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The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue (review)

The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue (review) JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Spring 2011) The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue. Catherine M. Parisian, ed. (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, for the Bibliographical Society of America and the National First Ladies' Library, 2010. Pp. 416. Cloth, $55.00.) Reviewed by Kyle B. Roberts Millard Fillmore is not often celebrated for his presidential accomplishments, but this book chronicles one of them: the establishment of the first library for the White House. As Sean Wilentz argues in the opening essay, Fillmore's role as progenitor of the library makes sense. Unlike his aristocratic predecessors who brought their own libraries with them or democratic ones who would not deign to spend public money on a private library, Fillmore saw a permanent library as an essential feature of the White House's public and private worlds. Born in rural poverty, Fillmore experienced intellectual privation first-hand and spent his life acquiring books and building libraries. What began as a request for a reference collection of Congressional publications grew into a full-scale resource for staff and family alike. For President Fillmore and First Lady Abigail, the White House Library stood as a symbol of self-improvement and domestic gentility, two things http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 31 (1) – Feb 11, 2011

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1553-0620
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Abstract

JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Spring 2011) The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue. Catherine M. Parisian, ed. (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, for the Bibliographical Society of America and the National First Ladies' Library, 2010. Pp. 416. Cloth, $55.00.) Reviewed by Kyle B. Roberts Millard Fillmore is not often celebrated for his presidential accomplishments, but this book chronicles one of them: the establishment of the first library for the White House. As Sean Wilentz argues in the opening essay, Fillmore's role as progenitor of the library makes sense. Unlike his aristocratic predecessors who brought their own libraries with them or democratic ones who would not deign to spend public money on a private library, Fillmore saw a permanent library as an essential feature of the White House's public and private worlds. Born in rural poverty, Fillmore experienced intellectual privation first-hand and spent his life acquiring books and building libraries. What began as a request for a reference collection of Congressional publications grew into a full-scale resource for staff and family alike. For President Fillmore and First Lady Abigail, the White House Library stood as a symbol of self-improvement and domestic gentility, two things

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 11, 2011

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