Post-1890 Presbyterian Sunday School of Alpena Library Card issued to Mrs. Polson
The United Presbyterian Church of Alpena, Michigan
The congregation of the United Presbyterian Church of Alpena organized in 1884 when the Detroit Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church of North America reported that a “special mission” had been established in Alpena. The first worship service took place on July 20, 1884. A new church building opened on Washington Avenue in 1885.
Rev. Thomas Middlemis
Rev. Thomas Middlemis was born in Belfast, Ireland on December 28, 1839. According to Thom’s Almanac and Official Directory for the United Kingdom of 1859, he was associated with the Ballibay Presbytery of Castleblayney. On August 7, 1866, he married Jeannie Coulter who ten months later on June 3, 1867 at Killycard Cottage in Castleblayney, Ireland. In 1871, Rev. Middlemis immigrated to the United States. He married Jane Burns (born 1842-1926) April 25, 1872. They had three children, George Ross (1883–1949), Alice Maud (1875–1904), and Thomas, Jr. (1875–1928). The Middlemis family lived at 114 E. Maple in Alpena Michigan until his death from heart failure due to pneumonia on January 19, 1903. Rev. Middlemis, Jane Burns, Alice Maud and Thomas, Jr. are buried in the Evergreen Cemetary in Alpena, Michigan.
Located in the northeast region along the shores of Lake Huron, Alpena was originally part of Anomickee County founded in 1840 (which was changed to Alpena in 1843). Alpena became officially incorporated on March 29, 1871.
Alpena is a pseudo-Native American word with an approximate translation of “a good partridge country.”
The Fires of Alpena
Most of Alpena was destroyed in the Great Michigan Fire of 1871, a series of simultaneous forest fires that burned 1.5 million acres and caused hundreds of deaths. Less than one year later, on July 12, 1872, another fire destroyed 15 acres of homes and businesses. The damages amounted to at least $250,000 (equal to nearly $6M in 2022), at least three people were killed, and hundreds were left homeless. Alpena was again hit by a disastrous fire on July 11, 1888.
As of 2000, there were approximately 10,000 full-time year-round residents in Alpena. The summer months bring an influx of tourists to enjoy the otherwise sparsely populated Northeast Michigan (lower peninsula).
Post-2006 Nekrasov Central Universal Scientific Library Single Reader’s Card
Nekrasov Central Universal Scientific Library
The Nekrasov Central Universal Scientific Library had its beginnings at the First Library Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1911, when Alexander Aleksandrovich Pokrovsky (Александр Александрович Покровский)(1879–1942), a Russian librarian and bibliographer, proposed the establishment of a network of public libraries throughout Imperial Russia. That proposal resulted in establishing The Central City Library of Moscow, which opened its doors eight years later on January 1, 1919..
Since the library was established after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the catalog of The Central City Library of Moscow was comprised of “nationalized” inventory seized from private and state-run collections, book warehouses, and abandoned shops that became the property of Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik regime that had taken control during the revolution. The People’s Commissariat for Education, also known as Narkompros (Народный комиссариат просвещения, Наркомпрос), led by Anatoly Vasilyevich Lunacharsky (Анатолий Васильевич Луначарский), coordinated the centralization and inventory of collections.
The first location of the library, No. 10 Novaya Basmannaya Ulitsa (Новая Басманная ул., 10) was an elaborate private apartment abandoned by an attorney that fled Russia during the revolution. Subsequently, the abandoned residence came under the jurisdiction of the Moscow worker’s council, also known as Soviet (сове́т)1. This building currently houses the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Population (Департамент труда и социальной защиты населения города Москвы).
In 1925, due to the growing demand for library resources, the Central City Library of Moscow relocated to Arbatskaya Ploshchad (ул. Арбат, 2/1) and merged with the Central Reference Library, which already occupied a part of the building. The combined libraries were renamed the Moscow Provincial Central Library. The new, combined library added new services such as bookmobiles, book delivery, and specialized reading rooms, including youth and periodical reading rooms. In 1936, the library’s name was reestablished as The Central City Library of Moscow.
Although readership declined during WWII, the library became a vital source for information and news from the war front. Mobile libraries were formed to serve military personnel, evacuation centers, and hospitals throughout Moscow. During air raids, the librarians would flee to bomb shelters with newspapers and books so that townspeople would have reading materials and news about current events while sheltering.
In 1946, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the poet, N.A. Nekrasov, the library was renamed the N.A. Nekrasov Library.
During the 1950s, the N.A. Nekrasov Library had a dramatic increase in readership and the volumes held by the library increased from 74,000 to nearly 300,000; however, not all of the inventory was available to the public. In June 1955, to accommodate the increase in library inventory, the library was moved to the former estate of Princess Anna Sergeevna Saltykova (Анна Сергеевна кн. Салтыкова) (1848-1917) at No. 20/1 on Bolshaya Bronnaya (Большая Бронная ул).
During the 1960s, the library inventory doubled to nearly 600,000 books, a library card system was created, and a card catalog was instituted.
In late 2002, the Saltykova mansion began historic renovations, so the library was transferred to a former weaving factory (until 1990) and hotel (until 2002) at Baumanskaya Street, House No. 58/25, Building 14. The Single Reading Card was introduced to enable readers to access information throughout the Moscow public library system via the OPAC-Global automated information system.
Today, the library, now known as the Nekrasov Central Universal Scientific Library, functions as not only a library, but a cultural hub and teaching center for library services across Moscow. The library is a member of the International Association of Metropolitan City Libraries (formerly INTAMEL) and participates in a number of international organizations and professional associations, including UNESCO, who on March 3, 2022, issued a statement (here) condemning Russia’s invasion and escalating violence in Ukraine. In the statement, UNESCO demanded “the immediate cessation of attacks on civilian facilities, such as schools, universities, memorial sites, cultural and communication infrastructures, and deplores civilian casualties, including students, teachers, artists, scientists, and journalists. These include women and children, girls especially, disproportionately impacted by the conflict and displacement.”
There are 306 libraries in 73 regions of Russia.
Footnotes: 1 The English translation of Soviet is “council.”