A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Library." by Mrs. Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948)
Publication: Elliott, Maud Howe, ed. (1854-1948) Art and Handicraft in the Woman's Building of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Chicago and New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1894. pp. 133-138.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


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PAINTING–"A SELLREIN WOMAN."
BARONESS MARIANNE ESCHENBURG.
AUSTRIA.

THE LIBRARY.

ONE of the most important features of the Woman's Building is the library, which contains the writings of American and foreign women. The work of collecting the American books was done by committees in the different States. Various plans were pursued in making these collections. Massachusetts held that quality, rather than quantity, was to be sought. A high standard of excellence was required, and in most cases the authors were only invited to send one of their works. The chairman of this committee, Margaret Deland, herself our leading woman novelist, prepared a very excellent catalogue, which accompanied Massachusetts' small and valuable exhibit. This catalogue includes 2,000 books, written by Massachusetts women between the years of 1612 and 1893. It will therefore be seen that while the Bay State might have sent 2,000 books, she contented herself with sending one hundred.

As New York has made the largest collection, a statement of the plan pursued by its literary committee has been prepared by the chairman. The library is an exhibit rather than a working library, and the catalogue, which has been very carefully prepared, will prove one of its most interesting features. The arrangement of the shelves shows the number of books sent by the different States and countries, so that, at a glance, the visitor may see that Belgium is well represented, and that France, Germany, and Great Britain lead among the foreign collections; that New Hampshire has given itself very little trouble, and New York a great deal. The cata-


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BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATION–"IN THE MEETING HOUSE."
A.B. STEPHENS.
UNITED STATES.
logue is so arranged that a very cursory examination will show the subjects with which women writers have chiefly dealt. An index of authors gives many details of each writer's professional life, showing the line of work to which she has devoted herself, and any honors that she may have won.

The English books deserve careful examination. They are accompanied by some very valuable manuscripts; among others we may see the handwriting of Maria Edgeworth, Miss Burney, Jane


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Austin, Mrs. Gaskell, Charlotte Brönté, and George Eliot. The first page of Adam Bede, with an affectionate note of dedication to George Lewes, signed Marian Lewes, dated 1859, is one of the most interesting objects in the World's Fair. In the same case with these precious manuscripts may be seen three fine editions of the "Boke of St. Albans," by Dame Juliana Berners.

Germany has been wonderfully generous to us, and her 500 admirably selected and beautifully bound volumes are a gift from the women of Germany.

Spain sends us a treasure of old and rare books and priceless manuscripts

Bohemia has 307 volumes, and France 800.

One of the valuable features of the collection in our library is the large number of pamphlets and monographs on professional and scientific subjects. All women who have published papers of this description are earnestly invited to send copies of their work to the librarian of the Woman's Building. The visitor will find volumes written by women from Japan, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, Bohemia, Belgium, Cuba, Peru, and Austria, and one volume in Arabic, by an American missionary. Many of the States and countries represented have given their collection to the Library of Woman's Work, which is to be established in the permanent Woman's Building, to the erection of which all who have labored for our building look forward.

A card catalogue of the books, which now number 7,000, is being arranged, under the direction of Miss Edith E. Clarke. No author who has examined the careful and beautiful arrangement of the catalogue would be satisfied to remain unrepresented in it. We earnestly beg all women writers, who have not already done so, to contribute their books on whatever subject.

In this connection it seems well to call attention to the very large field of work which opens for women as librarians. There is no department of human labor for which our American girls are better fitted than to the careful, patient, exact profession of the librarian. Mr. Melville Dewey of the State Library at Albany gives, as the result of his experience, the statement that our young women are better fitted for this work than their brothers. We learn from him that there is an ever-increasing demand for women librarians.

Owing to the unavoidable delay attending the arrangement of the library it has been impossible to secure the necessary data for the preparation of an article which does justice to this most


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CEILING OF LIBRARY.
DORA WHEELER KEITH.
UNITED STATES.

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DESIGNS FOR LACE.
NINA FRENCH.
UNITED STATES.
important department. These few rough notes, made when our volume is already in press, are entirely inadequate to the subject. They are made in the hope that they may call the attention of the visitor to a most interesting and valuable feature of our building.

The following statement of the number of books received at our library was made on the 30th day of May, 1893:

Alabama64
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas 1
California 9
Colorado46
Connecticut111
Delaware8
District of Columbia100
Florida8
Georgia9
Idaho
Illinois100
Indiana1
Iowa2
Kansas3
Kentucky6
Louisiana72
Maine42
Maryland56
Massachusetts100
Michigan24
Minnesota34
Mississippi4
Missouri3
Montana
Nebraska20
Nevada
New Hampshire3
New Jersey350
New Mexico
New York2,500
North Carolina26
North Dakota
Ohio96
Oregon11
Pennsylvania400
Rhode Island45
South Carolina13
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas27
Utah
Vermont
Virginia14
Washington
West Virginia5
Wisconsin4
Wyoming
Arabia
Belgium350
Bohemia307
Cuba (included in Spain).
Denmark
Finland1
France800
Germany (gift)500
Great Britain500
Italy (gift–more are coming)150
Japan50
Mexico9
Peru1
Portugal
Spain300
Sweden130
Turkey1

THE EDITOR.


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LANDSCAPE–"BANKS OF THE OKA."
MLLE. OLSONFIEFF.
RUSSIA.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This chapter has been put on-line as part of the BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of this chapter were the work of volunteer
Laura June Dziuban.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom