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The Premise of Meaning: Archibald MacLeish in the Village

Entrance Pavilion, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., Digital ID 62891, New York Public Library

Archibald MacLeish was the Librarian of Congress from 1939-1944 as well as an accomplished poet and dramatist. Not surprisingly, he was a huge advocate for libraries. 

He lived at 182 Sullivan Street and his birthday is May 7.

Here’s a great idea! Celebrate his birthday by writing a letter to City Council and the Mayor telling them to fully fund Hudson Park in the city’s current budget!

In The Premise of Meaning (American Scholar, 1972), MacLeish wrote:

What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.

MacLeish believed that a sort of mystery occurs when the cultural knowledge of society is brought together and made available freely to the public. It creates relationships and deeper meaning, being brought together. Yes, it can be mysterious, I think, or perhaps, miraculous.


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