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Albertson Public Library – Books and Beyond

ABOVE:  “A Woman’s War Record” donated by Captain Charles Albertson.

When the Albertson Public Library opened to the public in November 1923, most of the books in the collection were gifts from individuals and organizations. A number of books were also purchased from Baker & Taylor for the children’s department, since few of the donations were suitable for the juvenile collection.

Book Collection

Captain Charles Albertson amassed an impressive personal collection of approximately 12,000 books and a large collection of pamphlets, photographs, and clippings, long before his first visit to Orlando. The scope of the book collection is described in great detail in the January 19, 1906, edition of the Waverly Free Beacon. His collection was reviewed 14 years later by an inspector for the education department and reported in the September 3, 1920, edition of the Waverly Sun.

Captain Albertson’s writings on his love of collecting books are fascinating, explaining how he came to acquire many rare titles. The books he donated to the City of Orlando are quite fragile due to age and their many years on bookshelves in libraries before air conditioning was common, however, a small selection of the books have been digitized and are available to Orange County Library System card holders.

The Sorosis Club of Orlando also donated their entire collection of approximately 3,000 books to the library. Most of the Sorosis Club books are listed in Accession Book 1, 0001-2000 (see links below).

In addition, books were donated by Wesleyan Bible Class, the Unitarian Church, D.A.R. of Orlando, Eclectic Club, First Church of Christ, Unity Alliance and Father Michael J. Fox, Pastor of St. James Cathedral.

This excerpt from the November 1923 Monthly Report, shows there were 9,674 books on hand at the opening on November 8th. Another 285 books were gifted and 482 purchased during the first month of operation, bringing the total books available by the end of November 1923 to 10,448.

Captain Albertson’s love of genealogy is evident in this early purchase of Savage’s four volume Genealogical Dictionary in March 1923, months before the library opened in November 1923.  View catalogs, business cards and early book orders

Mr. Frederick G. Birch was a representative of P. F. Collier & Son. View the entire catalog.

George Van Meter thanks Sexton Johnson, president of the Library Commission, on May 2, 1923, for accepting the books he wished to donate. View the books he donated.

The O’Neal-Branch store was located at 33-35 East Pine Street and the building is still there. It was owned by Orlando pioneer William R. O’Neal. View the invoice to see what the library purchased.

Accession Books

The original accession books still exist. They contain painstakingly recorded entries for every book added to the library collection, the call number, author, title and, eventually, the date the book was withdrawn. The entries also include the name of the person who donated the book or the company from which it was purchased.

The first accession book contains entries 1 – 10,000, and includes books gifted by Captain Charles L. Albertson, the Sorosis Club (primarily found in entries 1-2000), and others in the community like George Van Meter, John H. Bentley, Mrs. Robert Howe, F. W. Taylor, the Unitarian Church, D.A.R. of Orlando, Eclectic Club, First Church of Christ, Unity Alliance and Father Michael J. Fox, Pastor of St. James Cathedral, and the Wesleyan Bible Class.

The gifts of many others are just recorded only by their surname: Alden, Ange, Badger, Baldwin, Beardall, Benham, Bishopf/Bischopf, Bishop, Branch, Bretzfield, Brumbaugh, Carper, Carrier, Cavanaugh, Chapin, Christ, Cooper, Cornwall, Mrs. Craig, Curry, Fernandez, Finch, Giddings, Gray, Harper/Larper, Hart, Henderson, Howell, Jackson, Jameison, Krebs, Lane, Mather, Morgan, Nash, O’Neal, Paul, Robinson, Seymour, Smith, Stapp, Sturges, Switzer, Turfee, Underwood, Warlow, Welch, Wilson, Wright, Wurst, and Young.

Accession book one

Front Matter

Entries 0001-1000

Entries 1001-2000

Entries 2001-3000

Entries 3001-4000

Entries 4001-5000

Entries 5001-6000

Entries 6001-7000

Entries 7001-8000

Entries 8001-9000

Entries 9001-10,000

 

 

Newspapers and Periodicals

Included in a booklet created for the 1923 opening of the library is an impressive collection of 63 periodicals and 8 newspapers available to the public. The November 1923 Monthly Report indicates that the number increased during the first month of operation to 106 periodicals and 10 newspapers! Library patrons were able to borrow “check out” the magazines for reading at home.


1923 booklet listing Magazines and Newspapers

Loose Leaf Encyclopedia – Clippings and Pamphlets

Captain Charles Albertson believed that information in books should be augmented by the collection of pamphlets and clippings from periodicals and newspapers. He referred to his collection of clippings, photographs and pamphlets as his “Loose Leaf Encyclopedia.” It is referenced in his writings about collecting books (p. 16) and mentioned in the January 31, 1926 Sunday Reporter Star overview of the library’s first two years.

Captain Albertson: “Nine tenths of the educational writing at present appears in newspapers and periodicals. All or a large part of that in the newspapers is lost, and that in the magazines and other periodicals is difficult to preserve. That this valuable material might be preserved I have been trying to devise some scheme for several years and believe I have succeeded. I divide the entire field into two hundred subjects, and this can be extended if desired to suit any and all.”

Sunday Report Star, January 31, 1926: “All clippings, pamphlets, and pictures in Captain Albertson’s Loose Leaf Encyclopedia have been classified and arranged in alphabetical order.”

Art Posters

Patrons were not able to borrow the art posters on display in, what the Sunday Reporter Star described as the “Art Room,” but the room was a favorite of visitors and was often used for meetings and events.


The Art Room at the Albertson Public Library.

The front page of the Literature Art Music section of the January 31, 1926, Sunday Reporter Star featured photographs of the staff and interior of the Albertson Public Library.

An overview of the accomplishments made during the first two years of operation includes a break down of the number of books checked out by adults and children. Mention is also made of additions to the collection, the Loose Leaf Encyclopedia, creation of school class room libraries, and more.

 

Read more about the Albertson Public Library – In the beginning 

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ATTACHMENTS

Book from Capt. Albertson's library

Book from Capt. Albertson's library

Book from Capt. Albertson's library

Book from Capt. Albertson's library

Waverly Free Beacon 1906

Full front page article on Captain Albertson's private library in Waverly, New York. He allowed his community to access his library. Article...

1920 Review of Capt. Albertson's library

A very favorable review of Capt. Albertson's library collection by a Department of Education inspector was reported in 1920.

Books donated by George Van Meter

Books donated by George Van Meter May 1923.

1923 Albertson Public Library

Informational booklet created in 1923 for the opening of the Albertson Public Library.

List of magazines and newspapers

From 1923 brochure showing list of 63 periodicals and 8 newspapers.

November 1923 Monthly Report

First monthly report of the Albertson Public Library. Note there are 106 periodicals and 10 newspapers available to the public.

January 31, 1926 report on progress of the library.

Report on accomplishments of the library in the first two years. Published in the Sunday Reporter Star January 31, 1926.

January 31, 1926 - Staff of the Albertson Library

From the Sunday Report Star, January 31, 1926, Literature Art Music section.

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1920 Review of Capt. Albertson's Library Collection

A very favorable review of Capt. Albertson's library collection by a Department of Education inspector was reported in 1920.


1923 Albertson Library Review

This booklet appears to have been created for the opening of the library in November 1923 as it includes rules, list of newspapers and magazines, staff members, etc.


Purchase of Genealogy Dictionary.

Purchase of four volume Genealogy Dictionary from Cadmus Book Shop in New York City.


Variety of book catalogs, receipts and donations.

Book catalogs, receipts, donations.


November 1923 Monthly Report

First monthly report created for the Albertson Public Library after opening on November 8, 1923.


Albertson Library - First Two Years

Describes accomplishments of the library from November 1923 through 1925.


January 31, 1926, Sunday Reporter Star

Describes accomplishments of the library from November 1923 through 1925.


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