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Free Library of Philadelphia

From Academic Kids

The Free Library of Philadelphia is the public library system serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

History

In 1890, George S. Pepper, the uncle of the provost of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. William Pepper, died. At the suggestion of Dr. Pepper, he had earmarked $225,000 of his estate to go towards the foundation of the Free Library of Philadelphia, which was established on February 18, 1891. Lawsuits from private libraries held up the disbursement of the funds until 1894; meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia opened six branches of a separate institution, the Philadelphia Public Library, beginning in 1892. In March 1894 the first branch of the Free Library was opened at City Hall, and later that year the two institutions merged under the Free Library name. By 1898 the Free Library had the largest circulation in the world, at 1,778,387 volumes.

The Library's headquarters moved to 12th and Chestnut Streets in 1895. In 1906, it was decided that the Library's permanent headquarters should be along the proposed Benjamin Franklin Parkway (then known as the Fairmount Parkway), and Logan Square was chosen as the site in 1910, the same year the Library moved to 13th and Locust Streets. Ground was broken in 1917 and construction began in 1920. The new building was completed in late 1926, and the Free Library of Philadelphia opened for business at its current location on June 2, 1927.

Branches

There are 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia not counting the Central Library, located throughout the city.

External links

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