Early library for tradesmen & apprentices

> In March of 1789, the Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers was chartered. Members were mechanics, tradesmen, and manufacturers (and their apprentices) who formed the association for mutual protection and assistance, and to further their interests in the town. In order to fulfill this purpose, the group discouraged the purchase of foreign-made goods, established and enforced best practices and standards of professionalism among its members, and advocated social and political reform—supporting, for instance, the acceptance of the Federal constitution, promoting the temperance cause, assisting in the foundation of Butler Hospital, and raising money for the Roger Williams monument. In 1821 the Society created a library for its members and their apprentices, beginning with about 400 donated volumes. In 1847 a Reading Room was established, and at its peak the collection held 7,000 volumes with a circulation of 20,000 items per year. In 1870 this collection was donated along with almost $5,000 in cash to the effort to found the Providence Public Library.

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