Mechanics’ Institute Library

Jan 5, 2009 by

LISNews published a post today about a 2004 story on the membership libraries. The main library featured intrigued me as I didn’t know of it before. The Mechanics’ Institute Library and Chess Room was founded in 1854 in San Francisco and is the oldest library on the West Coast and one of the oldest chess clubs in the US. Its’ purpose was to promote adult education, technical learning and industry with collections appropriate to that purpose. The building and collections were lost in the 1906 fire but a new building reopened some four months after.

Since then though, the collections focus has been greatly broadened to include the arts, business, literature and social sciences. But I bet the special collections still have great technical and scientific books. Borrowing is reserved to members but tours are open to non-members.

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