The Culture Collection was on the northwest corner of the Library Reading Room. By 1926 the entire space from the large east window to the card catalog (located in the space later used for the reserve desk) was occupied by the Culture Collection.
"The Mercury statue was presented to the students of the college, May 29, 1919, by Dr. E. J. Kraus, the first dean of the Service Department. It was imported from Florence, Italy, by a San Francisco art dealer, purchased by Dr. Kraus, and presented to the College. "Because of the feeling that sentiment has as its foundation in the artistic as well as the utilitarian, I am giving to the students of O.A.C. a statue of Mercury, which I trust may find a place in the library. I hope that this may meet with your approval," read a letter to Mrs. Kidder (Library Director) Mercury -- sometimes called flying Mercury -- is the work of Giovanni Bologna, 1524-1608. The artist was Flemish by birth but did most of the work in Florence. The "Fountain of Bologna," and the "Statue of Cosinie I" are other works for which he is noted. Mercury is considered the most spirited, graceful, and animated of Bologna's sculptures. The original statue is in the Musco Nationale, at Florence. O.A.C.'s copy is made in that far distant center. This statue has been placed in the front of the east window in Room 200 [in the Library]."--Barometer September 29, 1923.
The Central Public Library and the great Metropolitan Art Museum are located on Fifth Avenue. The library building is of white marble and contains more than two million volumes. It has also a library for the blind and maintains an excellent library school. It has branch libraries all of the city.