Published for the column "Looking Back," Kentucky Libraries, vol. 73, no. 4 (Fall 2009): 28-32.


When making application for a Carnegie Library grant, proponents added letters of support. These letters often described their communities in great detail, providing information about the city's population, the area' cultural and educational institutions, and the dynamics of local government. Writers took this work quite seriously, and some eloquently requested that the "King of Steel" provide funding for a library in their community. This article presents information about the letter writing campaign from Middlesboro, Kentucky, a small town in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth. It also includes five letters sent to Carnegie from Middlesboro citizens along with biographies of the writers.


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