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Charter of 1879
(revised 1942)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Be it known, that whereas Justin Winsor, C. A. Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dui, Fred B. Perkins and Thomas W. Bicknell, have associated themselves with the intention of forming a corporation under the name of the American Library Association for the purpose of promoting [the] library interests [of the country] throughout the world by exchanging views, reaching conclusions, and inducing cooperation in all departments of bibliothecal science and economy; by disposing the public mind to the founding and improving of libraries; and by cultivating good will among its own members, and by such other means as may be authorized from time to time by the Executive Board or Council of the American Library Association, and have complied with the provisions of the statutes of this Commonwealth in such case made and provided, as appears from the certificate of the President, Treasurer and Executive Board of said corporation, duly approved by the Commissioner of Corporations, and recorded in this office.

Now, therefore, I, Henry B. Peirce, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby certify that said Justin Winsor, C. A. Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dui, Fred B. Perkins and Thomas W. Bicknell, their associates and successors, are legally organized and established as, and are hereby made an existing corporation under the name of the American Library Association, with the powers, rights, and privileges, and subject to the limitations, duties, and restrictions, which by law appertain thereto.

Witness my official signature hereunto subscribed, and the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hereunto affixed this tenth day of December in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine.

HENRY B. PEIRCE, Secretary of the Commonwealth

The original 1879 charter was modified in 1942, with modification approved by Henry F. Long, Commissioner of Corporations and Taxation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on February 6, 1942. Additions to the original are indicated in italic, the single deletion is in square brackets.


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ALA's original charter of 1879 and its 1942 revisions.