1984 To Kwa Wan Branch of the Urban Council Library System Library Card

1984 To Kwa Wan Branch of the Urban Council Library System Library Card (front)
1984 To Kwa Wan Branch of the Urban Council Library System Library Card (back)


Although city officials consider the library located at the City Hall building constructed in 1962, the first modern public library in Hong Kong, efforts were made before the mid-20th century to establish libraries for Hong Kong residents. 

Victoria Library and Reading Room

One of the earliest public libraries, the Victoria Library and Reading Room, was organized shortly after the 1842 colonization of Hong Kong by Great Britain.  In The Chinese Repository, Vol. XVIII, No. XII, a periodical published by protestant missionaries, it was noted in Art. IV, The Journal of Occurrences for September 1, 1848-December 31, 1849, that the “Library and Reading-room” was opened to the public at Victoria on September 7, 1848, and the first annual meeting was held on April 28, 1849.  There were 48 members, and the library had 650 volumes.  The 1862 edition of The China Directory listed the location of the Victoria Library and Reading Room as Queen’s Road Central, and Sit Him Cook was Librarian.

1862 China Directory listing for The Victoria Library and Reading Room

By 1865, the Victoria Library and Reading Room faced financial difficulties. As reported in the July 8, 1865, edition of the Hong Kong Daily Press, the Trustees of the Library decided to close the library.  This decision was met with outcry from long-time residents of the area, saying, “we do feel somewhat indignant that a library bequeathed to [Hong Kong] by its ‘pilgrim fathers’ should be allowed to be sent to the hammer for debt by their numerous and wealthy progeny.  That surely is a disgraceful termination to such an undertaking.” The Victoria Library collection of approximately 3,000 volumes was donated to the City Hall Library in 1871.

1865 Painting by Eduard Hildebrandt, Hongkong Queen’s Road (Public Domain)

Library of the Morrison Education Society

The Morrison Education Society, an Anglo-Chinese School and missionary society, established a public library in Hong Kong in 1842. Originating in Canton, China, in 1835, the society commemorated the life of Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary in China. As noted in the March 1864 edition of the Annual Meeting Report of the Proceedings of The Morrison Education Society, it was reported that the Society members proposed the formation of a public library to maintain the Society’s book collection due to increasing expenses and decline in membership subscriptions.  The Morrison Library was donated to the “City Hall Library” in March 1869, and the Society dissolved in 1873.

The City Hall Library

The City Hall, established in 1866 and inaugurated by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, on November 2, 1869, was a publicly-funded community center that included assembly rooms, a 569-seat theater, a museum, and a library. Although the government donated the building site, the library was a private establishment funded by subscriptions.  By 1871, The City Hall Library had over 8,000 volumes, 3,000 of which were donated by the Victoria Library and Reading Room upon its dissolution and another 3,000 by the Morrison Education Society.  (The Morrison Collection is currently housed at Hong Kong University.)  In 1908, the City Hall Library had over 500 registered borrowers.  Over time, the City Hall Library collection became antiquated, periodicals being the most current reading material available.  In an article in the Hong Kong Telegraph published November 11, 1916, a visitor noted “embellishments” and obscenities in the margins of periodicals he browsed.  The City Hall Library was no longer the esteemed public institution it had once been. Over the years, the City Hall building fell into disrepair, and in 1933 was sold to the Hong Kong Bank to be the site of its new headquarters.  On June 6, 1933, the library and museum of the City Hall were closed in preparation for the partial demolition of the City Hall building. The library was transferred to the eastern portion of the City Hall, which was eventually renovated for continued use as the library and museum.   In 1947, the remainder of the building was demolished to make way for the Bank of China building.   

The City Hall and Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 1869.  The building was demolished to make way for the Hong Kong Bank and Bank of China Buildings.   (Public Domain in HK and US)

The City Hall Library In the News

“Two Youths Sleep in City Hall Building,” The Daily China, Hong Kong, March 4, 1920


The Urban Council, established in 1936, was a government agency in Hong Kong responsible for municipal services on Hong Kong island and Kowloon. Originally founded as the Sanitary Board in 1883, the Urban Council had wide-ranging responsibilities from sanitation and cremation to public services such as arts and leisure activities, museums, parks, public swimming pools, and libraries.

The first modern library established by the Urban Council opened at the newly-built City Hall building in 1962. It served as the main library in Hong Kong until the opening of the new Central Library building in May 2001. The new Central Library is a 12-story building at 66 Causeway Road in Causeway Bay, with over 360,000 sq. ft. of floor space. The Hong Kong Public Library System has 70 branches and a collection of over 14.35 million items.

The Hong Kong Public Library, 2008. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0), Author: Wing1990hk

The Urban Council was disbanded in 1999 and replaced with the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department.


The National Teachers College, Manila, Philippines

Pre-1942 Identification Card for the National Teachers College Library issued to Felicidad de la Cruz and Newark System Charging Card

Founded in 1928, The National Teachers College in Manila officially opened its doors to students on June 10, 1929. This higher education teaching institution continues to offer courses and degrees in a number of fields.

Pre-1942 Identification Card for the National Teachers College Library, Manila, Philippines (back)
Pre-1942 Identification Card for the National Teachers College Library, Manila, Philippines (back)
1941 Newark System Charging Card for the National Teachers College Library, Manila, Philippines (front)
1941 Newark System Charging Card for the National Teachers College Library, Manila, Philippines (back)

Library Association of Portland, Portland, Oregon

Pre-1949 Library Association of Portland Library Card issued to Grace E. Montgomery

Pre-1949 Library Association of Portland Library Card (front) (back blank)

Library Association of Portland

In early 1864, Leland Howard Wakefield (1823-1914), proprietor of a daguerreotype studio and the local postmaster, recognizing the need for a library in the rapidly growing city of Portland, canvased the citizenry to “obtain signatures of those that were willing to materially aid” the establishment of a library. The canvasing proved great interest in a local library, and within months, a library committee was elected, and Association by-laws were drafted. The Association secured rooms on the second floor of the Stark Building at 66 First Street (at Stark Street) for $50/month. Membership was open to any city residents (including women) by signing an agreement to abide by the library’s Constitution and by-laws and paying an initiation fee of five dollars (~$95 today) and quarterly dues of $3. Lifetime memberships could be purchased for $100 (~$1900 today). The Library Association of Portland opened in December 1865 with approximately 1,500 volumes.

Announcement for the new Library Association of Portland,
Morning Oregonian, December 12, 1865, Page 4

In March of 1869, bankers William Sargent Ladd, Esq. (1826-1893) and Charles Elliott Tilton (1827-1901) presented to the Library Association a rent-free lease of three years for a suite of rooms on the second floor of their new bank building at SW First and Stark Streets. The library inventory had grown to over 3,000 volumes by 1869, and library membership fees were adjusted to a more modest quarterly fee of one dollar, making the library accessible to many more citizens.

Library association moves to new Ladd & Tilton bank building,
Corvallis Gazette-Times, March 13, 1869, Page 2
Suite of Rooms Leased to the Library Association,
Corvallis Gazette-Times, 26 Mar 1870, Page 3
Library Association advertisement,
Morning Oregonian, June 9, 1871, Page 4
The 1896 Ladd and Tilton Bank building. The Ladd and Tilton Bank building was designed by Irish-American architect John Nestor and opened for business on January 12, 1869. Nestor’s design was supposedly inspired by the High Renaissance-style façade of the Libreria Vecchia (Old Library) in Venice, Italy, designed by Jacopo Sansovino and built between 1537–1588. The 1868 Ladd and Tilton Bank building was razed in 1955 and replaced by a surface parking lot. Photographer: unknown. No known copyright restrictions.

It was stipulated that the lease would be renewed at the end of three years provided the association raised $6000 for on-ongoing maintenance of the library. The Library Association of Portland would subsequently occupy space at the Ladd and Tilton Bank Building for the next 24 years until June 1893.

The Library Association of Portland Builds Permanent Location

In 1893, the Library Association of Portland sought assistance from Portland architects William Marcy Whidden (1857-1929) and Ion Lewis (1858-1933) to design and construct a new library building at Washington (now SW Washington Street), Stark (now SW Harvey Milk Street), East Park (now SW Park Avenue), and 7th (now SW Broadway). Funds for the new library building was the culmination of 27 years of fundraising and a major bequeathment of over $100,000 from the estate of a wealthy heiress, Ella M. Smith (1848-1889), daughter of the late Sea Captain Benjamin F. Smith (1810-1879).

Big Money for the Library,”
Morning Oregonian, October 6, 1889, Page 3
Library Association of Portland Postcard (Pre-1923 public domain postcard)

Daniel F. W. Bursch (1866-1948), the library’s first trained librarian, instituted the Dewey Decimal system and maintained an open shelf system for members to browse freely. However, the library continued to be a subscription library only accessible to paying members of the Association.

The Library Association of Portland Becomes Public

In September 1900, John Wilson (1826-1900), a successful Portland merchant, bequeathed his entire collection of over 8,000 books, manuscripts and maps to the Library Association of Portland with the stipulation that the collection be used as a “free reference library for the people of [Portland.].”

Library Bequeathed, The Morning Astorian, September 21, 1900, Page 3

On June 20, 1901, by a unanimous vote, the Library Association of Portland entered into a contract with the City of Portland to allow inhabitants of the city free use of the Association library for a period of ten years. Ordinance No. 12,302 was approved by the Mayor on July 18, 1901, and the Association accepted the terms and conditions on August 18, 1901.

Mary Francis Isom (1865-1920) was engaged to catalog the Wilson Collection, and the Browne Charging System was instituted. The library opened its door to the public on Monday, March 10, 1902, making it the first free library in Oregon supported entirely by citizen taxes, an accomplishment of which the City of Portland took great pride.

The library becomes a free institution,
The Oregon Daily Journal, March 11, 1902, Page 1

No Saloons Near Library

During the population boom of early Portland, transient workers sought “goods and services” for entertainment during their leisure hours. Accordingly, saloons, gambling halls and other “vice” services proliferated in early Portland. So much so, that the Association began a “crusade” to prohibit saloons near public libraries. In short order, an ordinance was passed that prohibited the granting of licenses to saloons located near public schools and libraries.

The Oregon Daily Journal, March 16, 1903, Page 5

New Public Library Building

As Portland’s population grew, library usage and book circulation steadily increased. The circulation of the Central Library went from approximately 175,000 books per year in 1904 to nearly 410,000 in 1909. This figure was double that of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania public library, and surpassed the circulation of Boston’s public library. Due to the robust library usage, the Association president, Winslow B. Ayer (1860-1935), suggested a new main library building and additional branch libraries be built.

In early 1912, the Association purchased a block at 10th and Yamhill Streets to be the site of a new main library building. However, this location came as a great disappointment to many local organizations including the Greater Portland Plans Association, Northwestern University Alumni Association and several Portland women’s organizations. In an attempt to quell these concerns, on May 4, 1912, Ayer issued a public statement in The Oregon Daily Journal that the site was considered central to business and shopping districts and very accessible due to the proximity of main traffic routes and street car lines, but most importantly the purchase fell within the budget available to the Association. Public disfavor did little to change the purchase decision, and days later the Association made their decision known by placing advertisements in the local newspapers seeking bids to raze structures on the already-purchased site. By mid-September 1912, construction of the new building was under way, and one year later on September 6, 1913, the new library opened its doors to the public

Early 1900s postcard of the public library in Portland (public domain)

A major renovation was begun in 1994 to provide necessary seismic upgrades, rearrange interior spaces to facilitate technological needs, and add two floors for staff offices and meeting rooms. The renovation returned the interior of Central Library to its original grandeur and added new decorative details by artists, including etched black granite stairs by Larry Kirkland. Hardy Holtzman Pfeiffer Associates developed the initial design concepts, with Fletcher Farr Ayotte completing the design development.

On April 8 1997, the Central Library reopened after a three year renovation. Much of the original Georgian Revival architecture was restored and the building was modernized with seismic upgrades.

Now operating as the Multnomah County Library System, in addition to the Central Library, there are 32 branch libraries. The Central Library is located 801 SW 10th Avenue in Portland and is open 7 days a week.

Grace Ellen Montgomery

Grace Ellen Montgomery (November 26, 1915-May 24, 1995) was born in Lyon, Minnesota. She married Harold W. Buckles in 1936. Mrs. Buckles was a piano teacher in the Salem area for over 25 years.

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Prince George’s County, Maryland

While many public libraries had been opening  across the country throughout the mid- to late-1800’s, the establishment of a public library system in Maryland lagged far behind.  In 1902, the Maryland State Library Commission (MSLC) formed to explore the establishment of public libraries within the State of Maryland.  In 1910, with the passing of new Maryland state library laws, The Maryland Public Library Commission (MPLC), which succeeded the MSLC, was established to “stimulate” the opening of permanent county and election district public libraries and to provide funds for the purchase of books for new libraries.  

Pre-2000 Library Card for the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

Pre-2000 Library Card for the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (front)
Pre-2000 Library Card for the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (back)

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The roots of public libraries in Prince George’s County can be traced back to the late 1800s.  In 1898, The Forestville Library Association held an “entertainment benefit” to collect funds for a public library, and in June 1899, they received a parcel of discarded books from Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Library.  In 1890 a room at an engine house in Upper Marlboro was set up as a library and reading room by the Marlboro Fire Association.  In May 1910, Laurel’s “new public library” was readied for opening with 700 volumes. On June 5, 1915, local talent performed for the benefit of The Prince George[‘s] Library and Reading Room Association.  On November 26, 1916, an oyster dinner and bazaar was held in Mitchellville to benefit The Prince George’s Library Association, and as reported in The Prince George’s Enquirer and Southern Maryland Advertiser on February 4, 1921, a space in the J. C. Hawkin’s Electric Shop had been secured for a public library in Hyattsville.  Greenbelt and Beltsville each opened public libraries in 1939 and 1942, respectively. 

“The Reading Club Started, ”The Prince George’s Enquirer and Southern Maryland Advertiser, January 18, 1889, Page 3
“Laurel’s Library to Be Used,” The Baltimore Sun, May 9, 1910, Page 11

While legislation was regularly presented to Maryland’s General Assembly, the most earnest attempts to establish and maintain free libraries in Prince George’s County were made  by county citizen groups.  The MPLC continued to rely upon the traveling library system to provide free library services to Maryland county communities.

Free traveling library in Hagerstown, Maryland
Courtesy The National Archives Catalog.  Photographer: American Library Association.

No copyright restrictions.
Free traveling library in Hagerstown, Maryland
Courtesy The National Archives Catalog.  Photographer: American Library Association.

No copyright restrictions.

In 1946, The Prince George’s Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) was established “as a living memorial to those who have made the supreme sacrifice and a testimonial to all those who served in wars.”  The Laurel Public Library, which served both Prince George’s County and the City of Laurel, was the first branch library of the system. 

Today, there are 19 branch libraries in the PGCMLS, including Accokeek, Baden, Beltsville, Bladensburg, Bowie, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden, Greenbelt, Hillcrest Heights, Hyattsville, Largo-Kettering, Laurel, Mount Rainer, New Carrolton, Oxon Hill, South Bowie, Spauldings, Surratts-Clinton and Upper Marlboro.

Camp Bowie Army Base, Brownwood, Texas

1917-1919 Camp Bowie Library No. 2, Branch No. 2, Identification Card No. 818

Camp Bowie Camp Library No. 2, Branch No. 1, Identification Card (back blank)

In December 1917, the United States officially entered World War I with a declaration of war on Austria-Hungary. The Selective Service Act had passed in May 1917 in preparation for US involvement, and over 24 million men who had registered for the draft, were poised and ready for military training should they be called to service. To facilitate the training of new inductees, the US Department of War established thirty training camps throughout the US. The construction of Camp Bowie, a 2,186-acre facility outside of Fort Worth, began on July 18, 1917.

“Camp Bowie Library Will Open Friday.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 24, 1918, Page 9
Camp Library, Camp Bowie, Texas, c. 1917-1920. Copyright: American Library Association.

On November 11, 1918, the signing of the Armistice de Compiègne brought the end of World War I and victory to the US and its allies. Camp Bowie became a demobilization center and officially closed on August 15, 1919.

Camp Bowie reopened in 1940 and continues to be used as an active military training center.

American Library Association’s Library War Service

In 1917, at the behest of Herbert Putnam, the Librarian of Congress, and Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, the American Library Association established the Library War Service to provide books and services to American World War I soldiers stationed at home and abroad, as well as, military hospitals and prisoners of war. 

Through public monetary and book donations, the ALA established at least 43 camp libraries and distributed approximately 10 million books and magazines, including braille books to soldiers that lost their sight in battle. The ALA also hired over 234 trained librarians to staff the camp and military hospital libraries through the grants from the Carnegie Corporation. In addition, “crafts teachers” were hired to teach convalescing soldiers skills such as mechanical drawing.

The camp library buildings were designed by architect E. L. Tillman and were equipped to hold approximately 10,000 volumes, and came with a small vehicle for library related tasks such as transportation of books.  Some camp libraries were equipped with fireplaces to provide ambiance and “a touch of home and civilization.” 

The Library War Service remained active through 1919, after which the library services became military-managed.  

The M. Steinert & Sons Company Music Circulating Library

1902 M. Steinert & Sons Company Music Circulating Library Membership Ticket issued to Dr. G. W. Brown

1902 M. Steinert & Sons Company Music Circulating Library Membership Ticket (front)
1902 M. Steinert & Sons Company Music Circulating Library Membership Ticket (back)

The M. Steinert & Sons Company Music Circulating Library

Illustration of the Steinert Building by Charles H. Overly (1908-1970) (No known copyright restrictions)

The advent of the pneumatic player piano, invented in 1895 by Edwin S. Votey, made piano and organ music accessible to everyone regardless of musical ability. The Pianola and Aeolian pianos were gaining popularity, and M. Steinert & Sons Music Company sold them alongside traditional instruments such as the Steinway and their own Steinert brand pianos. Steinert’s offered patrons a circulating library of Aeolian and Pianola music rolls for a subscription fee of $10 (three months), $15 (six months), or $20 (one year). Subscribers living within 75 miles from Boston were entitled to borrow for up to two weeks up to twelve rolls at a time. Subscribers living more than 75 miles from Boston were allowed to borrow for up to four weeks up to 24 rolls at one time.

The M. Steinert & Sons Music Company operated on “Piano Row” in the Steinert Building at 162 Boylston Street in Boston from 1896 to 2015. At the same address, four stories below street level, is Steinert Hall, a concert auditorium, considered by early-1900s Bostonians to be the “headquarters for the musical and artistic world of cultured Boston.” Steinert Hall was closed to the public in 1942 due to fire code restrictions. M. Steinert & Sons continues to be a top destination for quality pianos and instruments.

The Aeolian Music Company Piano Roll (no known copyright restrictions)
Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts), Saturday, January 6, 1900, Page 22
Advertisement from The New England Magazine, Vol. 18, Page 264, 1896 (No known copyright restrictions)

Thư viện Quốc Gia (National Library), Saigon, Viet Nam

Pre-1972 Reader’s Card No. 2238 issued to Hữu Tuấn Nguyễn

Thư viện Quốc gia Việt Nam (National Library of Viet Nam), Pre-1972 Reader’s Card (front)
Translation of Front of Reader’s Card
Thư viện Quốc gia Việt Nam (National Library of Viet Nam), Pre-1972 Reader’s Card (inside)
Translation of Inside (left) of Reader’s Card
Translation of Inside (right) of Reader’s Card
Thư viện Quốc gia Việt Nam (National Library of Viet Nam), Pre-1972 Reader’s Card (back)
Translation of Back of Reader’s Card

Thư viện Quốc Gia in Saigon (National Library in Saigon)

Thư viện Quốc Gia (National Library) in the former Saigon, Vietnam (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). Renamed the General Sciences Library of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by by Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên 5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)(unaltered photo)

Occupying the site of the old Maison Centrale de Saigon (Khám Lớn Sài Gòn), a much-maligned and overcrowded penal facility built in 1865, construction of the National Library building, designed by Vietnamese architect, Bùi Quang Hanh, began in December of 1968. The cornerstone was laid by South Vietnamese Premier Trần Văn Hương (1903–1982). Considered by many to be the height of the war in Vietnam, the 1968 cornerstone ceremony became an opportunity for Premier Hương to announce that there would be no ceasefire with North Vietnam.

The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), Sunday, December 29, 1968, Page 10

Built in a mid century modernist style and costing more than 130 million piastres ($400,000 USD), and the new library building was inaugurated by South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, in a ceremony held on December 23, 1971.  During that ceremony, Thiệu took the opportunity to share his confidence in South Vietnam with reporters.

Democrat and Chronical (Rochester, New York), Friday, December 24, 1971, Page 2

After the reunification of North and South Việt Nam, the National Library in Saigon was integrated into the national library system of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam, and renamed Thư viện Quốc gia II, Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh (the National Library II in  Hồ Chí Minh City.  Shortly after, in 1976, the library was renamed Thư viện Khoa học Tổng hợp, Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh (Hồ Chí Minh City General Sciences Library), the name by which it is known today.

Graduate Student,Tran-Thu-Thuan tours the Central Kansas Library System, Great Bend Tribune (Great Bend, Kansas), Sunday, July 25, 1974
1974 Commemorative Stamps

Brookline Public Library, Brookline, Massachusetts

1879-1880 Brookline Public Library Card No. 3373 issued to Miss Anna White

1879-1880 Brookline Public Library Card No. 3373 issued to Miss Anna White (front)
1879-1880 Brookline Public Library Card No. 3373 issued to Miss Anna White (back)

Brookline Public Library

The Brookline Public Library was born out of an inconvenience to Benjamin F. Baker, one of the first trustees of the Board of Trustees of Brookline. Baker contemplated and investigated the idea of a public library as early as 1847. Although any formal action to establish a public library wasn’t until 1856 upon a failed attempt to consult an unowned reference book[1].

After gathering support for his public library proposal from prominent Brookline citizens, Baker succeeded in having Articles 7 and 8 inserted into the “warrant” (agenda of items) for the annual town meeting held on March 16, 1857:

From the 1893 Annual Report of the Trustees of the Public Library of the Town of Brookline

The articles were accepted at the following town meeting held on March 30, 1857, and on December 2, 1857, Brookline’s public library was opened to the public.

The first home of the Brookline Public Library was a 36 1/2 x 29 foot room in the Brookline Town Hall. The modest space was fitted with shelves on two walls, and equipped with a desk for delivery of borrowed books. The first librarian, John E. Hoar, served 17 years, resigning on September 19, 1871, when his duties as school principal became too demanding.

Brookline Town Hall c. 1920.  Photograph by Leon H. Abdalia (1884-1967). Source: Boston Public Library. (public domain)

New Library Building

Although additional rooms were provided for the Town Hall library, by 1861, the library inventory had increased to 11,000 volumes, necessitating the need for an even larger space. In 1867, the town trustees approved the building of a new library, and on October 9, 1869, the new library building opened to the public.

Original Brookline Public Library, built in 1869.. From the Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts, by the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts, 1891. (public domain)
Interior of 1869 Library. Credit: Digital Commonwealth, Massachusetts Collection Online, Brookline Photograph Collection, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode

1889 Expansion

In 1888, at a cost of $16,500, an additional wing was added to the library building, as well as a reading-room in 1891. This additional provided space for 75,000 volumes.

Brookline Public Library after the 1889 expansion. From the Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts, by the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts, 1891. (public domain)

Continued Growth


Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Massachusetts, August 15, 1906, page 17
Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Massachusetts, April 22, 1908, Page 21

Another New Building

Boston Evening Transcript, Boston, Massachusetts, June 3, 1909, page 3
The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, July 18, 1910, page 2

A growing community necessitated yet another library expansion. In 1907, the library Trustees In June 1909, R. Clipston Sturgis Cornerstone was laid November 1, 1909

361 Washington Street
The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, September 10, 1910, page 15
The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, September 10, 1910, page 15

Brookline Public Library In the News

Boston Evening Transcript, May 5, 1909, Page 25
The Hartford Daily Courant, December 25, 1911, Page 8

Miss Anna White

Anna Catherine White, born October 27, 1864, was the daughter of the co-founding namesake of the R. H. White & Co. department store in Boston, Massachusetts, Ralph Huntington White (1841-1917).

Died January 7, 1895 in Aiken, South Caroline. She is buried next to her father’s museleum at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

R. H. White & Co.

Advertisement from The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts, December 31, 1926, page 12

[1] 1893 Annual Report of the Trustees of the Public Library of the Town of Brookline, pp. 7-12

San Diego Public Library, San Diego, California

Pre-1937 San Diego Public Library Borrower’s Card No. 75273 issued to Lee R. Moore

Pre-1937 San Diego Public Library Borrower’s Card No. 75273 issued to Lee R. Moore (front)
Pre-1937 San Diego Public Library Borrower’s Card No. 75273 issued to Lee R. Moore (back)

San Diego Public Library

San Diego Public Library (pre-1923 public domain postcard)

Opened to the public on July 15, 1882, the San Diego Public Library’s first location was the Commercial Bank building (aka the Consolidated National Bank) at 5th and G Streets.  The use of rooms on the 2nd floor2 was provided to the library non gratis for the first six month,1 after which rent was paid from the $650 city appropriation.

Commercial Bank Building (pre-1923 public domain photo; photographer unknown)

In 1893, the library was moved once again to the fashionable St. James Building at 7th and F Streets and would remain there for at least five years.3

Drawing from a 1890’s St James Hotel breakfast menu (No known copyright restrictions)

By 1898, the library began to outgrow its accommodations, so arrangements were made for space on the 4th floor of the new Keating Building at Fifth and F Streets.  Rent increased from $50 to $85, but the rooms were more spacious and well-lit, and a modern elevator made access to the library much easier.4 The Keating Building was designed by George J. Keating, founder of a farm equipment company, and built in 1890 by his wife, Fannie, after his death on June 25, 1888.

Keating Building.  Photo by John Margolies.  No known copyright restrictions.   From the John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

While the Keating Building provided adequate square footage to accommodate the growing library, library space had been a concern several years prior to the move into the Keating Building.   Efforts to raise funds for the building of a permanent home large enough to house the growing library was undertaken by the Ladies’ Wednesday Club as early as 1896.5. But it wasn’t until mid-1899, that a new library building became a realistic goal.  In response to a letter sent to the Andrew Carnegie Corporation by library trustee, Mrs. Lydia K. Horton, in which she asked for photographs of previously built Carnegie libraries in hopes that the photographs would spark interest by her fellow trustees, the Carnegie Corporation promised a $50,000 grant to build the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi River.6  On April 23, 1902, the new library building opened at Eighth and E Streets.  The building designed by architects, Ackerman & Ross of New York, had room for 75,000 volumes and boasted a museum, art gallery, and lecture room. The Carnegie Library building would serve as the main library until 1952 when the building was razed to allow the construction of a new, modernized building. The new library opened at the same location on June 27, 1954. The current location of the San Diego Central Library is 330 Park Blvd. in San Diego.

San Diego Public Library and Comic-Con

Since 2013, the San Diego Public Library has partnered with Comic-Con and designed limited-edition comic-themed library cards, which are only available at the San Diego Public Library booth at the yearly Comic-Con convention in San Diego.  The 2019 card, of which only 3,000 were made available, features Waldo over an image of  the San Diego Central Library, which is located at 330 Park Boulevard in San Diego.  

2019 San Diego Public Library Special Edition Comic-Con Library Card and Keychain Card (front)
2019 San Diego Public Library Special Edition Comic-Con Library Card and Keychain Card (back)

Lee R. Moore

Lee Reed Moore was born August 7, 1921, in Kansas City; He was the son of Lee R. Moore, Sr  of Texas and Orpha Moore.  Lee R. Moore was a salesman for Ryan Aeronautical Co.  He died on April 29, 1980.

1 Catalog of the San Diego Free Public Library: Compiled by the Order of the Board of Trustees, by Lulu Younkin, April 1889

2 The Record (National City, California), June 11, 1885, p. 2

3 The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) April 5, 1893, p. 7

4 The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) April 7, 1898, p. 13

5 The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), December 7, 1896, p. 5

6 The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), July 18, 1899, p. 15

Around the World

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