New England Carnegies

A site that honors the libraries that Andrew Carnegie helped to fund

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carnegie Visit Worcester, Massachusetts

March 26, 1913

  Andrew and Louise Carnegie spent three hours in Worcester on March 26, 1913.  Andrew helped lay the cornerstones for the three branch libraries that he helped to fund.  The local newspaper coverage of the events, both before and after, makes for interesting reading.  Andrew used a specially-inscribed silver trowel to spread the cement.  He had to stop in mid-route to buy a pair of rubbers because his shoes were getting wet.  And of course, a certain amount of official "speechifying" carried the afternoon. 

  But most interesting of all is the attitude and dedication these people showed toward libraries and life-long learning.  (Imagine a mayor wanting them so badly that he sailed to Scotland to hand-deliver the funding request to Carnegie's secretary!)  We rejoice at hearing the library referred to as "one of the creative agencies of civilization" and "the organ of triumphant democracy."  In retrospect, their efforts are now even more thought-provoking.  Of those three libraries begun that day, only the Greendale site (now called the Frances Perkins branch) still operates as a branch library.  The Quinsigamond building is part of an elementary school complex.  The South Worcester building is now a residential duplex.

Read more about it:

See the Worcester branch library pages: