100-year celebration forthcoming for library
BY EDWARD MCGOVERN
On April 20, 1899, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie
executed a Declaration of Trust agreement which legally established the
Andrew Carnegie Free Library. Construction of the library, at 300
Avenue in Carnegie Borough, began in October of 1899. The library opened
the public on May 1, 1901.
The Declaration of Trust agreement is the Library's legal charter.
Andrew Carnegie set-up this rather unique type of charter for only a few
library's he funded. The Andrew Carnegie Free Library's historic trust
agreement is one of few which remains, as written by the library's donor.
The Trust agreement has several provisions, which is enforced by the
Orphans' Court Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas,
including "The Library shall be free to the people forever..." with
exceptions of Music Hall and Lecture Hall fees.
In addition, provisions also included the creation a Board of Trustees
with 10 Life Trustees and was the fourth of five libraries to receive an
endowment from Andrew Carnegie of $93,000 in 1899. At the end of the
Declaration Trust agreement, Andrew Carnegie Wrote:
"In my opinion no body of Citizens of Carnegie will ever enter upon a
trust more beneficial for the town of Carnegie, however great the future
that town may be," Carnegie wrote on April 20, 1899 in New York.
The Declaration of Trust agreement, in its entirety, can be found on
library's Internet Web site, along with other historic documents and a
library photo album at: