ECU Libraries Catalog

Reading publics : New York City's public libraries, 1754-1911 / Tom Glynn.

Author/creator Glynn, Tom, 1962- author.
Format Book and Print
EditionFirst edition.
Publication Info New York : Empire State Editions, an imprint of Fordham University Press, 2015.
Description447 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Contents Introduction: Readers, Libraries, and New York City Before 1911 -- 1. The New York Society Library: Books, Authority, and Publics in Colonial and Early Republican New York -- 2. Books for a Reformed Republic: The Apprentices' Library in Antebellum New York -- 3. The Past in Print: History and the Market at the New-York Historical Society Library -- 4. The Biblical Library of the American Bible Society: Evangelicalism and the Evangelical Corporation -- 5. Commerce and Culture: Recreation and Self-Improvement in New York's Subscription Libraries -- 6. "Men of Leisure and Men of Letters": New York's Public Research Libraries -- 7. Scholars and Mechanics: Libraries and Higher Learning in Nineteenth-Century New York -- 8. New York's Free Circulating Libraries: The Mission of the Public Library in the Gilded Age -- 9. The Founding of the New York Public Library: Public and Private in the Progressive Era -- Afterwird: Public Libraries and New York's Elusive Reading Publics.
Scope and content "A history of public libraries in New York City before the founding of the New York Public Library. Most of these libraries were accessible through a membership or an annual subscription. Explores the private and public purposes of public libraries before the advent of tax-supported public libraries"-- Provided by publisher.
Scope and content "This lively, nuanced history of New York City's early public libraries traces their evolution within the political, social, and cultural worlds that supported them. On May 11, 1911, the New York Public Library opened its "marble palace for book lovers" on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. This was the city's first public library in the modern sense, a tax-supported, circulating collection free to every citizen. Since before the Revolution, however, New York's reading publics had access to a range of "public libraries" as the term was understood by contemporaries. In its most basic sense a public library in the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth centuries simply meant a shared collection of books that was available to the general public and promoted the public good. From the founding in 1754 of the New York Society Library up to 1911, public libraries took a variety of forms. Some of them were free, charitable institutions, while others required a membership or an annual subscription. Some, such as the Biblical Library of the American Bible Society, were highly specialized; others, like the Astor Library, developed extensive, inclusive collections. What all the public libraries of this period had in common, at least ostensibly, was the conviction that good books helped ensure a productive, virtuous, orderly republic-that good reading promoted the public good. Tom Glynn's vivid, deeply researched history of New York City's public libraries over the course of more than a century and a half illuminates how the public and private functions of reading changed over time and how shared collections of books could serve both public and private ends. Reading Publics examines how books and reading helped construct social identities and how print functioned within and across groups, including but not limited to socioeconomic classes. The author offers an accessible while scholarly exploration of how republican and liberal values, shifting understandings of "public" and "private," and the debate over fiction influenced the development and character of New York City's public libraries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Reading Publics is an important contribution to the social and cultural history of New York City that firmly places the city's early public libraries within the history of reading and print culture in the United States"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references, timeline, map of libraries, and index.
LCCN 2014028080
ISBN9780823262649 (hardback)
ISBN0823262642 (hardback)

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks Z732 .N7 G58 2015 ✔ Available Place Hold

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