Ladies Library Association of Ann Arbor Records

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Ladies Library Association of Ann Arbor Records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Ladies Library Association of Ann Arbor record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Minutes, financial records, book lists, and clippings; also scrapbook, 1953-1968, concerning the Ann Arbor Public Library; commemorative tenth anniversary volume, 1876, containing message to the women of 1976.

History / Biography:
The Ladies Library Association of Ann Arbor was established in 1866 as a subscription library with dues set a three dollars a year. The idea of a free public library was discussed early on with the thought that the city might match support for the library. In 1870, the organization proposed that the city council take over the subscription library and make it a public one. This idea was rejected. In 1879, the Association rejected the idea of combining its collection with that of the Board of Education. Instead, it purchased land on East Huron and in 1885 moved into its new quarters.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, the Association began negotiations with Andrew Carnegie for a grant to build a new building. Also needing municipal support, the Association turned to the Ann Arbor School Board, and together they tentatively agreed to provide the necessary support (along with a $15,000 Carnegie grant) for a public library building. Negotiations stalled over the site of the new library. Instead, and following close upon the burning down in 1904 of the old high school, it was agreed that the library would form a wing of the new high school. In 1907, with the completion of the new high school and library, the Board of Education invited the Ladies Library Association to join the school district library. In 1916, the Association presented their collection of books to the library and deeded their Huron Street property to the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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