Subscription Libraries (page 2)



The Grolier Club Library in New York City. The Grolier Club is a society of bibliophiles, founded in New York City in 1884, the oldest such club in North America. The club is named after Jean Grolier, whose 16th-century library was well-known among bibliophiles. The Grolier Club maintains a research library of 100,000 volumes specializing in books, bibliography and bibliophily, printing (especially the history of printing and examples of fine printing), binding, illustration and bookselling. The Grolier Club has one of the more extensive collections of book auction and book seller catalogs in North America.



The Main Reading Room at the Charleston Library Society, in Charleston, South Carolina. The Library Society was founded in 1748, but the current building was constructed in 1914 by Philadelphia architects McGoodwin and Hawley, designed in the Beaux Arts classical style using stuccoed brick and marble detailing. The main floor features arched Palladian windows separated by double pilasters with Ionic capitals. The Library has more than 110,000 volumes. Memberships costs from $50 to $100 annually, depending upon age.


The London Library, in London, England. It is the world's largest independent lending library, founded in 1841 by a group of men who included Thomas Carlyle, who was dissatisfied with some of the policies at the British Library. The library has been in its current location since 1845 and holds more than one million volumes, over 97% of which are available for loan, and are stored in 15 miles of open-access shelves, which may be freely browsed. Membership costs £435 per year.