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George Barrell Emerson Correspondence

 Collection — Container: MS f Am. 142
Call Number: MS f Am. 142

Scope and Contents

This collection contains ninteeen letters written to George Barrell Emerson in 1847 in response to a circular letter sent to schools in Boston, inquiring about the state of their libraries.  The responses indicate whether the school presently has a library, whether the library in question has its own shelf space or is contained in a separate room, the cost of books currently held by the school, the desirability of a library for the exclusive use of teachers, the type of books owned by the school, and titles of books the school would like to possess. Several letters also specify the requirements their school necessitates to move from one class level up to the next.


  • Majority of material found in 1847


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

George Barrell Emerson (1789-1881) was born in Wells, Maine, and graduated from Harvard in 1817. Shortly after graduating, he became headmaster of private boy’s academy in Lancaster, Massachusetts and later became the first headmaster of the English high school for boys in Boston. In 1823 he opened a private school for girls in Boston, which he ran till 1855, when he retired from the teaching profession.


19.00 Items

Language of Materials



This collection contains nineteen letters written to George Barrell Emerson in 1847 in response to a circular letter sent to schools in Boston, inquiring about the state of their libraries.

Arrangement Note

Arranged chronologically.

Physical Access Requirements

In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. In addition, we do not assert any additional restrictions on copies of items beyond those that might exist in the original.

As such, we cannot grant or deny permission to use copies of items held in our collections.

It is the sole responsibility of the user to make his or her own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law. Provision of a copy from the Boston Public Library should not be construed as explicit permission to use it for any particular reason.


If you are using a credit line, please use “Boston Public Library” with the collection or call number, if available.

Related Materials

Boston School Committee Minutes

Boston School Committee Records

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts staff.
George Barrell Emerson Correspondence
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2015-03: Updated by Anna Lawrence, March 2015.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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Boston MA 02116 United States