Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Public Library’

3rd June
2011
written by Richard

Believe it or not, there was a time when the  San Diego Public Library was open twelve hours a day, Monday through Saturday, plus Sunday afternoon.  The librarians took only three holidays: Thankgiving Day, Christmas, and July 4th.   One of my favorite library photographs is shown here below.  Those were the days . . .

In the early 1900s, San Diegans expected and received generous public hours at the Central Library.

1st April
2011
written by Richard

The thrilling and fascinating spectacle of a San Diego-built plane, piloted by a famous army and air mail aviator, racing across the Atlantic Ocean . . .  will be witnessed this summer.  A contract for the construction of a monoplane for his proposed New York to Paris non-stop flight was awarded to the Ryan Aircraft Company of this city yesterday by Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh.  –San Diego Union, March 1, 1927.

Read the story of Lindbergh and San Diego. 

Lindbergh prepares to leave San Diego. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

17th February
2011
written by Richard

Art gallery in the Carnegie Library.

As a target for art thieves, the Public Library would seem an unlikely place. Nevertheless,  janitor Robert Butler had an unwelcome surprise when he opened the doors of the library on Friday morning, February 5, 1909. As Butler climbed the stairs to the art gallery on the second floor, he was shocked by the sight of empty picture frames strewn along the baseboards. Fifteen oil paintings on loan from prominent local artists had disappeared. . .

The story of the Carnegie Library Art Heist.

28th December
2010
written by Richard

Last May I wrote a post on City Directories: their value to historical researchers and the need for digitization.    These books list personal and business names, addresses, and occupations for most of San Diego County.  Now some great news to report.  Nearly 40 years of San Diego directories are available online from the Internet Archive

Several months ago, the Special Collections department of the San Diego Public Library accepted an incredible offer from the Balboa Park Online Collaborative to have these important volumes digitized.  The years from 1887 to 1925 were scanned, page by page through the services of  the BPOC.  Volumes once available only in the California Room at the downtown library,  can now be viewed and searched online, or downloaded in a variety of formats. 

Click here for  San Diego Directories.

Probably the easiest way to use the directories is to read them online.  You can flip through the pages or do a search by name.   One problem, unfortunately, is that the directory titles don’t always show the year.  So here’s a hint.  If you look on the right side of the search results you’ll see “sort results by.”  Click on “Date” and the volumes will be sorted by year.

If you don’t want to rely on your Internet connection you can also download the entire volumes in pdf, full-text, or other formats.  You can even download the directories to a Kindle.

15th November
2010
written by Richard

San Diego is three years away from a new Central Library.  Getting libraries built in San Diego is a historic problem.  Follow the link below for a six-minute video on the plans for the New Central and a history of difficulties in the past: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/nov/12/downtown-library-always-too-popular-too-small/

1st October
2010
written by Richard

This is a book of defamation, of depravity, written by an atheistic, degenerate mind—and yet it is honored with a place in Public Libraries.  —San Diego Patriotic Society, January 1963.

The issue of “banned books” has been with society for centuries.  Here’s a story of how the San Diego Public Library coped with censorship in 1963.  Read: The Last Temptation.

7th September
2010
written by Richard

The building was populated with an amazing assortment of wildlife—squirrels, bees, doves, flies, lost cats and dogs, lizards, fleas, termites, spiders, and mice. None of these visitors could really be blamed on the proximity of the Zoo next door. The staff learned not to feed the squirrels, to administer soda and sympathy for bee stings, [and] to wield a well-aimed fly swatter . . .    Clara Breed, City Librarian.

Read here about The Library in Balboa Park

The Public Library in Balboa Park's Food and Beverage Building, 1953.

18th May
2010
written by Richard

For nearly fifty years the San Diego Public Library used bookmobiles to bring library service to greater San Diego.   Elementary schools and shopping centers were regular stops for the library-on-wheels.  Read more about the Bookmobiles.

18th May
2010
written by Richard

The San Diego Public Library began in 1882.  San Diego’s “literary resort” was the second floor of a bank building at Fifth and G, where it shared space with a dentist’s office. 

Read more about the first Public Library.

30th April
2010
written by Richard

The philanthropist Andrew Carnegie funded construction of 1,689 libraries in the United States between 1883 and 1929.  San Diego was the site of the first Carnegie library in California.

Read more about the Carnegie Library in San Diego and see the film below.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2QzzcMEhiE

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