We have received a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to fund development plans for the Levi M. Stewart Private Library.
The Stewart Library Building contains an important collection of books. In 1910, Levi Stewart bequeathed his private collection of over 6000 books to the Stewart Free Library. The books are still in the same room where they were originally placed. The room has been closed to the public for over 100 years.
The Building Preservation Group is committed to making the collection more available to the public and using the space to tell the story of Levi Stewart and the building. We intend to develop a museum-quality display space that protects the collection but allows the public to visit and researchers to access the books.
This grant of over $8,000, matched with local funds, will help pay an historical architect and an exhibit designer to develop a full plan for the space. This project is named the “Levi M. Stewart Private Library Access and Interpretation Project”.
The plan will include moving many of the books to a storage area that will protect them from heat, light and humidity. A glass wall will protect the books left in the room and the artifacts. Exhibits will provide visitors with opportunities to view important parts of the collection and learn the story of the building. Researchers will have controlled, secure access to the collection.
This grant is from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors. It is more than just a source of fund. It demonstrates that the National Trust for Historic Preservation, based in Washington, D.C. recognizes the importance and value of the Stewart Library Building and it’s collections.