Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Interesting Milestone

Joyce at Bibliophile Bullpen reports that on this day in 1732, the first professional librarian was hired by the Library Company of Philadelphia to mind their collection. Here is the actual agreement letter between the directors (one of whom was Benjamin Franklin) and Louis Timothée, which notes:

"That the said Louis Timothee shall be the Librarian of the said Company for and during the Space of Three Months from the Date hereof.

he shall give due Attendance in the Library on Wednesdays from two ’till three o’Clock and on Saturdays from the Hours of Ten to four weekly during the said Term and may permit any civil Gentlemen to peruse the Books of the Library in the Library-Room.

... That as to the Order of lending the said Books He the said Librarian shall not lend at one Time to any one Person more than one Book except such as in the said Catalogue are mentioned to be lent together nor for a longer Time or a less Sum pledg’d by Note as aforesaid than as in the said Catalogue set down."

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