The Acquisitions Table: Catalog of the Mobile Circulating Library

Mobile Circulating Library. New and revised catalogue of the Mobile Circulating Library … established November, 1874. Mobile [AL]: Shields & Co., 1879.

Only recorded copy (in any edition) of this catalog of a substantial southern lending library. Rates began at $6 per year and up, for which subscribers had access to over 2,000 volumes (including some in French), and some 30 newspapers and periodicals (including several in German). Fiction predominated, and there was a fair amount of German literature as well, apparently all in English translation. The Mobile Circulating Library, which occupied rooms in the Battle House Hotel (pictured), was also—perhaps primarily—a bookstore and stationery shop. Primary sources on the “book culture” of the ante- and post-bellum South are distinctly uncommon, and this is a noteworthy addition to AAS’s holdings. Purchased from L. & T. Respess. Harry G. Stoddard Memorial Fund.

Published by

David Whitesell

Curator of Books, American Antiquarian Society

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