; in is.lo, copies ( >l the Annals ,.| 
Congivs's to literary institutions and public libraries ; in IS.M. the \\ 
of Alexander Hamilton and of.lohn Ad.ims. a cop\ t each Depai iment 
library, library of each State and Territory, and one copy each to 1JO 

282 Public Libraries in the United States. 

colleges and literary institutions designated by the Committee on Li- 
brary; in 1831, a similar distribution of the works of Thomas Jeft'erson 
was ordered, 300 copies to colleges and literary institutions. 

In March, 1837, the Clerk of the House of Representatives was 
directed to furnish such public library in the district of each Member 
and Delegate as be may designate, with the following works, to wit: 
Gales & Seaton's Register of Debates, Congressional Globe anjJ Appen- 
dix, Public Land Laws, Instructions and Opinions, Elliott's Debates, 
Diplomatic Correspondence, Opinions of the Attorneys-General, in five 
volumes, Finance Reports, Gales & Seaton's Annals of Congress, John 
Adams's Works, Jefferson's Works, Rickey's Constitution, and Mayo & 
Moulton's Pension and Bounty Laud Laws. 

In June, 1858, the compilation of congressional documents was ordered, 
under the head of American State Papers, to be continued to March 4, 
1859, . . . 700 copies to be placed in the Department of the Interior, 
for distribution to public libraries in the several States and Territories. 

IQ March, 1801, one set of the Works of John Adams and four sets of 
the American State Papers were directed to be distributed to the insti- 
tutions described by law, ou designation of the Members of Congress; 
it was also ordered that, of the American State Papers, . . . one copy 
be deposited and kept in the State and territorial library of each State 
and Territory. 

In February, 1SG6, the Joint Committee on Library was directed to 
distribute copies of the Writings of James Madison, published by author- 
ity of Congress, ... to libraries of the several States and Territories 
of the Union, and to such colleges and public libraries as the Committee 
on Library might designate. 

In June, 186t>, the Secretary of the Interior was directed to distribute 
the surplus copies of the American State Papers as follows: One copy 
of each of the seventeen volumes to such public and college libraries as 
the Joint Committee ou Library may designate. 

In January, 1871, the Commissioner of Patents was directed to fur- 
nish a complete set of the specifications and drawings of the Patent 
Office to any public library which will pay for binding the same into vol- 
umes, to correspond with those in the Patent-Office, and will provide 
proper custody for the same, with convenient access to the public. 

In February, 1871, the Secretary of the Interior was directed to dis- 
tribute surplus public documents ou hand, to supply any loss or defi- 
ciency there may happen to be iu ... State or territorial libraries. 

In May, 1872, copies of plates of the Official Gazette, of Patent-Office 
abstracts, of drawings of patents, etc., were directed to be sent, one 
copy each, to eight such public libraries as each Senator, Member, and 
Delegate of Congress shall designate. 

In June, 1874, the Secretary of State was directed, at the close of 
every session, to distribute pamphlet copies of the acts and resolves of 
that Congress, and afterwards copies bound, as follows : To all the 

Copyright, Distribution, Exchanges, and Duties. 283 

Department libraries, . . . Military Academy, Naval Academy, Brook- 
lyn Naval Lyceum, Naval Institute at Charlestown, M.iss., ami Smith- 
sonian Institution. In addition to the above, ten thousand pamphlet 
copies are to be distributed among the States and Territories, in pro- 
portion to the number of Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in 
Congress to which they are at the time entitled. 

There are 372 Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in the Forty- 
fourth Congress. The number of institutions that have been design i 
under the law to receive regularly the publicdocumenN is L'_'!>, of which 
111 are public libraries, 103 are those of colleges and academies, and 
10 those of historical societies, as shown by the records of the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. There should be, therefore, 143 additional deposi- 
tories designated. Oue State and three Territories have each a greater 
number of depositories than the aggregate number of 'Senators, Repre- 
sentatives, and Delegates. New Hampshire has an equal number; 
Louisiana, with eight Senators and Representatives, 1ms bat one desig- 
nated depository, namely, the State University at Baton Rouge. 

In view of the fact that, so far as known, no library in the United 
States, neither the Library of Congress, that of any State or Territory, 
nor any other public library, contains a complete set of the public doc- 
uments of the General Government, it may bo regarded as unfortunate 
that the provisions of the law are not availed of to the fullest extent. 
Fifty years hence it should not be as difficult for the student to find all 
the public documents of the present as it is for an investigator to-day 
to discover the records of a half century ago. 

The following are the provisions of law at present regulating the dis- 
tribution of public documents: 

The Secretary of the Interior is charged with receiving, arranging, and safe keeping 
for distribution, and of distributing to the persons entitled by law to receive the satin, 
all printed journals of the two Houses of Congress, and all other books ami docu 
incuts of every nature whatever, already*or hereafter directed by law U> be printed <>i 
purchased for the use of the Joverninent, except such as are directed to be printed or 
purchased for the particular use of Congress or of either House thereof, or for tho par- 
ticular use of the Executive or of any of tho Departments, and any person whose duty 
it sball be by law to deliver any of the same, shall deliver them at the rooms assigned 
by the Secretary of the Interior therefor. 

The publications received by tho Secretary of the Interior for distribution shall be 
delivered out bnly on the written requisition of tho headn >i I icpaitmciils. Sci -petal -\ <>t 
the Senate, ClerU of the House of Representatives, Librarian of Congress, and other 
otliecrs and persons who are by law anthori/ed to receive the same, except where by 
law tin- Secretary of the Interior is required, without siuih requisition, to ean-v- the 
same to be sent ami delivered : anil in either of such c. is. -s it shall be tin- duty of tho 
Secrctaiv of the Interior localise the same to be sent and delivered, the e \jwMM 
thereof, except when otherwise directed, to bo charged on tho contingent fund of the 

The topics ut' journals, books, and public documents which are or may be authoi 
to be distributed to incorporated bodies, institutions, an.! asocial inn* within the Slate* 
and Territories, shall In- distributed to such bodies as shall b, I to the Secre- 

tary of the Interior by each of the Senators tiom the M-\ ci.] States respectively, ami 
by the Kcpicscutativi s iu Congress from each congressional diMin-t, and l-\ tin- lK-lo- 

284 Public Libraries in the United States. 

gate from each Territory. The distribution shall be made in such manner that the 
quantity distributed to each congressional district and Territory shall be equal; except 
that whenever the number of copies of any publication is insufficient to supply there- 
with one institution, upon the designation of each member of the Senate and House 
of Representatives, the copies at the disposal of the Secretary may be distributed to 
such incorporated colleges, public libraries, athou aeums, literary and scientific insti- 
tutions, boards of trade, or public associations, as he 'may select. 

The selection of an institution to receive the documents ordered to be published or 
procured at the first session of any Congress shall control the documents of the entire 
Congress, unless another designation be made before any distribution has taken place 
under the selection firsh made. Where the same work is printed by order both of the 
Senate and House of Representatives, the duplicates may be sent to different institu- 
tions, if so desired, by the member whose right it is to direct the distribution. And 
the public documents to be distributed by the Secretary of the Interior shall be sent 
to the institutions already designated, unless he shall be satisfied that any such insti- 
tution is no longer a suitable depository of the same. Congressional journals and pub- 
lic documents, authorized to be distributed to institutions on the designation of mem- 
bers of Congress, shall be sent to such libraries and institutions only as shall signify a 
willingness to pay the cost of their transportation. 

So many copies of the public Journals of the Senate and of the H>use of Represent- 
atives shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Interior to the executives of the 
several States and Territories as shall be sufficient to furnish one copy to each execu- 
tive, one copy to each branch of every State and territorial legislature, one copy to 
each university and college in each State, and one copy to the historical society incor- 
porated, or which shall be incorporated, in each State. Fifty copies of the documents 
ordered by Congress to be printed shall be used for the purpose of exchange in foreign 
countries; the residue of the copies shall be deposited in the Library of the Uuited 
States, subject to the future disposition of Congress. 

Whenever there are in the custody of the Department of the Interior any sets 
of the documents of any session. of Congress, or other documents or odd volumes, not 
necessary to supply deficiencies or losses that may happen in the Library of Congress, 
or in that of either of the Executive Departments, or in State or territorial libraries, 
the" Secretary of the Interior shall distribute the same as equally as practicable to the 
several Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress for distribution to public 
libraries and other literary institutions in their respective, districts. 

All such books and documents, when received at the proper offices, libraries, and 
other depositories, as provided by law, shall be kept there and not removed from such 
places. 1 


By an act of July 20, 1840, the Librarian of Congress was authorized 
to exchange duplicates in the library for other books or works ; and in 
the same manner to exchange documents. It was also ordered that 
thereafter 50 additional copies of documents printed by order of either 
house of Congress be printed and bound for the purpose of exchange 
with foreign countries. 

An act of March 4, 1846, directed the Librarian of Congress to pro- 
cure a complete series of reports of the United States courts and of the 
laws of the United States, and transmit them to the minister of justice 
of France, in exchange for works of French law presented to the United 
States Supreme Court. 

June 26, 1848, the Joint Committee on the Library was authorized tc 

Revised Statutes of the United States, lri73-'?4, pp. 

Copyright, Distribution, Exchanges, and Di<f 285 

appoint agents for exchange of books and public documents. All books 
transmitted through these agents of exchange, for use of the I'nited 
States, for any single State, or for the Academy at West Point, or the 
^rational Institute, to be. admitted free. 

A resolution of June 30, 1848, ordered that the Joint Committee ou 
the Library be furnished with 25 copies of the Revolutionary Archi\ 
25 copies of Little & Browu's edition of the Laws of the I'niu'd 
States; 7 copies of the Exploring Expedition then published, and an 
equal number of subsequent publications on the same subject, for the 
purpose of international exchange. 

A joint resolution of March 2, 1849, directed that two copies of certain 
volumes of the Exploring Expedition be sent to the government of 1: 
sia, in lieu of those which were lost at sea on their passage to that 
country. The Secretary of State was also directed to present a copy ot 
the Exploring Expedition, as soon as completed, to the government of 

By the act of August 31, 1852, the act of 1848 regulating exchanges 
\vas repealed. 

August 18, 185G, the Secretary of State was authorized to purchase 
100 copies each of Audubon's Birds of America and (.Miadrupeds of 
North America, for exchange with foreign governments for valuable 

March 2, 1867, it was ordered that 50 copies of all documents printed 
by either house of Congress, or by any Department or Bureau of the 
Government, be placed with the Joint Committee on the Library, to be 
exchanged for foreign works, which shall be deposited in the Library of 

In each succeeding year an appropriation has been made for the pur- 
pose of international exchange. 

BY PROF. I II i: >i M:K GILL, M. !>., PH. D. 

The want of some system of intercommunication between the socie- 
ties of this and other countries had long been felt, on account of the 

ditliciilty, as well as expense, attending the transmission of articles 
between tliciii, and the scientific literature of neither was well rcpn 
sented in any one place. The consequence was that di-coM-m^ 
lierahleil as new, and species of animals, plants, ami mineral!* desoHlHKi 
as previously unknown, when in lad they had been treated of yean 

Attempts had been made from time to time to supply tho wnnt, and 
notable was that of M. Alexandre Vaitemaiv. a I 'lenchiuan, who. about 
twenty live \ears a -o, advocated a system of mteichailffo of publication* 
and works generally between the ovei miient* ami public institution* of 
Km ope ami America. Being adopted, the system was fora time and to 

28G PuUic Libraries in the United States. 

some extent successful, but it did not meet all the difficulties. It, how- 
ever, proved the feasibility of the task, and kept awake the desire to 
have in active operation such an interchange. At this juncture, to sup- 
ply the want thus experienced, the Smithsonian Institution offered its 
services as a medium of exchange between the societies of America 
and Europe. 

Of course, the expense attending such an exchange must necessarily 
be considerable, and the Institution voluntarily incurred this expense, 
inasmuch as it thereby became instrumental in the increase and diffusion 
of knowledge. This expense was chargeable (1) to hire for clerical and 
laborers' work to be employed in the handling of the exchanges; (2) for 
the remuneration of agents in the centres of the Old World from which 
packages should be distributed to provincial parts; and (3) to carriers' 
charges. The carriers' charges have been, however, greatly diminished 
by the liberality of the several companies, and especially the great 
steam lines. In time, almost all of the oceanic steamers, (those between 
America and Europe, and those between the eastern and western ports 
of the continent,) extended facilities for transportation, either for a 
definite number of cubic feet of space or for an unlimited extent. 

The system adopted by the Smithsonian Institution was begun early 
in its history, and was in full activity as early as the year 1851; it 
very soon became the chief means of communicatiou between the 
learned societies of America and Europe, and other parts of the world. 
It has gone through practically two phases of execution, one having 
regard to completeness of invoice and the other to speediness of inter- 

In 1351: and succeeding years, circulars were issued to the different 
societies and active scientific investigators in the United States offering 
its services to them for the transmission of packages to Europe, and 
advantage was taken of the offer by a large number. 

The rules then adopted and since adhered to required (1) that all 
parcels should be delivered free of cost to the Institutiou in Washing- 
ton ; (2) that each one should be legibly addressed, and the name of 
the donor be also indicated thereon ; and (3) that a separate iuvoice 
should be sent apart from the package. 

The Smithsonian system, as finally perfected about 18GO, was organized 
upon the following plan: The packages from America for Europe were 
made up once or twice a year. 

A room about 75 feet long and more than 30 feet in width, as early 
as 1850, was devoted to the business connected with the exchanges. 
This room was fitted up with bins, shelves, and boxes, a separate space 
being allotted to each country and institution. 

A special invoice blank was printed for each transmission. On one 
side of this were printed the titles of the Smithsonian publications sent. 
Blanks was left for the titles of the other works to be sent to the same 
society, as well as for the address of the society, and on the other side 

Copyright, Distribution, Exchanges, and Duties. 287 

was given a list of all the institutions an<l private individuals \vho 
had given notice of their intention to send works to their foreign 
correspondents. These blanks were duly filled up by the inser'imof 
the additional articles to be sent on one side, and on the other by checks 
made against the margins of the names of the societies and individuals 
sending, and the number of packages sent by these societies and indi- 
viduals. These invoices -were all numbered with a current series of 
numbers corresponding with a numerical list of the societies in corre- 
spondence, and their return requested as receipts or vouchers for the 
articles sent. 

A reasonable time before a shipment was to be made, the Amer- 
ican correspondents were notified of the date, in order that they 
might forward to Washington such articles as they desired sent abroad. 
Upon request, lists of the societies in correspondence with the Institu- 
tion, or of those engaged a,s specialists in various departments of 
science, in the order of their importance, were forwarded to those 
desiring to send, for their guidance in the selection of addres-.-. 
The institution also assumed the burden and responsibility of receiving 
in bulk editions of the works of its correspondents to be forwarded to 
those institutions abroad where they would be most useful; always 
Baking care, however, that the shipment should be in the name of the 
person originally consigning, and that he should receive credit therefor. 

For a few years, shipments have been made more frequently than 
before, to avoid long and sometimes vexatious delays. 

When the system was first adopted, three agents were appointed in 
Europe to distribute the packages sent, viz, one each in England, France, 
and Germany. As the system has been perfected, and. the sphere of 
its operations widened, the number of agents has been increased, and 
at present there is one or more in every principal country in Europe, and 
in Australia. 

As (lie result of the system of international exchange thus briefly 
outlined, it need only be stated that both, or rather all, the continents 
have been benefited to an extent which can be appreciated only through 
a knowledge, of the conditions of scientific activity and the degree to 
which original contributions to science are made to scientific societies, as 
well as the difficulty of obtaining the publications of those sorietie- 
eept through interchange. The number and dixersity of such institu- 
tions may he dimly conceived when it is known that there are L'.iMK) out- 
side of America which are in communication with the Smithsonian In- 

n.v the favor of foreign countries, as well as of the I'm'ted States, 
the custom dues are remitted on all exchanges ma-le through the Institu- 
tion. r,y the liberality of the numerous steamship lines, which gr.inf 
free room for parcels thus forwarded, anothei large element of r\;>ens' 
is eliminated. Thus many institutions in this and in foreign count- 
which otherwise could no) a fiord the me ins of interchange, and could 


Public Libraries in the United States. 

not overcome the difficulties which would intervene in direct communica- 
tion, are beneficiaries of the system, and receive services which are not 
only gratuitous, but in part paid for out of the funds of the Institution ; 
the cost of the system being, of course, chargeable to every package 
which passes through its agency. 

The following tables, compiled from the annual reports of the Smith- 
sonian Institution, will give the data respecting the exports of books, 
&c., on its own behalf and that of others, to foreign institutions, (Tab'.u 
A,) and the returns from them to American institutions, (Table B.) In 
considering them, it must be recalled that tbe boxes are sent to several 
agents, each box containing packages for several societies, etc., (given 
under the heads " Addresses " and " Packages.") Some of these pack- 
ages contain, besides the exchange for the society itself, other pack- 
ages for its members, etc. 5 hence the number of ultimately separable 
packages is very considerable. The European agent sends his packages 
as he receives them, and these may likewise severally contain a num- 
ber of inclosures for different persons ; much the smaller portion of these 
are for the Smithsonian Institution. The figures indicating the deposits 
iu the library will give some idea of the aggregate. 

TABLE A. Packages sent to foreign countries 


Number of 
addi esses. 

Number of 



o -- 

.2 '/ 

= ; 





Packages for 

V 35 

a to 



Cu. ft. 


Ig51 .. 





7 920 







8, 146 






12 200 






9 791 

2, 816 

$1 600 01 






10 481 

2, 712 

1, 103 2. 



1 251 



18 271 

3 510 

1 600 0( 






14, 248 


2, 500 01 

ls-53 . 





22 674 

4 425 

1 500 



2 7;;s 


1 054 

29 480 

5 337 

1 500 0( 

I860 .. .. 


1 692 



20 029 

3 130 

2 141 8( 






16, 958 


793 0" 



1 203 


1 006 

28 836 


1 550 3; 



1 426 



10 286 

3 316 

1 357 7( 

1864 . . 


1 Oil 



20 500 

3 462 

2 753 7( 

1865 . . 


1 176 



18 630 

2 563 

1 453 K. 

1 866 


1 170 



18 050 

4 137 

2 009 3; 


1 001 

1 190 



22 523 

6 016 

3 507 8" 


1 129 

1 557 


1 057 

31 171 

6 054 

2 801 84 


1 569 

1 734 


1 033 

23 376 

5 220 

4 860 94 


1, 425 



1 189 

31, 383 

6 (.- 1 

4, 165 63 


1 432 

1 778 



28 950 

7 730 

4 201 50 


1, 544 




26 850 

5 870 33 


J 856 

2 735 


1 476 

44 236 

6 251 14 

1-74 . 



27 990 

5 589 Hi 

Copyright, Distribution, Exchanges, ami Dnt'tf*. 

T.\ni,fc B. Packages received from foreign countries. 


Packages for 


K..r Smithsonian Library. 




Volume s. 



.Illll 1 




<.-_> i 



. - 

1 -;,:.: 


1 481 

i!, 1C6 

1 7) i 

1 441) 




1 4'.- 



, 44ri 

1 037 

1 707 




1 356 


1 330 



i ot;7 

1 '.- 

1 76O 

1 -> 



1 69.') 




1 0-.M 






1 271 

4 180 





1 'M.'i 


i-t;-j . 


2, in 


3 369 



3 479 

. . 
1-1 I 


j i-j 


J 7.M 





4 S0: 


j, ~m 


4 509 


. . 




3. 946 


5 831 

. . . 






4, 130 


4 O-'.i 



3, 705 


i: ' 



4. ;::. 


4. :-> 



4 Xil 


i-: i . .. 


- ' 

Tin- ri"4iihitions for the preparation of i-xrh I:I_M-S an- now as follows: 
1. Every padkagto,witbou6 exception, ma*l !> > strong jiap.M- 

Sd ;is tu lir:n >"|:ir:iti t l\llis|)i)r(;ltioil hy i'\|HV>-i ur mil": 

.'. 'i'ii:-. a I i-i-s-; of the instil iition or Indivldnal for whom the paokage it int -inli-il 
must he written le^ on tin- >ver. :nnl the ii:i-ii- of tho soiidiT on OIK- runii-r !" tin- 

:i. \D single package must i-x.-eeil tin- half of a f ii'ije foot in hulk. 

I. V (letaileil list of a:lihvsM-s of all the ;> it, with their contents, it 

eoiii|i:my them. 

.">. No letter or other e mininiiieation e m h.- allowe.l in the ji:ii 

relates e?.elllsive]\ t o t he eontellts of t he 

f,. All packft^ea mnt be dolircred ia Washington free of freighl ' . 

7. Hvei-y jureel shoiilil contain a hhmk aeUinnvl.-il^inent, to l> 
turned, either throu^lj the a^ent of the institution, or. what is still hettr, throng' 
mail, to th^ seMilcr. Should exehaiii;."* lie ile-ired for \\ i-* sent, tho foot nhnul 
explicitly stated on the list of the c. intents of tin- 

frciinontly i-\|iress,-il at tin- :ihs.-:i of any return in kind f ir un- 

less these are specifically asked for they will fail in uiauy instance* to b made, jt 
I'.l i: 

290 Public Lihrni''n* In the Vit'ttcd States. 

will facilitate the work very greatly if the number corresponding to the several ad- 
dresses in the Smithsonian printed catalogue ' be marked on the face of each parcel ; 
and for this purpose a copy of the catalogue will be forwarded to all who apply for 
it. Specimens of natural history will not be received for transmission unless with a 
previous understanding as to their character and bulk. 

8. l"n less all these conditions are complied with, the parcels will not be- forwarded 
from the Institution; and, on the failure to comply with the first and second condition-, 
will be returned to the sender for correction. 



By act of July 4, 1789, a duty of 5 per cent, was imposed upon all 
imported books, maps, charts, and philosophical instruments, in common 
with nearly all other imported articles. 

August 10, 1790, books owned by persons coming to reside in the 
United States and philosophical apparatus especially imported for a 
seminary of learning were exempted from duty. . 

April 27, 1816, all books, maps, charts, philosophical apparatus, statu- 
ary, paintings, drawings, etc., imported for literary purposes or for any 
seminary of learning, were declared free of duty. 

The act of May 22, 1824, imposed a duty on all books printed previous 
to 1775 ; also on all books printed in other languages than English, four 
cents per volume, except those printed in Latin and Greek, on which the 
duty was fixed at 15 cents per pound when bound, and 13 cents when 
unbound. On all other books, when bound, the duty was fixed at 3 ) 
cents per pound ; when in sheets or boards, 23 cents per pound. 

The act of May 19, 1823, provided the duty on imported Greek 
and Latin books, printed previous to 1775, should not be more than four 
cents per volume. 

September 11, 184L, all books, maps, charts, philosophical apparatus, 
statues, engravings, paintings, drawings, specimens of natural history, 
etc., imported for the use of the United States, or by order and for use 
of any institution of learning, were declared exempt from duty. 

The act of August 30, 1842, imposed a duty on all imported books 
printed in the English language, when bound, 3D cents per poun 1 ; in 
sheets or boards, 20 cents per pound: Provided, that if any such book 
had bee'n printed or published abroad more than one year and not re- 
published in this country, or hail b^e.i printed and published abroad 
more than five years before such inv> > -t itioa, the duty should be one- 
half the above rates. On books printed in other languages than English 
the duties were fixed as follows : On loks printed in Latin and Greek, 
when bound, 15 cents per pound; unbound, 13 cents per pound ; books* 
printed in Hebrew, when bound, 10 cents per pound; unbound, eight cent 
per pound ; books printed in all other foreign languages, wh^n bound o 
in boards, five cents per volume; when in sheets or pamphlets, 15 cent 
per pound. The editions of works in the Litin, Greek, Hebrew, or En 
glish languages which were printed forty ye-ir.s prior to the date 

Miscellaneous Collections, No. v! 

Copyright, Dis/r&ti&o*, Esdianue*, ami /><//>' -J'.'l 

importation, to pay a duty of five cents per volume; all reports of I< 
lative committees appointed under foreign governments, live cents per 
volume; polyglots, lexicons, and dictionaries, five cents per p mn 1 : 
books of engravings, bound or unbound, and rnip-iand charts. L', pel- 
cent, ad valorem. Nevertheless books, apparatus, p iinting>. etc., im- 
ported in good faith for literary purposes and lisa of institu:ious of 
learning, should be admitted free. 

July 30, 1<S4<, a duty of 10 per cent, ad valorem was imposed on im- 
ported books, magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, etc., bound or unbound, 
and upon maps and charts. 

The. act of March 29, LS4S, remitted all duties upon books, maps, and 
Charts, imported by authority of the Joint Library Committee of Con- 
gress for use of Congressional Library. 

June i''i, IStS, it was enacted that all books transmitted throagh the 

:its of exchange for the use of ths Government of the Unite.) 
or of any government of a State, or of its legislature, or of any dep irt- 
meur of the Government of the United States or of a State, or of the 
Academy at \Vest Point, or of the National Institute, shall be ad nitted 
<liit\ tree. . 

August I'-J, ISiS, it was ordered that thereafter all books, maps and 
charts, apparatus, etc., imported in good faith for use of colleges, schools, 
or literary societies, should be free of duty. 

The act of January UiJ, 184!), provided that after June, 1SI!, all 
books, maps, charts, mathematical and nautical instruments, and philo- 
sophical apparatus, imported for use of the United States, should le free 
of duty. 

June .'W, ISlil, the duty on imported books, periodicals, pamphlets, 
blank books, bound or unbound, and all printed matter, engravi. 
illustrated It n>'\s and papers, and maps and charts, was lixe.l at _'"> p -i 
<-cnt. ad valorem; and the duty on philosophical app iratus and instru- 
ments imported for the use of any institution of learning at 1 ~ p -r cent 
ad \ alorem. 

The act of July 1 1, 1S70, still in force, exempts Iron duty all imported 
books which have been printed and manufactured more than i\vent\ 

June ."., 1ST.!, it was enacted that, on and alter August 1. 1 -i7-', tin- 
following imported articles shall be exempt from duly, \ ;/ : \'< 
which shall have been printed more than t \veiity years from the date i 
importation; books, maps, and charts imported hy aath >rit\ lor tin- 
use of the I'niled States or tor the Library of <".;; . m i|'-. 

in. 1 charts specially imp.irted (not more than t\v. copies m 
invoice) in go >,l faith for the use of any society, literary or rehgi ms. 01 
by order of any college, school, or seminary of learning in the 1'nited 
professional books, tln^ property of persons arriving in the 
Tinted States: books, or libraries, or par! s of libraries in n^ .: pel - 

It or families from foreign countries, if used abroad by theai not 
than one year, and not intended for other per>on-. nor for sale. 



Librarian Xew York State Library. 


The existence of libraries at the seats of government in ancient and 
modern times, is a fact so common as to indicate that there are reasons 
permanently operating which lead to their establishment. Beginning 
with the libraries of the kings of Assyria, carved on stone or clay, or 
of the Ptolemies at Alexandria, written on papyrus or parchment, we 
may trace government libraries forward through Constantinople and 
Home, till we find them flourishing as one of the chief glories of the 
capitals of modern Europe. 

The example of the Old World conld not be rapidly followed in the New. 
lu America, under the administration of foreign governors, ruling over 
colonies in the spirit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there 
was little to favor the growth of libraries in connection with the govern- 
ment. In the British North American colonies, it was not till after the 
Involution, and more than thirty years after the formation of the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, that any general tendency was manifested to 
establish libraries as a constituent part of the State system. There 
were, indeed, in the older States collections of the laws and legislative 
proceedings of the State, preserved in one or two legislative libraries, for 
which librarians were chosen each session, and intended solely for the 
u >e of the members of the legislature. There were, moreover, in the 
ntlices of the governors and of the heads of departments, books pur- 
chased on account of temporary official necessities, or which had been 
presented by sister States or foreign governments or individuals, which, 
having accumulated, waited for some special care to be exercised to 
render them available for public use. 

These collections became most naturally the foundation upon which 
>rganize State libraries ; yet other causes to which we shall presently 
r operated to give a definite impulse to the measure. As to the fact 
that such collections existed, the records of Pennsylvania show that there 
was a library at its capital as early as 1777, and resolutions respecting 
it were passed in 1781. New Hampshire also has claims to the posses- 
of one before the Revolution. Probably when the records of the 

State and Territorial Libraries. 25K5 

older States come to be examined with this point in view, each of them 
will be able to supply documentary evidence of the early existence of such 
collections, which were occasionally referred to as the library of the State. 
That of Pennsylvania was not formally established till 181 G, when three 
libraries at the state-house were by a law incorporated into one ; nor was 
the library of New Hampshire organized till L8L8. Tennessee, a compara- 
tively new State, is reported to have had a library of 8,0(/0. volumes at 
its capital, without any evidence to show that it had been created by 
law ; for it was not till 1854 that its legislature voted to establish a State 
library. Vermont, in providing for a librarian in 1825, required him to 
take charge of all the books and documents then existing in the state- 
house. These instances are sufficient to illustrate the fact of the accu- 
mulations of books at the capitals previous to the definite organization 
of the State library. 

The most noticeable of the causes which led to their formation was 
a resolution of the State of Massachusetts in 1811, requesting its secre- 
tary of state to correspond with the proper officer of the several States 
for the purpose of securing an annual exchange of statutes for the use 
of the executive and legislative departments and to offer three sets to 
each of the States that should agree to forward their statutes in return. 
The proposition was favorably received, and then commenced the sys- 
tem of exchanges now existing between the States which created the 
foundations of State libraries. Yet it was not till 1826 that even 
31 assachusetts established a State library u for the use of the legisla- 
ture;" the act required the collection from the public offices into one 
place, and .the purchase of " such books, maps, and charts, works of 
science and the arts as may tend to illustrate the resources and means 
of internal improvement of the Commonwealth or of the United States/' 
The plan of Massachusetts was forwarded, and i further impetus given 
by a law of Congress of December 27, 1813, ordering one copy of each 
of the journals and documents of Congress to be given to the executive 
department of each State. 

South Carolina had a legislative library in 1814. New York estab- 
lished a library in 1818, declaring that its object was to found " a pub- 
lic library for the use of the government and of the people of the 
State," and it has since that time continued annually to make 
appropriations for its enlargement. Ohio owed the creation of its 
library, in the same year with that of New York, to the action of 
(Jovernor Worthington, who purchased, in 1817, in Philadelphia, witli 
the money of the contingent fund, a large; number of books, and on his 
recommendation, the next legislature organi/ed a library. The period 
from 1816 to 181J) included the organization of live State libraries, in 
Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the whole 
n umber of States being twenty-two. I Jet ween 1 Si' land 1,SL >( ., seven libra- 
lies were created, in Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New 
.Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia, with twenty-four States in the Uniou 
From 1836 to 1840, eight State libraries were established. 

1>04 PiilUc ],ilinirit'x In tlic I'nltnl States. 

No period has been so remarkable for the increase of State libraries, 
and of the- number of books in them, as that of the last twenty-five 
years. During this time, one State after another has adopted the poli- 
cy, until at the present moment there is such a library in every State and 
Territory. The Territories organized within the last thirty years have 
been provided on their organization with such libraries. Congress ap- 
propriated $.3,000 in 1S36, for the purchase of a library for Wisconsin Ter- 
ritory u for the use of the legislature and the supreme court." The Terri- 
tory of Oregon had an appropriation from Congress in 184S, of like 
amount, for the same purpose. In 1850 New Mexico received an appro- 
priation of $.3,000, and in 1854 $300 additional, for her territorial library ; 
which in 1853 numbered about 2,000 volumes, comprising the standard 
text books on the various branches of common and civil law and equity, 
the reports of the United States and the State courts and the codes of the 
several States and Territories, besides a number of congressional docu- 
ments. The library then contained the manuscript records of the Terri- 
tory, dating back more than three hundred years. This collection of 
records is probably the oldest in the United States. 1 Indeed it came to 
be the rule to appropriate in the act organizing a territorial government 
funds for the purchase of a library. It was a recognition by the most 
enlightened body in the nation of the value and necessity of a library 
for the welfare of new communities, that they might be developed and 
sustained under wise laws. 

With the accumulation of books at the capitols and state-bouses, as 
the result of their interchanges of statutes and the journals of the leg- 
islatures, the necessity of a library organization for their control was 
still further impressed upon the minds of the legislators by the resolu- 
tions of South Carolina in 1844, which were communicated to the States, 
proposing an additional exchange, that of the reports of the judicial 
decisions of each State. The proposition has been accepted by all the 

Among the causes operating to stimulate the development of State 
libraries, the disinterested and zealous, exertions of Alexandra Vatte- 
mare, of France, should not be overlooked. His addresses and appeals, 
made personally to the legislatures of many of the States, in favor of 
international exchanges of State publications and duplicate works with 
the states ;vnd cities of Europe, awakened a hopeful readiness to carry 
out his >peri:il plans, and stimulated measures for the increase of State 
libraries. Washington Irving declared the scheme to be "worthy of 
the civilization of the age," especially on account of its tendency to ger- 
minate libraries promptly and without loss. Sixteen States accepted 
the obligations and expenses of this system of international exchanges, 
in a greater or less degree. The management was conducted at Paris, 
by M. Vattemare, until his death, which occurred in 18G4. 

1 El Gringo; or, New Mexico and bar Pttopte. By \Y. H. d. Davis. New York: Har- 
per Bros.. 

State and Territorial Libraries. 295 

The plan did not continue to be sustained, during the whole of this 
period, by all of those States that engaged in it, some of them soon de- 
clining to contribute annually to the necessary expenses. This aban- 
donment was not merely because the classes of books received were 
chiefly in foreign languages, but because that, irrespective of their value, 
it cost more to bind them than the whole sum the legislature was dis- 
posed to allow annually for the increase of their libraries. Yet, as e.irly 
as 1856, M. Vattemare had sent from France alone 100,000 volumes, 
besides those which he had secured from other states of Europe; and 
had received in return 80,000 volumes from this country. The exchanges 
carried on by M. Vattemare operated in many ways to develop and 
vivify intellectual and sympathetic relations between the people of the 
Old and New World. Since his death, the system has bean pursued on a 
more efficient and practical basis by the Smithsonian Institution, which, 
through its various agencies abroad, is very successfully facilitating 
exchanges, not only between States, but between societies and individ- 

In these remarks on the origin of our State libraries, it has not been 
an object to give the history of all or of any one of them. The casual 
notice of particular libraries has been simply for the purpose of illustra- 
ting the general facts which appertain to the origin of all of them. The 
materials are accumulating in the reports of the libraries of each State, 
which will require, ultimately, to be embodied in a general history. Nor 
has there been occasion to speak of the origin of the National Library, 
the Library of Congress, with its 300,000 volumes. Its aims and scope 
are the same, but on" a larger and more comprehensive scale, in propor- 
tion as its means are larger. Its rapid development is most gratifying 
to our hopes and pride. 


Having spoken of the origin of our State libraries, we proceed to a 
general brief statement of their character and condition. 

The annual increase of books in the libraries is from purchases, ex- 
changes, and gifts. The funds for purchases are chietiy from the an- 
nual appropriations made by the legislatures of the several States. 
There is a tendency to a moderate increase in the amount of these ap- 
propriations. In four or five of the larger States it may average from 
*1,.~>00 to $1,000 a year, while in the greater number the average would 
not he over >>.">00. In California the annual receipts from the State are 
about $7,030; a fee of $5 is taxed upon each commission issued by the 
governor, and $5 is deducted from th compensation of each member 
of the legislature and paid into the library fund. In Nevada, the library 
fund is derived in part from fees paid in the public ollices and from 
licenses to attorneys to practice. In some of the States a portion of 
the fund comes from the sale of volumes of the statutes and law 

Tho increase from exchanges consists of the oflieial publications of the 

2 %' J'ttbliv .L'tltrui-ir* in flif I' iil 

United States and of the forty-six States and Territories with each other. 
The provinces of the Dominion of Canada enter in to the sy: si em of exchange 
with some of the States in a liberal spirit. These exchanges add several 
hundred volumes each year, although all of the States are not equally uni- 
form in sustaining the system. Massachusetts, New York, and IVnn- 
syl vania report that they have exchanges with all the .States and Terri- 
tories. It is the custom of some States to place at the disposal of the 
authorities of the library an additional number of copies of its publica- 
tions, for exchanges with societies and individuals at home and abroad. 

The increase from gifts, irrespective of exchanges, has not as yet been 
large from any one person, but the aggregate of the donations annually 
made by the citizens is considerable. It averaged for the last four 
years for the State of New York 250 volumes a year, exclusive of pam- 
phlets and gifts from societies. 

Th e proportion of the library funds devoted to purchases for the law 
departments is in most of the States from one-quarter to one-half of the 
whole amount ; of course varying in successive years according to cir- 
cumstances. The proportion of books in the law departments is from 
one sixth to two-thirds of the whole number. When State documents 
are included in the count with the law books, it of course swells the 
number in that department, and in the same measure reduces the num- 
ber counted in the general library. In some States the law library is 
recognized as a branch of the State library, and has its separate apart- 
ment. In Texas and Indiana the law library is the library of the su. 
pro me court. The proportion of books of law to those of all other 
classes is gradually changing, and the libraries are becoming more com- 
prehensive in their character with time and the increase of the States 
in wealth and population. It was uatu rally one of the first objects of a 
State library to provide works of reference on la w. as the court rooms 
of the highest courts in the State are at the capitols, and both the judges 
and the advocates being separated from their own libraries derive the 
greatest advantage from them. In Wisconsin and Iowa the purchases 
of books are almost entirely for the law libraries, but the legislatures at 
the same time make liberal annual appropriations to the State histori- 
cal societies for the purchase of books of a general character. In this 
way the library of the Historical Society of Wisconsin has already 
reached 00,000 volumes, including pamphlets. 

The general department of the State libraries iuclud es for the smaller 
libraries eliiefly State papers, with the most necessary encyclopedias, 
and works of reference on statistics, political economy, and history, for 
the use of the legislature, a minimum portion of modern light literature, 
and incidental additions of a miscellaneous character. The larger li- 
braiies employ their larger appropriations in the purchase of books 
from a wider range, aiming not to supply the direct needs of the legis- 
lator only, but to respond to the requirements and tastes of a culti- 
vated people, looking forward to such measure of completeness in every 

State and Territorial Libraries. 2!i7 

department as the means at their disposal may allow. An opinion of 
the character of one library is expressed in a report from its librarian, 
iu which he u congratulates the legislature on the number of works 
to be found iu the library adapted to the wants of the agriculturist, the 
merchant, the banker, and the statesman." Another report says, " The 
library is specially designed to contain books on legislation, government, 
politics, history, statistics, and political economy." A third report ob- 
serves, "A glance over the purchases will show that the mechanic's and 
engineer's call can now be gratified." 

Notwithstanding the laws establishing State libraries declare that 
they are for books, manuscripts, and maps, the libraries are most of 
them too young to have collected largely of the two last named arti- 
cles. Thelargest collections of manuscripts are in the oldest libraries, 
as might be expected. Many libraries do not report any manuscripts. 
Where they do exist iu the libraries, there is abundant evidence that 
they are constantly contributing materials for personal and town history. 

Stalje libraries are in some cases also the museums of natural hist >iy 
of the State, and contain the manufactures, dresses, and antiquities of 
the aborigines. Others posses^ portraits and busts of distinguished 
citizens, with coins and medals. 

Each State library is emphatically a reference library, and not for the 
circulation of the books. Exception is uniformly made iu favor of the 
heads of departments, the judges of the highest courts, and of the 
members of the legislature during the sessions, who are allowed to draw 
books under special regulations. In some States, other classes, as the 
superintendents of public institutions, the officers of ( the legislature, 
and the like, are allowed to draw books. Books which are important on 
account of their being in frequent demand or of their rarity are not 
permitted to be taken from the capitol by any person. The use made 
of the libraries is at present greatest during the sessions of the legisla- 
ture and the terms of the courts. But such is the pressure of business 
during the legislative sessions, that few can find time for researches 
connected with general principles, and members are obliged to limit 
themselves too frequently to such facts as they can gather from statis- 
tics and State documents. Information to be derived from State, county, 
and town maps and charts is in demand at all times. 

State libraries are free to all persons without exception, who have 
the privilege of reading any book for which they may inquire. \Vlien 
situated in large cities, they are much frequented by the residents and 
the students of educational institutions, especially if there is no other 
public library. The public have not the right in the New York State 
law library to occupy the tables appropriated to the members of t he- 
bar. The libraries are open every day, except on holidays, during the 
sessions of the legislature, from !> in the moining till late in the alter- 
uoon. Most of them are iu the same manner open during the whole of 
the ,\ear, a,t least during a part of the day. The facilities for reading 

;>J)8 Public Libraries in the 

in the British Museum are generally commended, yet any person de- 
siring to read there must apply in writing to the principal librarian, 
specifying his "description" and place of abode, and accompany his 
letter with a written recommendation from some other person. There- 
upon he receives a ticket, giving him the privilege for six months. Under 
suoh restrictions the room has its hundred thousand of readers in a year. 
With us there are no restrictions to repulse any person decently clad 
and of good behavior from using a State library. 

At their first organization, State libraries were frequently left under 
the control of an existing State officer, as the governor or the secretary of 
state. The direction and control are now usually assigned to a number 
of persons, designated as commissioners or trustees, who are either cer- 
tain State officers, with the librarian, as in Pennsylvania, or are chosen 
or appointed to the office, and are to remain till their successors are 
appointed, or are gradually changed after a term of several years' service. 
In California the supervising board was composed of the judges of the 
supreme court, with the governor. In New York the regents of the 
university are the trustees. The changes in the method of administra- 
tion, as the libraries grew in value and importance, have always been 
for the purpose of securing a steady, watchful, and permanent control 
of its interests. The librarians are either appointed by the governor or 
the trustees, or are chosen by the legislature for a term of years. In 
Massachusetts, while there is a board of trustees, the secretary of the 
board of education is librarian. 

Annual reports are made to the legislature, either by the commis- 
sioners, trustees, or librarians, regarding the condition of the library, 
its income, expenditure, and progress. The salaries of librarians and 
other expenses of the library are provided for by appropriations, addi- 
tional to those made for the purchase of books. The librarians in at 
least five of the States are women in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michi- 
gan, and Tennessee. The purchases of books, as reported by twelve 
libraries are represented as being made in six of them by the librarian 
1 and in the other six by the trustees. Yet the same statistics do not 
define who makes the selection of the books or the decision upon the 

The measure of care taken for the safe- keeping of the books is an 
important element as regards all libraries. Oar State libraries are, as 
we have observe;!, reference libraries, anil the privilege of drawing 
some classes of books is limited to a small number of persons; but in 
is.">s Oaio was extending the privilege to clerks both of the legislature 
and tin- departments, to ex-officers of State, the officers of its public 
institutions at a distance from the capital, and to others. Colorado has 
a similar provision for books to be taken to remote counties and retained 
for six weeks. Wisconsin once extended the privilege to attorneys. 
Many of the libraries, after suffering greatly from the loss of books in 
the periods when the application of the rules or the rules themselves 

State and Territorial Libraries. 299 

were lax, bave assumed a necessary stringency, for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the property of the State and securing the greatest degree of 
usefulness from the library. The librarian of Minnesota reported, in 
1860, that out of a large number of volumes which had been regarded 
as lost, two hundred of them had beeu recovered in a single year by 
faithful exertions. They had disappeared under the "order system " 
chiefly'. The librarian's report for Pennsylvania for 1873 refers to a 
time when the library suffered from that "order system which was in 
vogue for a few years, and which of itself would deplete any library in 
this or any other community." The " order system " referred to is a 
custom which not unnaturally springs up in the use of a library, though 
it may not be provided for in the regulations, by which those who enjoy 
the exceptional privilege of drawing books give an order to a friend or 
an acquaintance tadraw a book in their name or on their responsibility. 
On account of frequent loss of books from this usage, Pennsylvania has 
prohibited the acceptance of such orders by the librarian. Tennessee , 
for the same "reason, in 1871 forbade the librarian to receive any orders 
for books to be taken out by others than those legally authorized. 
In 1857, the commissioner of the Vermont library having reported 
an "immensely large list of missing volumes,' 7 the legislature imme- 
diately placed the library undor the control of trust ees, and in fourteen 
years the library had trebled in size. Ohio specifically declares in her 
laws that whoever, being a privileged person, gives an order to any 
other person not having such privilege, shall forfeit all right to take 
books from the library. 

The number of volumes in all the State and territorial libraries, 
not including pamphlets, according to the latest returns, is 833,210. 
Within twenty-five years the number has nearly quadrupled. In 
the same period in Europe the ten principal libraries have doubled 
their number of volumes, an increase still greater than in our own 
libraries if we consider their great size at the beginning of the 
period. The interest taken in these institutions in our own as well as 
in foreign lands is illustrative at the same time of the intellectual activ- 
ity and the material enterprise of the age. If the number of volumes 
had simply been doubled instead of being quadrupled in twenty-five 
years, it would have ..still constituted a very gratifying increase. Con- 
sidering how recently they became States, the readiness of some of the 
Western States to build up strong libraries surpasses the zeal of others 
at the East. 

The libraries are very unequal in size, beginning with the thousand 
volumes of the library of a newly organized Territory, till we reach one 
of ur>,OW) that of the State of New York. Ten of the whole number 
have over 3(),OUU volumes each. The size of the library depends in part 
upon the length of time it has been organized, in part upon the popula- 
tion and wealth of the State, and in part upon the vicinity of other 
large libraries. It is. especially worthy of notice that only four of the 

300 Public Libraries in the rutted ,sV/r.s. 

State libraries are in cities having a population of over fifty thousand, 
according to the census of 1870. Of the forty-six State and territorial 
libraries, therefore, it follows that forty-two of them arc in rela- 
tively small cities. Yet as the State capitals are the most central 
towns of the State for facility of access to the citi/ens, and 
are the towns most frequently visited by them for purp. 
of business, institutions of the character which State libraries should 
aspire to become, can nowhere else be more properly established for 
their highest utility and security. At the centres of population in the 
great cities, large and rapidly increasing libraries are already estab- 
lished. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, at the East . 
rival each other in their libraries of reference; while Chicago, Cincin- 
nati, St. Louis, and San Francisco at the West, give promise of a 
worthy competition. But their enlargement from the outset is in be- 
half of all the wants possible to the human mind, and they have not the 
special aims of a State library; while as our capitals are destined with 
the lapse of years to become large centres of population, like the capi- 
tals of Europe, they have the same motives to be also comprehensive 
in their additions to their libraries as have the cities we have mentioned. 
Where the capitol is in a city already possessing large libraries, it is 
feasible to build up its State library in directions suited to its more spe- 
cific aims. The Massachusetts State library, having already in the vi- 
cinity of its state-house libraries containing an aggregate of about 
8UO,(XM) volumes, may "wisely leave the purchase of books on science, 
art, and literature, to those libraries, and limit its own purchases to State 
history, political economy, and legislation, and thus avoid duplicating 
the works already collected in those libraries. But where the popula- 
tion is one which has lately settled, and there is no other library of ref- 
erence within the State, there is no limit to the branches of knowledge 
from which books may be selected, except the want of funds with which 
to purchase, or the decision of the authorities. 

When we reflect upon the late rapid development of the State libra-- 
ries, the character of the books collected, and the interest with' which 
they are cherished by the people, their condition is one of great encour- 
agement. The deficiencies in the largest of them in every branch of 
knowledge are recognized by their friends, and they only wait for op- 
portunities to fill them up. And if in any of the older States there is 
a backwardness to appreciate their claims and their importance, the 
ar.lor manifested by the younger members of the family of States to 
build up the State library will not be without its effect to stimulate 
ihem to similar enterprise. 


After this brief view of the origin and condition of our State libraries, 
it remains to consider in the remaining observations their aims, com- 
bining some practical reflections on their administration and enlarge- 

State and Territorial Libraries. 301 

meut. There may be nothing in these remarks which has not been ex- 
pressed on different occasions by the officers>of State libraries, yet there 
certainly will be ah advantage in grouping these views together. 

Our State libraries come into view first in order of time prominently 
as libraries of the statutes, journals of the legislatures, and State docu- 
ments. As regards the aim of a State library in this branch of its col- 
lections, it cannot fail to be remembered that these libraries are the only 
places in each State where it can be supposed that an untiring assiduity 
will be exercised to secure complete sets of all the publications of the 
State, and, as far as possible, of the several States. In the apartments 
called the senate and assembly libraries of s uch States as retain them, 
only the sta tutes of the State and the later journals and documents of 
the legislatures are preserved. It is impossible to keep the sets com- 
plete under a system where the librarian is chosen solely for the actual 
session 'of the legislature, and has hardly time to become acquainted 
with his library, or to learn that a deficiency exists, except from inqui- 
ries made after an absent volume. It requires the most watchful exer- 
tions to make the sets of State publications tolerably complete. Jt has 
been affirmed that there is not a State in the Union, unless it may be a 
State lately admitted, which is in possession of a complete set of its own 
publications. In 1858 Ohio did not possess one, and Vermont did not 
in 1871. Massachusetts reports that some of the papers known to have 
been printed by the State are hopelessly lost. 

No libraries except State libraries will collect with any perseverance 
the documents of the other States. In view, therefore, of the frequency, 
even within the short period of our nation al existence, of the destruction 
of libraries by fire, and in view of the occasional calam ity of war, it is 
under a system of exchanges existing between States, more surely than 
in any other way, that each State has a chance for the complete preser- 
vation of its official history d uring a succession of centuries. Although 
forty-six States and Territories may be co-operating simultaneously in 
preserving the same documents of each State, the accidents of time will 
continually be reducing the number of sets existing ; and how few corn- 
plete sets, if any, would remain at the end of three hundred years! 
Frequently only unique copies are found to exist of works which 
three centuries since were printed to the extent of thousands of copies. 
Of ninety-six of the works printed by Caxton four hundred years since, 
thirty-five of the extant copies are unique. How many of these .laws 
and debates at the end of a similar period would be extant to testify to 
the facts of the history of each State .' 

A State library will, of course, make it one of its special aims to col- 
lect works on American history in general just so far as the means at 
its disposal will admit. I5ut of all the purposes for which it exists, 
none responds so directly to the wants of the largest number of the 
citi/.ens of a State as to aim to collect all the materials accessible to 
illustrate the history of the State, its counties, its to ns, and its citi- 

;}(i-J Prthlir LUn-aiic* in flu 1 r/f/frtl N/ 

S, The authorities of the library will therefore be attentive (n 
cure ;ill local histories ano* biographies, manuscript collections of the 
papers of its eminent ritixens, the official proceedings of all counties 
and towns, reports of all societies, charitable, commercial, manufactur- 
ing, military, and secret, and as many of the newspapers printed in the 
State as can he obtained, with its almanacs, and business and IOA n di- 
rectories. To these will naturally be added works in science and the 
arts which relate more particularly to the productions of the State. An 
honorable historic consciousness will be promoted by securing works of 
merit of all kinds written by citizens of the State. 

Much might be said regarding the value of the different classes of 
books just mentioned, a value which grows with successive years. \Ye 
will, however, single out from among them for particular notice the class 
of newspapers. For many towns and counties they are the only printed 
record of the earliest facts of local history. Their value in libraries is 
already recognized in our Western States. The Indiana State Library 
receives twenty-eight newspapers as an annual gift; Minnesota was 
receiving forty in 18(52, and Ohio receives twenty-eight. The New .Jer- 
sey library invites donations of the same kind. There can be little 
iloubt that the publishers of a large proportion of the newspapers ot 
any Starr- would preserve and give to the State the file of each year, on 
the single condition that it should be promptly bound and made accessi- 
ble to the public, It would be equitable and useful to provide by stat- 
ute that each publisher sending a newspaper should receive a copy of 
the laws of the session. 

It would also be a beneficial measure that the librarians of town and 
>rporated libraries should be required, by statute, to send a copy of 
their annual and other printed reports and printed catalogues to the 
library of the State. The documents would thus bi3 permanently 
preserved, would give publicity to the existence and character of the 
libraries, and facilitate t!ie prep irarion of tables of statistics of all the 
libraries of the Stale. 

Town dirertone.s and guides, after the lapse of a year, can be obtaine I 
at a'tnost no expivis >, and \vli:i a series of a few decades of years h is 
b -iMi c >'.le -t I. ih' el of libraries shows that they are very fre- 

q lently ivf-n ;! t > as in lispensab'.e i !t m uiy historical researches, 

Uni(|-ie c >llc i -'i as th;> muiuscript papers of governors and 

oth TS. m :u >:-i il- ofeirly s->t tiers and prominent eiti/.Mis, 

are to be sought tor. both for their intrinsic value as records of the past, 
and also for the distinction the possession of them gives to the library 
beyond that of its printed volumes. 

11 might b- provided by law with a-lv,mt;ige to the public that the 
ifer t > th custody of the Srsite library 

::| tli -ir .1 ;.!!;!! -;!ts as of record, bu; 
the pres -rvation of which might be desirable for historical reference. 
The legislature of New York, in 1^17. passed a resolution directing the 

State and Territorial Libraries. 303 

secretary of state to deliver fo the State library all such documents of 
historic interest relative to and connected with the annals of the State 
"as he might deem desirable and proper to be so transferred/' The 
S^ate librarian, under proper regulations, might become keeper of the 
r ills and records of the State and of all documents of early dates that 
s'lould be transferred to the library from any department. 

It would be a wise undertaking for each library to aim to enrich itself 
by selecting one or two subjects, which should not be of too great scope, 
and making a special collection of books on those subjects. The topics 
might be such as the writings and memorials of an eminent author, a 
branch of mining, the telegraph, and the like. Persons interested in 
such topics would soon learn of the existence of one place where they 
c^uld depend upon finding everything written upon these subjects. 

A State library should be abundantly supplied with- the means of 
furnishing teachers of schools, town library committees, and librarians, 
with information regarding the character of books desirable to be pur- 
chased. All forms of guides to reading, guides in the selection of books 
and comprehensive catalogues of select books should be secured, and 
the librarian should qualify himself to aid in that direction. The de- 
partment of instruction of Illinois has this year published a very valu- 
able list of books with explanatory notes, as a guide in the selection of 
books for school districts and town libraries. 1 It is a good example of a 
part of the work to be done, and of the kind of aid which may be given 
in connection with each State library. 

The expense must be incurred afresh and continually of purchasing 
the latest editions of encyclopedias, annual registers, and statistical 
works generally, as rapidly as they are published, notwithstanding 
earlier editions are upon the shelves of the library. In matters con- 
nected with legislation and for all researches, the freshest statistics and 
ivp.irts are alone satisfactory to the investigator. The earlier editions 
do not become useless ; they will always serve to mark the development 
of thought and the progress of science up to the date when they were 
published, and they contain information excluded from new encyclope- 
dias by the pressure of fresh materials. 

It will be readily conceded that a State library should possess all 
works pertaining in any way to the history of the State; for it is 
'e.'ident that the productions of the press of each State illustrate in 
m my ways its history, being usually the work, either intellectually 
or materially, of its own citizens. Any reason;! hie method of secur- 
ing one copy of e.ich of such publications for the State library is 
wortli considering. At present two copies of every article for which a 
copyright is demanded, must, by law, be deposited in the Library of 
Congi-ess. Might it not as well lie provided that one of these two 
copies should be deposited in the State library of the State in which it 

1 Ci vuljir Not 31, Department of Public Instruction, Sorinjjlicld. 111.. l><vrmli. 
1-74, p. !:{;{. 

;;i)|. I'nblir Lil>nu'i<s /// fhr Vnitrtl Stairs. 

is published .' It can hardly bv a necessity that two copies of each 
pablioation Should be retained in the same library, one for use in the 

library, and the other for the -sole purpose of keeping the material 
iee ml of copyrights complete. It is probable that at the eml of a long 
period of years, a much larger number of these publications would be 
in existence as a record of the past if they had been officially preserved 
in two places than if they had only been preserved in one, thus depend- 
ing for their safety upon a single contingency. The convenience of 
a "cess to the public, the reasonable claims of the State in which the 
\\ork originates, the benefit to authors and publishers, and its advan- 
tages for the completeness of State history, all these motives recom- 
mend the plan as preferable to the existing arrangement. During the 
last year, 14,000 articles were copyrighted at the Library of Congress, 
making, at two copies each, 28,000 articles deposited, in the Library. 
The deposit in the library of the State in which the work is published of 
one half of this gross number, by the publishers, or by the Librarian of 
Congress, would both relieve the National Library of what is now, in many 
respects, an incumbrance, and work greatly to the advantage of each 
State. The trustees of the New York State Library made a similar sug- 
gest ion in 1S."8, asking for the passage of a law requiring " authors who 
obtain a copyright of their works, to deposit a copy in the State library 
of the State in which such copyright was entered." This suggestion 
was made before the late change in the law of the United States. 

,Just so far as it is evident to an observing public that the books and 
manuscripts in a State library are guarded with a scrupulous care for 
their safety, it may be expected that it will be preferred by generous 
citi/ens before other institutions as the one to which they will be glad to 
bequeath their libraries, or to give or intrust on deposit manuscripts 
and works of value. At the date when the British .Museum contained 
,~>1 l,ono volumes, 218,000 of them had either been bequeathed or pre- 
sented to it. These donors have thus acquired a more enduring and 
honorable fame for their names than they would have secured by the 
ioa for themselves of costly mausoleums. The disposition of our 
men of wealth to endow public institutions at their death or during life 
.prevalent among us as to be the source of just pride. Trustees 
of libraries, sensible of the importance of such collections, can hardly 
avoid diverting the attention of citizens to this method of rendering 
their wealth useful to their country. Hut in speaking of the condition 
of our State libraries, we have referred to the fact that in the early 
: organization scrupulous care for the safety of the books was 
not I, and the libraries suffered frequent and large losses. 

This evil has. however, b.-eii already remedied in most libraries by 
providing for a more ellicient supervision, and for more stringency 
in the regulations regarding the loan of books. The relaxation of 
these ivgul.jtions should not be left to depend upon the discretion 
or good will of the librarian, but should be controlled for special 

dud Territorial Libraries. 305 

cases by the superior authorities. It seems like an unjustifiable disre- 
gard of the interests of a library that a book, either unique or of great 
value, perhaps the gift of a citizen, should be delivered into the hands 
of a total stranger. Any gentleman, informed by the librarian of the 
circumstances, would feel the propriety of making himself known to 
him through an introduction from another person. 

Of course the public has at all times the freest access to the apart- 
ments of* a State library; and one evidence which it can give to those 
who might be disposed to be donors to it of the security of the books 
deposited there, is that the cases are protected with wire or glass doors 
and locked. In Ohio the cases have glass doors ; in Xew York they 
Lave wire doors ; in Massachusetts the front of the alcoves is closed 
with glass. The advantage of extending the protection to each case 
instead of to the alcoves is, that it gives to the visitor the privilege ot 
access to the alcoves and of reading the titles of the books. It is as 
important to keep books safely as to purchase good ones. The person 
in charge of the library of the British Museum has the significant 
title of " keeper" of the books. 

State libraries exist for the benefit of the whole State, and the ex- 
penditure for them is from the treasury of the State. As they are 
not designed for the special advantage of the cities where they are 
situated, it is not a part of their object to provide the current literature 
for the convenience of the citizens. It would be an undesirable result 
if, by great facilities of this kind, the inhabitants of the capital should 
be backward in establishing free public libraries for themselves, or if 
they should be drawn away from sustaining by their contributions ex- 
isting social and subscription libraries. Works of fiction and light 
literature will naturally have the smallest place in a State library, 
unless the means at the disposal of the trustees should be abundant 
enough to make a collection of all works by American authors, as part 
of the history of the country. 

The function of selecting the books to be purchased is an important 
one. The relative value for reference purposes of a book proposed, 
whether ancient or modern, is the prominent point to be considered. 
It is comparatively easy to select the most obviously indispensable refer- 
ence books, and those relating to State history. With the present 
state of things, in a majority of these libraries, modern works, whether 
in history, science, or general literature, will be inquired for a hundred 
times where a work of more ancient date will be inquired for once. It 
is true that the need for works of all classes, periods, and languages 
is sure to be felt after the usual changes in the character of the popu- 
lation and the increase of wealth in the State, already the capitals of 
ut least twenty of the States are the seats of universities, colleges, or 
professional schools. But wfcen the purchases first enumerated have 
been made, there may be a very limited fund remaining from the JSiatr 
appropriation ; hence the services of persons capable of making that 
L'O E 

306 Public Libraries in flic i'i/ifrd States. 

83lection of books which on the whole, in view of the moderate means at 
command, will be the most useful, are of great importance. We must 
recognize that the selection is to be made from a list of works which, 
besides including the millions of books printed in past years, is increas- 
ing in all languages at the rate of more than thirty thousand annually. 
It is a task of great responsibility, involving many perplexing questions ; 
and as the productions of the press are likely to increase in the same, 
if not greater, ratio in coming years, and certainly in greater proportion 
in the United States, the necessity of discriminating judgment in making 
purchases presses with stronger force. A man of education and culture 
acting as librarian, with an experience of several years, ought to be com- 
petent to suggest to his trustees the books which it would be most desir- 
able to place on the shelves of the library. Receiving from them general 
principles to guide him in his selections, he should make to them regular 
reports of his proceedings, and thereupon may receive special instruc- 
tions. With this mode of co-operative support, he could not fail to make 
satisfactory purchases from the various sources of supply. This remark 
does not apply to a purchase involving a large sum. The trustees and 
librarians are in a very favorable position for obtaining the aid of the 
best minds in the State to furnish lists of books desirable to be pur- 
chased in special departments. 

Experience in his profession, a protracted connection with the library 
and A genuine love of books, enhance the value of a librarian's services ; 
and make it essential for the best interests of the library, that his rela- 
tions to it should not be interrupted for mere political considerations. 
Practically the long continuance of a librarian in his office in the serv- 
ice of the State is more likely to be cut short by his withdrawal on 
account of an insufficient salary. 

In all that we have hitherto said of the aims of State libraries, the pur- 
pose lias been to specify such as relate to them peculiarly, as compared 
with other libraries, and in their comparatively incipient and undevel- 
oped state. We have not and could not overlook their higher and more 
general object, which can be no less than to collect and preserve for the 
present and future use of their communities whatever can be obtained 
of the printed or manuscript record of what man has thought and done 
in past ages, and of what he is now doing. Books are the chief monu- 
ments of the operations of the human intellect. In the language of 
Milton, " Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency 
of life in them, to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they 
are. ... A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, 
embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." In the 
spirit of this thought, we affirm that the general aim of a State library 
should be regarded as being as comprehensive as the whole range of 
human knowledge, and should therefore include collections as complete 
MS m;iy be in all history, philosophy, science, and art. 

It is not going beyond what we have a right to hope for, that State 

State and Territorial Libraries. 307 

libraries should also have, in a separate department, museums of history, 
natural history, and archeology, embracing medals, coins, sculpture, 
armor, modvls of inventions, and portraits. That which has been an 
exceptional incident in the history of some of these libraries might well 
become the rule for all of them. The cost of the library and of its 
museums, gradually enlarged during a long succession of years, is as 
nothing compared to their utility. The impressions received in studying 
such collections may frequently determine a citizen upon a course of 
study and investigation that shall benefit the world and redound to 
the honor of the State. 

It is too true that the great majority among us are at present chiefly 
engrossed by the necessities or the temptations of material industry. 
But it will not always be so. With the progress in mechanical inventions 
and in scientific appliances, the accumulations of wealth will be rapid. 
There will soon be a population of millions in most of the States. Fam- 
ilies will enter upon life in the enjoyment of the rewards of industry, 
having an abundance of leisure. There will be an ever increasing 
number, eager to compare the wisdom of the past with that of their 
own times, eager to trace the steps by which their State has risen to its 
eminence, and to seek truth and knowledge for their own sakes. 

It should not be regarded as a mere dream of the future to expect 
that the hundreds of millions who will be living one day under the 
protection of pur institutions may surpass in intellectual character and 
culture the highest forms of Athenian life, and that this culture will be 
participated in, not merely by an aristocracy, but by the whole mass. 
Even within a few score years a people will inhabit our plains who 
will judge of us and of the degree of our civilization by the provision 
we had made for them in laying broad and deep the foundations of 
both libraries and museums. If in monarchies these institutions have 
been the most useful and the richest boon from kings to their subjects, 
why should republican governments, acting for the people, be less for- 
ward to endow their capitals with such valuable monuments of civili- 
zation ? We may reasonably hope that the representatives of the peo- 
ple will be so sensible of the grandeur of their mission that they will 
be ready to support such institutions. They would not be on a basis 
more broad than is the existing British Museum. Each would easily be 
managed by the same trustees, in the same manner as is the Library 
and Museum of Natural History of the State of New York. States are 
most competent to effect in such schemes what individuals and societies 
cannot afford to do, except in a limited degree ; and even when the latter 
attempt it, they do not always assure exemption from loss or destruction 
of the treasures under their charge. 

In carrying out these general aims, particularly as regards the library, 
its character will be naturally shaped by its trustees, in view of the 
situation of its capital, the peculiar manufactures, products, and com- 
iwrco of the State, and the funds at their disposal. These trustees, in 

308 Public Lihi-(tt'i'-* \ii (If Citifi-fl S(<(tcs. 

their zeal, and as intelligent friends of the libraries, may. at times, con- 
template with feelings'of disappointment the t'aet that the collections 
are not used in proportion to their value; that the multitude are so en- 
grossed with industrial and commercial occupations or pleasures that 
the library, however well supplied with books, and however choice its 
treasures, is not frequented for scientific or historical research as they 
think it should be. In these circumstances they must console them 
selves with the thought that, besides the present good which they are 
accomplishing, they are accumulating a wealth of information, for 
which coming generations will be grateful when the demands of material 
industry shall be less pressing. The value of these libraries is both imme- 
diate and prospective. They are not to be tried by the present amount of 
use which is made of them, or the absolute need which is felt for them. 
but by the good which they augur for the future, when each capital is tin- 
seat of government of a State containing millions of inhabitants, many 
of whom will be interested in the completeness of the history of their 
State, its lands, its towns, its distinguished citizens, and when its most 
cultivated men are resorting to them to enjoy intercourse with the best 
minds of all ages. They are now but the centers around which are to 
be collected the records of the past and the future, whose value is to 
be enhanced in proportion to their completeness. 

In the days of the llomau republic its first public library was estab- 
lished in the temple of liberty. Our State capitols are our temples of 
liberty, in which it well becomes the representatives of'the people to 
sustain such an institution as the State library, not merely in behalf of 
m iterial ends and legislative necessities, but for the cultivation and de- 
velopment of the most serious studies and the highest thought on 
themes of science and of social and political life. 

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I.-HEXRY A. HOMES, L.L,.!)., 

Librarian Xeio York State Library. 


Amit'.ant Librari jn Watkinton Library, Hartfur I, Conn. 




In the attempt to collect the most recent statistics which should ex- 
hibit the intellectual condition of the United States, it was impossible 
to overlook so important an illustration of the subject as would be of- 
trred by a view of its historical societies. From the facts shown in tin- 
statistical tables, and from those which we have gathered from other 
sources, it is evident that diligent workers in preserving the history of 
the nation have been numerous, and that whatever neglect there has 
been in the pursuit of science or literature, we cannot be said to have 
equally neglected our own history. 

During the past one hundred years of our national life, the historical 
spirit could not fail to be awakeued ; the degree of its development, as- 
compared with the colonial period, has depended in no small measure 
upon the freedom of the people under our republican institutions. 
Where_there are no political or social restraints upon the opportunities 
for co-operation, the historical spirit will effectively develop itself at an-