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Illinois State Library

City: Springfield

County: Sangamon

State: Illinois

The Illinois State Library dates back to 1839 when the Illinois General Assembly enacted a law appropriating the sum of $5,000 for the purpose of paying for a law and miscellaneous library for the use of the General Assembly and the Illinois Supreme Court. In December 1842, the General Assembly passed an act that separated the law books from the miscellaneous collection, the latter to compose the State Library under the secretary of state, who became the ex-officio state librarian. This act defined the duties of the librarian, set policies for borrowing and returning books, and defined penalties for damaged or unreturned books. In January 1847, the General Assembly enacted legislation that further defined the duties of the librarian and permitted the secretary of state to sell surplus volumes of the Revised Statutes, American State Papers, and other titles deemed not necessary for retention. In 1853, the General Assembly appropriated $900 to put up additional shelves in the library room, build and install glass cases for the library's most valuable items, and to repair the room. Two years later, the General Assembly authorized the secretary of state to use the proceeds derived from the sale of surplus volumes for the sole benefit of the library and appropriated $500 for 1855 and 1856 for the purchase of books and periodicals.

An Act Making an Appropriation for a Library for the Use of the Legislature and Supreme Court; "An Act concerning the State Library," 15 December 1842, Laws of Illinois (1843), 290-91; "An Act to Amend an Act in Relation to the State Library," 27 January 1847, Laws of Illinois (1847), 160-61; "An Act to Authorize the State Librarian to Repair the Library Room, and for Other Purposes," 12 February 1853, General Laws of Illinois (1853), 229; "An Act to Authorize the Purchase of Books for the State Library," 15 February 1855, Laws of Illinois (1855), 171; James A. Rose, comp., Blue Book of the State of Illinois (Springfield, IL: Phillips Bros., 1903), 480.