We recently ran across the “Catalogue of the Books belonging to the North Attleboro Library Association 1873″ which was in a collection of items donated owned by Mrs. Otis Stanley. Here’s what Elizabeth Mansfield wrote in the History of the Richards Memorial Library about the town library before the Richards Memorial:
The plan for a library dates back to October 24, 1870, when a group, of interested citizens met to consider the feasibility of establishing a library. This was to be a subscription library with the membership fee being one dollar. The subscribers elected Rev. J. P. Pierce, President; S. S. Ginnodo, Vice President; F. G. Whitney, Treasurer; and O. C. Turner, Secretary.This library was first housed in the private home owned by Willard Hall. The site was found to be inadequate as a need was seen for a reading room. The collection was moved to the Kendall Block, later to the Odd Fellows Hall, and then back to the Kendall Block. The next move was to the Boyle Block as the collection and patronage kept growing throughout the early 1870’s.With $600 raised during the first year, the officers selected five hundred volumes of works on science and history. Mrs. Charles E. Smith thought this selection of reading material was not broad enough for the subscribers, especially the ladies. With $100 that she raised herself, she purchased a hundred volumes encompassing books on art, travel, memoirs, poetry, essays, and fiction. She was reaching out to the interests of the reading public. This was a policy that would govern the library throughout out the coming years.
Wilkie Collins’ Woman in White is #716Washington Irving’s Salmagundi is #495George Elliot’s Middlemarch is #710.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of Seven GablesJane Austen’s Sense and SensibilitySir Walter Scott’s IvanhoeHarriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s CabinMost of Charles Dicken’s worksCharlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre