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Boston Public Library

Books contributed by the Boston Public Library. Established in 1848 by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first large free municipal library in the United States. In 1839, French ventriloquist M. Nicholas Marie Alexandre Vattemare became the original advocate for a public library in Boston when he proposed the idea of a book and prints exchange between American and French libraries. The Mayor of the City of Boston, Josiah Quincy, Jr., ...



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Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
collection
2,785
ITEMS
2.2M
VIEWS
collection

eye 2.2M

The Interlibrary Loan Department at the Boston Public Library serves as headquarters for interlibrary loan activity in the Boston Regional Library System. The Department receives requests from the six regional libraries in Massachusetts. These libraries send requests on behalf of their member libraries. These libraries send in requests for books and journal articles. They also can send reference and subject requests. The staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department searches for these requests in...
Topic: BPL Interlibrary Loan
Boston Public Library Anti-Slavery Collection
Boston Public Library Anti-Slavery Collection
collection
9,788
ITEMS
1.4M
VIEWS
collection

eye 1.4M

Anti-Slavery collection (approximately 40,000 pieces). In the late 1890's, the family of William Lloyd Garrison, along with others closely involved in the anti-slavery movement, presented the library with a major gathering of correspondence, documents, and other original material relating to the abolitionist cause from 1832 until after the Civil War. The major holdings consist of the papers of William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Weston Chapman and Deborah Weston, Lydia Maria Child, Amos Augustus...
Topics: Anti Slavery, William Lloyd Garrison, Abolition
collection

eye 343,354

The Thomas Pennant Barton Collection is acknowledged as one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in a public institution focusing on the writings of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The collection was the first in the United States to include the first four folios of the collected works of William Shakespeare, as well as some 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, many published during Shakespeare’s lifetime. As the preeminent Shakespeare collection from...
Topics: shakespeare, Thomas Pennant Barton, Boston Public Library
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
collection
337
ITEMS
279,825
VIEWS
collection

eye 279,825

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center   at the Boston Public Library cares for more than a quarter million cartographic and geographic objects, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present, with a global scope and a focus on Boston and New England. Created in 2004 as a private-public partnership between the philanthropist Norman B. Leventhal and the Boston Public Library, the LMEC is located in the McKim Building at the BPL ’ s Central Library in Copley Square. The LMEC features a...
Incunabula
Incunabula
collection
318
ITEMS
158,085
VIEWS
collection

eye 158,085

The BPL’s incunabula collection embodies the varied output of the 15th-century European printing press. As of February, 2020, the collection is comprised of 583 physical items printed during the 15th century, the majority of which are books (issued either individually or as parts of multi-volume sets). The collection also contains a small number of single-sheet publications, blockbooks, and fragments of books that merit individual cataloging. In total, there are 555 discrete 15th-century...
Early English Playbooks, 1594-1799
Early English Playbooks, 1594-1799
collection
659
ITEMS
120,208
VIEWS
collection

eye 120,208

Comprised chiefly of individual editions of English stage plays issued between 1594 and 1799, the Boston Public Library's collection of early English playbooks is extensive and diverse. Numbering well over 1,500 items, the collection also includes masques, pageants, and other dramatic entertainments. Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public...
collection

eye 53,183

The Houghton Mifflin Company Trade Book Archival Collection is comprised of Trade Division materials that were originally kept in the Park Street building, which the company occupied from 1880 to 1994, before being donated to the Boston Public Library. The company’s editors used this collection as their working library. The collection includes adult and juvenile titles as well as reference materials, audio, and kits from Houghton Mifflin, Clarion, and other Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprints.
Boston Public Library Cookbook Collection
Boston Public Library Cookbook Collection
collection
168
ITEMS
198,412
VIEWS
collection

eye 198,412

Material for this collection has been contributed by the Boston Public Library.
collection

eye 171,482

The Boston Public Library has an extensive collection of original manuscripts from the American Revolutionary War era. The letters and documents were drafted by John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, James Otis, Joseph Warren, George Washington and other important Revolutionary War figures. The materials are mostly of American origin, but also include British, European, and West Indian sources. Some of the topics covered include the war’s political origins, the unfolding of military and...
collection

eye 4,370

This collection provides access to materials published by the Boston Public Library, critical administrative records of the library, and collection documentation, including printed finding aids, card catalogs, procedural guidelines, etc.
collection

eye 80,069

The Ticknor Library of Spanish and Portuguese literature is a 10,000-volume collection that covers many aspects of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American literature and history, including books on art, science, law, and theology. As a collection, the Ticknor Collection is remarkable for its completeness in all that pertains to Spanish literature and belles lettres. Many of these volumes are first editions and handwritten manuscripts that are exceedingly rare. The materials are primarily in...
Defoe & Defoeana
Defoe & Defoeana
collection
97
ITEMS
60,398
VIEWS
collection

eye 60,398

Defoe & Defoeana The William P. Trent Collection of Defoe and Defoeana is one of the most comprehensive collections of Daniel Defoe and his contemporaries. In addition to writing some of the first English novels, Defoe was a prolific political pamphleteer and is considered by many to be a founder of modern journalism. The nucleus of this 30,000-volume collection is a set of first editions of Defoe’s works, bound in 77 volumes and formerly owned by Henry Labouchère. There are hundreds of...
US Government Documents
by United States. Adjutant General
texts

eye 22,406

favorite 1

comment 0

This register is also issued, later, in the Congressional Documents series, kept in the Special Libraries, wherin particular volumes can be found by means of the indexes and checklist kept in the Statistical Department. One copy of the latest issue is kept in the Information Office
Topic: United States. Army and Navy
Source: bplgovdocs
US Government Documents
by United States. Congress. House. Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran; United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition
texts

eye 10,510

favorite 7

comment 0

"November 1987"--Cover
Topics: Iran-Contra Affair, 1985-1990, Military assistance, American, Military assistance, American,...
Source: bplgovdocs
The John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library
by Horace; Dacier, André, 1651-1722; Adams, John, 1735-1826, former owner. MB (BRL); John Adams Library (Boston Public Library) MB (BRL)
texts

eye 1,834

favorite 1

comment 0

Translated and edited by André Dacier. Embossed, gold-tooled coat of arms on front cover. John Adams Library copy contains bookplate: Ex Bibliotheca Jabobi-Mariae-Hieronymi Michau De Montarn ..
Topic: Horace
City of Boston Tax records, 1780 through 1821
City of Boston Tax records, 1780 through 1821
collection
63
ITEMS
8,479
VIEWS
collection

eye 8,479

Covering the years 1780 through 1821, this collection of Boston tax records is organized by year and ward. Beginning in 1802, the records for each year are generally divided into three main categories: taking books, tax books, and transfer books. Taking books (referred to as “valuation books” beginning in 1818) follow the order of the tax assessors' progress through each ward, street-by-street, and record names of individual residents or businesses, assessed values of realty and personalty,...
Includes bibliographical references
Topics: Wildfires -- Prevention and control, Forest management -- United States, Forest reserves -- United...
Source: bplgovdocs
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 7,732

favorite 18

comment 0

Topic: Sandwiches
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
collection
48
ITEMS
27,333
VIEWS
collection

eye 27,333

The Benton Collection of Editions of the Book of Common Prayer was bequeathed by Josiah H. Benton in 1919. Benton was a trustee of the Boston Public Library from 1894 until his death on February 6, 1917, and served for many years as President of the Trustees of the Library. He bestowed much of his fortune to purchase books of “permanent value and authority, desirable for scholarly research and use,” and an equal amount of money for additions and improvement to the Library building. In...
Boston Public Library
by Porta, Giambattista della, approximately 1535-1615; Gaywood, Richard, active 1650-1680, engraver; Young, Thomas, active 1658, publisher; Speed, Samuel, -1681, publisher
texts

eye 11,196

favorite 133

comment 0

Two states are noted. State 1 has pages misnumbered as follows: p. 113 misnumbered 120; p. 120 misnumbered 113; p. 129 misnumbered 131; p. 385-392 misnumbered 381-388. In state 2, the first 2 errors have been corrected
Topics: Science, Industrial arts, Magnetism, Magic tricks, Alchemy
Philip Hale Scrapbook Collection
Philip Hale Scrapbook Collection
collection
62
ITEMS
55,181
VIEWS
collection

eye 55,181

The Philip Hale scrapbooks contain letters and programs, along with clippings with reviews and criticisms written by Hale and others, all compiled by Hale. There are 60 volumes organized by year, as well as two separate index volumes.
Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
by Lockwood, Ingersoll, b. 1841; Edwards, George Wharton, 1859-1950, ill
texts

eye 17,976

favorite 80

comment 0

Bound in gold cloth ; stamped in gold and brown ; decorated endpapers
Boston Public Library
by Nesfield, John Collinson
texts

eye 20,450

favorite 23

comment 0

Includes index
Topic: English language
[4] p., 130 leaves of plates : 37 cm
Topics: Monograms, Initials
Boston Public Library
by Jacobson & Company
texts

eye 4,060

favorite 32

comment 0

On cover: Architectural and decorative ornaments
Topics: Plaster, Decoration and ornament, Architectural
Source: BPL_scan_for_me
Boston Public Library
by Pigafetta, Antonio, ca. 1480-ca. 1534; Robertson, James Alexander, 1873-1939, editor, translator
texts

eye 18,076

favorite 11

comment 0

A limited edition of 350 copies
Topics: Magalhães, Fernão de, d. 1521, Voyages around the world
Source: bplgrhum
Early English Printers
Early English Printers
collection
19
ITEMS
16,698
VIEWS
collection

eye 16,698

The Boston Public Library holds a significant collection of books from the earliest years of English printing, including works from the presses of William Caxton, Richard Pynson, Wynkyn De Worde, and others.
''Book reference list'':p. [192-193]
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topics: Printing, Book ornamentation, Decoration and ornament
Boston Public Library
by Pigafetta, Antonio, ca. 1480/91-ca. 1534. Primo viaggio intorno al globo terraqueo. English; Stanley, Henry Edward John Stanley, Baron, 1827-1903
texts

eye 27,152

favorite 22

comment 0

Includes bibliographical references and indexes
Topics: Magalhães, Fernão de, d. 1521, Voyages around the world
Source: bplgrhum
Boston Public Library
by United States. War Dept
texts

eye 15,655

favorite 30

comment 1

favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Cookery, Military, cbk
US Government Documents
by United States. Congress. House. Office of the Clerk
texts

eye 10,194

favorite 0

comment 0

Also issued to depository libraries as part of the United States Congressional serial set, Supt. of Docs. class no. Y 1.1/2:; paper version for July-Sept. 1989 not issued under Supt. of Docs. class no. Y 1.1/7:
Topics: United States. Congress. House, United States. Congress. House
Source: bplgovdocs
Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection
Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection
collection
46
ITEMS
1,766
VIEWS
collection

eye 1,766

The Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection holds many items that capture, reflect, and document the industrial development and history of the Port of Boston. It contains material from various entities connected with the Port of Boston Harbor Shipping Industry, and many of its photographs were donated by the Boston Shipping Association and by Arthur Lane, president of the Boston Shipping Association from 1968-1990. It also includes material from Jane Mead, Capt. A. Ross Pope, Walter Egee, and...
Boston Public Library
by Mesureur, G
texts

eye 9,662

favorite 102

comment 1

Consists of designs for embroidery on linen
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: Embroidery
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 20,802

favorite 105

comment 1

( 1 reviews )
Topics: Architecture -- Japan, Art, Japanese, Decorative arts -- Japan, Japan -- Description and travel
Boston Public Library
by Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles, 1871-1928
texts

eye 11,450

favorite 71

comment 1

Title in red and black
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: Heraldry
Source: Gen Ref
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 18,424

favorite 36

comment 0

Latin and English in parallel columns
Topics: Latin language, Natural history, Picture books for children
Source: bplsc
US Government Documents
by Boston (Mass. Civil Defense Dept
texts

eye 5,546

favorite 18

comment 0

...discusses atomic bombs and how to best protect ones self and one's family in the event of an atomic attack..
Topics: Atomic bomb, Civil defense, Fire prevention, Nuclear Attacks
Published by an Association of the Fell family
Topics: Fell family, Fell, Joseph, 1668-1748
Source: bplsocsci
Boston Public Library Manuscript Catalog
Boston Public Library Manuscript Catalog
collection
123
ITEMS
1,934
VIEWS
collection

eye 1,934

This collection contains scans of the manuscript main entry catalog for the Boston Public Library Rare Books & Manuscripts Department. The main entry catalog is the best place to search for manuscripts. It contains approximately 130,000 cards, filed in alphabetical order by author name. Where no author is known, cards are filed alphabetically by title. Manuscripts related to certain special subjects, like “abolitionism,” or “music” are filed under author's name, as well as subject....
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 14,619

favorite 11

comment 0

Last page is numbered in different style and typeface
Topics: Dreams, Fortune-telling
Source: bplsc
Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
by Hoffmann, Professor, 1839-1919; Hawkins, Arthur, ca. 1940
texts

eye 2,761

favorite 18

comment 0

Dust jacket design by Arthur Hawkins Jr., ca.1940
Topic: Magic tricks
Boston Public Library
by Hall, James, 1869-1917
texts

eye 4,153

favorite 72

comment 0

"A short list of books": p. 79-80
Topic: Pen drawing
Source: Fine Arts
Boston Public Library
by Hall, A. Neely (Albert Neely), b. 1883; Hall, Norman P., ill
texts

eye 9,371

favorite 33

comment 1

''Published, August, 1911.''
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Woodwork, Toys, Amusements
Boston Public Library
by Joyce, James, 1882-1941; Rodker, John, 1894-1955, publisher; Darantière, Maurice, printer; Egoist Press, publisher
texts

eye 9,805

favorite 38

comment 0

"This edition is limited to 2000 copies on handmade paper numbered from 1 to 2000"--Prelim. p. [9]
Topics: City and town life, Married people, Jewish men, Artists
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 15,079

favorite 1

comment 0

OCLC number: ocm04732734
Topics: Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821, Peninsular War, 1807-1814, Waterloo, Battle of,...
Source: BPL_scan_for_me
Boston Public Library Anti-Slavery Collection
by Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895; Mallory, S. V. R., former owner; Mallory, L. C., former owner
texts

eye 6,091

favorite 23

comment 0

Boston Public Library (Rare Books Department) ex libris (bookplate): S.V.R. Mallory; (inscription) L.C. Mallory
Topics: Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895, Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879, Slavery, African American...
Source: bplscas
Boston Public Library
by Boston Public Library
texts

eye 11,479

favorite 2

comment 0

Title from cover
Topics: Boston Public Library, Boston Public Library, Bibliography, Classified catalogs, Catalogs
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 8,853

favorite 1

comment 0

Topics: Almanacs, American, Statistics
US Government Documents
by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
texts

eye 18,233

favorite 32

comment 5

favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Topic: Communism -- United States
Coats of arms are part colored
Topic: Scott family
Boston Public Library
by Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727; Halley, Edmond, 1656-1742, editor; Streater, Joseph, active 1687-1688, printer; Wheldon & Wesley, former owner. MB; Riviere & Son, binder
texts

eye 3,227

favorite 14

comment 0

"Imprimatur S. Pepys, Reg. Soc. Praeses. Julii 5. 1686."--Title page
Topics: Mechanics, Celestial mechanics
The Improper Bostonian
The Improper Bostonian
collection
36
ITEMS
925
VIEWS
collection

eye 925

The Improper Bostonian was a glossy lifestyle magazine first published in August 1991 "highlighting the people and places that make Boston a world-class city." After 28 years, publisher Wendy Semonian Eppich announced that the magazine ceased publication effective April 25, 2019. The magazine came out bi-weekly and reported on the area trends in a young and entertaining way. The magazine was a staple in Greater Boston, distributed free at kiosks within city limits, and available via a...
The Thomas Pennant Barton Shakespeare Collection at the Boston Public Library
by Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616; Wellington, Richard, -1715, bookseller; Rumball, Edmund, -1702 or 1703, bookseller; Barton, Thomas Pennant, 1803-1869, former owner
texts

eye 358

favorite 1

comment 0

Thomas Betterton's stage version (Folger card catalog)
Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
by Camden, William, 1551-1623; Philipot, John, 1589?-1645; Hovenden, Robert, 1830-1908; Harleian Society
texts

eye 14,912

favorite 10

comment 0

Includes index
Topics: Visitations, Heraldic, Heraldry
Topic: Cooking, Indic
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
by Ortelius, Abraham, 1527-1598; Diesth, Aegid. Coppenius (Aegidius Coppenius); Llwyd, Humphrey, 1527-1568. Mona druidum insula
texts

eye 14,318

favorite 57

comment 0

Catalogus auctorum includes 92 names. Epigram on t.p. verso has 16 lines
Topics: Atlases, Dutch, Geography
Boston Public Library
by Holman, Mary Lovering, 1868-1947
texts

eye 14,506

favorite 9

comment 0

Pt. 2: Ancestral lines of H.G. Scott; Appendix: Benjamin and Joseph Scott
Topic: Scott family
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts
collection
14
ITEMS
10,610
VIEWS
collection

eye 10,610

The major part of this distinguished collection is comprised of religious and devotional texts, but there are also a number of secular and scientific titles. Many are superbly illuminated with exquisite miniatures illustrating the codices and single leaves. Some noteworthy volumes include a 10th-century Lectionary from the Benedictine Abbey of St. Allyre in Clermont, the earliest codex in New England; a Spanish Psalter consisting of 14 miniatures on vellum by Simon Bening, the most famous...
US Government Documents
by United States. Bureau of the Census; United States Civil Service Commission
texts

eye 8,845

favorite 0

comment 0

Imprint varies: 1917-1932, by the Bureau of the Census; 1933-1959, by the Civil Service Commission
Topics: United States -- Registers, United States -- Officials and employees Periodicals
Source: bplgovdocs
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 3,689

favorite 2

comment 0

Topics: Almanacs, American, Statistics
Boston Public Library Interlibrary Loan
by Abizaid, John George, 1868-, author, translator; Abizaid, John George, 1868-, donor. MB
texts

eye 3,334

favorite 21

comment 1

"This book contains proof that the earth is flat and stationary, while the usn, moon and stars are in constant motion. Also letters howing the testimony of Scripture on the subejct."
favorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: Geodesy, Pseudoscience
US Government Documents
by Smithsonian Institution
texts

eye 6,504

favorite 0

comment 0

Vols. for 1966- for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off
Topic: Smithsonian Institution
Source: bplgovdocs
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 23,217

favorite 24

comment 1

favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: Green family
Source: bplsocsci
Boston Public Library
by Brlic-Mazuranic, Ivana, 1874-1938; Copeland, Fanny S. b. 1872; Kirin, Vladimir, ill
texts

eye 12,549

favorite 44

comment 0

Col. ill. by Vladimir Kirin
Topics: Tales, Fairy tales
Source: BPL_scan_for_me
Boston Public Library
by Weaver, Louise Bennett; Le Cron, Helen Cowles, joint author
texts

eye 22,014

favorite 69

comment 3

OCLC number: ocm00349841
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Topics: Cookery, American, cbk
Boston Public Library
by Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862; Carew, Thomas, 1595?-1639?
texts

eye 11,866

favorite 27

comment 0

Title vignette (Thoreau's hut at Walden Pond); the plan is a water depth chart of Walden Pond, 1846, opposite p. 307
Topic: United States. Massachusetts. Boston. 1854
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 10,465

favorite 10

comment 2

favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topic: Richmond family
Incunabula
by Colonna, Francesco, -1527; Alberti, Leon Battista, 1404-1472; Colonna, Francesco, approximately 1453-1517; Guidobaldo, da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, 1472-1508; Scytha, Johannes Baptista; Maro, Andreas, active 15th century-16th century; Manuzio, Aldo, 1449 or 1450-1515, printer; Crasso, Leonardo, publisher; Gottschalk, Paul, 1880-, former owner.
texts

eye 8,196

favorite 25

comment 0

The initial letters of successive chapters in this work form an acrostic that includes the author's name: Poliam frater Franciscus Columna permauit.
Topic: Architectural writing
US Government Documents
by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
texts

eye 15,041

favorite 2

comment 0

Topics: Peace, World politics -- 1945-1989
Source: bplgovdocs
US Government Documents
by Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology
texts

eye 8,583

favorite 0

comment 0

Vols. 16-48 include accompanying papers
Topics: Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology, Ethnology, Indians
Source: bplgovdocs
Boston Public Library
by White, John Barber, 1847-1923; Wilson, Lillian Mae, ed
texts

eye 17,077

favorite 9

comment 0

Topic: Gleason family
Source: bplsocsci
US Government Documents
by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking and Financial Services. Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy
texts

eye 3,937

favorite 0

comment 0

Topics: Electronic funds transfers -- United States, Electronic data interchange -- United States, Money --...
Source: bplgovdocs
Boston Public Library
by Caslon, William, 1754-1833
texts

eye 4,306

favorite 47

comment 0

Issued with: 'A specimen of cast ornaments', London, 1798
Topic: Printing
Boston Public Library
texts

eye 20,953

favorite 14

comment 0

Paged continuously
Topics: Phelps family, Phelps, William, 1599-1672
Colophon: A Paris. De l'imprimerie de Gilles Paulus du Mesnil ... 1700
Topics: Dance, Dance notation
Source: bplmusic