Mercantile Library Association of San Francisco

Last updated

The San Francisco Mercantile Library Association (est. 1852) was a civic group organized in San Francisco, California, to "stimulate a generous rivalry in mental culture, by rendering it the fashion to read and converse on literary topics." [1] Its founders J.B. Crockett, F.A. Woodworth, and F.C. Ewer aspired to "make our infant city as distinguished for literature and science as it already is for its commerce and wealth." [1] By 1854 the group had collected for its library some 3,000 volumes. The library grew to 14,000 volumes by 1861, and to 36,000 by 1874. Holdings included travel writing, essays, plays, California history, American history, and literature by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Sainte-Beuve. [2] In 1906 the association merged into the San Francisco Mechanics' Institute. Later the same year an earthquake disaster ruined the combined collections. [3] The Institute constructed a new Mechanics'-Mercantile Library building in 1910. [4] [5]


Related Research Articles

Mechanics Institutes educational establishment

Mechanics' Institutes are educational establishments, originally formed to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects, to working men. Similar organisation are sometimes simply called Institutes. As such, they were often funded by local industrialists on the grounds that they would ultimately benefit from having more knowledgeable and skilled employees. The Mechanics' Institutes were used as "libraries" for the adult working class, and provided them with an alternative pastime to gambling and drinking in pubs.

San Francisco Mechanics Institute historic membership library, cultural event center, and chess club in San Francisco

The Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room is a historic membership library, cultural event center, and chess club in the Financial District of San Francisco, in the U.S. state of California at 57 Post Street. Founded in 1854 to serve the vocational needs of out-of-work gold miners, the institute today serves readers, writers, downtown employees, students, film lovers, chess players, and others.

Greater Victoria Public Library public library system in British Columbia

The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) is a public library that serves Victoria, British Columbia and the surrounding area.

Oakland Public Library public library system in California, USA

The Oakland Public Library is the public library in Oakland, California. Opened in 1878, the Oakland Public Library currently serves the city of Oakland, along with neighboring smaller cities Emeryville and Piedmont. The Oakland Public Library has the largest collection of any public library in the East Bay, featuring approximately 1.5 million items. It consists of a main library located in downtown Oakland, and 16 branch libraries throughout the city.

St. Louis Mercantile Library library

The St. Louis Mercantile Library, founded in 1846 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, was originally established as a membership library, and is the oldest extant library west of the Mississippi River. Since 1998 the library has been housed at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as a Special Collections library within the Thomas Jefferson Library. The majority of library materials can be assigned to one of four categories: the General (Core) Collection, the John W. Barriger Railroad Library, the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library, or the Art Museum. The collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library have been named a City Landmark by the city of St. Louis, Mo., due to the cultural significance of the library.

The San Francisco Art Association (SFAA) was an organization that promoted California artists, held art exhibitions, published a periodical, and established the first art school west of Chicago. The SFAA – which, by 1961, completed a long sequence of mission shifts and re-namings to become the San Francisco Art Institute – was the predecessor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over its lifetime, the association helped establish a Northern California regional flavor of California Tonalism as differentiated from Southern California American Impressionism.

The Mercantile Library Association (1820-1952) of Boston was an organization dedicated to operating a subscription library, reading room and lecture series. Members included James T. Fields and Edwin Percy Whipple. Although the association had a relatively long history, its heyday occurred in the mid-19th century, particularly the 1840s and 1850s.

Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association

The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association (est.1795) of Boston, Massachusetts, was "formed for the sole purposes of promoting the mechanic arts and extending the practice of benevolence." Founders included Paul Revere, Jonathan Hunnewell, and Benjamin Russell. Through much of the 19th century, the association organized conferences and exhibitions devoted to innovation in the mechanical arts.

The Membership Libraries Group is an organization of non-profit membership libraries in the U.S., formed in 1991.

Francis Jackson (abolitionist) American abolitionist

Francis Jackson (1789–1861) was an abolitionist in Boston, Massachusetts. He was affiliated with the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Boston Vigilance Committee. He also worked for the South Cove Corporation, filling in land in Boston's South End in the 1830s.

Stephen William Shaw American artist

Stephen William Shaw was a California '49er and portrait painter who helped discover and name Humboldt Bay and introduced viticulture to Sonoma County by 1864.

John Dabney (1752–1819) was a postmaster, publisher, and bookseller in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He was born in Boston in 1752 to Charles Dabney and Elizabeth Gardner. With Thomas C. Cushing, John Dabney published the Salem Mercury newspaper, 1787-1789. In 1790 he married Abigail Mason Peale (1767-1834). Beginning around 1790 he ran the "Salem Book-Store" which offered books for sale or short-term rental; customers included William Bentley. Dabney also served as Salem postmaster ca.1792-1815. He belonged to the North Church in Salem and the Essex Lodge of the Freemasons. Dabney sold the contents of his shop at auction in 1818. He died in 1819.

<i>Boston Evening Traveller</i> newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Evening Traveller (1845–1967) was a newspaper published in Boston, Massachusetts. It came out daily, with weekly and semi-weekly editions, under a variety of Traveller titles. It was absorbed by the Boston Herald in 1912, and ceased publication in 1967.

University of Manchester Library Academic library system of the University of Manchester

The University of Manchester Library is the library system and information service of the University of Manchester. The main library is on the Oxford Road campus of the university, with its entrance on Burlington Street. There are also ten other library sites, eight spread out across the University's campus, plus The John Rylands Library on Deansgate and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre situated inside Manchester Central Library.

<i>Arthurs Ladys Home Magazine</i>

Arthur's Home Magazine (1852-ca.1898) or Ladies' Home Magazine was an American periodical published in Philadelphia by Timothy Shay Arthur. Editors Arthur and Virginia Francis Townsend selected writing and illustrations intended to appeal to female readers. Among the contributors: Mary Tyler Peabody Mann and Kate Sutherland. In its early years the monthly comprised a selection of articles originally published in Arthur's weekly Home Gazette. Its nonfiction stories contained occasional factual inaccuracies for the sake of a good read. A contemporary review judged it "gotten up in good taste and well; and is in nothing overdone. Even its fashion plates are not quite such extravagant caricatures of rag-baby work as are usually met with in some of the more fancy magazines." Readers included patrons of the Mercantile Library Association of San Francisco.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of San Francisco, California, United States.

New York Mercantile Library

The Center for Fiction, originally called the New York Mercantile Library, is a not-for-profit organization in New York City, with offices currently located at 15 Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Prior to their move in early 2018, The Center for Fiction was located at 17 East 47th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues in Midtown Manhattan. The Center works to promote fiction and literature and to give support to writers. It originated in 1820 as the Mercantile Library and in 2005 changed its name to the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction. although it presents itself as simply "The Center for Fiction".

The following is a timeline of the history of San Jose, California, United States.

Myer Joseph Newmark (1838–1911) was the youngest city attorney in the history of Los Angeles, California, and was active in the affairs of that city in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


  1. 1 2 Constitution of the San Francisco Mercantile Library, San Francisco: Printed at the Daily Evening News Office, 1854
  2. Catalogue of the Library of the Mercantile Library Association of San Francisco, San Francisco: Francis & Valentine, printers, 1874, OL   7122877M
  3. Dewey, Melvil; Bowker, Richard Rogers; Pylodet, L.; Leypoldt, Frederick; Cutter, Charles Ammi; Brown, Karl; Weston, Bertine Emma; Wessells, Helen E. (July 1908), Library Journal
  4. San Francisco Blue Book. 1919
  5. "Building History". Mechanics' Institute.

Further reading