$1,000.000! PUBLIC LIBRARY OF KENTUCKY. FREE READING FOR ALL AND HALF A MILLION IN GIFTS!! [caption title].
(Louisville): Stackhouse Print, . Broadside, 19 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches), 18 paragraphs of text and the monetary scheme enclosed within a double rule border. Illustrated with a woodcut image of the library below the caption head, titled “ Public Library Building … Fourth St., Bet. Green & Walnut, Louisville, Ky.,” above and below. Signed in type at conclusion of the text by Thos. E. Bramlette, Agt. of the Kentucky Public Library [and a former Governor of Kentucky, 1863-1867]. OCLC cites one copy only (American Antiquarian Society). Folded; light foxing, one clean 1 3/4-inch tear from left margin with no loss of text. With fault a very good copy. Item #64905
Rare broadside advertising a funding scheme for financing the establishment of a free library in Louisville, Kentucky. On the Library's website there is a short statement about the "lottery" which reads in part: Our city had a library as early as 1816, but it was not a free public library. It was a small collection housed in the old Court House. It soon folded for lack of funds as did others to follow it. In1870 some progressive individuals decided to create a public institution for information and enjoyment where anyone could borrow books without charge. The word "lottery" was carefully omitted from the 1871 charter to the Public Library of Kentucky, but trustees were able to sell tickets to fund-raisers at which lucky ticket holders would win a portion of the funds. Prizes as high as $35,000 were awarded! The trustees then began acquiring a collection and bought the Weisinger Hall (the old Kaufman's department store) to store the materials. Shortly after, a group of citizens organized to form the Polytechnic Society of Kentucky as a funding body for the library. Theirs was not a glowing success but it kept the library alive until the turn of the century, when the promise of a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, as well as local taxes, raised the prospects for a stable well-funded institution.