Page 1 of the Meekins Library (Williamsburg, Mass.) Accession Book, Volume 1 (10 inches h. x 8 ┬╜ inches w.) for the period from May 1, 1895, to January 1898, containing a sequential list of the public library's earliest acquisitions, numbered 1 to 5000. The listing includes the accession number, author title, place and publisher, year of publication, pages, size, description of the binding, source of book, cost, classification and notes. At the time, Williamsburg was a farming community and most of the first 25 books are from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, about agriculture, horticulture, and animal science. The first volume recorded, Physiology of the Soul, is by the American physician Martyn Paine, author of medical and religious texts. The second is a Greek and English dictionary. Both volumes are from Stephen Meekins (1812-1894), benefactor of the public library. The Meekins library building was not opened until 1897, but the free library was founded after Meekins' 1894 bequest and the librarian began purchasing books. The citizens of Williamsburg had long felt the need for books and had established a subscription library in 1876, the Williamsburg Library Association. Eventually the Association merged with the Meekins Library. For a detailed account of the early holdings of the Meekins Library, Williamsburg, Mass., see additional Accession volumes in the Meekins Library Records.
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