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126 Years Ago, a Gift to German Americans


On December 8, 1884 the Ottendorfer Branch opened its doors to the public.

You can relive that day 126 years ago thanks to this article, "Mrs. Ottendorfer’s Gift, The New Branch of the New York Free Circulating Library" which appeared in The New York Times on December 7, 1884.

When Anna Ottendorfer, who along with her husband owned the German American newspaper Staats-Zeitung, purchased a plot to build a German Dispensary she was offered the adjoining lot. Mrs. Ottendorfer then decided to build a public library that would offer books in both German and English to the community. Sadly she passed away only months before the completion of the branch. Today the portraits of both Mr. and Mrs. Ottendorfer can be seen on the first floor of the branch. 

 Oswald Ottendorfer., Digital ID 1806064, New York Public Library


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