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Newburyport Athenaeum Records

Newburyport Athenaeum Records

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Open Finding Aid

NEWBURYPORT ATHENAEUM RECORDS, 1809-1849





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Newburyport Athenaeum (Newburyport, Mass.), (1809-1849)
Title:Newburyport Athenaeum Records
Dates:1809/1849
Quantity:0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:The records of the Newburyport Athenaeum, a Newburyport, Massachusetts, proprietary library, include administrative papers, such as record books, reports of meetings and trustees, and correspondence; library operations papers, which include three library charge books; and financial papers, including a donations and fines book, treasurer's reports, shareholders and sales of shares, fines, receipts, and proxies.
Collection Number:MSS 291

Series List


SERIES I. Administrative Papers
SERIES II. Library Operations Papers
SERIES III. Financial Papers

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Newburyport Athenaeum, a Newburyport, Massachusetts, proprietary library, include administrative papers, such as record books, reports of meetings and trustees, and correspondence; library operations papers, which include three library charge books; and financial papers, including a donations and fines book, treasurer's reports, shareholders and sales of shares, fines, receipts, and proxies. The collection is divided into three series.


Series I. Administrative Papers includes: record books, documenting the acts of incorporation, rules, and regulations, lists of stockholders, and reports of meetings; annual reports of trustees; miscellaneous reports; notices of meetings; and correspondence. Correspondence includes an undated analogy comparing the fate of the athenaeum to a voyage of a ship.


Series II. Library Operations Papers consists of three library charge books, lists of meetings books, and a binding list.


Series III. Financial Papers includes a donations-and-fines book, treasurer's reports, shareholders and sales of shares, fines, receipts, and proxies.


Historical Sketch


The Newburyport Athenaeum was founded at a meeting held on April 7, 1809 at the hall over the Newburyport Bank and incorporated on February 24, 1810 in the name of "The Proprietors of the Newburyport Athenaeum," with the stated "purpose of promoting learning and diffusing useful knowledge." Eighty-eight subscribers paid the sum of ten dollars each to form a fund to establish the athenaeum.


A library containing 10,000 to 12,000 volumes was established. On the inside cover of each volume was an engraved bookplate representing an eagle about to rise from a pile of rocks and carrying in its beak a ribbon with the words "Newburyport Athenaeum" upon it.


Privileges of the institution were restricted to inhabitants of Newburyport or towns or place within ten miles of Newburyport.


In 1846, an unsuccessful attempt was made to raise a permanent fund for the purchase of books and the erection of a suitable building. In January 1849 the shareholders voted to dissolve the association and the books and papers were sold at auction on February 20, 1849.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Acquisitions (Libraries)--Massachusetts--Salem
Athenaeums
Libraries--Massachusetts--Salem
Library circulation and loans
Proprietary libraries--Massachusetts--Salem
Newburyport (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Newburyport Athenaeum Records, MSS 291, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by the estate of Charles H. Hudson in October 1912.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Marion Clark, November 1986. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, January 2016.


Related Material

Currier, John J. The History of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1764-1905. Newburyport, Mass.: Published by the author, 1906.


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