Page images

pansion of the hours during which some of these agencies are kept open. The number of volumes added to the Library during the year was 34,635. Last year the number added was 35,835. These volumes were obtained chiefly by purchase, but in some part by gift and exchange. The number of volumes in the Library at the close of the year was 835,904. The home use of books for the year was 1,489,033. During the preceding year the number was 1,483,513. The Trustees during the past year have continued to diminish their purchases of contemporary fiction, and to the result of this policy must be attributed some diminution of the home use of books, particularly in the branch libraries. The Trustees have had, as heretofore, the valuable assistance of a few ladies and gentlemen who have consented to read works of fiction, and to express to the Librarian their opinion of the value of these books. This service is confined to works of fiction, and the final decision as to the selection of these rests, as in the case of all books, with the Trustees. The report of Mr. Whitney contains an interesting account in detail of many valuable acquisitions of the Library during the past year. The Trustees have also acquired several valuable historical manuscripts and have published a selection in their Bulletin. They do not understand that it is desirable for the Library to acquire all similar matter as opportunity presents, but they believe that it is desirable that interesting documents especially relating to the history of the Town and City of Boston properly find a place in it. An important change was made during the past year in the internal administration of the Central Library. The Binding and Printing Departments were removed from the central building to commodious quarters in Stanhope street. In this way room much needed has been provided and healthful accommodation has been substituted for crowded and illventilated rooms. In addition the Trustees believe that the change will result in a saving of money and that work heretofore done outside the Library can be done by the Library force of workmen, although this force has been necessarily increased. The Trustees have continued the publication of their Bulletins, of annual lists of acquisitions, and of historical manuscripts as heretofore. Nearly all of these publications are directed to making available the resources of the Library. They have also provided timely lists of books upon topics for the moment engaging public attention, as for instance, — lists of books touching the subjects of lectures given at the Lowell Institute, and the Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail, Mr. Abbey's recent decoration of the Library. The Special Libraries, including the Allen A. Brown Library of Music, receive constant accessions, and the use of these libraries increases. A collection of books printed for the use of the blind has been made accessible for their use. A course of free lectures on the aesthetic development of cities was given in March, April, and May. The lecturers were Messrs. Albert Kelsey, C. Howard Walker, R. Clipston Sturgis, John DeWitt Warner, Edmund M. Wheelwright, F. W. Ruckstuhl, F. L. Olmsted, Jr., John Woodbury, and Brooks Adams. On September 1, 1902, to the regret of the Trustees, Mr. Worthington C. Ford resigned his office as Chief of the Department of Documents and Statistics. Mr. Ford had demonstrated the value of the department. Those who resort to it are among the most intelligent of the visitors to the Library. The space at the command of the department has been enlarged, and the Trustees confidently predict for it an increasing usefulness. The system of examinations prior to appointment to any important position in the Library is maintained, and constant effort is made that the examination papers shall be reasonably adapted to develop the education required for the service of the Library, while yet not unnecessarily technical nor severe. The Trustees have granted the use of the Lecture Room for the meetings of several Societies and associations whose purposes touch upon the work of a library. The Examining Committee of the past year consisted of:

Charles S. Hamlin, Mrs. Thomas J. Gargan,

Chairman, Dr. E. Peabody Gerry, Miss Mary Boyle O’Reilly, * | John C. Gray,

Secretary, Bernard Jenney, Miss Sarah L. Arnold, William V. Kellen, Rev. Carlos C. Carpenter, Daniel O. S. Lowell, Dr. William H. Devine, Dr. William A. Morrison, Mrs. William H. Dewart, Johnson Morton, Rev. F. X. Dolan, Miss Maud M. Rockwell, Rev. Charles F. Dole, Mrs. James J. Storrow, Edward J. Donovan, - Mrs. John Tetlow, Mrs. Carl Dreyfus, Rev. James A. Walsh.

Their report will be found appended. It deserves and has received the careful attention of the Trustees.

Vice President.

THOMAS DWIGHT. May 1, 1903.


To the Board of Trustees :

The report of the Librarian for the year ending January 31, 1903, is hereby submitted.*


The Library system of agencies comprises: The Central Library on Copley Square. Ten branch libraries, with permanent collections of books. Twenty-one delivery stations (of which eleven are reading rooms), and also, as places of deposit or delivery, thirty-six engine houses, sixteen city institutions, and seventy-two schools, making a total of one hundred and fifty-six agencies, as against one hundred and seventeen a year ago.


A record of the receipts and payments for the year is to be found in the report of the Auditor of the Library (Appendix I.).


Last summer the Bindery and Printing establishments were moved from the Central Library to Stanhope street. The rooms heretofore occupied by these departments were fitted up with a gallery and shelving for the use of the Patent and Bound Newspaper departments. *

No other extensive alterations or repairs have been made upon the Central Library building during the year.

The Chief Engineer has reported that the engines, dynamos, boilers, pumps, and elevators have worked satisfactorily. On July 1 the motors connected with the Bindery and Printing Department were transferred to the building on Stanhope Street.

* This report was prepared and submitted by Mr. James L. Yoo whose period of service ended by his resignation taking effect January 31, 1903, at the close of the year covered by the report.

[merged small][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »