The School District Library by Harper & Brothers

The School District Library by Harper & Brothers

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Description (Brief)

From the nation’s beginning, Americans have grappled with who gets educated and who pays for education. Both public and private schools have relied on a combination of public and private funding. Disparities in wealth and political influence have affected Americans’ ability to support schools. As a result, educational philanthropy has reflected inequalities in the American economy and society. Giving through contributions of time and money have both created opportunities for students and increased inequalities among them.

Beyond paying taxes, communities have helped to fund schools through giving time, money, and supplies. This portable library is typical of one that hung on school walls in the 1800s. In some schools, a portable library was purchased through community donations, while in others, an individual donated one.

Object Name
portable library case w/ books (31)
Object Type
date made
mid-19th century
Harper & Brothers
Harper and Brothers
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
leather (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 23 in x 6 in x 16 in; 58.42 cm x 15.24 cm x 40.64 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Greenwood
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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