Seattle Public Library Annual Reports, 1894-[ongoing]  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle (Wash.). City Clerk
Title
Seattle Public Library Annual Reports
Dates
1894-[ongoing] (inclusive)
Quantity
.4 cubic ft., ((1 box))
Collection Number
1802-I5
Summary
Annual reports of the Seattle Public Library from 1894 to 1997; annual reports will continue to be added to the series. Includes information on library's finances, physical location, circulation, acquisitions, policies, contributions, and technology. Photographs of library activities are also included.
Repository
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
98124-4728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-233-7807
Fax: 206-386-9025
archives@seattle.gov
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Although Seattle's first library association was organized in August 1868, the library was not a regular branch of city government until 1891. In 1896, with the establishment of a new charter, the management of the library, previously under the control of a library commission, was transferred to the position of librarian, who reported to the mayor and city council. In 1899, after several moves, the library moved from the Rialto Building to the Yesler Mansion. After a 1901 fire destroyed the library and its entire collection, Andrew Carnegie donated $200,000 for a new central library building. He later contributed another $20,000 for furnishings. The new central library was dedicated in 1906 and stood between Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Madison and Spring Streets.

In 1909, the state legislature removed all libraries in the state from the jurisdiction of the municipal civil service commissions so that the library could select its own employees.

Several other Carnegie-financed branches opened in Seattle neighborhoods following the dedication of the central library. These included the Greenlake, University, West Seattle, Queen Anne, Columbia, and Fremont branches, all built between 1910 and 1921. The Yesler branch (now Douglass-Truth), which opened its doors in 1914, was the first city-financed branch library. By 1949, the library had 11 branches.

The 1949 earthquake damaged the main library, however, and it found temporary housing until 1960, when the new library (built on the same site as the old Carnegie library) was dedicated. The library was outgrowing its space by the 1990s, and, in 1998, taxpayers approved $196.4 million in bonds for a new Central library, as well as additions and modifications to Seattle's branch libraries. The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, were selected in 1999 to design the new 355,000-square-foot central library. The new Central branch of the Seattle Public Library opened in May 2004.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Library annual reports date from 1894 to 1997; annual reports do not exist for every year, and there is a large gap between 1967 and 1985. Annual reports are added to the collection on an ongoing basis, however, and there are also copies of annual reports in the Documents collection. Reports from the library board and those from the librarian are both included. Early reports discuss the financial status of the library, physical location, circulation, acquisitions, policies, and contributions. The 1896 report states that “the reading of wholesome fiction…is rest to the weary, illumination to the perplexed, a cure for selfishness and narrow mindedness, and an inspiration to a fuller and better life.”

Later reports include information on the development of a technology division, the library’s efforts towards meeting wartime needs, and selected statistics, among other topics. Beginning in 1939, photographs of library activities are included are part of some reports. The 1959-1960 report includes floor plans for the new building.

Also included in this series is the 1958 annual report of the Municipal Reference Library.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Seattle Public Library Annual Reports, Record Series 1802-I5. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Seattle Public Library Annual Reports, 1894-[ongoing]Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1894
1/1
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1895
1/1
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1896
1/1
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1898-1899
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1905
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1908
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1909
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1913
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1918
1/2
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1921
1/3
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1931
1/3
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1935
1/3
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1936
1/3
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1938
1/3
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1939
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1940-1941
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1942
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1942
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1943
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1945
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1946
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1948
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1949
1/4
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1950
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1951
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1952
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1953
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1954
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1955
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1956
1/5
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1957
1/6
Municipal Reference Library Annual Report
1958
1/7
Seattle Public Library Biennial Report
1959-1960
1/7
Seattle Public Library Biennial Report
1961-1962
1/7
Seattle Public Library Biennial Report
1963-1964
1/7
Seattle Public Library Annual Report (1965 Statistical Supplement to 1963-1964 report)
1963-1964
1/7
Seattle Public Library Biennial Report
1966-1967
1/8
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1972
1/8
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1985
1/9
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1996
1/9
Seattle Public Library Annual Report
1997

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Public libraries--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Annual reports
  • Occupations :
  • Public librarians--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Seattle Public Library (creator)
    • Municipal Reference Library (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)