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NEVINS MEMORIAL LIBRARY
HARRIET HOWE AMES
FRANKLIN PRESS: RAND AVERY COMPANY
NOTE BY THE TRUSTEES.
THE Nevins Memorial was founded in memory of the late David Nevins, who was born in Salem, N.H., Dec. 12, 1809, but was brought to Methuen by his parents at an early age, and passed here the years of his childhood. In his later years he assumed the duties of a citizen, and here at the family homestead he was seized with the illness which, on the 19th of March, 1881, unexpectedly closed his active and useful career.
Desiring to promote the intellectual and moral well-being of the community whose material interests had been so greatly advanced by his business sagacity and energy, it was his expressed intention to found, during his lifetime, an institution similar in scope to that of this Memorial. His sudden decease prevented his execution of this design, but the purpose he had declared was at once taken up by his widow and sons, and the Nevins Memorial Building was erected upon the site chosen and purchased for that use some years before his death.
The building was planned, and its construction supervised, by Mr. Samuel J. F. Thayer, architect, of Boston ; ground for its erection being broken March 27, 1883, and the completed structure first opened to the public June 11, 1884. It contains a public hall, ample in size and beautiful in decoration, a library, waiting and reading rooms well adapted to their respective uses, and suitable rooms for the trustees and librarian.
The government of the Memorial is vested in a board of seven trustees, five of whom, Mrs. Eliza S. Nevins and Messrs. David Nevins, Henry C. Nevins, Jacob Emerson, and John H. Morse, were incorporated by the Massachusetts legislature of 1885 as permanent members. The two additional members are chosen by the town of Methuen for the term of two years, Dr. George E. Woodbury and Mr. James Ingalls being the present elective members.
When experience shall have shown what amount is needed for the proper maintenance of the Memorial, it is the design of the founders to make an endowment sufficient to render it entirely self-supporting.
The library comprises nearly ten thousand volumes of standard works, carefully selected, and covering a wide range of general literature and special topics. To Miss Ames was intrusted its entire organization, including the selection of the books, the details of classification and arrangement, and the preparation of the catalogue. We feel confident that the result of her labors will not only facilitate the use of the library for general readers, but will be found of particular advantage to those pursuing a systematic course of reading, or engaged in special studies. The end crowns the work.