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Board of Trustees - Former Trustees
William Whitwell Greenough
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William Whitwell Greenough Spacer graphic

Trustee of the Boston Public Library, 1856-1888. President of the Board of Trustees, 1866-1888. Boston merchant and politician. Born 1818 and died 1899 in Boston. William Greenough pursued the mercantile life after graduating Harvard University in 1837, and served on the Boston City Council from 1847 to 1849. A trustee with Ticknor and Everett, he served 32 years on the Board and in an unpaid administrative capacity selecting and purchasing books from Europe. President Greenough urged the construction of a new library building and appointed the firm of McKim, Mead and White to design the building in Copley Square. For reasons of health and private affairs, he resigned from the Board in 1888, but his interest in the Library continued until his death in 1899. A bust of William Greenough given by his widow stands in Bates Reading Hall.

Wadlin, Horace G. The Public Library of the City of Boston: A History. Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1911.
Whitehill, Walter Muir. Boston Public Library: A Centennial History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956.

“William W. Greenough”, salt print, Print Department