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During winter vacation, my oldest son and I had the opportunity to visit the Boston Public Library. 3.7 million people visit this library every year to enjoy roughly 23 million items. But it's not just about the books. The BPL is a historic landmark with stunning Renaissance architecture, a marble staircase guarded by two stone lion sculptures, and gorgeous paintings by Sargent, Chavannes, and Abbey covering walls and ceilings throughout. I wanted my son to appreciate this Boston landmark, but I also had a secondary mission: to locate the John Adams collection.

John Adams, the second US President and a founding father of our nation, was a Massachusetts-born, Harvard-educated lawyer who called himself a collector of books. In 1894, a portion of his collection - over 3500 volumes in 8 languages - was donated to the Boston Public Library. Thousands more are housed at Peacefield, the family's Quincy estate. His collection is said to be one of the largest personal libraries held in America during his lifetime (1735-1826).*

My son and I ascended to the top floor of the library, bypassing the common rooms full of tourists and students. When we stepped into the Rare Books room, it was like entering another world. 

Continue reading here:

Step Into Your New World! (Revival)

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