The New York Society Library: Books, authority, and publics in colonial and early republican New York

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Abstract

The New York Society Library was founded in 1754. At its founding it became embroiled in the politics of the city's Whig faction, and through the latter half of the eighteenth century it embodied the republican ideals of its founders. The collection was developed as a means of educating and refining the entire community. During the early nineteenth century the library entered a period of relative inactivity. Although the collection continued to grow, the Society itself became increasingly removed from the cultural and intellectual life of the city. After a bitterly contested election in 1838 the trustees made some effort to reinvigorate the Society Library, but they failed to create a truly popular institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-529
Number of pages37
JournalLibraries and the Cultural Record
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • History
  • Library and Information Sciences

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