2000 B.C. The earliest libraries in the Western world were archives kept in ancient Alexandria, Egypt and Pergamun, Turkey. Marc Antony gave the Pergamun library to Cleopatra. Ancient librarians had high status in society, and were often scholars or priests.
550 B.C.- Lao Tse appointed royal librarian in China
612 B.C.- The library in Nineveh, Assyria (near present day Mosul, Iraq), was destroyed by war.
1066-1485 A.D.-During the Middle Ages libraries were centered around monasteries. Monastic control of written knowledge declined with the advent of universities in cities such as Paris and Bologna.
1452- The invention of movable type by Gutenberg allowed information to be widely disseminated and spurred the growth of libraries during the 15th Century. Further developments in printing technology led to higher literacy along with the introduction of affordable books.
1638- The first permanent library in America was founded at Harvard University
1753- British Museum Library founded. Later, both Lenin and Marx pondered the end of capitalism in its spectacular domed reading room.
1800- U.S. Library of Congress founded. Today it preserves a collection of over 119 million items.
1814- The British burned America's first Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson, who had amassed the largest personal collection of books in the fledgling U.S., offered for sale at whatever price Congress decided, as the basis of a new Library of Congress. $23,950 was appropriated for 6487 volumes and paid to Jefferson in 1815.
1840- Public libraries in New England were the first to be funded through taxes.
1876- Melvil Dewey published his Dewey Decimal Classification System, and the American Library Association was founded.
1881- Industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie funded his first library in the town of his birth, Dunfermeline Scotland. He proceeded to fund the creation of over 2,800 libraries worldwide. (Including Morristown Centennial Library in Morrisville, VT!)
1905- Robert Lewis Stevenson called a librarian a "virgin priest of knowledge" in "Prince Otto: A Romance".
1960s- "Information Science", influenced by George Boole, developed. Untrue cultural stereotypes were enforced by TV and movies that portrayed librarians as spinsters and eggheads. (?)
1989- The film "UHF" featured a scene where Conan the Librarian slices a borrower in half because he returned a book late.
1990s- Library science changed to adapt to the information explosion that developed with the growth of the internet.
1994-2003- Gates Foundation gives $154,000,000 in grants and 40,000 computers to libraries across the U.S. and the rest of the world.
2001- During this year library visits in the U.S. exceed 1.8 billion.
2003- Over 400,000 Librarians operate 124,000 libraries in the U.S. and are on the forefront of government censorship and privacy issues.
2011- Lanpher Memorial Library closes for the week of April 18-24th to automate their collection!