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Steel, Cotton, and Tobacco: Philanthropy and Public Libraries in North Carolina, 1900-1940

Patrick M. Valentine
Libraries & Culture
Vol. 31, No. 2, Libraries & Philanthropy II (Spring, 1996), pp. 272-298
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25548437
Page Count: 27
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Steel, Cotton, and Tobacco: Philanthropy and Public Libraries in North Carolina, 1900-1940
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Abstract

Despite studies of national philanthropies, the actual role of philanthropy in the development of public libraries in the United States is not known. Using local, state, and foundation records, this case study examines the record of North Carolina during the heyday of public library development in the South. The study is set within the social, cultural, and political realities of the time and place. It concludes that national and local library philanthropists spread the idea and reality of local public library service, but little more. Neither national nor local philanthropy, during the formative period under review, followed any systematic approach; nor did either look seriously at library needs beyond the founding of libraries.

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