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B Y   T H E   N U M B E R S

Princeton library system

According to the University Library's Web site:

• The first students of the College of New Jersey (as Princeton was known from 1746 to 1896) used books from the personal collections of College Presidents Jonathan Dickinson and Aaron Burr Sr. In 1750, a gift from Gov. Jonathan Belcher of 474 books made the library the sixth largest in the colonies.

• The library's first home was a second-floor room in Nassau Hall, which it shared for a time with the Continental Congress. Soon after President James McCosh came to Princeton in 1868, he reported to the trustees that he found the library "insufficiently supplied with books and open only once a week ... for one hour."

• Modern library philosophy had its start at Princeton when McCosh arranged to have the library open every day but Sunday, hired Princeton's first full-time professional librarian and obtained a new building, designed solely for library purposes. The Chancellor Green Library opened in 1875 and was considered by many to be a model of future library space.

• By 1897, the library was filled to capacity and Pyne Library was added to Chancellor Green. It took 50 years for the collections to reach 1.2 million volumes and for them to outgrow these two buildings.

• In 1948, the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library opened its doors. The collections now total more than 6 million printed works, 5 million manuscripts and 2 million nonprint items.