Pacific Mills Library (Lawrence, MA)



“The directors of the Pacific Mills, desiring to promote the intellectual and moral welfare of those in their employ, and recognizing the intimate relation which intelligence and morality bear to effective skill and industry, early provided (A.D. 1853) for the establishment of a library, appropriating therefor a donation of one thousand dollars, devoted to the purchase of such works as seemed best suited to the wants of working readers.  To secure the permanence and increase the of the library, the contribution of one cent per week to its funds is made a condition of employment in the mills.  In return for this contribution the use of the books is freely accorded to each person employed, subject to such regulations as may, from time to time, be adopted by the Trustees.

The library now (1876) embraces nearly seven thousand volumes.  In connection with the library a reading room for men, conveniently situated, containing the local and daily Boston newspapers, and a reading room for girls, containing newspapers and most of the leading periodicals of the day, are sustained by the same funds.” (Preface Catalogue of the Pacific Mills Library, Lawrence, Mass. 1876)


The Pacific Mills donated their employees’ library to the LPL in 1887.  At the time the entire collection was put directly into the Library’s holdings, much of it circulating.  Over the years much of the original library went missing or was removed.  In the 1990’s the original volumes (located by a variety of book stamps) were removed from the library’s many collections and formed it into the remains of the original Pacific Mills Library.  These books are now (2016) a separate monograph collection called the Pacific Mills Monograph Collection.  The remaining 477 volumes of the library are on display in the Trustee Board Room on the third floor of the Library.  You will see a variety of library bindings, different call numbers, and degrees of preservation.

pacific mills


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