Education: Up from the Stacks

Thomas Hollis, the London merchant-philanthropist, had nothing but good will for the struggling little colonial college in Cambridge, Mass., but he decided something would have to be done about Harvard College's library. The collection, he found in 1725, was "ill managed . . . You let your books be taken at pleasure home to Mens houses, and many are lost, your (boyish) Students take them to their chambers, and teare out pictures & maps to adorne their Walls." It was really a wonder that the library had managed to survive at all. "Such things," warned Mr. Hollis, "are not good."

In spite...

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