Posts Tagged ‘Crane family’

The Making of the Thomas Crane Public Library

The nation’s first public library opened in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1835. In 1848 legislation was passed to establish such an institution in Boston, and extended to other communities in Massachusetts in 1851. By 1870 there were eighty free public libraries in this state.

1871: The citizens of Quincy vote at Town Meeting to appropriate $1000 for the salary of a librarian and maintenance of a building, and an additional sum of $2500 on the condition that an equal amount be raised by private subscription. In December, the Quincy Public Library opened in the north room of the Adams Academy Building with a collection of 4,607 volumes.

1874: The library relocated to the vacant Evangelical Congregational Church at the corner of Hancock Street and Revere Road; this after a possible short residence in Town Hall.

1875: Charles Francis Adams Jr., great grandson of President John Adams, began his nineteen-year chairmanship of the Board of Trustees.

1880: Town Meeting approved a $20,000 bequest from Albert Crane to erect a public library building as a memorial to his late father, Thomas Crane.

1882: Dedication ceremonies of the completed Crane Memorial Hall were held on May 30th. The library opened with a collection of 12,000 volumes.

1908: First addition to the library opened, again through the generosity of Albert Crane. The collection had grown to over 25,000 volumes.

1939: The new main addition to the library opens, financed by Crane family funds and a grant from the United States Public Works Administration.

1952: The 1939 addition was dedicated as the Albert Crane Memorial Wing.

2001: The newest addition to the library opens with a collection of 139,908 and a capacity of 244,000 volumes.


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