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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 153836 ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

1899

ADDRESS,

THE Trustees of the New-York Society Library, considering the important nature of the establishment entrusted to their charge, and sensible of the expediency of adopting more effectual measures to increase its respectability and usefulness, by enlarging the collection of useful and scarce books, have thought proper, in the first instance, to address themselves on this subject, to the friends and votaries of literature and science.

The library at present contains upwards of twelve thousand five hundred volumes, comprising the works of the most eminent authors, ancient and modern; many of them in choice and splendid editions, and which are rarely to be found in the collections of an individual. Owing however to the circumscribed funds of the society, and a debt contracted by the erecting and subsequent additions to the building, the trustees have for some years past perceived with concern, their inability to furnish the library with many valuable books which are frequently sought for by the scholar and man of learning; or to gratify the growing taste and literary curiosity of the public, by procuring a ready supply of re

cent and periodical publications, as well as the more expensive works of science.

They feel persuaded, however, that in a city so distinguished as this is for its prosperity and opulence, and which has never yet incurred the imputation of refusing patronage and encouragement to the cause of Literature and the liberal arts, the maintenance of a public library can never be a matter of unconcern; and they are confident that the plan they have long had in view of rendering the library more useful to men of letters, and more inviting and beneficial to the citizens in general, will not be frustrated by a want of encouragement in those who have it in their power to contribute to its success.

They do not, however, in the present instance, propose to solicit pecuniary aid, without offering an adequate consideration. The object of the present address, is merely to invite those of their fellow citizens who are not yet subscribers to this institution, to become the purchasers of an interest, which, if properly managed, will be annually increasing in value, and may be transferred at pleasure, like any other species of property.

Computing the books to be worth, on a very moderate calculation, fifteen thousand dollars, the lot and building at about sixteen thousand, and reckoning the present number of subscribers at five hundred and fifty, it will be evident, that according to this intrinsic value of the property, a share might reasonably be estimated at sixty dollars. As the price, however, has for some time past stood at thirty

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