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The Library of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River

A Library, Frozen in time

There is little mention of the Library of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River in the roster of materials within UMass Lowell Libraries' Center for Lowell History. It is more than an assemblage of antiquarian books within the greater Proprietors of Locks and Canals Collection, but a self-contained library with holdings in a wide variety of subject areas.

Locks and Canals Library Data

Location and metrics: Shelved on the 2nd floor of the Center for Lowell History, Mogan Cultural Center.


1,666 bound volumes.
80 standard shelves
240 linear feet 
12 
Ranges


53 Monographs cataloged in WorldCat

 


Primarily bound codex editions with 15 Hollinger Boxes (5" x" 9" x 12") containing pamphlets.

 

Library of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River, A Brief Appraisal

 

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The Library of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack (commonly referred to as the Locks and Canals Book Collection) contains works used in the construction, maintenance, and improvement of the Lowell canal system and its mechanisms as well as the hydroelectric plants under the Proprietor’s purview. It is comprised of what would have been state of the art books and pamphlets, in English as well as French, dating from the 17th to the early 20th century. Subject areas include architecture, astronomy, civil engineering, law, mechanics, and physics with many of the tomes heavily illustrated. It is miraculous that this self-contained library, that served the informational needs of one of the oldest corporations in North America, has survived intact. The prospective use of these antiquarian books may be predominantly in the area of the history of engineering.        

From the Locks and Canals Library holdings

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From Tall chimney construction. a practical treatise on the                            From A text-book of field astronomy for engineers /  

construction of tall chimney shafts, etc. [with Plates.] /                                Comstock, George C. New York, J. Wiley & Sons, 1902.

Bancroft, Robert M, and Bancroft, Francis J. Manchester, 1885.