Boston Public Library

Out of the Card Catalog Closet

Librarians gathered in 1970 to challenge Library of Congress classifications and catalog subject headings that aligned homosexuality with deviance. 
A student studying in her dorm

Back to School

Stories from JSTOR Daily about education, libraries, learning, and student life.
Freedom House library, September 1964

Freedom Libraries and the Fight for Library Equity

Freedom libraries in the south provided Black residents with access to spaces and books, whether in church basements or private homes.
Galen by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

Library Fires Have Always Been Tragedies. Just Ask Galen.

When Rome burned in 192 CE, the city's vibrant community of scholars was devastated. The physician Galen described the scale of the loss.
Librarians in Gary, Indiana protect themselves with masks in October 1918 during the flu pandemic

Libraries and Pandemics: Past and Present

The 1918 influenza pandemic had a profound impact on how librarians do their work, transforming libraries into centers of community care.
Illustration of a woman walking with a book

The Library That Walked Across Belgium

What two scholar-artists learned from taking ninety books on a very, very long walk.
arsenic book

Some Books Can Kill

Poisonous green pigments laced with arsenic were once a common ingredient in book bindings, paints, wallpapers, and fabrics. Yikes.
Dangerous Librarians

Being a Victorian Librarian Was Oh-So-Dangerous

In the late 19th century, more women were becoming librarians. Experts like Melvil Dewey predicted they would suffer ill health, strain, and breakdowns.
Library fallout shelter

Preparing Libraries for Nuclear War

During the Cold War, America's libraries helped patrons prepare for nuclear war, from stocking reference materials to providing fallout shelters.
librarian obituaries

Overlooked: How the New York Times Covers Librarians’ Obituaries

In 2004, two researchers analyzed the New York Times obit section between 1977 and 2002 in an attempt to understand how the obituary section portrayed American librarians.