“Open to All:” Andrew Carnegie’s Library Building Program and the Development of the Modern Library Building Type


Author/Creator ORCID





Bachelor's Degree

Citation of Original Publication


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Initially the focus of this paper was somewhat broad. At the time I was taking the history course, “The Great Libraries of Baltimore” and Professor Husch’s “European andAmerican Architecture” class. In both classes I was intrigued by the development of libraries in the United States. In my history course, I noticed that two of the libraries the class visited on field trips, the Peabody Library and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, were both funded by philanthropists and are successful till this day. In my Art History, we touched on the physical development of libraries. Thus, the historical information on libraries, combined with the architectural history led to my research topic: the role of philanthropy in the development of public libraries. After consulting with Professor Husch I narrowed my research topic down to a specific philanthropist and building type. Thus, the focus of my paper centered on Andrew Carnegie and the history of the Carnegie libraries.During my research, I interlibrary loaned multiple books and articles from surrounding institutions. However, the Goucher library supplied me with most of my sources. First, I reviewed works that covered the basic topics, essentially the foundation of my paper: library development, library architectural practices, and philanthropy. From there I focused on Andrew Carnegie, his personal history, and career. After I collected the information on Mr. Carnegie I explored the development of the libraries built under his name. Information on this topic was more difficult to find due to the specificity of the topic.I consulted multiple databases such as, JSTOR, Academic Search Premier, and Project MUSE, and found the sources I needed to compose my paper.The process of putting together a thorough and well-researched paper is tedious. It takes time and the willingness to search for the sources you need, however, the end result is gratifying. For me, I enjoyed taking material from two classes and developing a research topic. Connecting material from multiple classes and disciplines is a rewarding experience, because it allows you to see the fibers that link different subjects together.