Carnegie library

Libraries donated by Andrew Carnegie / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Serbia, Belgium, France, the Caribbean, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Fiji.

Andrew Carnegie, c.1905, National Portrait Gallery
Plaque at the Taunton Public Library in Massachusetts

At first, Carnegie libraries were almost exclusively in places with which he had a personal connection—namely his birthplace in Scotland and the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, his adopted hometown. Yet, beginning in the middle of 1899, Carnegie substantially increased funding to libraries outside these areas. As Carnegie's library funding progressed, very few of the towns that requested a grant, committing to his terms for operation and maintenance, were refused. By the time the last grant was made in 1919, there were 3,500 libraries in the United States, nearly half of them Carnegie libraries.