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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Robbins Library circulation desk, 1947

Circulation desk, Robbins Library, Arlington1

In 1947: The Division received a "splendid and much appreciated" gift: a copy of the film Not By Books Alone. Produced by the Rochester Public Library in 1945, "in documentary fashion this film depicts the organization and the services of one of the country's fine, modern libraries." The Division used the film itself and also loaned it to other libraries and organizations.2

TODAY: Sadly, the only holding for this film today in WorldCat is at Western Cape Provincial Library Services in Cape Town, South Africa.2 (But we haven't given up on the possibility that there may be a copy hidden somewhere in our office.)

What else happened in 1947?

  • The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered when a young goat herder stumbled upon some manuscripts hidden in a cave at Khirbat Qumrān.4
  • Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire opens at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, with Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois.5
  • The Hollywood Ten were motion-picture producers, directors, and screenwriters who appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in October 1947 and refused to answer questions regarding their possible communist affiliations. After spending time in prison for contempt of Congress, most were never employed in the film industry.6

1. Digital Commonwealth [link].
2. Fifty-ninth Annual Report of the Board of Free Public Library Commissioners for the Year Ending June 30, 1948.
3. [link].
4. [link].
5. [link].
6. [link].