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The George Peabody is the historical library of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Along with the Arthur Friedheim music Library, is located on the Peabody campus at Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore, Maryland. It serves the faculty and students of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Preparatory Division and other divisions of the University. [1]

Contents

History

Interior of the Peabody Library at Hopkins

The Peabody Institute Library was begun with the June 16, 1852 donation from George Peabody.[2] George Peabody was born in South Danvers (now Peabody) in 1795 and by the year of 1851 had risen in the business world to become an investment banker in London. The Library, formerly the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, dates from the founding of the Peabody Institute in 1857.[3] In that year, Peabody dedicated the Institute to the citizens of Baltimore in appreciation of their "kindness and hospitality." The library remained part of the Peabody Institute until 1967, when it was transferred to the City of Baltimore and became a department in the Enoch Pratt Free Library. In 1982 it was transferred to Johns Hopkins University and became part of the Eisenhower Library's Special Collections department.

Collection

The main collection reflects the scholarly interests of the 19th century, so the library's 300,000 volume collection is particularly strong in religion, British art, architecture, topography and history; American history, biography, and literature; Romance languages and literature; history of science; and geography, exploration and travel.[4] It now thrives on history and music related contents.

Building

The library is arguably one of the most beautiful in the United States. It was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind in collaboration with the first Peabody provost, Nathaniel H. Morison, that described it as a "cathedral of books." The neo-Grec interior features an atrium that, over a black and white marble floor, soars 61 feet to a latticed skylight surrounded by five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies and gold-scalloped columns. Between July 2002 and May 2004, the library underwent a $1 million renovation and was refurbished.[5]

Notes

  1. ^ ACRL National Conference, A luxury of libraries: Baltimore libraries and special collections, C&RL News, November 2006, Vol. 67, No. 10.
  2. ^ Franklin Parker.George Peabody and Maryland. Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 37, No. 3. (Nov., 1959), pp. 150-157.
  3. ^ Francis T. Barrett. A Great Catalogue, being an Appreciation of the Catalogue of the Library of the Peabody Institute, Baltimore, Library 1894 s1-6: 69-73.
  4. ^ Oehlert, D. Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries (Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science) p.19, Greenwood Press (1991)
  5. ^ The JHU Gazette, A Polished Peabody Library Reopens, May 3, 2004,Vol 33.

External links

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