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Topics in Chronicling America - Carnegie Libraries in the United States

December 13, 1902, the first New York City Carnegie library opens. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to establish more than 1,600 libraries in the United States. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1885 Businessman Andrew Carnegie creates a public library and meeting place for his workers at the Keystone Bridge Works, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • June, 1889 Carnegie expresses his views on how prosperous individuals should use their resources in an essay entitled “Wealth” published in the North American Review.
  • March 1901 Carnegie offers a gift of libraries to New York City and Richmond, VA.
  • January, 1902 Akron, OH accepts Carnegie’s offer of a donated library.
  • December, 1902 First Carnegie library is opened in New York City.
  • December, 1902 Carnegie increases donation for Jerseyville, IL library.
  • January, 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Carnegie attend the dedication of the Washington, DC Carnegie library.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Use the words Andrew Carnegie Library in the “All These Words” box; Adding words such as Gift, Offer, and Approved can also be helpful
  • Include the name of a location in the “All These Words” box if information about a specific library is desired
  • Limit by date if it is known when a specific library was being planned, constructed, opened, etc.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  July 22, 2015
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