Libraries.The library was almost the first yearning of the Kansas immigrant, if the records indicate truly, for on July 21, 1855, the territorial legislature passed an act incorporating the Tecumseh Lyceum and Library Association. On Aug. 15, 1855, it granted incorporation papers to the Historical and Philosophical Society of Kansas, one object of which was to collect and preserve a library. In 1857 nine colleges with plans for libraries were incorporated. This same year the Leavenworth Lyceum was given permission to organize a library. In Feb., 1858, the territorial library was founded. In 1860 the Law Institute and Library of Leavenworth, the Kansas Institute, the Leavenworth Law Library Association, and the Paola Mercantile Library and Lyceum Association were incorporated. Only a few of these organizations lived to have the books they hoped to possess.
The State LibraryOne library that developed with the state was the territorial, which later became the state library. The act signed by the acting-governor on Feb. 9, 1858, provided for a state librarian to be appointed by the governor, and a board of commissioners to direct its management. These were, the governor, the secretary of state, the librarian, the president of the council and speaker of the house of representatives. On Feb. 11, 1859, the legislature passed a law for the reorganization of the library of the territory. It arranged for the appointment of a librarian and his salary, it made rules for government, maintenance and use of books. In 1861 the library was defined, "The books, pamphlets, maps and charts, belonging to the state, now in the state library, or which shall hereafter be added to same, shall compose the state library and be left in the office of the auditor of the state, who shall be ex-officio librarian."
The act in its following sections provides rules and regulations relative to the use of said library and its control. The legislature of 1870 passed a new law for the government of the library. The governor and judges of the supreme court were named as directors, the librarian's salary was increased, an annual appropriation was made, a catalogue planned, and the librarian instructed to label each book with the words. "Kansas State Library." David Dickinson was appointed librarian and in Dec., 1870, reported 6,306 volumes in the library. Mr. Dickinson died in 1879, and the following persons have succeeded him: S. A. Kingman, H. J. Dennis, James L. King, Annie L. Diggs, James L. King. The board of trustees consists of the seven justices of the supreme court. The library is free to the public and is purely a reference library, being especially strong in law and medicine. It is supported by the appropriations from the legislature; the statistics of 1910 show this library to have an income of $10,200 and 75,000 volumes, which are classified by the Dewey system. It occupies a wing of the state house.
Traveling LibrariesThe movement for traveling libraries was started by the club women of the state, through the influence of Lucy B. Johnston of Topeka. The matter was taken up by the State Federation in May, 1897, while Mrs. Willis Lord Moore was president. In May, 1898, active work commenced under the supervision of the Kansas Social Science Federation, the Topeka branch of which pledged 500 books and $20 in money. Thus encouraged, the federation determined to accumulate 3,000 books as a nucleus of a permanent library system. When this was accomplished the legislature was asked to assume further care of the books, and the future development of the work, thus making it a department of the state library.
At the legislative session of 1899, a law was passed establishing the Kansas Traveling Libraries Commission, making an appropriation of $1,000 a year for support, and providing that certain books of the state library be made available for the use of the traveling library department. In compliance with this law, the trustees of the state library appointed the following persons to be members of the commission: Mrs. Annie L. Diggs, chairman; Mrs. Mary V. Humphrey, Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, Edward T. Wilder and H. G. Larimer. The commission organized July 1, 1899, and elected James L. King as secretary. The 3,000 books and 34 shipping cases collected by the Social Science Federation were transferred to the commission. All of these books were acquired by donations from clubs, and individuals, either in single volumes, fractional libraries, or sets of 50 books each. The traveling library which in 1899 consisted of 3,000 volumes and 35 shipping cases, in 1908 had 30,000 books, with 450 cases, and had visited 103 counties and 517 towns in Kansas. This library is housed in the state house and has an annual appropriation of $6,000. The traveling libraries commission of 1908 consisted of James L. King, Mrs. Eustace Brown, Lucy B. Johnston, Julia E. Brown and Harry G. Larimer, with Mrs. Adrian L. Greene as secretary.
Municipal LibrariesThe legislature of 1886 enacted a law authorizing cities to establish and maintain free public libraries and reading rooms. Section 1 provided that, "upon the written petition of 50 taxpayers of any city presented to the mayor and city council thereof, such mayor and council shall cause to be submitted to the legal voters of such city at the first city election thereafter, or if the petition so requests, at a special election to be called for that purpose, the question of the establishment and maintenance of a free public library and reading room by such city."
This act also provided that the mayor and council could levy a library tax, not to exceed one mill on the dollar in cities of first and second class and not to exceed one and one-half mills in cities of the third class. In 1901 this levy was changed to one mill in cities of the first class and two and one-half mills in cities of the third class. The law made full provision for the organization of free public libraries and many libraries that had been founded and maintained by women's clubs became the property of the municipality. The following list of public libraries, with date of organization and number of volumes, was compiled from 1910 statistics:
Abilene, 1903, 4,002 volumes; Arkansas City, 1908, 3,328 volumes; Atchison, subscription library established in 1879, supported by fees, 9,000 volumes; Baxter Springs, Johnson public library, 1907, 2,964 volumes; Blue Rapids, 1874, by ladies' library association, supported by fees, 4,005 volumes; Burlington, 1884, 12,119 volumes; Caney, subscription library organized by ladies' library association 1892, supported by fees, 774 volumes; Cawker City, 1873, 1,800 volumes; Chanute, 1901, 6,207 volumes; Clay Center, 1901, 2,874 volumes; Coffeyville, 1907, supported by fees, 1,927 volumes; Concordia, 1890, 3,510 volumes; Delphos, 1888, supported by fees, 600 volumes; Douglas, 1908, supported by fees, 910 volumes; Downs, Carnegie library, 1905, 1,424 volumes; Eldorado, 1909, 3,000 volumes; Emporia, 1884, 9,000 volumes; Everest, Barnes public library, organized in 1910, supported by endowment, 400 volumes; Fort Scott, 1891, 6,301 volumes; Galena, library association organized in 1899, 1,000 volumes; Garden City, ladies' library association, 1898, supported by fees, 1,000 volumes; Girard, 1901, 2,814 volumes; Goodland, subscription library, 1908, 785 volumes; Great Bend, 1908, 3,500 volumes; Halstead, 1894, 800 volumes; Hiawatha, Morrill free public library, founded in 1882 by E. N. Morrill, 13,500 volumes; Horton, public high school library organized in 1898, 1,800 volumes; Hutchinson, 1896, 6,343 volumes; Independence, 1907, 4,568 volumes; Iola, 1905, 4,555 volumes; Jamestown, Pomeroy free library supported by gifts, 800 volumes; Junction City, George Smith public library, 1908, supported by endowment, 7,713 volumes; Kansas City, 1891, 17,500 volumes; Kensington, subscription library, 1905, supported by fees, 500 volumes; Kingman, 1900, 2,907 volumes; Lawrence, 1865, 10,100 volumes; Lebanon, ladies' library club, organized 1900, subscription library, 875 volumes; Lyons, 1910; Leavenworth, 1910, 17,479 volumes; McPherson, 1905, 2,110 volumes; Manhattan, Carnegie public library, 1904, 4,875 volumes; Marquette, subscription library, 1909, supported by fees, 600 volumes; Medicine Lodge, Lincoln library, 1895, supported by fees, 2,000 volumes; Newton, 1885, 7,735 volumes; Oakland, 1909, supported by gifts, 1,003 volumes; Oberlin, subscription library, 1903, supported by fees, 1,134 volumes; Osawatomie, 1891, 2,200 volumes; Oswego, 1909, 1,000 volumes; Ottawa, Carnegie library, 1876, 7,586 volumes; Paola, 1881, 7,200 volumes; Parsons, 1905, 4,800 volumes; Peabody, 1875, 8,390 volumes; Pittsburg, 1902, 12,000 volumes; Plainville, subscription library, 1902, supported by fees, 860 volumes; Pratt, 1910, 1,495 volumes; Russell, 1901, 2,623 volumes; Salina, 1894, 6,500 volumes; Stafford, Nora E. Larabee free public memorial library, 1908, 1,100 volumes; Topeka, 1870, 24,493 volumes; Vinland, library association organized in 1859, subscription library, 1,570 volumes; Washington, 1910, 1,700 volumes; Weir, subscription library, 1896, 1,029 volumes; Wichita, 1891, 16,000 volumes. These libraries are supported by tax, unless otherwise indicated.
In Kansas as elsewhere the donations of Andrew Carnegie have given impetus to the free public library. His gifts for library buildings have been made with the usual condition, that cities pledge 10 per cent of the net amount of the gift for maintenance. The exception to this invariable rule was in the case of the Anderson memorial library, College of Emporia, which Mr. Carnegie erected without conditions, as a memorial to Col. J. B. Anderson, his early patron and friend. In 1899 Mr. Carnegie gave $500 to the Blue Rapids library for the purchase of books. His gifts for the erection of library buildings are: Abilene, $12,500; Arkansas City, $20,000; Chanute, $15,000; Concordia, $10,000; Downs, $6,000; Emporia (Anderson Memorial), $30,000; Emporia (public), $22,000; Fort Scott, $1,800; Girard, $8,000; Great Bend, $15,000; Hiawatha, $10,000; Hutchinson, $16,000; Independence, $30,000; Iola, $15,000; Kansas City, $75,000; Lawrence, $27,500; Leavenworth, $30,000; McPherson (McPherson College), $15,000; Manhattan, $15,000; Newton, $18,000; Ottawa, $15,500; Russell, $5,000; Salina, $15,000; Topeka (Washburn College), $40,000; Washington, $6,000; Wichita (Fairmount College), $40,000; Hays, $8,000; Osawatomie, $7,500; Pittsburg, $50,000; Yates Center, $7,500.
The State Historical Library is an important part of the Kansas State Historical Society (q. v.), which was organized in Topeka on Dec. 13. 1875. It is especially strong in material relating to the history of Kansas, its literature, art, schools, churches and societies, and possesses a very nearly complete set of the documents published by the state. The general library is especially devoted to United States and state history, description and travels in the west, genealogy, biography, Indians and slavery, besides the general subjects of sociology, religion, science, and the useful arts, with a very good collection of federal documents. The society occupies the south wing of the fourth floor of the state capitol. The secretary of the society is ex-officio librarian. This library in 1910 contained 35,320 volumes and a large number of bound newspaper files, pamphlets, magazines, etc.
College Libraries.These libraries have grown as the colleges of which they are a part have developed. The largest and best is the library of the University of Kansas, the history of which dates from the establishment of the university. When the first board of regents met in March, 1865, it elected one of its members, J. S. Emery, librarian. His duties were purely nominal, as were those of his successor, W. C. Tenney. In 1869 the care of the library was given over to the faculty, Frank H. Snow serving from 1869 to 1873, Byron C. Smith from 1873 to 1874 and Ephraim Miller from 1875 to 1887, when the expansion of the library demanded a librarian who could give his whole time to its management. In 1887 Miss Carrie M. Watson was elected to the position and is still in office. At the formal opening of the university a few Congressional books were the only volumes in the library. The growth of the library was almost imperceptible until 1873, when the legislature appropriated $1,500 to be devoted exclusively to the purchase of books. In 1874 there were less than 1,000 volumes in the library. The first few books were housed in the southwest room on the second floor of the first building. In 1872 they were moved to Fraser Hall and occupied shelves in the chancellor's office. In 1877 the library was removed to the west room of the south wing of Fraser Hall. There were at that time 2,519 volumes. On Oct. 17, 1894, a new library building was dedicated. It was erected at a cost of $75,000 through the generosity of William B. Spooner of Boston, Mass. Since the occupancy of the new building there has been an increase in the growth and efficiency until in 1911 there were 72,000 volumes, accessible to the students through the general library and fifteen departmental libraries for the departments of English, Latin, German, education, philosophy, history, sociology, physics, physiology, biology, geology, engineering, chemistry, pharmacy and law.
The library of the State Agricultural College is the outgrowth of the Bluemont College library, which was organized in 1878. It is especially strong in scientific departments, is the depository of the 5th Congressionl district for Federal documents, and for the experiment station library. It has regular appropriations from the state for maintenance. In 1910 the total number of volumes was 37,315.
The library of the State Normal School was organized in 1865. Its early growth was slow, its valuation in 1870 was estimated at $2,000. In 1878 all the books were burned. By the close of the following year 350 volumes had been collected and Senator Plumb added 200 more. On Aug. 10, 1880, the school secured the right and title to 785 books from the Athenaeum Library Association of Emporia. The list included 461 books belonging to the old Emporia Library Association. In Feb., 1884, the old stockholders of the association demanded the return of the books, and the regents ordered them turned over to the new city library association. This transfer left 1,200 books in the normal school library. In 1885 the legislature made an appropriation of $1,000 for books. In 1889 the total number of volumes exceeded 5,000. Up to that time students, directed by a member of the faculty, acted as librarians, but the demands upon the librarian were so great the regents appointed Miss Mary A. Whitney as librarian. Miss Elva E. Clark succeeded Miss Whitney in 1892. In 1902 the library was moved from its quarters in the old building to its new home erected by an appropriation of the legislature. In connection with the library is a course in library management conducted by a librarian employed for that purpose. The library contains 26,000 volumes.
Anderson Memorial Library of the College of Emporia was established in 1888 as a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. John B. Anderson of Manhattan, on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The plan was formed by the Presbyterian synod of Kansas. The library building was erected in 1901 by Andrew Carnegie as a memorial to Mr. Anderson. The building is modern and complete and can accommodate 25,000 volumes. The trustees of the college control the library which is especially strong in the departments of history and religion. In 1910 it had 9,334 books.
Fort Riley.A library has been in existence at the post since its founding. It is for the use of student-officers only, in attendance at the school of application for cavalry and field artillery, and is controlled by the commanding officer of the school. The allotment for the care and purchase of books is from the annual appropriation of the United States government through the war college board, Washington, D. C. The library, containing 7,668 volumes, is especially strong in works relating to military science, travel and biography, and has valuable monographs on the military systems of foreign countries and scientific and professional reports from the various governmental bureaus.
The library of Bethany College at Lindsborg was established in 1881. In Dec., 1882, it consisted of 6 volumes, and has grown to 7,500 through subscriptions and gifts. The library is strong in Swedish literature and history, in law and reference books, and contains a collection of old and rare books numbering about 485.
The Bethel College library was established at Newton in 1893 by the Kansas conference of Mennonites. It is strong in church history, theology, English and German literature, pedagogy, and history, and contains 2,500 books.
The Ottawa University library was established Sept. 10, 1902, the day the old library burned. It is supported by fees and contains 5,600 books.
The library of St. Mary's College was established by the Jesuit fathers in 1869. It contains 22,896 volumes.
The library of the Kansas Wesleyan University at Salina was established in 1886 by gifts from friends of the school. It is strongest in American history and contains 6,000 volumes.
The library of Fairmount College at Wichita was established in 1895. It is supported by endowment and contains 31,300 volumes.
The library of Midland College at Atchison was established in 1889 by the Evangelical Lutheran church and contains 8,345 volumes.
St. Benedict's College of Atchison, founded in 1858 by the Benedictine Fathers, has two libraries, one of 27,500 volumes for the use of the instructors, and one of 5,000 volumes for the use of students.
McPherson College has a library of 4,000 volumes, supported by endowment that was established in 1906. The library of Highland College, founded in 1857, has 5,000 volumes, and the library of Campbell College at Holton contains 4,000 volumes.
The Baker University library was established by the Methodist Episcopal church of Kansas in 1858. It occupies quarters in the Case library building, which was erected through the liberality of Nelson Case and Andrew Carnegie. It contains 25,000 volumes.
Washburn College library was established in 1870. In 1886 the books were moved into the Boswell Memorial library, where they remained until 1905, when a Carnegie library was erected at the cost of $40,000. Washburn library is supported by endowment and has 16,000 books.
The report of the state superintendent of public instruction shows 5,443 rural school district libraries in Kansas, having books to the number of 479,142 in all the school libraries in the state, the total number of books in all libraries in Kansas being 875,119.Pages 152-158 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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