I recently became aware that this year was the semi-centennial of the Schaffer Library at Union College in Schenectady, NY. The last event of their year long celebration was a lecture by Jeremy B. Dibbell, writer of the PhiloBiblos blog. This reminded me of a piece of postal librariana in my collection related to the Philomatheon Society of Union College. The Philomatheon Society was one of the student literary societies at colleges and universities that I have written about previously. The item in my collection is a stampless folded letter written in 1848 by a former member of the Society in regard to a circular that he had received announcing a publication related to the semi-centennial of the Society. The circular also contained an appeal to the alumni of the Society for funding to enlarge the Society's library. The writer of the letter J. Petrie, who was at that time a student at Auburn Theological Seminary, proposes to donate a book (Rational Psychology by Hickok, to be published in early 1849) to the library. He requests two copies of the semi-centennial publication which is available now in digital form from the Internet Archive. The publication indicates that at the time of the semi-centennial there were 115 members of the Society and about 3,000 volumes in the library.
Miss “Public Libraries” Mary Eileen Ahern
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