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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Hopkinton Public Library, circa 1927

Image of the south side of Hopkinton Public Library circa 1927 with Saint Paul's Episcopal church to the left and bank building far left.1

From 1890 to 1927, public libraries blossomed throughout the Commonwealth as the Commission proudly points out in the 1927 annual report. By that year, not a single town in Massachusetts had no public library to speak of:

Number of... In 18902 In 19272
Cities and towns in Massachusetts 351 355
Free public libraries 244 419
Towns having no public library 103 0
Towns having free libraries owned and controlled by the town 175 276
Towns having free libraries partly under municipal control 28 40
Towns appropriating money, but not represented in the management 22 31
Towns in which are free libraries supported and controlled by private associations 21 8
Towns having libraries supported by the town but not free 2 0

What else happened in 1927?

  • The first transatlantic telephone call was made via radio from New York City to London.3
  • Charles Lindbergh made the first nonstop solo transatlantic flight from New York City to Paris in his single engine aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis.3
  • The Mississippi River flooded over 27,000 square miles of nearby land when its levees broke, dealing deadly damage across seven states.4

1. Digital Commonwealth [link].
2. Annual Report of the Board of Library Commissioners for the Year Ending November 30, 1927.
3. 1927 - Wikipedia entry [link].
4. Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 - Wikipedia entry [link].