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The mayor of Quincy wants to create a presidential library in the city for former president John Adams.
The country's second president granted his books and papers to the people of Quincy in a deed in the 1820s, but the Adams family temporarily gave the Boston Public Library those materials more than a century ago. The BPL has had the John Adams collection in its Rare Books Special Collections since 1894.
Mayor Thomas Koch said he appreciates how the BPL has cared for the items ever since, but that it's time for them to return to Quincy.
"In these times, you know the Adams story in my opinion should become even more prominent," Koch said. "They were so far ahead of their time. One, on the issue of slavery, on principle. And two on the issue of party bickering. I mean, it's prophetic some of the words from Adams and what's happening today."
Koch said he believes "this is the beginning of a process" to make the library a reality — a process that will take time. The library would be located, he said, at the Adams Academy building in Quincy. Adams left money for the building's creation and use as a school. The school closed in 1908 and is now the home of the Quincy Historical Society.
The Adams Library materials are already available online through the BPL, but Koch said the collection is worthy of being shared with the public-at-large.
"It makes sense to bring it home," Koch said. "I think the city is well prepared to do a nice job maintaining [and] preserving this collection."
The Boston Public Library said it's reviewing the matter and calls the Adams materials a treasured part of its special collections.
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