Download Reading Publics: New York City's Public Libraries, 1754-1911 by Tom Glynn PDF

By Tom Glynn

On could eleven, 1911, the recent York Public Library opened its “marble palace for booklet enthusiasts” on 5th road and forty second road. This was once the city’s first public library within the glossy experience, a tax-supported, circulating assortment loose to each citizen. because prior to the Revolution, despite the fact that, New York’s examining publics had entry to a number of “public libraries” because the time period used to be understood through contemporaries. In its most elementary experience a public library within the eighteenth and lots of the 19th centuries easily intended a shared selection of books that used to be to be had to most of the people and promoted the general public sturdy. From the founding in 1754 of the recent York Society Library as much as 1911, public libraries took numerous types. a few of them have been unfastened, charitable associations, whereas others required a club or an annual subscription. a few, akin to the Biblical Library of the yankee Bible Society, have been hugely really expert; others, just like the Astor Library, constructed huge, inclusive collections. What all of the public libraries of this era had in universal, at the least ostensibly, used to be the conviction that stable books helped determine a efficient, virtuous, orderly republic—that stable analyzing promoted the general public good.

Tom Glynn’s shiny, deeply researched heritage of recent York City’s public libraries over the process greater than a century and a part illuminates how the private and non-private capabilities of studying replaced through the years and the way shared collections of books might serve either private and non-private ends. examining Publics examines how books and examining helped build social identities and the way print functioned inside of and throughout teams, together with yet now not constrained to socioeconomic periods. the writer bargains an available whereas scholarly exploration of the way republican and liberal values, transferring understandings of “public” and “private,” and the talk over fiction encouraged the advance and personality of recent York City’s public libraries within the eighteenth and 19th centuries.

Reading Publics is a crucial contribution to the social and cultural background of latest York urban that firmly areas the city’s early public libraries in the heritage of analyzing and print tradition within the United States.

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