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by donation ; that twenty-four thousand dollars have been generously contributed by bequest to its funds; that more than one hundred and sixty thousand books have been borrowed from the Lower Hall; that the Upper Hall has been thrown open and an Index published, by which its treasures have been rendered easily accessible; that more than a thousand persons upon an average have daily resorted to some department of the Library, to avail themselves of the great benefits which it offers to the whole community, — these few facts are sufficient of themselves to show how important the Library has become, and how extensively its value is felt as a city institution. They show, at the same time, that it was never before in so good a condition, that it was never before so generally useful; and that its appropriate benefits were never before so widely and effectively diffused.

With the statement of results like these, the main objects of the annual report of the Trustees might seem to be fulfilled. On two points however, they feel called upon, at the present moment, to say a few words:

And in the first place, as to the books themselves, which of course in every library form the paramount interest. The Public Library now contains more than ninety-seven thousand volumes, and the Trustees desire to say, that, in their judgment, it is, for its size, an excellent collection of books, and one extremely well fitted for its especial purposes. Their earliest and strongest wish has been and still is to render the whole library useful to the greatest possible number of persons of both sexes in our community, but more especially to those who are less able than they could wish to procure good books for themselves and their families. In this primary object they believe they have been successful. The immense circulation from the Lower Hall seems to them to prove it, and to leave no doubt that it is much more extensively used, than any other library in New England. But while the Trustees have been laboring in this direction, in the discharge of what they have regarded as their official duty, other . friends of the institution have enriched it with large collections of books, less fitted for general circulation, but which are of

great value as works of reference, and imperatively needed by those, who would make careful investigations into many subjects

scientific, literary, and historical, — often of grave importance in higher education and for the general welfare. In this respect also, the Trustees venture to express the opinion, that the Public Library, taking all its departments together, possesses a better collection of books, than any other library in New England. In relation to both of its divisions, therefore, they believe that it will fully accomplish the objects of its foundation. It has certainly done so thus far, much beyond the highest expectations of the Trustees; and with its rapidly increasing means, they do not doubt that its increasing usefulness will, with every year, become more and more apparent.

The other point to which the Trustees would invite the attention of the City Council is the Indexes, which have been published, from time to time, in order to facilitate the use of the books contained in the collection. The Indexes, and the Catalogue on which they are founded, are regarded by the Trustees as, next to the collection itself, the most important interest of the Library. The first Index was issued late in the autumn of 1858, as soon as the Library was opened in the present building, and it contained the titles of such books of general interest as were then


the shelves of the Lower Hall. Since that time, four supplements to this Index have been published, in order to render the books successively added to the collection immediately accessible. The last of these supplements is just issued, and contains the titles of 1,382 volumes, added within the last eleven months, all of a popular character, and nearly all fresh from the press, or very recently published. The whole number of volumes now in this division of the Library is 19,161, and no opportunity is neglected to increase and render it more attractive and useful.

A much larger and more important Index was published a few weeks ago, in order to open the Upper Hall to the public, which had already been done in part, and which is now fully accomplished. This Index is constructed on the same general principles as the smaller one of the Lower Hall; its purpose being to render the books in the Upper Hall, whether for circulation or for reference, easily accessible to all ; - to persons little in habits of study, as well as to those who devote themselves to the severest scientific investigations. The Trustees believe that this larger Index, which has already been received with distinguished approbation by some of the persons both in Europe and America, best able to judge of its merits, will prove as satisfactory to the public, as the smaller one has certainly done ; and that it will, by facilitating and inviting researches in every department of knowledge, tend to the advancement of this community in whatever is most to be desired in life, and whatever will best promote life's great ends.

As the Library increases, other Indexes for both of its halls will no doubt be published, so as to extend the benefits of the institution more and more widely, until in due time, when the collection shall have become large enough to require it, and when means for the purpose shall have been provided, a general Index may be issued, which, in a single comprehensive alphabetical arrangement, shall set forth all its resources, and invite the community to the fullest and freest enjoyment of its benefits, compatible with the necessary conditions of its existence and

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In the mean time, however, it should not be forgotten, that any one resorting to the Library can, from the Card Catalogue, which forms the ample foundation for all the Indexes, obtain whatever facilities he may need, even for the most thorough and laborious investigations. It is on this Card Catalogue, in fact, that the chief arrangements for the best use of the Library rest; and whether abstracts from it, under the name of Indexes, shall have been published or not, it will always be in readiness for use, and can always be consulted with confidence.

Considering, therefore, the number and character of books in the Library, together with the Indexes and other means provided for rendering their use agreeable and easy, the Trustees have at present no suggestions to make for changes or improvements.

They can only propose to go on as they have begun, and do not doubt that, as the present condition of the Library much more than fulfils the predictions of its earliest and most sanguine friends, so the future will justify any reasonable hopes that may be entertained of its beneficial influences on the education, prosperity, and advancement of the city.

The Trustees cannot close their report without making the acknowledgments due to the many individuals and public bodies, who have added to the resources of the Library during the past year, by donations of more than a thousand books and above thirty-five hundred pamphlets, many of them important and all acceptable. Among the names on this list, which forms a. part of the report of the Superintendent, will be found that of the Emperor of the French, who has done us the honor to send to the Library a copy of his own works in four beautifully executed volumes, together with the seven magnificent volumes already published of the Correspondence of Napoleon I., of which the remaining volumes have been kindly ordered by His Imperial Majesty to be sent to the Library, as they shall successively appear. Nor will it fail to be observed that the British Commissioners of Patents continue to furnish us with the successive volumes of their vast and truly magnificent publication.

The Trustees desire also, on behalf of their fellow-citizens, to offer the expression of their gratitude to Messrs. William Minot and William Minot, Jr., who, as executors of the late Miss Mary P. Townsend, a lady of rare benevolence and unobtrusive worth, were entrusted with discretionary power over a part her estate, and have devoted to the Public Library the sum of four thousand dollars of what was thus confided to their disposal, making it a fund, of which the income is forever to be expended in the purchase of books. Considering the circumstances under which this donation was made, the Trustees may be permitted to regard it as a most gratifying proof of the extent to which the Institution has acquired the confidence of the most intelligent and discerning members of the community.

A still more important addition has been made during the

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past year to the funds of the Library by the munificent sum of twenty thousand dollars, bequeathed by the late Hon. Jonathan Phillips, in addition to ten thousand dollars given during his lifetime. This generous bequest, mentioned in the last annual report of the Trustees, has been paid by the executors of Mr. Phillips's will, during the past year. In like manner the large and valuable library of the Rev. Theodore Parker, of which the bequest to the Institution was announced in the last annual report, has been received into the building during the past twelvemonth. Full justice is done to both of these important gifts in the report of the Superintendent. The Trustees will only remark in addition, that the library of Mr. Parker, though somewhat smaller than was conjecturally stated in their report of last year, proves to be more choice and valuable even than was anticipated; while the large fund bequeathed by Mr. Phillips accrues at a moment when it is much wanted.

But the Trustees, while thus offering their grateful acknowledgments for all these marks of favor and confidence so liberally shown to the Institution under their care, feel also that it is a duty and a privilege on their part, to congratulate all who have contributed to its growth and usefulness, on its present good condition and great success; and to invoke for it the continued favor of an enlightened municipal government, as an establishment in which the city may well take an honest pride, for the good which it has done and the credit which it reflects upon the community ; commending it at the same time to the liberal and protecting good-will of the public at large, for whose welfare and progress, intellectual, moral, and religious, it has been founded, and for whose benefit alone it can be rightfully administered.

In conclusion, the Trustees desire to bear renewed testimony to the fidelity of the Superintendent and his associates in the discharge of their respective duties, and they ask leave to add, on their own account, that they have held their meetings regularly twice in each month, and oftener when needed ; that at least one of their number has visited the Library daily, during the year ;

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