It’s that time of year…
The Insurance Library Association of Boston, the oldest private library dedicated to insurance, is throwing open its doors once again for its Holiday Open House. The annual event offers one and all the opportunity to visit the Library, to see some of the amazing artifacts it holds, as well as the chance to meet the Library staff, Library trustees, and others from the Massachusetts insurance industry.
This year’s event will be held on December 13th from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the Insurance Library’s beautiful home at 156 State Street, right in front of the Custom House Tower and down the street from the Old State House.
Those interested in attending the ILAB’s Open House should RSVP here.
Some of the treasures that can be viewed at the Library
The Insurance Library holds a treasure trove of artifacts dedicated to Insurance. Agency Checklists thought it might be interesting to highlight just a few of them that one can view when visiting the Library
The Lloyd’s Box
The Insurance Library actually has an original Lloyd’s box. For those who do not exactly know what a Lloyd’s box is, according to the Lloyd’s website, here is an explanation:
Each syndicate has a box in the underwriting room at Lloyd’s from which business may be transacted with Lloyd’s brokers. Each box comprises a couple of opposite facing benches and desks at which the underwriters employed by the managing agent of the syndicate sit, plus some stools for the visiting Lloyd’s brokers to sit on.
Sanborn Maps of New England
Insurance Librarian Sarah Hart says that the Library has a collection of Sanborn maps. Sanborn is an American publisher of historical and current maps of US cities and towns which were initially created in order to estimate fire insurance risks. Ms. Hart notes that despite last being updated in the late 1960s, many insurance producers still use them, especially in downtown Boston, as do insurers, architects, and surveyors. She notes that in recent years, many lawyers have begun asking for them in order to help with pollution claims along with other types of legal work. She notes that almost all visitors enjoy looking up where they live on the maps.
A copy of the Savings Bank Life Actuary tables
In addition to being widely considered the father of life insurance, Elizur Wright was also Massachusetts first Commissioner of Insurance as well as the founder of the founder of the Middlesex Fells Reservation.
The Insurance Library has a copy of the Savings Bank Life Actuary tables believed to be signed by Elizur Wright over to his daughter Mary. A mathematician, Mr. Wright was instrumental in setting up life insurance as we know it today. To learn more about Elizur Wright, read Agency Checklists article, “Who Was The First Commissioner of Insurance in Massachusetts?”
Other items of interest in the ILAB’s collection
The ILAB has an insurance policies from around the world, including an Arabic Insurance Policy. It also a collection of historic fire and marine insurance policy registers dating from the 1870s. Another interesting collection is one of various promotional items from insurance companies which include an outstanding collection of promotional mirrors which can be viewed on the Lloyd’s box.
For those interesting reading about insurance in their spare time, the ILAB also has an “insurance” fiction section. It currently contains all of the Sue Grafton books in addition to a couple other insurance related books.
Shameless promotion for one of our favorite institutions
The Insurance Library Association of Boston has been serving the reference, research, and education interests of the insurance community in Massachusetts and beyond since 1887 and is truly a place where you can find everything you need to know about insurance.
The Library’s collections and services are available free of charge to consumers, including students. For those working in the insurance community, however, the Library receives no public funds and so depends upon the support of the insurance community and related fields through memberships. As such, if you are interested in using the Insurance Library for business purposes, you should consider becoming a member. As an added benefit, members can reserve the Library’s meeting space for their private meetings.
The Insurance Library also runs the Saval Insurance Education Center which offers continuing education courses as well as licensing courses such as a Property Casualty Licensing Courses and Life, Accident & Health Lines course,
In addition to the popular Producer Licensing Courses, the Saval Education Center also offers other interesting courses including a Program in General Insurance which the Library recommends for all persons in insurance-related jobs who require an understanding of insurance contracts and functions and the principles underlying those practices.
The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Program (CPCU) courses enjoy the co-sponsorship and endorsement of the Boston Chapter, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters and is for “experienced insurance personnel who have a good knowledge of insurance practices and who have studied the insurance principles that underlie these practices; people who have completed the Program in General Insurance (INS) or any of the IIA associate designation programs; and risk managers, accountants, safety professionals, attorneys, professors of insurance, recent graduates of schools of business, and other professionals whose jobs require an understanding of property-liability insurance contracts and operations.”