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Grand Rapids' Libraries

Grand Rapids (Ladies' Literary Club)

Not the Ryerson Library precursor.

It was built in 1887, the first of its type in the state. It is still standing, and is owned and operated by Calvin College.

Murray Jordan postcard, mailed in 1906.

Ryerson Public Library

Home of Helen Barstow, noted librarian and postcard collector. From cards in her collection, I have learned that she was actively pursuing Carnegie grant money for GRPL.

Built in 1904, heavily renovated in 1967 and 1997. Today it's essentially an inner city library, but a proud one.

German Rotograph card, undated, but mailed in 1908.

Unattributed post card showing two bicycles near the entrance, and a church steeple in the background.

Tuck postcard, another quality brand.

(L) H.S. Crocker 'Water Wonderland view from the late 1950s.

(R) Veterans Memorial Park chrome postcard shows one side of the library in the background.


All of the card set below was printed by Mich-Litho-Grand Rapids, and branded 'Intensograph.'



One of the things I like about this interior design scheme is the bold color statement. Bright colors seem to, if even used, be confined to the children's areas.


(L) Lobby/circulation.

(R) Reference area.






These areas aren't as attractive as those above.

(L) Browsing area,

(R) Children's section.






Photographs by Judy Aulik, ©2009.

(L) Bas-relief of Martin Antoine Ryerson            (C) Book-matched figural marble.          (R) Exterior photograph.

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