Books & More
With about 85,000 volumes, the Mercantile Library’s collection of print, e-books, and audiobooks covers a broad spectrum of works and subjects. It reflects 187 years of organic growth reflecting shifting interests, tastes, and influences.
The collection is organized according to the Dewey Decimal system, and shelved primarily in the North Stacks, where you will find most subjects and biographies. The South Stacks contain poetry, Shakespeare, and the Travel and Geography section, which is rich in works written for armchair travelers from an age when books were the safest and easiest way to experience the world.
Over the years members have enjoyed everything from serious literary works to novels of fantasy, adventure, science fiction, and intrigue.
This unique collection mirrors almost two centuries of the literary pursuits and interests of our city. We continue to circulate books to members, and the library purchases new books each week.
The collection continues to delight and surprise those who explore it, offering the magic of discovery, of stumbling on both well-thumbed and freshly pressed works.
The Mercantile Library’s art collection, anchored by portrait busts, is the oldest public art collection in the city. Many of the works were acquired abroad. Sculptures and paintings include influential regional leaders, writers, and politicians, and are worth an afternoon of exploration.
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