Another Library Closes Its Doors

Libraries are having a difficult time these days. The latest closure involves the David Library of the American Revolution. Here is the announcement on the Library’s home page at

“The David Library of the American Revolution has signed a partnership agreement with the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia that will create an unparalleled single site for the comprehensive study of early U. S. history. The David Center for the American Revolution will be established at the American Philosophical Society on South Fifth Street in Philadelphia.

“The David Library of the American Revolution closed operations in Washington Crossing at the end of 2019 in preparation for the move to the American Philosophical Society in early 2020.”


Mr. Eastman:

I come in part from an Old-line Merchant heritage.

As a consultant, I’ve often noted both stores and Libraries do NOT know how to merchandise their wares.

While  that probably would not have affected the David Library, it does affect many research Libraries and public libraries.

In this day of quick communication and concentration good merchandising does more than say “here are the shelves, go to it.”

Unless Libraries use their opportunities better we are going to see more of them closing.

In part, this means that unless we hire Librarians who are good “merchandisers” rather than “majors in accessions”, we are guaranteeing many more closures.

Jim Gammon

Clovis, NM


Linda Blanton, Johnson City, TN February 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm

The David Library is relocating, not closing forever. I suspect the relocation will prove positive in the long run. I visited the David Library once and had a good experience there using their collection with the help of a knowledgeable librarian. My impression was that the library was not well-used mainly because of its rural location. Relocating the library to center Philadelphia and operating in collaboration with APS should be positive and beneficial to researchers, historians, and genealogists. Thank you.


    One can hope that the David Library of the Am. Revolution’s move to the APS will result in richer research experiences. The facts are that the “David” was open on Saturdays, had free parking, a first class real librarian, did not require appointments, and open stacks. Having both worked in Centre City Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA where these respective institutions have been located, I can vouch for the Bucks County venue as being more valuable to a greater population of all types of researchers. Check out the citations for the “David” librarian, Kathie Ludwig, in academic papers and history books of the American Revolution from the past twenty years. We can hope the APS can maintain this support to its clients.


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