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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


June 13, 1926 Boston Public Library Central branch

June 13, 1926: The play of light on the marble of the grand staircase lead one up to the twin lions on pedestals at the turn of the stairs. The lions were made from unpolished Siena marble by sculptor Louis Saint-Gaudens. They are memorials to the Second and Twentieth Massachusetts Civil War infantry regiments.1

Commissioners in 1926:
Charles F. D. Belden
Anna M Bancroft
Edward H. Redstone
Hiller C. Wellman2

New library buildings completed in 1926:
New Bedford South End Branch
West Newton Branch2

Elizabeth P. Sohier
"Miss Elizabeth P. Sohier, who had been a member of the Board since its establishment in 1890, died on November 9, 1926. In 1890, she was instrumental in creating the Massachusetts Free Public Library Commission, the first state agency of its kind in the world, set up to counsel libraries and foster their establishment."2

During 1926, Austin Strong, author and grandson of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson, spoke at the Old Dartmouth and Cape Cod Library clubs, discussing the library situation of the day and describing some of the changing conditions to be met.

"The community that the library wishes to serve is very different from the one of years ago," Strong said. He brought up that libraries' attitude toward the community had to undergo change, and "realize its obligation to the people whom it serves."3

What else happened in 1926?

  • March 16: Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fuel rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts.4
  • October 14:A. A. Milne's children's book Winnie-the-Pooh was published in London, featuring the eponymous bear.4
  • The Pike School of Andover, Massachusetts was founded. An independent coeducational school, it continues to operate today.5

1. [link].
2. Annual Report of the Board of Free Public Library Commissioners for the Year Ending November 30, 1926.
3. Massachusetts Library Club Bulletin, June 1926.
4. 1926 - Wikipedia entry [link].
5. [link].