Browsing named entities in a specific section of Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing). Search the whole document.
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Libraries, free public Free libraries have existed for less than half a century. Their establishment assumed that books are beneficial: but it involved also the assertion that it is the proper function of government to supply books to such of its citizens as may require them at the expense of the community as a whole. Herbert Putnam, librarian of Congress, writes as follows: Libraries of this special type do not yet form the major portion of the institutions supplying books on a large scale to groups of persons. Under the head of Public, Society, and School libraries, these institutions in the United States aggregate 8,000 in number, with 35,000,000 volumes, with $34,000,000 invested in buildings, with $17,000,000 of endowments, and with over $6,000,000 of annual income. Of these the free public libraries supported by general taxation number less than 2,000, with 10,000,000 volumes, and with less than $3,500,000 of annual income. They are, however, increasing with disp