A Free Library in this City: The Illustrated History of the San Francisco Public Library
"Whereas, We, the citizens of San Francisco ... do most heartily approve of the project about to be inaugurated for the establishment of A Free Library in this City, and do pledge to the same our hearty and united support."
With these words, an idea was born in San Francisco, an idea that eventually - well over a century later - achieved its apotheosis in the building of the New Main Public Library. This state-of-the-art cultural institution now stands as a tribute to all those who had the vision to conceive the idea and the energy to nourish this - through eras of triumph and tragedy.
With masterful insight, Peter Booth Wiley narrates the fascinating story of this idea, tracing the concept of the library back to the origins of writing and human history itself, through the ages of antiquity to the first American libraries and beyond ... to San Francisco.
Embroidered into the thread of the main narrative are 25 specially commissioned essays from the Bay Area's leading literary figures, accompanied by original artwork by noted local illustrators.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - flemmily - LibraryThing
Strangely comprehensive (the history of the San Francisco Public Library begins in Ancient Sumeria, apparently), but a well-written look at how a public library is dependent on the goodwill, and ... Read full review
A Free Library in This City: The Illustrated History of the San Francisco Public LibraryUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
This lavishly illustrated book, handsome enough for the coffee table, was published for the dedication of San Francisco's New Main Library in April 1996. In it Wiley, a prominent local bookman, offers ... Read full review