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

Afrikaans: biblioteek ~ Albanian: librari / bibliotekë ~ Amharic: ቤተ መጻሕፍት / bēte mets’aḥifiti ~ Arabic: مكتبة / maktaba – Armenian: գրադարան / gradaran ~ Azerbaijani: kitabxana ~ Basque: liburutegia ~ Belarusian: liburutegia ~ Bengali: গ্রন্থাগার / Granthāgāra ~ Bosnian: biblioteka ~ Bulgarian: библиотека / biblioteka ~ Catalan: biblioteca ~ Cebuano: librarya / laybrari ~ Chichewa: laibulale / nkhokwe ya mabuku ~ Chinese (simplified): 图书馆 / Túshū guǎn ~ Chinese (traditional): 圖書館 / Túshū guǎn ~ Corsican: biblioteca ~ Croatian: knjižnica ~ Czech:  knihovna ~ Danish: bibliotek ~ Dutch: bibliotheek ~ English: library ~ Esperanto: biblioteko ~ Estonian: raamatukogu – Filipino: library ~ Finnish: kirjasto ~ French: bibliothèque ~ Frisian: bibleteek ~ Galician: biblioteca ~ Georgian: ბიბლიოთეკა / bibliotek’a ~ German: Bibliothek ~ Greek: βιβλιοθήκη / vivliothíki ~ Gujarati: પુસ્તકાલય / pustakālaya ~ Haitian Creole: bibliyotèk ~ Hausa: laburare ~ Hawaiian: hale waihona puke ~ Hebrew: ספריה ~ Hindi: पुस्तकालय / pustakaalay ~ Hmong: tsev qiv ntawv ~ Hungarian: könyvtár ~ Icelandic: bókasafn ~ Igbo: oba akwukwo ~ Indonesian: perpustakaan ~ Irish: leabharlann ~ Italian: biblioteca ~ Japanese: 図書館 / Toshokan ~ Javanese: perpustakaan ~ Kannada: ಗ್ರಂಥಾಲಯ / Granthālaya ~ Kazakh: кітапхана / kitapxana ~ Khmer: បណ្ណាល័យ / bannaly ~ Korean: 도서관 / doseogwan ~ Kurdish: pirtûkxane ~ Kyrgyz: китепкана / kitepkana ~ Lao: ຫ້ອງສະຫມຸດ / hongsamud ~ Latin: bibliothecam ~ Latvian: bibliotēka ~ Lithuanian: biblioteka ~ Luxembourgish: bibliothéik ~ Macedonian: библиотека / biblioteka ~ Malagasy: fitehirizam-boky ~ Malay: perpustakaan ~ Malayalam: ലൈബ്രറി / laibraṟi ~ Maltese: librerija ~ Maori: whare pukapuka ~ Marathi: ग्रंथालय / granthālaya ~ Mongolian: номын сан / nomyn san ~ Myanmar (burmese): စာကြည့်တိုက် / hcar kyany tite ~ Nepali: पुस्तकालय / pustakālaya ~ Norwegian: bibliotek ~ Pashto: کتابتون ~ Persian: کتابخانه ~ Polish: biblioteka ~ Portuguese: biblioteca ~ Punjabi: ਲਾਇਬ੍ਰੇਰੀ / lā’ibrērī ~ Romanian: bibliotecă ~ Russian: библиотека / biblioteka ~ Samoan: faletusi ~ Scottish Gaelic: leabharlann ~ Serbian: библиотека / biblioteka ~ Sesotho: laeborari ~ Shona: raibhurari ~ Sindhi: لائبريري ~ Sinhala: පුස්තකාලය / pustakālaya ~ Slovak: knižnica ~ Slovenian: knjižnica ~ Somali: maktabad ~ Spanish: biblioteca ~ Sudanese: perpustakaan ~ Swahili: maktaba ~ Swedish: bibliotek ~ Tajik: китобхона / kitoʙxona ~ Tamil: நூலகம் / nūlakam ~ Telugu: లైబ్రరీ / laibrarī ~ Thai: ห้องสมุด / H̄̂xngs̄mud ~ Turkish: kütüphane ~ Ukrainian: бібліотека / biblioteka ~ Urdu: لائبریری ~ Uzbek: kutubxonasi ~ Vietnamese: thư viện ~ Welsh: llyfrgell ~ Xhosa: ithala leencwadi ~ Yiddish: ביבליאָטעק / biblyotek ~ Yoruba: ile ikawe ~ Zulu: umtapo wezincwadi