波士顿公图 / BPL

波士顿公共图书馆(Boston Public Library)是美国最大的城市公共图书馆,建立于1848年,现有藏书超过一千五百万册,藏书量仅次美国国会图书馆和哈佛大学图书馆。该图书馆有各国文字的藏书,包括许多中文书籍。图书馆的建筑设计在美国历史上也有显赫的地位。
BPL_in_1800s
波士顿公共图书馆在美国历史上占据了若干个第一:

1. 第一个公众市立图书馆;
2. 第一个允许全体公民免费借阅图书的图书馆,在当时这是一个巨大的进步;
3. 第一个向托管人提交年度报告的公共图书馆,极大促进了公共图书馆的发展;
4. 第一个开设儿童阅读区的图书馆,在1845年开放儿童阅读区,向孩子们提供了3000册图书;
5. 第一个引进讲故事形式的图书馆,1902年请畅销作家Marie Shedlock到COOPLEY广场的波士顿图书馆儿童阅读室来讲故事;
6. 第一个商业资料公共图书馆,1930年商人和图书馆托管人Louis E. Kirstein提供资助在市中心建立Edward Kirstein 商业分部来纪念他的父亲;
7.第一个提供音频和视频服务的公共图书馆:1950年建立音频和视频部门。波士顿公共图书馆引以为自豪的还有:
* 全国唯一的总统图书馆,第二任总统就在珍稀图书和手迹部门里有房间;
* 麻州政府档案的存放地;
* 美国政府文档的区域性存放地;
* 联合国文档的存放地。

美国最杰出的天才都被招来建造这座美国最富丽堂皇的建筑——包括麦克吉姆、米德和怀特,画家约翰·辛格·萨金特等,以及雕塑家贝拉·普莱特等。图书馆建成于1895年,作为“人民的皇宫”,它名副其实。尽管最初的荣耀已经消退了一些,波士顿公共图书馆仍然是豪华市政建筑的典范。你可以找一找萨金特创作的壁画,并且在意大利式的中心庭院中徜徉一番。




Boston Public Library:A Brief History and Description

Founded in 1848, by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first large free municipal library in the United States. The Boston Public Library’s first building of its own was a former schoolhouse located on Mason Street that was opened to the public on March 20, 1854. The library’s collections approximated 16,000 volumes, and it was obvious from the day the doors were first opened that the quarters were inadequate.

In December of that same year the library’s Commissioners were authorized to locate a new building upon a lot on Boylston Street. The present Copley Square location has been home to the library since 1895, when architect Charles Follen McKim completed his “palace for the people.”

In the latter half of the 19th century, the library worked vigorously to develop and expand its branch system. Viewed as a means to extend the library’s presence throughout the city, the branch system evolved from an idea in 1867 to a reality in 1870, when the first branch library in the United States was opened in East Boston. Between 1872 and 1900, 21 more branches began serving communities throughout Boston’s diverse neighborhoods.

In 1972, the library expanded its Copley Square location with the opening of an addition designed by Philip Johnson. Today, the McKim building houses the BPL’s vast research collection and the Johnson building holds the circulating collection of the general library and serves as headquarters for the Boston Public Library’s 24 branch libraries.
In 1986, the National Park Service designated the McKim Building a National Historic Landmark citing it as “the first outstanding example of Renaissance Beaux-Arts Classicism in America.” Within the McKim Building are fine murals series, fine collections of rare books and manuscripts, maps, and prints, and splendid gallery space for displaying the numerous treasures assembled over the past 160 years. Amenities include a restaurant and café, a peaceful inner courtyard, several comfortable and wifi accessible inviting reading areas.

Within its collection of 23 million items, the library boasts a wealth of rare books and manuscripts, maps, musical scores and prints. Among its large collections, the BPL holds several first edition folios by William Shakespeare, original music scores from Mozart to Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf;” and, in its rare book collection, the personal library of John Adams. Throughout the year, the Boston Public Library hosts exhibitions that offer the public an opportunity to view books and documents usually available only to research scholars.

Today, the Boston Public Library system includes a Central Library, twenty-four branches, a map center, a business library, and a website filled with digital content. Last year, 3.7 million people visited the Boston Public Library system, many in pursuit of research material, others looking for an afternoon’s reading or the use of the computer or to attend a class, still others for the magnificent and unique art and architecture of many library locations. There were 7.8 million visits to the library’s website and 3.7 million books and audiovisual items borrowed or downloaded.




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