The Lord's Librarians

david h stam

Abstract


"The Lord's Librarians" describes in new detail the activities of the American Seamen's Friend Society in distributing loan libraries to merchant and naval ships for over 130 years. Based on the archives of the Society in the G.W. Blunt White Library at the Mystic Seaport Museum, the study examines the history of the Society in its efforts towards moral improvement of seamen, fostering temperance, reducing licentiousness, encouraging Sabbath worship and observation, countering swearing, and promoting thrift and financial responsibility among sailors. It examines the largely evangelical collection development policies for these compact 40-45 volume library boxes, and attempts to locate the surviving boxes and surviving books from these libraries. It ends with some unanswered questions which deserve further study.

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