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"Catalogue of Books in the Second Social Library, Deerfield, with the Bye Laws of the Company; and the Rules &..."

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Alexis de Tocqueville, a French traveler and keen observer of American institutions and culture, remarked that "Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations." The Second Social Library was among the hundreds of voluntary associations founded throughout the United States in the early 19th century. One of two social libraries in Deerfield, Massachusetts, it published in 1803 its "bye" laws, the rules of operation, and a list of the 188 volumes in the collection. The books included volumes of history, biography, travel, theology, and some works of fiction. The membership was exclusively male and all twenty-six members were professionals, prominent traders, gentleman farmers or public officials.


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