Day 470

Huntington Free Library and Reading Room

April 13th, 2013

Older than the New York Public Library system, this private library was opened in 1891 in the town of Westchester (now part of the Bronx) by the railroad baron Collis P. Huntington. It fell on hard times financially after the Smithsonian Institution unsuccessfully attempted to seize its extensive American Indian collection in the 1990s; the library prevailed in court, but ended up having to sell off the collection anyway (to Cornell University) after the legal fees and other expenses had depleted its coffers.

(The candle and leprechaun in the foreground are a memorial to a library worker of Irish descent who recently passed away.)

One Comment

  1. Gigi says:

    Sad to know the library’s money were paid for legal fees instead of using it to maintain the collection.

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