Boston Public Library

Boylston Street @ Dartmouth Street

First built in 1848, the Boston Public Library is America's oldest public library and the fourth largest in the USA. It was initially called The People's Palace, and the University of the People, a beacon of learning for immigrants and working families. The BPL's Irish collection contains over 13,000 items and many rare items. Among its important collections include materials on the 1798 Uprising; the formation of the Irish Free State; the Abby Theatre, Seamus Heaney.

The Music Department has an important collection of Irish sheet music, while the Microfilm Department has various newspapers and papers of historical significance. The Photo Department has rare photographs from Civil War photographer Matthew Brady and many photos that capture Boston's Irish history.

Among the statuary of Irish interest are a bust of Hugh O'Brien, Boston's first Irish mayor and a bust of John Boyle O'Reilly both by sculptor John O'Donoghue; the twin marble Lions in the foyer of the McKim building by Louis Saint Gaudens, heraldic seals above the McKim building entrance by Augustus Saint Gaudens, and a bust of George Ticknor by Martin Milmore.

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