Saturday, June 11, 2011

Article on Evansville, Indiana's Former African American Library Branch (The Cherry Street Branch -- A Colored Carnegie Library)

 The Spring 2011 (v. 10, no. 2) issue of the Library History Round Table Newsletter contains a short article I wrote about the former Cherry Street Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library of Evansville, Indiana. Built with a donation from Andrew Carnegie, the Cherry Street Branch Library (also known as the "Colored Branch") provided services to Evansville's African American community from 1914-1954. To read the article, visit the Library History Round Table Newsletter's page at:

Fenton, Michele. "Building Spotlight: The Cherry Street (African American) Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County, IN Public Library." LHRT Newsletter 10.2 (2011):6-7. Print.

Update 03/04/2012:

  There is also a longer, expanded article I wrote containing additional information about the Cherry Street Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library in Indiana Libraries, v. 30, no. 2 (2011):

Fenton, Michele T. "Way Down Yonder at the Cherry Street Branch: A Short History of Evansville's Negro Library." Indiana Libraries 30.2 (2011): 37-41. Print.

Update 06/01/2012:

   The Cherry Street Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library is briefly mentioned on pages 56 and 213 of the following monograph:
      McPherson, Alan. Temples of Knowledge: Andrew Carnegie's Gift to Indiana. Kewanna, IN: Hoosier's Nest Press, 2003. 56, 213. Print.

Update 12/17/2012:

See related posts: Lillian Sunshine Hayden Childress Hall: Pioneer in the History of Library Service to African Americans in Indiana, Fannie C. Porter and the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library, and Minnie B. Slade Bishop: 1939 Graduate of the Hampton Institute Library School, and The Flanner Guild Deposit Station, Paul Laurence Dunbar Branch, Crispus Attucks Branch, and the George Washington Carver Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library (Indianapolis, Indiana).

Update 03/09/2013:

The Wisconsin Historical Society has in its digital collection, a picture of children using the Cherry Street Branch:

Also, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library has in its digital collection, a picture of the Cherry Street Branch in 1927:,253

Update 04/18/2014:

I wrote an article on Lillian Haydon Childress Hall who served as branch manager of the Cherry Street Branch from 1915 until 1921. The article was published in the latest issue of "Indiana Libraries". Click the link below for access:

Fenton, Michele T. "Stepping Out on Faith: Lillian Haydon Childress Hall, Pioneer Black Librarian." Indiana Libraries 33.1 (2014): 5-11. Print.

Update 6/07/2014:

Rachel Davis Harris, noted children's librarian at the Eastern Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, was the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony for the Cherry Street Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library. The ceremony took place on December 2, 1914 at McFarland Baptist Church (also called "McFarland Chapel"). The title of Mrs. Harris's speech was "The Advantages of Colored Library Branches." The Southern Workman, a journal published by the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), published Mrs. Harris's speech in the v. 44, no. 7 (1915) issue. Google Books has digitized the Southern Workman. You can view Mrs. Harris's speech by clicking on the link below:

Harris, Rachel D. "The Advantages of Colored Library Branches." The Southern Workman 44.7 (1915): 385-391. Pdf.

The Cherry Street Branch is also mentioned in the following sources:

Malone, Cheryl Knott. "Quiet Pioneers: Black Women Public Librarians in the Segregated South." Vitae Scholasticae 19.1 (2000): 64. Print. ; Bigham, Darrel. Southern Indiana. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000. 89. Print. ; "The Negro Library in Evansville, Ind." Public Libraries 20.3 (1915): 115. Print. ; "News of Indiana Libraries." Library Occurrent 3.8 (1913): 138. Print. ; "Carnegie Donations." Library Occurrent 3.7 (1913): 124. Print. ; "News of Indiana Libraries." Library Occurrent 3.12 (1914): 203. Print. ; "New Library Buildings." Library Occurrent 4.2 (1915): 28. Print. ; "Personals." Library Occurrent 3.12 (1914): 204. Print.  ; Evansville Public Library. Second Annual Report, 1914. Evansville: Evansville Public Library, 1915. 6. Print. ; Goldhor, Herbert. The First Fifty Years: The Evansville Public Library and the Vanderburgh County Public Library. Evansville: Goldhor, 1962. 4, 22. Print. ; Evansville Public Library. First Annual Report, 1913. Evansville: Evansville Public Library, 1914. 8. Print. ; Bobinski, George S. Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. Chicago: ALA, 1969. 80, 176. Print. ; Shores, Louis. "Public Library Service to Negroes." Library Journal 55.4 (1930): 152. Print. ; Atherton, Christi. "West Branch Library, A Mix of Past & Present." Evansville Courier & Press 22 Aug. 2008: n. pag. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. ; Rose, Ernestine. "Work with Negroes Round Table." Bulletin of the American Library Association 16.40 (1922): 363-365 and Library Journal 47.14 (1922): 666-668. Print. ; Bigham, Darrel E. An Evansville Album: Perspectives on a River City, 1812-1988. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1988. 92. Print.

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