German Library Corporation, Belleville, Ill. Journal, 1836-61 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
The German Library Corporation was organized on June 26, 1836, with 16 members, including Gustav Koerner and members of the Hilgard family. This journal, or "Abschrift der Protocolle der Deutsche Bibliotheks-Gesellschaft in St. Clair County," records in German the minutes of both general and executive committee meetings.
A notation by Professor E. W. Hilgard offers additional information, as his sister, Rose Hilgard Tittmann, found a memorandum on the founding of the library in an old book in the Belleville Public Library. At a meeting at the farm of Dr. Anton Schott, July 17, 1836, 20 persons indicated their wish to form a corporation in order "to found a library intended to further the studies of science and literature in the county of St. Clair, Illinois." All the families contributed books from their libraries, and these were first kept at the house of Dr. Schott. Subsequently he moved to Belleville and the books became the nucleus of the present library.