United States - Libraries and museums



Of the 32,852 libraries in the United States in 2000, 9,837 were public, with 6,376 branches; 4,723 were academic; 1,874 were government; 1,906 were medical; and a number were religious, military, legal, and specialized independent collections. The country's vast public library system is administered by municipality. The largest of these is the New York Public Library system with a total of 33.6 million items, including 17.7 million bound volumes. Other major public library systems include the Miami-Dade Public Library System with 3.9 million volumes, the Los Angeles Public Library (5.8 million), the Chicago Public Library (6.5 million), and the Boston Public Library system (6.8 million).

The foremost library in the country is the Library of Congress, with holdings of more than 26 million books and pamphlets in 2000. Other great libraries are the public libraries of Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, and Baltimore, and the John Crerar and Newberry libraries in Chicago. Noted special collections are those of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York; the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.; the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; the Hoover Library at Stanford University; and the rare book divisions of Harvard, Yale, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia universities. Among the leading university libraries, as judged by the extent of their holdings in 2000, are those of Harvard (with 14 million volumes itself), Yale, Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Michigan (Ann Arbor), California (Berkeley), Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, California (Los Angeles), Chicago, Wisconsin (Madison), and Washington (Seattle). In 1997, Cleveland, Chicago, and San Francisco all opened new, multimillion-dollar libraries.

There are about 5,000 nonprofit museums in the United States. The most numerous type is the historic building, followed in descending order by college and university museums, museums of science, public museums of history, and public museums of art. Eminent US museums include the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Collection of American Art, the Frick Collection, and the Brooklyn Museum, all in New York City; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which encompasses several important museums; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Museum of Natural History; the Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Museum of Art, both in Philadelphia; and the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. Also of prominence are the Cleveland Museum of Art, the St. Louis Museum of Art, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. In 2000 the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History reopened after a six-year, $210 million renovation.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA