Mission: To support the boston public library (bpl) in the catologing, repair, restoration, digitization, and exhibition of the bpl's special collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints and drawings, musical scores, works of art, and items of historic, literary, and cultural importance. In addition, the organization sponsors the associates of the boston public library writer-in-residence program, and holds literary and curatorial programs designed to draw attention to the library and its recources; and funds other activities which in the opinion of the board of directors support the needs of the bpl.
Programs: The associates of the boston public is dedicated to conserving the boston public library's special collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints and drawings, musical scores, works of art, and items of historic, literary, and cultural importance. The organization is committed to ensuring continued public access to these irreplaceable treasures by underwriting their cataloging, repair, restoration, digitization, and exhibition.
the organization sponsors the associates of the boston public library writer-in-residence program to provide emerging authors with the financial support and office space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults. This program draws attention to the importance of writers and writing in our culture, as well as the many educational oportunities offered by the boston public library.
the organization hosts literary and curatorial programming designed to heighten awareness of the boston public library and its special collections. During fiscal year 2017 this programing included the hundred year retroactive book award, which weighed the enduring literary merits of bestsellers published a hundred years ago, and "a cry against the players: pilgrims, puritans, and shakespeare's wicked stage" timed to coincide with the bpl's shakespeare unauthorized exhibition.
An independent 501c3, the Associates of the Boston Public Library is dedicated to cataloguing, conserving and digitizing the Library's Special Collections. These extraordinary holdings include such irreplaceable treasures as President John Adams's personal library; one of the foremost collections of Shakespearena in the country; the ashes, death masks of reputed anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti; a rare collection of Spanish language literature, including such classics as a first edition of Don Quixote and notebooks containing first drafts of plays by Lope de Vega; an extensive array of anti-slavery materials, including items as diverse as copies of The Liberator, papers of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, broadsides, and correspondence generated by major figures in the American Anti-Slavery movement; thousands of letters penned by America's Founding Fathers; and much more.
We believe it is ESSENTIAL to ensure continued free public access to these extraordinary educational resources. We are doing this by funding supplementary staff positions in the BPL; underwriting the cost of new equipment and supplies in the Library's conservation lab; paying for outsourcing of vulnerable materials to outside conservators; and sponsoring programs that underscore the importance of writers, writing, libraries and learning in our culture.
The Associates also manage the David McCullough Conservation Fund, dedicated to conserving the Special Collections in perpetuity, and the Wiliam O. Taylor Fund, focused on the conservation of the Library's many works of art.
The Library today has many obligations to fulfill. Helping this important cultural organization conserve its most important contents-- the very elements that make it one of America's great libraries-- is critical. The Associates is the only organization dedicated exclusively to this goal.