Degree Year

1993

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Advisor(s)

Geoffrey Blodgett

Keywords

Library, Building, Architecture, American, Social

Abstract

This paper seeks to place the development of the American public library building in its social and historical context from 1876 to 1950 and to present a preliminary feminist analysis of the public library as a building type. Like all social constructs, architecture reflects the values and rituals of its makers. Too often in America we reduce architecture to its functional and technological components and do not recognize the social implications of the built environment we create and inhabit. Though technology has played a major role in determining the shape of our physical environment, social forces have also been very important. Indeed, developing new technology and new methods of building is an important aspect of American culture.

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History Commons

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