BPL: The Foundation Of Public Libraries08:12

This article is more than 10 years old.

The Boston Public Library
(Click an image to start a slideshow)

The modern idea of a public library was essentially born with the Boston Public Library. The main McKim Building on Copley Square is also widely regarded by architecture fans as one of the greatest public buildings in America. A new book offers glances inside the building and the institution that have never been seen before.

Author Catherine Willis unearthed hundreds of forgotten photographs for the latest edition of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. Her volume on the Boston Public Library includes, among other things, photos of the Rube-Goldberg-like pneumatic tube communication system that once snaked through the building.

Willis herself works at the library and she shows us photos of its earliest days, and deepest foundations.


This segment aired on September 5, 2011.