Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of our library heritage
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Postcard Depicting Cats in the Library
This delightful postcard has a caption in German which reads "Wer die Wahl hat, hat die Qual!". This translates in English to "Heavy is the head that wears the crown!". Is the intent to portray the mother cat as having trouble deciding on a book or books for her young one? I was thinking a more appropriate caption might be - "So many books, so hard to choose!". What would your caption be?
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 6:13 PM 1 comment:
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Libraries in the Snow on Postcards
It's been a rough winter in many parts of the country this year. I'm sure that a few pictures have been taken of libraries in the snow. Here are three postcards from my collection that show libraries in snow. I have a previous post about a postcard showing the Elroy (WI) Public Library in the ice storm of 1922.
|Baker Library, Dartmouth College|
|Public Library, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|Carnegie Library, VA Home, Mountain Home, TN|
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 6:09 PM No comments:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
CA State Library Promotes Law Dept. with Postcard
The California State Library used a picture postcard (see above) to promote its Law Department in the period around the early 1920s. The postcard which shows the Law Dept. Reading Room proclaims that the State Library has "the best collection of law books in the western part of the United States". It goes on to say: "Books are lent to lawyers, judges, and others with least possible restriction." Today the State Library law collection is named the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library. A few other libraries have also used postcards to promote their services. The Ohio State Library used postcards to promote its traveling library service and the American Library Association used postcards to promote its World War I Library War Service.
Additional information: The photo on the postcard shows the law library very early in the 20th cnetury when it was in an apse on the East side of the historic State Capitol Building. The law library eventually moved to a new Library and Courts Building which was completed a decade after the end of World War I. The portion of the Capitol where the law library was formerly located was demolished later to make way for a new East wing.Thanks to Cy Silver, a former law library supervisor, for this information.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 11:53 AM No comments:
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Library Workers Association, 1920
In my collection I have Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Journal of The Library Workers Association which is dated May, 1920. The Library Workers Association had its first organizational meeting on April 30, 1920 in Atlantic City, NJ. The purpose of the Association was "to promote the well-being of library workers who have not enjoyed the benefits of library school training". Most of the charter members were from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The Association's journal made note of those things the Association was not about. It was not a labor or trade union. It would not depress standards of library work. It would not duplicate work performed "in an adequate manner" by the American Library Association. Although the primary purpose of the Association was to improve the benefits of non-library school trained library workers, the Association argued that this would also lead to an increase in the benefits of library school trained library workers. At the same time the Library Workers Association was formed the American Library Association was looking at the possibility of national certification of librarians. The Library Workers Association opposed those efforts. The Association sought affiliation with the American Library Association but ALA denied that status until the Library Workers Association could more fully demonstrate its ability to meet the criteria for affiliation. A casual search of the Internet failed to provide much information about the eventual fate of the Library Workers Association.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 11:23 AM No comments:
Labels: Library Publications
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Unusual Postcard of Huntington (IN) Public Library
This postcard of the Carnegie Library building in Huntington, Indiana caught my attention for obvious reasons. I haven't seen a postcard of a library bordered by two unusual looking men before. The Huntington City-Township Public Library is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year so its a nice opportunity to feature its Carnegie building. The Huntington library no longer occupies the Carnegie building which was funded by a $25,000 grant in 1901. The website for the library has some historical photographs of the building. There were more public libraries funded with Carnegie grants in Indiana than any other state. I surmise that the two gentlemen featured on the postcard are Amish since northern Indiana is Amish country.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 1:29 PM 1 comment:
Labels: Carnegie Libraries, library postcards
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
John Cotton Dana's Tenure in Springfield, MA
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 9:30 AM No comments:
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Woburn (MA) Public Library and Henry Hobson Richardson
The Woburn Public Library in Woburn, MA is housed in one of the most architecturally distinctive buildings in the United States. It was designed by the noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886) for whom the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style is named. The building opened in 1879. The engraved card shown above is from my collection. Richardson designed six libraries during his career. Many libraries and hundreds of other buildings, built mostly in the 1880s and 1890s, reflect the Richardsonian Romanesque style.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 9:36 AM No comments:
Labels: librariana, library collectibles, public libraries
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Gaylord Bros and Book Repair
Whenever I have the chance I acquire early catalogs of library supply companies. Among the catalogs in my collection are several from Gaylord Brothers, a library supply and furniture company that was established in 1896 and continues today. My earliest catalog for Gaylord Brothers is its 1912 catalog. A specialty for Gaylord from its beginning was the repair of books. Its catalogs are filled with products that assisted libraries in the in-house repair of worn and damaged books. In Gaylord's 1912 catalog it offered a comprehensive Book Binding Kit which it argued allowed a library to repair books for one to four cents. The cost of the kit was only $9.75. In its 1926 catalog Gaylord referred to its book repair system as "The Toronto Method of Book Repairing". Gaylord published a 1924 pamphlet on this method which is digitized in the Hathi Trust Digital Library. In Gaylord's 1933 catalog they offered a "Bookcraft Box" (see below) which could be ordered with everything a library needed for its book repair operation or empty to be stocked by the library. One of my early library jobs included the repair of books for a large public library and I used many of the products offered by Gaylord. Do any libraries still repair their own books? Gaylord is known for a number of innovative products including its well known charging machine.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 9:08 AM 2 comments:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Library Postcard Message 1944, Wesleyan University
As I have indicated before I appreciate library postcards which have been sent with a message that relates to the library shown on the postcard. The postcard above was sent by Paul V. Beard while he was an Aviation Cadet in training during World War II at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Wesleyan University was host to the Navy Flight Preparatory School (U.S.N.F.P.S.) from January, 1943 to August, 1944. The message on the postcard says, "Hi Mom, Here's a picture of the Library. Please put in scrap book. Send more pictures later. Paul". As a member of the Armed Forces Paul was able to send the postcard free. The Olin Memorial Library which is shown on the postcard was completed in 1927 and dedicated in 1928. I wonder if Cadet Beard completed his training in time to see actual combat during World War II.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 12:24 PM No comments:
Labels: academic libraries, library postcards
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Iowa's Masonic Library
Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization with a membership of approximately four million men including two million in the United States. I have several items in my collection related to Masonic libraries. The most recent addition is the postcard shown above which proclaims "Greetings from a Unique Library". The unique library is the Masonic Library of Iowa which is located in Cedar Rapids, IA and is part of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The postcard also indicates that the library is "The Only Masonic Library Building in the World". That building was built in 1884 and is also depicted on the envelope displayed above. The envelope was mailed in 1886. The 1884 building was replaced in 1955 by a modern building which is displayed below. The library is actually a library and museum and is open to visitors on week days. The Iowa library may have been the only Masonic library building in the world in 1884, but there are many Masonic libraries and museums today. They even have a Masonic Library and Museum Association. The diversity of America's libraries is amazing.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 8:51 AM 1 comment:
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Patrick Magruder and the Burning of the Library of Congress
Patrick Magruder (1768-1819) was the second Librarian of Congress and served in that capacity from 1807-1815. He served both as the Clerk of the House and as Librarian of Congress as had his predecessor. Magruder had the misfortune of serving in those capacities at the time the Capitol of the United States was burned by the British during the War of 1812. At the time of the burning of the Capitol in August of 1814 Magruder was absent from Washington, D.C. for health reasons. He left the Office of the House and the Library of Congress in the charge of his brother George Magruder and two assistants. In addition to the books in the Library of Congress Patrick Magruder's office records which included the financial records of the House of Representative were destroyed. A Congressional investigation into Magruder's handling of Congressional funds found discrepancies including a shortage of $20,000. Although Magruder managed to avoid prosecution for his actions, he resigned on January 28, 1815. I have in my collection an 1814 government publication which contains a letter from Patrick Magruder to the Speaker of the House in defense of his actions which in turn includes an account by two office assistants of the events leading to the destruction of the Office of the House and the Library of Congress. Their account says in part, "every thing belonging to the office, together with the library of congress, we venture to say, might have been removed in time, if carriages could have been procured, but it was altogether impossible to procure them, either for hire or by force." After Magruder's resignation the positions of Clerk of the House and Librarian of Congress were separated. The source of the information in this post is the Library of Congress website.
Posted by Larry T. Nix at 11:37 AM No comments:
Labels: Library of Congress, library people
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