Did You Know?

Did you Know?...

  • SLPL is a map depository for the federal government and currently has over 130,000 maps in its collection.
  • SLPL provides 360,000 computer hours to patrons annually.
  • The oldest item in the Library’s collection is a clay tablet dating from 2375 BC. Its message, written in cuneiform in the Sumerian language, is an economic text dealing with measurements of fields.
  • SLPL ran the Model Library at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition—better known as the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Persons employed on the Fair grounds were the primary users of the Model Library, which was located in the Missouri Building.
  • The Library owns 6,000-7,000 glass plate negatives chronicling the 1904 World’s Fair. The collection currently is being digitized for convenient access by the public. When the project is completed, viewers will be treated to many scenes that will be unfamiliar to World’s Fair enthusiasts.
  • The smallest book in the Library’s collection is The Twelve Horary Signs – Chinese Zodiac (Tokyo: Printing Museum, 2000).  A micro book, it measures only 0.95mm square and “looks like a speck of sand with corners.” It was recently donated to the Library.
  • In 1930, George Steedman donated a collection of rare books on architecture and an endowment to fund additions to the collection. A room devoted to housing this collection was added to Central Library. Today there are over 1,500 volumes in the Steedman Architecture Collection.
  • The Genealogy Collection was officially started in 1902 as directed by the Library Board and has since developed into a nationally known resource for researching one’s family history. The collection contains over 50,000 books, including 5,000 family histories, over 28,000 rolls of microfilm, 2,000 files and 150 genealogical periodicals.
  • On December 9, 2012, Central Library reopened to the public in its 100th anniversary year after being closed for a $70 million restoration and renovation.
  • The newly restored Central Library has 83 percent more space for public use including; expanded children’s and teen rooms and a 244-seat auditorium.
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