Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hill District Branch CLP.20170725.001

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Archives and Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Archives and Special Collections
Title
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hill District Branch
Collection Number
CLP.20170725.001
Date [inclusive]
1899-2008
Extent
3.5 Linear Feet Seven boxes
English

Preferred Citation

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hill District Branch, William R. Oliver Special Collections, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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Biographical / Historical

One of the eight original Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches, the Wylie Avenue library, located in the Hill District, was the third branch built and was dedicated on June 1, 1899. The library served customers of many nationalities and provided books in 15 languages, including Hebrew, Russian, Romanian, Italian, German, Polish, French, Swedish, and Welsh. Over the first eight months, the branch was overwhelmingly successful.

During its peak, the Library circulated 220,330 books a year. From 1920 to 1949, the Hill gradually became a predominately African American neighborhood as other ethnic populations moved to other areas. The library's focus on foreign language books shifted to fit the changing demographic and to accommodate the interests and needs of the changing community. It was during this era that the Wylie Branch developed an extensive African American Collection.

In June 1971, Wylie Branch became a part of Inner-City Services department under the supervision of Ms. Elizabeth E. Combs. It began as a highly experimental endeavor, based upon plans formulated by members of the community. At this time the Wylie Avenue Branch also reversed its downward trend in use. Special library programs were presented and the number of groups used the library as a meeting place also increased. Due to a deteriorating building, the Wylie Avenue library was relocated to a new space at 419 Dinwiddle Street within the Phoenix Hill Mall, approximately 500 feet from the original building in 1982. It was at this time the branch was renamed Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Hill District.

On April 19, 2007, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and residents of Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood helped Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh officials break ground for a new library building, making it the first new building in the city's library system since 1980, located on the corner of 2177 Centre Avenue and Kirkpatrick Street. To complete the move, the Library consolidated its two Hill District locations, closing the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading and Cultural Center. On October 25, 2008, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh opened its first new building in over 28 years with a two day celebration.

The Hill District community has changed continually since the first Hill District Library opened in 1899, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh continues to meet the neighborhood's evolving needs. The Hill District branch is the first freestanding library built under Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Libraries for LIFE Capital Campaign. The location, on a major artery of the Hill District, provides the Library with great visibility and positions it to serve as a cornerstone in the area's redevelopment.

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Content Description

The collection contains primarily administrative correspondence and annual reports beginning from the branch's opening in 1899 until 2003. The collection also includes reports and history of the branch and the 75th anniversary celebration. The collection contains construction and contract information for the building of the new branch, event fliers, meeting minutes from the advisory committee, monthly reports from both the branch and the boys and girls room from c.1960-1989. Also notably included in the collection is a day book from one of the librarians from 1899 to 1902 and early librarian exams. Photographs included in the collection have been removed from the documents and are housed in a separate folder. Notably a few were taken by the noted Pittsburgh photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder and chronologically within each folder. The folders are organized with the earliest date in the back and the most recent in the front. The photographs dispersed throughout the collection have been removed from the documents and housed together in a separate labeled folder within the collection. A full box of snapshots from celebrations and events is housed separately in one archival box. The boxes are organized with the latest dates in front and the earlier dates in the back.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Archives and Special Collections

4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
info@carnegielibrary.org
URL: http://www.carnegielibrary.org/

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions.

Custodial History

The materials were removed from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hill District Branch and transferred to the William R. Oliver Special Collections Room.

Accruals

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hill District Branch sends new materials to the Oliver Room on an irregular schedule.

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Collection Inventory

  boxfolder
Administrative Correspondence 1982-1989 11
  boxfolder
Administrative Correspondence 1975-1981 12
  boxfolder
Advisory Committee Minutes 1977-1982 13
  boxfolder
Advisory Committee Minutes 1972-1976 14
  boxfolder
Air Raid Procedures 1947 15
  boxfolder
Anniversary Celebrations, Ceremonies and Openings 1949-2008 16
  boxfolder
Anniversary Celebrations-Planning 1974 17
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1981-1990 21
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1967-1980 22
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1950-1966 23
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1945-1949 24
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1941-1944 25
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1925-1940 26
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1916-1924 27
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1904-1915 28
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1999-2003 31
  boxfolder
Annual Reports 1994-1998 32
  boxfolder
Annual Reports-Children's Department 1953-1988 33
  boxfolder
Annual Reports-Children's Department 1945-1952 34
  boxfolder
Apprentice Examinations-Carnegie Library 1903-1925 35
  boxfolder
Bank Deposits and Receipts 2002 36
  boxfolder
Branch Dedication 1982-1983 37
  boxfolder
Branch Evaluations 1949-1985 38
  boxfolder
Branch Library Study/Community Analysis 1948-1987 39
  boxfolder
Budget Projection 1986-1988 310
  boxfolder
Building Construction-Blueprints 1976-1978 41
  boxfolder
Building Construction-Equipment and Furniture 1975-1983 42
  boxfolder
Building Construction-Renovation and Planning 1965-1976 43
  boxfolder
Children's and Juvenile Department-Correspondence and Memos 1901-1949 44
  boxfolder
Committee on the Enlargement of Wylie Avenue Branch-Correspondence 1926 45
  boxfolder
Community Profiles-Hill District 1917-1984 46
  boxfolder
History of Wylie Branch 1910-1978 47
  boxfolder
History of Wylie Branch-Photographs 1915-1975 48
  boxfolder
History of Wylie Branch-Site Photographs 49
  boxfolder
Inner-City Services, Wylie Avenue Branch 1969-1986 410
  boxfolder
Kay's Boy's Club Building-Dedication  1944 411
  boxfolder
Miscellaneous-Branch Events 1953-1983 412
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1956-1964 51
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1950-1955 52
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1941-1949 53
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1918-1940 54
  boxobject
Day Book-Children's Department  1899-1902 51
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1987-1989 61
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1983-1986 62
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1979-1982 63
  boxfolder
Monthly Reports-Children's Department 1965-1971 64
  boxfolder
Newsletters and Publications 1968-1986 65
  boxfolder
Survey of Branch Services 1949-1961 66
  boxfolder
Staffing Requests 1978 67
  boxfolder
Thank You Cards-Correspondence 1982-1986 68
  boxfolder
Hill District Photographs-Celebrations and Events 1970-2000 71