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SIE logo The Edwardsville Library of 1819 (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

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The Edwardsville Library of 1819

Milton C. Moore

John C. Abbott, the founding director of Lovejoy Library, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, loved local history. As an academic librarian and a transplanted resident of Edwardsville, Illinois, in the early 1960s, Abbott became fascinated when he learned from a printed broadside document displayed in the Edwardsville Public Library that the frontier community of Edwardsville had possessed a library as early as 1819. Thanks to good fortune, Abbott managed to obtain through an antiquarian dealer named Paul Chamless a few of the books that had been part of that early nineteenth century Edwardsville library and added them to Lovejoy Library's holdings.

 

Loretta Moore

Although he aspired to prepare a scholarly study dealing with the history of the 1819 collection, Abbott's extensive administrative duties prevented him from immediately carrying out such a project. In 1964, Abbott hired Milton Cyril Moore (1921-1996) for his Lovejoy Library staff as head cataloguer. Moore, a native of Yucaipa, California, graduated from the University of Redlands in 1951, and earned his library degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952. An avid bird watcher, Moore served Lovejoy Library with distinction for twenty-seven years, founded the Library Staff Association, and authored A Concordance to Classical Bird Myths in English Literature (1991). When Abbott could not free the necessary time to pursue the history of the 1819 library, he relinquished the task to Milton Moore.

 

In 1981, the Friends of Lovejoy Library support organization published Moore's manuscript, The Edwardsville Library of 1819: Its Founders, Catalog, Subsequent History, and Importance. In addition to Moore's detailed study, this digital collection also includes scans of the books acquired by John Abbott for Lovejoy Library, including:

Louis-Sebastien Mercier, Memoirs of the Year Two Thousand Five Hundred (1799)

F. J. de Pons, A Voyage to the Eastern Part of Terra Firma (1806)

Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain (1811)

H.M. Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana (1814)

Morris Birkbeck, Letters from Illinois (1818)

Grenville Mellen, A Book of the United States (1835)

 

Thanks to the cooporation and permission of Susan Carr, director of the contemporary Edwardsville Public Library, this digital collection also includes a scan of the original catalog document that first attracted John Abbott's attention as a new resident of Edwardsville.

 

Stephen Kerber conceived and authored this digital collection. Virginia Stricklin scanned Milton Moore's typescript publication, the original books, and the broadside document. Marlee Graser provided the digital presentation and metadata.

 

Questions about this collection? Contact Lovejoy Library at 1-618-650-4636.

 
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