Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 294

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umes, which, in value aa well as in size, is hardly
surpassed by any other in the country. Its reg-
ulations are framed with the design that it shall
answer the highest purposes of a public library.
Besides the bound volumes above enumerated, it
possesses 20,000, or more, unbound pamphlets,
between 400 and 500 volumes of engravings,
and the most valuable collection of coins in this
part of the country. It has lately received an
important accession to its treasures in the pur-
chase of about 450 volumes, and from 800 to
1000 pamphlets, which once formed a part of the
library of Washington. This important acqui-
sition was secured to the Athenaeum through the
liberality of about 100 gentlemen of Boston, Sa-
lem, and Cambridge. There are also connected
with the Athenaeum a fine sculpture gallery and
a gallery of paintings. In the latter is to be seen
Belshazzar's Feast, the great historical picture of
Washington Allston, which, although many years
under his hand, was ftever entirely finished; also,
a valuable series of sketches by this, great artist.

Hon. James. Perkins gave for the use of the
Athenaeum, in 1821, his own costly mansion in
Pearl Street, which was occupied until it became
necessary, in 1849, to change the location. The
beautiful building which it now occupies is on
Beacon Street, a short distance east of the State
House, a situation most highly eligible for such
an institution. The edifice is elegant, spacious,
and convenient. The front is in the later Italian
style of architecture, resembling some of the
works of Palladio in its general arrangement;
constructed of the Patterson freestone, of a light
gray color. The length is 100 feet, and the height
60. The main entrance opens into a pillared
and panelled rotunda, from which the staircases
conduct above. The sculpture gallery. 80 feet
by 40, is on the first floor. The library occupies
the second story, which is divided into three
rooms, two in front and one large hall in'the
rear, 109 feet by 40. This hall is beautifully fin-
ished in the Italian style, and admirably fitted for
the purposes of its design. The picture gallery
is in the upper story, divided into six apartments,
each lighted by a skylight. An annual exhibi-
tion of .paintings is open here, during the winter
and spring.

The Massachusetts Historical Society, founded
in 1790, occupies a suit of rooms in the granite
building, on Tremont Street, between the Stone
Chapel Cemetery and the Boston Museum. It
has a valuable library of 7000 bound volumes,
besides 450 volumes of manuscripts, and a large
collection of pamphlets, maps, charts, coins, and
other interesting relics of antiquity. The manu-
scripts of the historian Hubbard; of the first
Gov. Winthrop, 11 vols.; of Gov. Hutchinson;
of the first Gov. Trumbull, of Connecticut, 23
vols.; and the manuscript of Washington's Fare-
well Address to the Officers of the American
Army, are in possession of this society. One of
its rooms is adorned with the portraits of about
70 distinguished personages, mostly the worthies
of New England. This society has issued a
series of Historical Collections, in all amounting
to* 30 volumes.

The library of the Boston Library Society,
founded in 1792. occupies a hall over the centre
of the Tontine Buildings, as formerly denomi-
nated, in Franklin Place. This hall was a
donation to the society by Bulfinch, (the archi-
tect of the Capitol at Washington.) Vaughan, and

Scollay, the three proprietors of the Tontine.
This library has over 12,000 volumes.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
founded in
1780, is next in age to the American
Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, which is
the oldest of the scientific associations of the
country. Its library, of
8000 volumes, contains
a valuable collection of the memoirs and transac-
tions of learned societies, and other scientific
publications. It is kept in the N. wing of the
Athenaeum, on the lower floor.

The Mechanics' Apprentices Library Associa-
tion, in Boston, claims the distinction of being
the first of its kind established in the world. It
is due to the wise suggestion and philanthropic
energy of Mr. William Wood, now residing in
Canandaigua, N. Y.; whose exertions have been
extended, with the like success, to most of our
large cities, and even to the cities of the old
world. Lord Brougham remarks, that, “ Al-
though the remote origin of these institutions
may be traced to Dr. Franklin, Mr. Wood has
the merit of establishing them on their present
plan, and adapting them peculiarly to the instruc-
tion of mechanics and apprentices. He founded
the first in Boston, in
1820." The library con-
tains about
4000 volumes, and was the gift of
the Boston public to the apprentices of the city.
It was originally intrusted to the care of the
Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association,
a society of established reputation, founded in
1795. This society, which is still prosperous,
has handsome funds, which have been recently
invested in the Revere Hotel. Its income is em-
ployed for relieving the distresses of unfortunate
members and their families, and to stimulate, by
premiums, inventions, and improvements in the
mechanic arts. For this purpose it provides for
those frequent and extensive exhibitions of' the
products of manufacturing skill and industry
which have been so highly successful in Boston.
1828, the Apprentices' Association was organ-
ized as distinct from that of the Mechanics, and
the library committed to their entire control.

The Mercantile Library Association, of Bos-
ton, instituted in
1820, is a large and useful
society, composed of merchants' clerks and
others, which has a library of over
7000 volumes,
and maintains an able and popular course of
lectures. Their hall is on the corner of Brom-
field and Province Streets.

Efforts are now making to establish a free
City Library, and several handsome donations
have been already made for that purpose.

But the most munificent foundation of this
character, in Boston, is that of the Lowell Insti-
tute, established by the princely liberality of
John Lowell, Jr., Esq. By a legacy amount-
ing to about
$250,000, this gentleman has
provided for the maintenance of public lectures,
of the highest order, which are to. be free to all
the citizens, on the great subjects of natural and
revealed religion; on the literature and eloquence
of the English and other languages; on the various
sciences in their application to the arts, and other
relations of utility to man; and on such other
subjects as the wants and taste of the age may
demand. The Lowell Institute, by its ample
income, is able to command the services of men
of the highest talent in the country, and to
furnish them with the fullest means for illus-
trating the subjects of their various discourses.
The lectures are given on Tuesday and Friday

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