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The design of the Carnegie library in Danville, Illinois (1904): re-reading the reputation of the Carnegie library built-form in America

Black, Alistair and Prizeman, Oriel 2021. The design of the Carnegie library in Danville, Illinois (1904): re-reading the reputation of the Carnegie library built-form in America. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society 5 (1) , pp. 24-48. 10.5325/libraries.5.1.0024

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Abstract

Opened in 1904, the Carnegie public library in Danville, Illinois was much praised as a civic institution, not only for the services it provided but also for its impressive architectural presence. Responding negatively to a request made in 1910 by the Danville Library Board for additional funding to enlarge their library, Carnegie’s private secretary and overseer of building applications and plans, James Bertram, was retrospectively critical of what he viewed as the space-wastefulness of the design of the 1904 building. Using this criticism as a sounding board, as well as by drawing on ideas about library architecture debated by librarians over the previous generation, an attempt is made to highlight the progressive elements of the Danville design; thereby suggesting the possibility of a wider rehabilitation of the reputation of the Carnegie library building type, not least in terms of libraries that were designed before the more generic guidance introduced by Carnegie in 1908 and the 1911 'Notes on Library Bilding' [sic].

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: E History America > E11 America (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Publisher: Penn State University Press
ISSN: 2473-0343
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 15 May 2020
Last Modified: 22 May 2022 08:20
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/137153

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