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Providence Library Company records (Arch-001)

Providence Athenaeum

251 Benefit Street
Providence, RI, 02903
Tel: 401-421-6970
email: info@provath.org
website: www.provath.org

Inventory

Series 1. Administrative records

Container Description Date
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 1 Providence Library Company. Register book, 1753-1835
Contents Note: Spine title: Register Book 1753-1835, Providence Library Company. A volume with manuscript entries in various hands, the chronological entries begin March 22, 1753 and end October 15, 1835. The pages are numbered by hand up to 256; the last page is blank. The entries are comprised of a founding statement, lists of subscribers, meeting minutes, library rules, a catalog of the books purchased, with later notation of those saved in the fire of December 1758, and many records of purchase and transfer of shares.

1753 March 22 - 1835 October 15
Archives Closet 1, Box 1, Folder 3 Providence Library Company register book
Contents Note: Photocopy. Pages 1-70 (1753-1765)

1753-1765
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 2 Minute book
Contents Note: Manuscript.

1774 September - 1836 May
Archives Closet 1, Box 1, Folder 2 Minute book for the Providence Library
Contents Note: Photocopy.

1774 September 5 - 1836
Archives Closet 1, Box 1, Folder 4 Providence Library Company "papers [received] from John Carter Brown Library Nov. 20, 1912"
Contents Note: Manuscript. Comprised of bills and receipts. Transferred from the John Carter Brown Library to the Providence Athenaeum in 1912.

circa 1810-1830
Archives Closet 1, Box 2, Folder 1 Providence Library Company miscellaneous papers
Contents Note: Manuscript. Includes "Catalogue of Prov. Lib." [1815] and 1 printed item, list of missing books, 3rd Nov. 2 copies.

circa 1815-1833
Archives Closet 1, Box 2, Folder 2 Miscellaneous papers
Contents Note: Manuscript.

circa 1815-1833
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 5 Charter and by-laws of the Providence Library Company
Contents Note: Published: Providence, Miller and Hutchens, 1818. Bound with a Catalogue. 46 pages. 2 copies.

1818
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 3 Notebook ("Library") of proprietors' lists
Contents Note: Notebook with manuscript entries on 22 pages signed "Providence, January 5, 1818, John Howland"; cover title: "Library". Howland states he was "appointed by the President and Directors of the Providence Library Company to acertain who are Proprietors of the Library and to Report their names together with the evidence of their several titles." Entries are comprised of lists of proprietors holding shares as of various dates (Nov. 5, 1817, 1762, Oct. 3, 1801), and a list of those with a "Plurality of shares". Bound dos-à-dos with the "Record of the Second Military District" in a different handwriting; first entry is dated Sept. 19th, 1814 (signed "James Burrill Junr Chairman [and] Thomas Burgess, Secty"); second entry Sept. 19, 1814, and final entry Sept. 23, 1814.

1818 January 5
Archives Closet 1, Box 2, Folder 3 Miscellaneous papers
Contents Note: Manuscript.

circa 1820s
Archives Closet 1, Box 2, Folder 4 Miscellaneous papers
Contents Note: Manuscript.

circa 1820s
Archives Closet 1, Box 1 , Folder 5 Subscription for the Union with Providence Athen[a]eum
Contents Note: Manuscript. 1 folded sheet.

At top of first page: "We the Undersigned Stockholders and donors of the Providence Library Company do hereby agree to take the number of shares affixed to our respective names in the stock of the Providence Athena[e]um, provided a union of the Two Institutions can be effected on terms satisfactory to the board of directors of the Providence Library Company." There follows a columned list of names, signatures, old subscription shares held, and new amounts pledged if the union is effected.

1835?
Archives Closet 2, Box 1, Folder 4 Rhode Island General Assembly, January 1836 session. Appendix No. 4 "To the Honorable the General Assembly, January Session A.D. 1836"
Contents Note: Printed sheet (2 pages), Appendix 4 excerpted from a longer document (the records of the Rhode Island General Assembly's January 1836 session); recto is unnumbered, verso numbered page 58.

This is a petition in which a group 59 subscribers of the Providence Library Company, many also members of the Providence Athenaeum (est. 1831), state that the existence of these two similar institutions "has been mutually disadvantageous, by increasing expenses and diminishing the interest of each. Aware of this, these institutions, after mature consideration, and ineffectual attempts for an union, have severally resolved to dispose of their libraries and dissolve their corporations in case the honorable Assembly would grant a new charter ... [for a new institution, named 'The Athenaeum']". The names of the subscribers include Nicholas Brown, Thomas Burgess, John Pitman, Frederick A. Farley, and Moses Brown.

1836
Archives Closet 2, Box 1, Folder 4 Constitutions, By-Laws, Regulations and Acts of Incorporation of the Providence Library Company, Providence Athenaeum and The Providence Athenaeum from 1753
Contents Note: Bound in a volume comprised of 3 sections, with manuscript title page "The Providence Athenaeum, 1899" and spine title "Athenaeum Constitutions, By-Laws, and Regulations from 1753". Pencilled call number: 027.2 P94C; the volume is date stamped Feb 25 1899. The bound volume includes materials from the Providence Library Company and the Providence Athenaeum established 1831 (in 1st section), and the Providence Athenaeum established 1836 (in 2nd section). At the end is a 3th section of additional blank pages for pasting in future documents.

Providence Library Company materials in the 1st section of the compilation include a set of typescript copies made in 1899 from original documents of the Providence Library Company:
  • "Rules" (dated 1768)
  • "Act of Incorporation" (dated 1798)
  • "Act of Incorportion" amendments (dated 1817)
  • "By-Laws and Regulations of the Providence Library Company" (undated)


1899

Series 2. Catalogs

Container Description Date
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 1 Providence Library Company … Catalogue
1753 December - 1762 December
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 4 Catalogue of all the books belonging to the Providence Library
1768
Archives Closet 1, Box 2, Folder 1 Providence Library Company … includes "Catalogue of Prov. Lib."
Contents Note: Manuscript. Bound with Providence Library Company miscellaneous papers, ca. 1815-1833. Includes 1 printed item, a list of missing books, 3rd Nov. 2 copies.

1815
Archives Closet 1, Shelf 1, Item 5 Charter and by-laws of the Providence Library Company and a Catalogue of the books of the Library
Contents Note: Photocopy. Published: Providence, Miller and Hutchens, 1818. 46 pages. 2 copies. Bound with Charter and By-Laws.

1818

Series 3. Collection records

Container Description Date
Archives Closet 1, Box 1, Folder 1 Books saved from the fire of 1758
Contents Note: Manuscript.

1759?
Archives Closet 1, Box 1, Folder 6 List of books missing from Providence Library Co.
1799 September 29
Archives Closet 5, Shelf 1, Item 3 Providence Library Company charging book
Contents Note: Manuscript. Bound notebook (approx. 9-1/2 x 15 inches). Spine wrapper title: Providence Library Company. 100 pages.

1815-1819
Archives Closet 5, Shelf 1, Item 4 Providence Library Company charging book
Contents Note: Manuscript. Bound notebook (approx. 7 x 16 inches). Spine wrapper title: Providence Library Company. 400 pages.

1819-1828