Academy Library. Almost always the library of a secondary school, so not included in the main part of this study unless it was a library of a military academy that gave college-level work. See the headings School library and Military academy library.

Agricultural and mechanical college library. The library of a college that emphasized agriculture and engineering. In this study, these colleges have been considered as agricultural colleges.

Agricultural library belonging to a state government. A few state boards of agriculture had libraries, beginning in the 1850s.

Agricultural social library. A library belonging to a group that was organized to establish a library about agriculture.

Agricultural society library. A library owned by a society formed because its members were interested in agriculture. Some of these were called Farmers' clubs.

Antiquarian library. In this study, such a library is considered as a Historical society library.

Apprentices' library. A library for the use of apprentices, usually planned and supervised by older businessmen or employees and usually containing a general collection of books. Often open to others besides apprentices. Similar to a Mechanics library or a Workingmen's library but counted separately in this study.

Art museum library. A small number of these existed, mainly after the Civil War. In this study, such a library has been considered as an Art Society library.

Art Society library. A library belonging to a society formed because of its members' interest in art. A very few of these existed, mainly after the Civil War. In this study, art museum libraries are included with them.

Association library. See Society library.

Asylum library. The term asylum was widely used for any institution where handicapped or disadvantaged children or adults lived and were cared for. Many were maintained by charitable societies; others were operated by federal, state or local governments.

Athenuem library (formerly spelled athenaeum). Athenuems were societies, partly social and partly cultural. Their libraries were like social libraries because both kinds were general and because the operation of a library was one of the main objects of the athenaeum. If the athenaeum library differed, it was because it might put more emphasis on current journals and newspapers.

Bar association library. A library belonging to a group of lawyers whose association was not formed for the primary purpose of maintaining a library. See also Social law library.

Board of trade library. A library owned by an association of merchants whose main purpose was the regulation of trade or promotion of commerce. In this study, libraries of similar organizations known as Merchants' exchanges and Chambers of commerce are included with board of trade libraries.

Book club library. Members of some book clubs exchanged the books they read. If there is evidence that they collected a library, it is included with Literary society libraries and Reading club libraries.

Bray libraries. The libraries sent from England to Church of England parishes, mostly in Maryland beginning around 1700 through the efforts of Thomas Bray, have been considered in this study as Church libraries.

Business college library. Some schools for instruction of business skills owned libraries beginning in the 1840s. These libraries have been included in the study although it is possible that their institutions did not offer work at the college level.

Chamber of commerce library. A few such libraries existed; in this study, they are grouped with Boards of trade libraries and Merchants' exchanges libraries.

 

Church library. A library maintained by a particular church in a particular town or city. In this study, the term is considered as separate from a Sunday school library and from any library owned by a group of churches or by some other religious association, which is considered as a Religious society library.

Circulating library. Originally, any library from which books could be taken home. The term was used to designate two main types: a Commercial circulating library, operated for profit, and a Social library, operated for the benefit of users. In recent years, historians have usually limited the term to mean what is called in this study a Commercial circulating library.

Club library. The term club began to be common in the 1850s to denote a society, usually with a social rather than a subject interest. In this study, a library belonging to such an organization has been considered as a Society library.

College library. A library belonging to an institution of higher education. In this study, the term college alone means liberal arts college; a more specialized college is distinguished as Medical college, Law school, a Theological seminary, or by any other appropriate phrase.

College literary society library. See College student society library.

College student society library. A library belonging to a society of students in an institution of higher education. These societies, often called literary societies, held meetings for social and educational purposes and typically owned general collections of books. A few suck societies, mainly in theological seminaries, had libraries containing books on religion. Collections on other special subjects were rare.

Commercial circulating library. A library owned by an individual or firm and containing books that were circulated to individuals for a fee. The fee was usually in the form of a subscription, payable monthly, quarterly or annually. The collections were almost always general and popular in nature.

Commercial college library. See Business college library.

Convent library. A few convent libraries were discovered, apparently controlled by Roman Catholic organizations; they are counted as Church libraries in this study.

County law library. This kind of library seems to have usually been the library owned by the county bar association. Therefore, in this study, such a library is considered as one belonging to a Bar association unless information indicates that it was not.

County library. This term had no generally accepted meaning, and was rare outside of Indiana, where a county library was a social library that has been established with funds from a special tax. In this study, it has been as a Government-aided social library.

Court library. Many local, state and federal courts had libraries. In this study, libraries belonging to each of these three forms of government are combined with other legal collections and are considered as Law libraries.

Dentistry library. A small number of dental libraries existed. In this study, they have been included with Medical libraries.

Education library. A few state governments operated libraries that were on the subject of education or were intended for educational professionals, beginning in the 1850s. The libraries operated by a few city boards of education at about the same time may have had an educational emphasis, but several of them were clearly general in content.

Elementary school library. A library in a school containing only the lower grades. These libraries were not included in the main part of this study.

Engineering college library. See Scientific or engineering college library.

Engineering society library. A small number of civil and mining engineers' societies had libraries, beginning in the 1850s. See Scientific or engineering society library.

Farmers' club library. See Agricultural society library.

Federal government library. See United States government library.

Female college library. A library belonging to a college for women.

Female library. A term that was used synonymously with Ladies library.

Fire company library. A library owned by a volunteer fire company. These existed mainly in larger cities and were general in content.

Foreign language library. A library collected by a group of people speaking a language other than English. Almost all of them were operated by German immigrant groups; see German social library, German society library, and Musical society library.

Fraternal organization library. A library belonging to a lodge of the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, or other fraternal group. In this study, a library belonging to a German-speaking fraternal group is considered as a German society library, and the small number of Masonic college libraries is included with other College libraries.

Garrison library. A library at a military post, usually general in nature.

German social library. A term used in this study to include any library formed by German-speaking people if it was like other social libraries in organization.

German society library. A term used in this study to include any library belonging to a society of German-speaking people if the society was formed for some purpose other than the maintenance of a library. However, collections belonging to German singing societies have been grouped with those of other Musical society libraries.

Government library. Many of the libraries in this study were operated by federal, state or local units of government. See such headings as Agricultural library belonging to a state government, County library, Court library, Public library, School district library, State library, Territorial library, and Township library.

Government-aided social library. A Social library with some support from a unit of government. A few existed in Indiana (see County library), Massachusetts, and elsewhere.

Health, state board library. A few state boards of health had libraries after the Civil War.

High school library. A library in a school containing the upper grades, of less than college level. Libraries in elementary and secondary schools are not included in the main part of this study.

Historical social library. A library belonging to a society whose main purpose was to form a library on historical subjects. Very few of these existed.

Historical society library. A library belonging to a society formed because of the members' interest in history.

Horticultural society library. In this study, such a library is considered as an Agricultural society library.

Hospital library. A library in a hospital, whether intended for the patients or the medical staff. In this study, the patients' libraries are considered separately from the medical libraries because of the difference in subject matter. A library in a mental hospital is considered an Asylum library.

Hotel reading room. Hotels sometimes maintained reading rooms containing a few books, current journals, and newspapers. In this study, such a room is included as a Reading room in a commercial enterprise.

House of refuge library. A library in a home for unfortunate persons: unwed mothers, juvenile delinquents, or others. Considered as an Asylum library in this study.

   

I.O.O.F. library. A library belonging to a lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. See Fraternal organization library.

Industrial school for boys' library. It is not always clear whether such a library belonged to a reformatory or to some other kind of school. If it seemed to belong to a reform school, it is included in the main part of this study as a Prison library, but if it seemed to belong to another kind of school, it is not included in the main study. Only a few libraries in industrial schools were discovered.

Insane asylum library. See Asylum library.

Institute library. The word institute alone does not help to identify the type of library because some institutes were schools, some were societies, and some were charitable enterprises. The word seems to imply only that the agency was in some way educational, charitable or cultural.

Juvenile society library. A library for children, organized by children or their elders. A few such libraries existed, mainly in New England after about 1790.

Ladies' library. See Ladies' social library and Ladies' society library.

Ladies' social library. A library formed by women and intended for their use. It was established by an association that was organized in order to maintain the library. These collections were general in content and existed mainly in New England and the state of Michigan.

Ladies' society library. A library belonging to a women's society that did not have the maintenance of a library as its main purpose. Collections belonging to women's sewing clubs and literary societies are included here.

Land grant college library. See Agricultural and mechanical college library.

Law library. There were several kinds of libraries containing mainly or entirely law books. See Bar association library, County law library, Law school library, State law library, and State library.

Law school library. The library of a law school has been included in the study if the school was independent or if its library was reported as separate from that of the college or university with which the school was connected.

Library association. The same as a Library society.

Library society. If preceded by a place name, this phrase ordinarily meant a Social library.

Literary society library. A library belonging to a society made up of persons interested in literature. However, because that term was often used broadly, the collection could have been general in subject matter.

Lyceum library. A lyceum was an organization made up of people who met together to debate and to listen to lectures and who usually established a general library. If there is evidence that a lyceum had a library, it is included in this study. If a lyceum's main emphasis was its library, its purpose was almost the same as that of a Social library.

Lyceum of natural history library. This term occurred occasionally; in this study, it is considered as a Scientific or engineering society library.

Maclure library. The name sometimes given to Workingmen's library established with the help of funds provided in William Maclure's will.

Manufacturers' library. A term that was used to mean a library maintained in a factory by its owner, for the use of employees, who were sometimes called manufacturers. Such a library was more often called a Mill library.

Masonic college library. A few liberal arts colleges were supported by the Masons. In this study, their libraries have been included with those of other college libraries.

Masonic library. A library operated by and for a lodge of Masons. See Fraternal organization library.

Mechanics' library. A library for artisans. These libraries usually contained general collections and were similar to Apprentices' libraries and Workingmen's libraries.

Mechanics' society library. A phrase occasionally used; in this study, considered as a Mechanics' library.

Medical college library. A library belonging to a school that trained physicians.

Medical social library. A library belonging to a society whose main purpose was to form a library of medical books. Very few of these existed.

Medical society library. A library owned by a society of physicians whose main purpose was not to maintain a library.

Mental hospital library. A few libraries seem to have existed in institutions for the mentally ill, which were hospitals rather than asylums. However, the number was so small and the distinction so vague that each of them has been included in this study as an Asylum library.

Mercantile library. A library formed for the use of clerks in business firms. Ordinarily formed by the clerks themselves and ordinarily general in content.

Merchants' exchange library. See Board of trade library.

Military academy library. The library belonging to a secondary school or college in which the main emphasis was on military topics. If the academy seems to have been of college grade, its library is included in this study as a Military college library.

Military college library. The library belonging to a school of college grade in which the main emphasis was on military topics. There seems to have been a very small number of such libraries.

Military post library. See Garrison library.

Military social library. A term used in this study for Social library formed by military personnel. Only rarely was a military library clearly of this type; if its ownership and operation is doubtful, it has been considered as a Garrison library.

Mill library. A library maintained in a factory by its owner, for the use of employees. Sometimes a small fee was charged. Such a library was more often found in New England than elsewhere.

Mining library. A very few libraries were on the subject of mining. In this study, they have been included with Scientific or Engineering libraries.

Mission library. In this study, any library belonging to a Catholic missions has been considered as a Church library. Most of these libraries were in California.

Missionary society library. A few libraries belonging to (mostly Protestant) missionary societies were discovered. Each of them is included in this study as a Religious society library.

Musical society library. A library belonging to a society formed because of its members' interest in music. Several of these were established by German-speaking persons.

Officers' library. If a library used by military officers was clearly owned and operated by a group of officers who formed a library society, it is considered in this study as a Military social library. Otherwise, it is considered as a Garrison library.

Orphanage library. See Asylum library.

Patients' library in a hospital. In this study, such a library has been considered as separate from a medical library in a hospital. See Hospital library.

Penitentiary library. See Prison library.

Pharmacy library. In this study, the very few pharmacy libraries have been considered as Medical libraries.

Polytechnic institute library. In this study, each of these libraries has been considered as a Scientific or engineering college library.

Post library. A library at a military post. See Garrison library.

Prison library. A library for the use of prison inmates. In this study, reform school libraries are included with prison libraries.

Proprietary library. A term that was never in general use in the nineteenth century. It was used interchangeably with the term Subscription library by Edward Edwards in his book Memoir of Libraries, published in 1859. Apparently, the two terms were both used to describe social libraries until 1912 when Charles K. Bolton published a pamphlet, Proprietary and Subscription Libraries, and began to employ the term Proprietary library if the users of the collection owned stock in it; he employed the term Subscription library for one in which the users paid annual fees. Writers since his day have accepted his idea, apparently ignorant of the fact that, for many social libraries, the proprietors were called subscribers and paid an annual fee. They sometimes permitted others to use the collection for a fee. The term Proprietary library is not used in the present study.

Public library. Before 1876, this term was ordinarily used to mean any library other than one owned by an individual for his or her own use. In that sense, it would include every library in the main part of this study. But in this study it is used in its more recent sense to mean a library, usually general in content, which was almost always owned by a local government and was open to most or all of the citizens without charge. No distinction is made as to means of financial support: whether by taxation or through the gifts of individuals. Also see Religious library belonging to a town.

Public library owned by a religious group. A few libraries were owned by churched or religious societies and were clearly open to the public without charge. Because of the difficulty of determining the exact content and conditions of use of libraries owned by churched and other religious groups, each of these free libraries has been considered in this study as either a Church library or a Religious society library, depending on its ownership.  

 

Public library owned by an individual. A very few libraries owned by individuals who generously opened them for public use without charge.

Railroad library. A library intended for the use of the employees of a railroad. Similar to a Mill library.

Reading club library. Members of reading clubs may have just exchanged the books they read. If there is evidence that they collected a library, it is included in this study and considered as a Literary society library.

Reading room. If there is evidence that library materials were available in a reading room, it has been included in this study. Sometimes the term library and reading room was used to distinguish a library from others for which no reading space was provided.

Reading room in a commercial enterprise. In this study, reading rooms maintained by hotels, taverns, newspaper offices, and other businesses have been grouped together. Usually, library materials were available to customers at no extra cost.

Reform school library. In this study, the library of a reform school is considered as a Prison library.

Religious college society library. This term is used in this study to include two kinds of libraries: 1) a library that had a religious emphasis and was owned by a society made up of students in a liberal arts college, and 2) any library owned by a society of students in a theological seminary. Apparently, all or almost all of these latter societies were religious in nature.

Religious historical society library. A few denominations had historical societies, such as the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia. A library belonging to such a society has been considered as a Religious society library.

Religious library belonging to a town. A very few libraries, religious in content, were operated by towns as free public libraries during the eighteenth century and the early decades of the nineteenth century. These have been considered separately in this study.

Religious social library. A library formed by a group of people who associated themselves together to acquire and use a religious library. See also Church library.

Religious society library. In this study, this term is used for any library established by a religious group other than the Young Men's Christian Association, a church, or a Sunday school if the group was not organized for the purpose of establishing a library. If the group was formed to establish a library, its library has been considered as a Religious social library.

Saloon reading room. Saloons sometimes maintained reading rooms as added attractions for their customers. In this study, such a room is included as a Reading room in a commercial enterprise.

School district library. There were many school district libraries. Most of them were very small, and they are seldom listed separately in early national lists. Even though they were often used by adults, they are considered in this study as School libraries.

 School library. This term is used in this study to mean a library belonging to an educational institution of less than college grade. There were many of these but they were often very small, and it has been impossible to obtain information about some of them. These are not included in the main part of the study.

Scientific or engineering college library. In this study, libraries belonging to scientific or engineering colleges have been considered together because it has often been difficult to determine how much emphasis was placed on science and how much on engineering.

Scientific or engineering library owned by a government. The federal government maintained several of these, mainly concerned with navigation. State and local governments had very few.

Secondary school library. A library in a school containing the upper grades, below, college level. These are not included in the main part of the study.

Seminary library. The term was used for two kinds of libraries before 1876. Unless it was preceded by the term theological or a similar word, a seminary library belonged to a school of less than college grade and is not included in the main part of the study. See School library. If it was a Theological seminary, it is included.

Sewing circle library. A few libraries, presumably operated by women, used this phrase in their names. In this study, such a library is considered as a Ladies' society library.

Social historical library. See Historical social library.

Social law library. A library operated by a society whose main purpose was to form a library of legal books. Different from a Bar association library.

Social library. This term has been used in various ways by different writers. In this study, if it used without modification, it means a library owned by an association formed to establish and operate a library intended for its members' use. Usually, the members subscribed for stock in order to purchase the initial collection, which was general in subject matter. Then they were assessed a smaller sum (a “tax”) each year to keep up the collection. If the members were drawn from a distinct part of the population or had a distinct subject interest, their library has been considered separately; for example, a Ladies' social library, or a Social law library. If the membership and collection were general in nature, and the maintenance of a library was one of several purposes of a group, it has been considered as a Society library.

Social medical library. See Medical social library.

Social religious library. See Religious social library.

Social theological library. See Religious social library.

Society library. In this study, the term society and association are considered as having the same meaning. If a place name preceded the phrase library society it is considered as a Social library. When the word society occurs without a place name, it is considered as a library belonging to an association formed because of its members' subject interest, that is, an association that was not formed primarily to operate a library. For these associations, see the name for the kind of society, for example Bar association library or Historical society library. A few societies seem to have been general in interest; others had subject interest so specialized that a separate category for them did not seem worthwhile, and for some it has been impossible to determine the main subject interest. These general or miscellaneous societies have been considered as a singly group; examples are the library of the stage drivers of Canandaigua, New York, the Tennessee Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge, and the Chess and Literary Association of Shasta, California.

State board of education library. See Education library.

State board of health library. See Health, state board library.

State law library. A collection of law books belonging to a state court of other state agency. In this study such a library is considered as different from a State library, which typically contained law books and general subject matter.

State library. The term was used before 1876 to mean the library maintained the state government at the capital of the state, intended for the use of state officials. Typically, the library was divided into two main parts: one for law books and one for general books.

Strict social library. A term used in this study for a Social library organized and used by a society made up people whose main purpose was to gather and read a general or miscellaneous collection of books.

Subscription library. This term has been used by some modern writers to mean a Social library in which the users did not own the collection, but paid an annual fee, in contrast to a Proprietary library, which was owned by the users. Actually, in a typical library, the proprietors paid annual fees. Sometimes, they permitted others to use the library for a fee. The term Subscription library is not used in this study. See Proprietary library.

Sunday school library. An American Sunday school, in the early part of the nineteenth century, was sometimes operated by an individual church and sometimes cooperatively by several churches, mainly to teach religion. Very many existed; usually their libraries were small. They are not included in the main part of the study.

Supreme court library. In this study, the library of the United States Supreme Court is included with other federal law libraries and the libraries of state supreme counts are included with other law libraries belonging to the states.

Tavern reading room. Some taverns maintained reading rooms, with a few books, current journals and newspapers. In this study, such as a room is included as a Reading room in a commercial enterprise.

Temperance library. In this study, a temperance library is considered as a religious library. If it was operated by a church, it is considered as a Church library; and if by some other group, as a Religious society library.

Territorial library. Several of the territories had libraries at the seats of government. Because such a library became a state library when the territory achieved statehood, no distinction has been made here, and it is considered as a State library even while it served the territorial government.

Theological public library. See Public library owned by a religious group.

Theological seminary library. A library belonging to an institution of college grade or higher, intended for the training of clergymen.

Theological seminary student society library. In this study, any library belonging to a society of students in a theological seminary is considered as a Religious college society library.

Township library. A public library for a township, which is a division of a county in the Middle West. Most of these libraries were established by state governments in Michigan and Indiana, beginning in the 1940s/ Sometimes that have been considered as School libraries, but they were intended for adults as well.

United States Government library. Some federal libraries were general or miscellaneous, as for example the Library of Congress and the library in the Executive Mansion. A few were on engineering or scientific subjects, and a few others consisted mainly of law books. The total number of federal libraries was not large.

University library. There were several university libraries before 1876, but the university, in the present sense of the ward was so rare that each of them has been considered as a College library.  

Women's library. See Ladies' library and Ladies' social library.

Workingmen's library. A library for the use of laborers. Most of these collections were in Indiana and most were established with the aid of funds left in the will of William Maclure. Similar in purpose to a Mechanics' library or Apprentices' library.

Young men's association library. A library established by young men who belonged to an organization that had been formed for some purpose other than the maintenance of a library. In this study, collections belonging to Young Men's Christian Associations are considered separately.

Young Men's Christian Association library. A library belonging to YMCA. These libraries nominally contained both religious and general materials.

Young men's library association. An association formed by young men for the purpose of maintaining a library.

Youth's library. A name that was sometimes used for Juvenile social library.