Libraries In Boston And Its Vicinity -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 007:25 (Jan 1850)
Article: Libraries In Boston And Its Vicinity
Author: Anonymous


Libraries In Boston And Its Vicinity

We have taken some pains to ascertain the number and general character of the Public Libraries in Boston and in the towns within thirty or forty miles. Our general object is to know how far there are facilities in this part of the country for prosecuting studies of a literary, scientific, and theological character. For progress in investigation in any department of knowledge it is necessary to ascertain where the implements and materials may be found, whether there is more than one specimen or set of them, and whether they are accessible to the public or not. It is not enough to be acquainted with the existence or the number of volumes in our libraries. We need to know whether there are duplicates of important works? so that an exchange may be made, whether all our libraries may not be destitute of some works of great cost and of great utility, whether there may not be a mutual understanding in regard to the supply of deficiencies, whether all the libraries may not be safely used by a far greater number of people than are now admitted to them, etc. We cannot undertake to answer these questions, but we may perhaps make a beginning. If our Article shall suggest the importance of a common Catalogue of the most rare and valuable books to be found in all the public libraries of New England, as an instance of what a mutual good understanding and cooperation might effect, we shall be satisfied.

Library Of Harvard University

The library of Harvard college was destroyed by fire in 1764. It was a valuable collection of more than 5000 volumes. A new library was immediately commenced, and, through the liberality of the General Courts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, of Thomas Hollis of London, of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, and of other enlightened Societies and individuals, rapidly increased, so that in 1790, when a catalogue was printed, it consisted of about 12,000 volumes. To the noble munificence and fatherly care of Hollis, the library and the college owe a great debt of obligation. His deeds place him among the most honored benefactors of man. Among his benefactions was a splendid, large paper, loyal copy of Walton’s Polyglott. In Giggeius’ Thesaur. Ling. Arab., he mentions that he was particularly industrious in collecting grammars and lexicons,

of the oriental root languages, so that he might be the means, with others, “of forming a few prime scholars, honors to their country and lights to mankind.” In 1772, Thomas Palmer of Boston, afterwards of London, gave to the library The Antiquities of Herculaneum and Piranesi’s Views of Rome in 20 fol. vols. At his death in 1820, he added nearly 1200 “choice and costly” volumes. Thro...

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