Captain Albertson - 100th Anniversary of His Momentous Book Donation

Captain Charles L. Albertson (1856-1932) was a New York City police inspector who wintered in Orlando starting in 1913. An avid collector of books, he had amassed 12,000 volumes. "I have thought frequently that my pleasure of book buying came very near being a disease," he wrote in his autobiography. "I felt when passing a second hand book store the same as the inebriate did when passing liquor store."

On November 10, 1921, Albertson offered his collection of books to the City of Orlando which did not have a library at the time. His generous offer came with provisos. The City had to build a new fireproof library to house the collection. That library would be called Albertson Library which "shall be put in large letters over the front entrance." And Capt. Albertson would serve as advisory superintendent for a period of one year without renumeration.

Just two days later, on November 12, Mayor Duckworth and City Commissioners unanimously agreed to Capt. Albertson's terms. Albertson Public Library opened on November 9, 1923 on the corner of Rosalind Avenue and Central Boulevard. By the 1960s, the population of Orlando had outgrown the Albertson Public Library and the Brutalist structure you see today replaced it. Capt. Albertson is honored with a meeting room in his name which exists to this day.

From that gift 100 years ago, Orange County Library System was born. From 12,000 books and one building, our collection has grown to 1.7 million multimedia items and 15 locations.