Spacer graphic Boston Public Library
Board of Trustees - Former Trustees
George Ticknor
Spacer graphic
Salt print of George Ticknor Spacer graphic

Founder and Trustee of the Boston Public Library, 1852-1866. President of the Board of Trustees, 1865. Born 1790 and died 1871 in Boston. Scholar, educator and author. A graduate of Dartmouth College in 1807 at age 16, George Ticknor would become Harvard University's first professor of Modern Languages and Literature, and was the author of History of Spanish Literature, among other histories and biographies. Like Everett, he believed in libraries as an important educational component for the populace and insisted that Boston's library be developed to freely circulate its book collection. Ticknor's detailed contributions on the original library proposal to the City Council set the standard for the public library movement. After his death, his collection of books on the Spanish peninsula was bequeathed to the Library with the stipulation that none should ever leave the library building. In 1895, a portrait of George Ticknor by Thomas Sully was donated to the Library by his daughter Anna and now hangs in the Rare Books Reading Room.

Sources: "George Ticknor", Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. [Online database] Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2003 at via BPL Electronic Resources web page.

Wadlin, Horace G. The Public Library of the City of Boston: A History. Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1911.

Whitehill, Walter Muir. Boston Public Library: A Centennial History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956.

Illustration: "George Ticknor", salt print, 1850's, from Print Dept.