Boston Library Postcards

Why Boston? Simply, there are some very strange advertising post cards using Boston library images as their base. They are odd, and interesting.
Part of:

Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America

Much history taken from the BPL web site.

Architect: Charles Follen McKim. Built in 1895. Expanded in 1972; the addition is called the Johnson building, and holds the circulating collection. The McKim building houses the research collection.
This seems odd to me, as it would seem that climate control would be easier in a newer building.

Main (Copley Square)

Boston Pioneer Postcard Back of pioneer card


The postcard is known as a 'Pioneer,' and was published in 1895 by the American Souvenir Company of Boston.
It was lithographed by Armstrong & Company, also of Boston.
It also displays an art museum, Trinity Church, and the New Old South Church.



Interior views

Staircase Grand staircase Delivery Room In Boston Bates Hall
Grand staircase Delivery room
BPL Courtyard BPL Courtyard
Two views of the courtyard. The older (and cruder) in appearance was published by Valentine & Sons, the more refined card by Detroit Publishing in its 'Phostint' style.

Exterior views

Library, New Old South Church, and City Medal Copley Square, showing Public Library and Copley Plaza Copley Square, Boston, Mass. Phostint view of BPL
Early card shows the library and a medal. Newer, linen finish card displays the
entirety of Copley Square.
Metropolitan News Co. card. Another Phostint view, showing a trolley car.
BPL BPL by Teich Colourpicture
Card mailed 1906, with horse cart and trolley. 1933 Curt Teich linen card. 1940s Colourpicture linen card.
Artist's drawing of BPL BPL History from card back:
The Public Library in Copley Square is one of the world's largest. Students, literati and others throng its rooms and corridors to read and study, to see the statues and to hear the public lectures. It contains about one and three-quarters million volumes and has 34 branches in different parts of the city.
Artist's rendition of the Library. Chrome postcard from the 1950s or early 1960s.

Advertising Post Cards

Hugh C. Leighton Card advertises the McPhail Piano Company.
Postmark: 1910.
Shoe advertisement for a store in Muncie, IN. This card is one of the originals which feature the beanpot logo of Boston's 1907 Old Home Week. This celebration resembled the Homecoming weeks of universities and small town America.

Branch libraries

The branch system began in 1870. Although the postcard above boasts of 34 branches, the current total is 26.

Dorchester (Codman Square Reading Room)

Codman Square Reading Room

The sign over the door reads 'Boston Public Library Codman Square Reading Room.'
The card's caption reads 'Public Library and Reading Room, Dorchester, Mass.'
The library building appears to be Dutch Revival, but has Tudor and Romanesque touches.

Monochrome German cards are scarce: this was produced for the Rotograph Co. of New York City.

Franklin Park

Franklin Park branch

Definitively Italianate building. I wonder if it contained a courtyard?

© 2011-2014 Judy Aulik

Uploaded 19 February 2011.
Updated 01 September 2014.
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