Present City Library Building, Boston


"Mr. Champney, the artist, has presented us here with an accurate representation of the present City Library building in Mason Street, showing also the rear of the new Boston Theatre. This library was instituted in 1852, and the reading-room connected with it was opened to the public on the 20th of March, and for the circulation of books for home use on the 2d of May, 1854. The plan of the trustees embraces a reading-room and circulating library. The reading-room is furnished with files of all the leading American, and several of the foreign journals and reviews, while the public have access at all times to works of reference. The library is most admirably classified and catalogued on a system by which the librarian and his assistants can find any book in their possession at a few moments' notice. The plan of the catalogue system adopted here, originated with Dr. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, one of the trustees. There are now over 17,000 volumes in the library, and it is confidently anticipated that fourteen years hence, the number will be increased to 100,000."


Descriptive Terms

libraries (rooms)
reading rooms
theaters (buildings)
exterior views
line engravings (prints)
prints (visual works)

Additional Identification Number

Prints and Engravings Collection number PR301

Physical Description

1 engraving on newsprint

Collection Code


Collection Name

Prints and engravings collection, 1830s-1920s

Reference Code


Image Dimensions

5 x 9.5 (HxW)(inches)


Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)

Record Details


Champney, Benjamin, 1817-1907 (Artist)

Material Type

line engravings (prints)
prints (visual works)

Other People

Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet, 1810-1874


Mason Street (Boston, Mass.)



Description Level


Location Note

Prints: Boston, Ma.: Places or Streets: G-N