Monday, May 19, 2008

1920s Public Library, CHICAGO IL

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1906 State Library RICHMOND VA

Free Public Library, AVON CT

Public Library 5th Ave NEW YORK CITY NY

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Thomas F. Holgate Library, Bennett College, GREENSBORO NC

The Carnegie Negro Library on the campus of Bennett College in Greensboro North Carolina is one of the 1,689 libraries built in the United from States from 1883 to 1929.

In the segregated American South, this library, sitting on the northwestern corner of the Bennett College campus, in a neighborhood considered in 1923 as “predominantly black,” had to be referred to as the “Negro Library,” to make it abundantly clear who the patrons would and would not be. Carnegie disliked the segregation system, believing that any human being, like he, could become successful through learning and hard work. But, he did not mind funding separate libraries if that is what it took to give library access to African-Americans.

The library today seems more like a museum than place of higher learning. The library was built before many of the Bennett College buildings, and it sits on a soaring perch, overlooking downtown Greensboro, where the rest of Bennett College faces a long rectangle quad on Lee Street. [Thanks to Chip Millard's Weblog for this information! []

1944 The Library, University of NH, DURHAM NH

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Law Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI

Public Library, Langhorne, Pennsylvania

[LIB0576] The old library building became the headquarters of the Historic Langhorne Association by permission of Bucks County Commissioners in 1977. More interesting information at the Waymarking Website.

Raczynskich Library, Poznan, Poland

[LIB0575] The Raczyński Library was founded by Edward Raczyński (1786–1845) in Poznań. The library's building was erected in 1822–1828 with the financial support of Edward Raczyński Foundation. The structure of a classical building features a colonnade reminiscent of the eastern façade of the Louvre. [Wikipedia]

1910 Garth Memorial Library, Hannibal, Missouri

In 1901 Helen Kercheval Garth and her daughter Anna H. Goodlett donated $25,000 to the City for the erection and furnishing of a library building as a memorial to their husband and father, John H. Garth. Helen was a native of Hannibal and had been a childhood and lifelong friend of Mark Twain. John Garth, a native of Virginia, had come to Hannibal with his parents. After attending the University of Missouri, he returned to Hannibal to join his father and brother in the tobacco business. Later he went into banking and became the president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. He died in 1899.

The site of the new building would be on the old site at 5th and Church. A parade and ceremony celebrated the laying of the cornerstone on May 16, 1901. The Garth Memorial Library opened February 15, 1902. Miss Lizzie Lingle, the librarian received $25 a month. Her assistant, Miss Lizzie Hunt received $15 a month. []

1949 May Memorial Library, Burlington, North Carolina

[LIB0573] The library building on Spring Street was first constructed in 1918 as a post office. In 1938 it was purchased by Mr. W.H. May and given to the city to become a public library in memory of Mr. May's deceased wife.

The library website has a great section devoted to postcards of Alamance County. Click here!

1909 Public Library, Michigan Ave. and Washington St., Chicago, Illinois

On Monday, October 11, 1897, the Central Library, at Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph Streets, opened its doors to the public. The building, located on the grounds of Dearborn Park, (named for the Fort Dearborn Military Reservation that formally encompassed the area) cost approximately $2 million to design and build. The building was designed by A.H. Coolidge, associate of the firm Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge of Chicago. In designing this building, 25 draftsmen took one year to complete approximately 1,200 drawings. Heedful of the lessons of the Chicago Fire, they designed the building to be practically incombustible.

1917 New Public Library, Bangor, Maine

It all began with seven books in a footlocker. In 1830, a small chest was kept in the publishing office of John S. Sayward on Exchange Street. It contained the first library of the Bangor Mechanic Association. Members could check out two books at a time; their sons or apprentices could check out one. As the collection increased, it was moved to ever-larger reading rooms in several downtown locations.

The Mechanic Association’s Library was not the only one in town, but it was the one that survived. With the 1873 absorption of the Bangor Mercantile Association and its Library by the Mechanic Association, the collections of six libraries had come together in one location and were known as the Bangor Mechanic Association Public Library.

In 1883 the city accepted $100,000 from the estate of the Honorable Samuel F. Hersey. The income from this fund was to be used “for the promotion of education, and the health and good morals of citizens” [of the city]. City Council voted to use the entire sum for the establishment of a public library. The management of the legacy was entrusted to a board of five members known as the Trustees of the Hersey Fund. Its membership consisted of the Mayor, the City Treasurer and three citizens. These Trustees formed an agreement with the Bangor Mechanic Association, under which the Bangor Public Library was organized, using the 20,000 volumes of the Association’s library as a nucleus and $12,000 of the Mechanic Association’s funds and the $100,000 Hersey fund as endowments.

In 1905, the Library, which had previously exacted a small fee from its users, became entirely free. At this time the Library was housed in rented quarters in the business district. In September 1906, a Children’s Room was opened. By 1911 the Library had 70,000 volumes, making it the largest public library in the state. The disastrous fire of April, 1911, swept it all away. In May 1911, with 29 books saved from the burning building, 1,330 returned by borrowers and 46, which had been at the bindery, the library reopened in two small rooms in the basement of the Court House.

After the fire, Peabody and Stearns, a Boston architectural firm, drew up plans for an educational center in Bangor. The new high school building and the public library would stand side by side in a new public park, with another small park across one street and a new post office and court house across another. The corner stone for the new library was laid June 18, 1912. The building was opened for public use on December 20, 1913.


1910 Public Library, Bucyrus, Ohio


The first library in the city of Bucyrus was built in 1896 where the Bucyrus Public Library is today. The original library was built with money raised by the Memorial Library Association, a group of 15 females dedicated to establishing a library in memory of the Civil War dead. The first library was very small consisting of two rooms the size of pantries. In October 1899, due to the costs involved in maintenance for the library, the trustees made an appeal to Andrew Carnegie. A check for $500 was received to purchase used books.

By 1905, the library had grown to over 3,700 books and had a circulation in excess of 13,500. A group of Bucyrus citizens decided to petition Mr. Carnegie for money, and were successful. A Carnegie grant of $15,000 was given to the city with the provisions that the city provides a site and 10% of the grant annually for library maintenance.

A Mr. King of Galion, whose low bid made it possible for the second floor to be built, built the current library. The doors formally opened on June 5, 1906, with an open house. The building was described as "one of beauty in architecture and is conveniently arranged for the purpose for which it was constructed."

[Read more here.

1922 CM Bailey Public Library, Winthrop, Maine

1917 Public Library, Toledo Ohio

[LIB0568] The Photograph CollectionMost of the photographs in the Local History Photograph Collection depict scenes in the city of Toledo. There are also photographs of much of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan. Many of the Toledo photographs depict the downtown area along with a large number of Toledo area industries (Jeep, Toledo Scale, Libbey Glass, Owens-Illinois, LOF, etc.), schools, hospitals and parks.[Website]

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Public Library, Waukesha WI

1938 Public Library, Cheboygan , MI

Miller Library, Colby College, Waterville, Maine


1940s Hayes Memorial Library, Fremont OH

Honoring the memory of Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president, the Hayes family established a presidential library, the first in the United States. Opened in 1916, this library preserves President Hayes' 12,000-volume personal library along with arcihval material from his military and political career, particularly his presidency (1877-1881). Over the years, the staff has expanded the collection to over 70,000 books which reflect Hayes' special interests, including genealogy and local history, and the Gilded Age period in which he lived.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

1960s Sayles Public Library, Pawtucket RI

In 1898, Pawtucket’s first Mayor, Frederic Clark Sayles offered to give a plot of land on Summer Street for the construction of a free public library. He traveled to Europe, looking for architectural inspiration from Europe’s most majestic libraries. The corner stone was laid on November 18, 1899. On October 15, 1902 the library that he built for the free use of the people of Pawtucket was opened and formally dedicated in memory of his late wife, Deborah Cook Sayles.

The Sayles Building is an impressive example of Greek revival architecture. It was built of the finest-grained white granite, from the quarries at North Jay, Maine. Four massive Ionic columns form a portico at the former entrance. The front doorway of this building is an exact replica of the Erechtheion, a Greek temple on the Acropolis at Athens. The architects were Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson of Boston. Six panels by sculptor Lee Laurie of New York decorate the front of the building. The panels show a comprehensive view of the world’s civilizations. The panels depict scenes from Roman, Grecian, Egyptian, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, and Teutonic civilizations. The Library is known for its decorative ceilings, soaring pillars, and glass-floored North balcony. []

Sayles country: A social history, 1600-1986 : and some descendants of John and Mary (Williams) Sayles of Providence, Rhode Island

1906 Public Library, Milwaukee WI

Farnsworth Library, Oconto, Wisconsin

An organized library in Oconto dates back to March 13, 1878 when a group of book-lovers met to organize the Oconto Library Association. A few books were gathered and circulated from the home of one of the association. A few years later the association rented a room in Runkel Jewelry store on Main Street and that served the public as a library. By 1886 there were 1,120 books in the library collection. The popularity of the library was sufficient to warrant a committee to ask the city to maintain a free city library.
George W. Farnsworth, Sr., President of the Oconto Lumber Company, came to Oconto in 1856 at the age of 31. He became very successful for a man who had little formal education except from reading good books. In his Library Dedication Address he spoke of coming to Oconto a poor man and wanted to leave an acknowledgement of the good he had received during his life here. He decided on something very useful to benefit the community—a free public library. In December 1901, Farnsworth made a proposition to the City Council offering to build a library, if the city would maintain it. On March 11, 1902, the City formally accepted Farnsworth's gift with the provision that a yearly appropriation be made annually for maintenance. Oconto's free public library was dedicated on June 27, 1903. Almost from the beginning, the library became the center of a traveling library system for all of Oconto County. []
A History of Oconto, Wisconsin