Reading Publics


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Readers, Libraries, and New York City Before 1911 Chapter 1: The New York Society Library: Books, Authority, and Publics in Colonial and Early Republican New York Chapter 2: Books for a Reformed Republic: The Apprentices' Library in Antebellum New York Chapter 3: The Past in Print: History and the Market at the New-York Historical Society Library Chapter 4: The Biblical Library of the American Bible Society: Evangelicalism and the Evangelical Corporation Chapter 5: Commerce and Culture: Recreation and Self-Improvement in New York's Subscription Libraries Chapter 6: "Men of Leisure and Men of Letters": New York's Public Research Libraries Chapter 7: Scholars and Mechanics: Libraries and Higher Learning in Nineteenth-Century New York Chapter 8: New York's Free Circulating Libraries: The Mission of the Public Library in the Gilded Age Chapter 9: The Founding of the New York Public Library: Public and Private in the Progressive Era Conclusion: New York's Public Libraries and the Elusive Reading Publics Works Cited Notes

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This lively, nuanced history of New York City's early public libraries traces their evolution within the political, social, and cultural worlds that supported them.

About the Author

Tom Glynn is a librarian at Rutgers University, where he is the selector and liaison for British and American history, the history of science, American studies, and political science.


"A deeply researched, well-written, and solid contribution to library history literature that will interest not only members of the library profession but also scholars and students of intellectual, cultural, social, urban, and print culture history whose own research has been heavily influenced by the rich collections Glynn discusses." -- -Wayne Wiegand Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus, Florida State University. "For anyone studying the history of public libraries this will be an essential work of reference, but it is also full of interest for anyone wishing to know more of the social and cultural history of New York generally". -- -Ian McGowan Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues "A wonderful book. Thoroughly enjoyable." -- -Christine Pawley University of Wisconsin-Madison " ... Tom Glynn recalls how the libraries were transformed into a uniquely accessible resource through a public-private partnership made possible by Gilded Age philanthropy." -Sam Roberts, The New York Times

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