Detail, 1883 library catalogue

Tom Sawyer in CU Library History

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer may well have been among the first that CU readers checked out from their newfangled free public libraries. It was published in 1876, the very same year the Champaign Public Library was established, and just two years after The Urbana Free Library opened its doors. Both libraries catered to popular tastes from the start; records dating back to 1883 show plenty of Twain in the library collections. Shown above, a detail from the printed 1883 library catalogue.

Read more about the history of the Champaign Public Library and The Urbana Free Library.

Illustration of Tom from first edition

An illustration of Tom Sawyer, from the 1876 first edition