Library of the Week: Boston Public Library
Established in 1848 with a collection of 16,000 volumes , the Boston Public Library was the first free library opened to the public in the United States. The Central library is located in Copely Square and consists of the McKim Building which houses a vast research collection; and the Johnston Building which serves as headquarters for BPL’s 24 branch libraries and holds the circulating collection of the general library system.
Within the McKim Building are fine mural series’ from French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and American artists Edwin Austin Abbey and John Singer Sargent; fine collections of rare books and manuscripts, maps, and prints, and splendid gallery space for displaying the numerous treasures assembled over the past 160 years. Amenities include a restaurant and café, a peaceful inner courtyard, and several comfortable and wifi accessible inviting reading areas.
Visitors can enjoy a beautiful Renaissance-style courtyard with fountain, patio and chairs—an exact copy of the one in Rome’s Palazzo della Cancelleria—around which the original library is built. It’s the perfect location to escape the bustle of the city, bring books to read, or enjoy a lunch in the tranquil space. The courtyard is open the same hours as the library.
In addition to being one of the most unique and historic event venues in the city, the Boston Public Library offers ornately designed event spaces in a variety of sizes that make an ideal setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions.