Established in 1848 by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first major free public library in the United States. The Boston Public Library's first proprietary building was a former schoolhouse on Mason Street, which opened to the public on March 20, 1854. The library's collections numbered approximately 16,000 volumes and from the day it opened it was evident that the accommodations were inadequate. artlia is authorized to use its images, which are not deemed to be bound by copyright restrictions. Therefore, artlia regularly donates to the library.