"public library", 1674

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Dec 25 02:11:54 UTC 2010

"public library", 1674.  Antedates OED3 August 2010, sense (b), "a
library maintained for the use of the public, usually out of public
funds.", 1753--.  (Earlier quotations are for sense (a), "in the
older British universities: a library open to all members of the
university (obs.).)

In Wright, Thomas Goddard.  Literary Culture in Early New England,
1620--1730.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1920.

132:  In a will dated March 12, 1673-74, John Oxenbridge made the
following bequest:
             'To the Public Library in Boston or elsewhere, as my
executors and overseers shall judge best, [books bequeathed].' "
             N62:  Winsor, Memorial History of Boston, I, 501.

133:  The Boston Athenaeum owns a copy of Samuel Mather's 'Testimony
against Idolatry and Superstition,' inscribed 'ffor the Public
Library at Boston, 1674.'
             N63:  Winsor, iv. 279.

Citation is to:  Winsor, Justin.  The Memorial History of Boston,
1630--1880.  4 vols.  Boston, 1880.


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