波士頓公圖 / BPL

波士頓公共圖書館(Boston Public Library)是美國最大的城市公共圖書館,建立於1848年,現有藏書超過一千五百萬冊,藏書量僅次美國國會圖書館和哈佛大學圖書館。該圖書館有各國文字的藏書,包括許多中文書籍。圖書館的建築設計在美國歷史上也有顯赫的地位。
BPL_in_1800s
波士頓公共圖書館在美國歷史上佔據了若干個第一:

1. 第一個公眾市立圖書館;
2. 第一個允許全體公民免費借閱圖書的圖書館,在當時這是一個巨大的進步;
3. 第一個向託管人提交年度報告的公共圖書館,極大促進了公共圖書館的發展;
4. 第一個開設兒童閱讀區的圖書館,在1845年開放兒童閱讀區,向孩子們提供了3000冊圖書;
5. 第一個引進講故事形式的圖書館,1902年請暢銷作家Marie Shedlock到COOPLEY廣場的波士頓圖書館兒童閱讀室來講故事;
6. 第一個商業資料公共圖書館,1930年商人和圖書館託管人Louis E. Kirstein提供資助在市中心建立Edward Kirstein 商業分部來紀念他的父親;
7.第一個提供音頻和視頻服務的公共圖書館:1950年建立音頻和視頻部門。波士頓公共圖書館引以為自豪的還有:
* 全國唯一的總統圖書館,第二任總統就在珍稀圖書和手跡部門裡有房間;
* 麻州政府檔案的存放地;
* 美國政府文檔的區域性存放地;
* 聯合國文檔的存放地。

美國最傑出的天才都被招來建造這座美國最富麗堂皇的建築——包括麥克吉姆、米德和懷特,畫家約翰·辛格·薩金特等,以及雕塑家貝拉·普萊特等。圖書館建成於1895年,作為「人民的皇宮」,它名副其實。儘管最初的榮耀已經消退了一些,波士頓公共圖書館仍然是豪華市政建築的典範。你可以找一找薩金特創作的壁畫,並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.




Leave a Reply