Friday, November 10, 2006

The Library Legacy of Andrew Carnegie

The Library Legacy of Andrew Carnegie. I am highlighting a link page today which covers resources relating to the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie as it related to libraries.

The site was created by Larry Nix. He noted, "Andrew Carnegie was often referred to as the ‘Patron Saint of Libraries’. He donated $56,162,622 for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking parts of the world. He donated $40,000,000 for the construction of 1679 public library buildings in the United States."

There are a total of 23 links divided into a general section and then by specific sites. The main site (The Library History Buff) looks good as well and would be of interest to those interested in the history of libraries.

The public domain cartoon above is from Harper's Weekly April 11, 1903. According to Nix, the following caption accompanied it. "We men are only lusty boys, Though snowy be our locks, So Skibo's master still enjoys, To sit and play with blocks."

1 comment:

Ed Darrell said...

The Carnegie Foundation held title to the land that was occupied by many of the Carnegie libraries in America -- a condition of the gift was that the place would perpetually be a library. The District of Columbia ran into difficulty when it converted the Carnegie Library into the administration building for the University of the District of Columbia, in the late 1970s and 1980s. The Carnegie Foundation showed up pointing to the condition in the gift. The University moved part of the library to the admin building . . .

But I wonder how many of the original libraries were destroyed in ignorance of the condition, and what the Foundation did about it. Anyone know?

For a man who influenced so much of America with gifts, he is generally unknown today. Ironic.