The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. It will be celebrating its centennial next year, and has already begun the celebration process by creating the Carnegie Blog and a new logo. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation, has a video message about Carnegie tied to the centennial on the Corporation's home page. A history of the Carnegie Corporation is located HERE. Coincidentally, the 175th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie's birth is this year. His actual birthday is November 25. Both of these important Carnegie anniversaries combine to present a wonderful opportunity for the Carnegie Corporation and the library community to honor and celebrate Carnegie's library legacy. Carnegie's legacy to the American library community is impressive. The hundred's of grants to communities and colleges for library buildings are the most visible and tangible legacy. A lesser known contribution was a $320,000 grant to the American Library Association from the Carnegie Corporation on September 14, 1917 for the purpose of building camp libraries to serve our armed forces during World War I. The Carnegie Corporation provided several million dollars in financial support to the American Library Association in the 1920s and 30s. In 1926 it made a grant of $1,350,000 to the University of Chicago for the establishment of an advanced library school. It has funded a variety of library related studies including a major study of library education that was published under the title Training in Library Service in 1923. The Corporation also made a two year $25,000 grant to the American Library in Paris in 1923. In 1999 the Corporation distributed $15 million to libraries to help celebrate the centennial of the Carnegie grant to New York City for branch libraries. Most recently the Corporation has funded "I Love My Librarian" awards. A history of the Carnegie Corporation's Library Program can be found HERE.
Here's an idea for celebrating the Carnegie legacy - how about creating a Carnegie Libraries in America Project based on the model of theCarnegie Libraries in Iowa Project. A major contribution to this concept would the digital conversion of the microfilm records relating to the Carnegie grants for public and academic library buildings which are located at Columbia University. Unfortunately all the printed records were purposefully destroyed, something which makes a collector of postal librariana cringe.
Click HERE to see my personal tribute to Carnegie for his 175th birthday.
To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie's birth, the Carnegie Corporation distributed Carnegie's framed portrait to all Carnegie libraries in America in 1935. One of those portraits is shown above.