Public Libraries of DelMarVa

Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia

Where a city's library is immortalized in postcard form from these three states, there were bunches of said cards. 


Zero Carnegie buildings. Few library cards.


1866 church, converted in 1917 to library use. Replaced in 2007: still standing, and on the National Register of Historic Places.


Dexter Press card with photograph by F.W. Brueckmann.


Originally a project of Laurel's New Century Club (1909-1932) this library building served from 1951-2006. I don't know if it is still extant.

The postcard was mailed in 1956. If it hadn't been for its postmark, I wouldn't have known it featured a Delaware library.


Also featuring the Newark Academy. It was built in 1769, and no longer houses the city library.

1931 Curt Teich 'Photo-Finish' card, mailed in 1940.


This building was built in 1923, and was renovated in 2012. Technically, it's a corporation.


Everyone incorporates in Delaware.


Del Mar News Agency linen finish card, mailed in 1947.


The State's only Carnegie libraries were built as Baltimore branch libraries. I have no postcards of any of these.

Baltimore (Enoch Pratt Free Library)

Opened in 1886, it's one of the country's premier libraries. Today, it not only serves the City, it includes the Maryland State Library Resource Center.


The Library has a great history page, albeit well-hidden. One of its highlights came in October, 1886, when the first borrower's card was issued to an African-American, Harry S. Cummings. Another was its four Carnegie grants between 1905 and 1908. However, this building was not built until 1931.


This Tichnor Bros. card was mailed in 1946.

This is the Edgar Allan Poe Room of the Enoch Pratt Library.  It dates back to 1934, the 125th anniversary of the author/poet's birth.


Did you know that material pertaining to him is called Poeana?

Chevy Chase

The building also included the post office on a pre-1907 postcard. 

Today, the Library is part of the Montgomery County Public Libraries, and this building is no longer in use.

Frederick (Frederick County Public Libraries)

The C. Burr Artz Library was built in 1938.
Replaced along the way. Fate of the original building unknown.

The building in the background is a Prebyterian church.

Marken & Bielfeld postcard, probably printed by Curt Teich in 1951.

Hagerstown (Washington County Free Library)

I hate taking information from a Wikipedia page, but for this library, I have little choice.
Built at the turn of the last century from a Bruce Price Neo-Georgian design, this building was replaced in 1965.
Still standing (2012).

According to this post-1965 Kelley Studios card, this is:

  • The 2nd oldest county library in the US (1901).

  • The user of the first bookmobile in the world (1905).

  • 39,000 square feet: not that impressive by today's standards.

The inset shows the bookmobile. Sorry, I don't think a horse-drawn wagon = bookmobile.


Kensington (Noyes Library)

This postcard was mailed in 1910 by the newly appointed librarian of Noyes Library. Although the Library has a long and well-written history, it doesn't give the roster of librarians over the years. All I know is that s/he had Mrs. R.C. Vernon of Madison, Wisconsin as a sister.

The Library today is a children's library.

Leonardtown (Tudor Hall, St. Mary's County Memorial Library)

This is known as Tudor Hall, the headquarters of St. Mary's County.Library System. I believe it to have been replaced.

The Artvue Post Card was never mailed.

Oakland (Ruth Enlow Library)

Still in use, as a branch of the Ruth Enlow Libraries of Garrett County. This 1950 library building was named for the daughter of the benefactor, according to its brief history page.

I have to say that this is my favorite Delmarva library building.

Salisbury (Wicomico Public Library)

1963 building of no great distinction, remodeled in 1978-80.


Plastichrome card captures a few details of daily life.

Westminster (Davis Library)

Converted Methodist church, opened in 1951 as the Davis Library.
Taken over by Carroll County in 1958. Replaced in 1980: fate unknown.


1952 Curt Teich linen-finish card, reprinted along the way.


Also part of WCFL today. This building is replaced: I don't know its fate.


Silvercraft brand of Dexter Press postcards.


The Library is part of a regional consortium, but the Beaux-Arts building now houses the Albermarle Charlottesville Historical Society

Curt Teich printed this postcard for J.P. Bell in 1921.

Courtland (Walter Cecil Rawls Museum and Library)

At first glance, this could be a motel postcard. 

Apparently, between 1980 and 1999, the museum departed for another home. The library has been modified and serves as its county (Southampton) headquarters.


Built ca. 1963; replaced in 1998. 

The Goad Studio postcard was mailed in 1972.

Fincastle (Botetourt County Library)

Now the Fincastle Library.

This was an 1897 jail converted to a library. The current library building is much smaller, but certainly a better facility for the purpose.

This is an odd Mike Roberts/Asheville Post Card, with a SAMPLE designation and a stamped date, May 8, 1969.

Fredericksburg (Wallace Library)

Built 1911. Replaced, 1969, into a much larger school building. Believed extant.

Curt Teich postcard, mailed in 1924.



Tichnor Bros. linen finish card, likely from the 1940s.

Lynchburg (Jones Memorial Library)

The second oldest public library in Virginia (surprisingly, opened in 1908) is in memory of George Morgan Jones, whose work was carried on by his widow. The building now serves as a genealogy and history library.

According to the Tuck postcard, mailed in 1907:

THE JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY, erected in 1906, is a gift of Mary Frances Jones in memory of her husband, George M. Jones. The structure, which is located on Rivermont Avenue, is built in the Grecian Ionic style, with massive granite columns adorning the front. Cost of construction, $50,000, with an endowment of $60,000.

Newport News

No longer in use (replaced): current use unknown.

Another interesting example of how publishers treat the same subject differently.

(L) Tichnor Quality View, mailed in 1948.

(R) 1934 Curt Teich card showing Georgian Revival architecture. That medical arts building in the background looks like it may have been a hotel at one point in time.


The powers that be turned down two Carnegie grants. As a result, there was no public library service in the city until 1924. This building, the Dooley Library, opened in 1930.
Interestingly, service, albeit segregated, was offered to the African-American community in 1925.

This Colourpicture linen-finish card was nearly mailed to the 'Good Morning' program of WREX-TV, channel 13, in Rockford, Illinois. I suspect somebody's postcard collection was raided.


Unbelievably, Roanoke's library appears to lack a dedicated web site, much less a history page. Wikipedia does have a page dedicated to its Gainsboro segregated branch, built in 1941.

This is a linen finish Asheville Post Card, apparently dating to the 1930s.

(L) Dexter Press postcard.

(R) Meyer Post Card, with downtown Roanoke in the background.

This building is likely from the late 1940s or early 1950s, judging from the newer postcards' styling and the architecture of the building. I believe it has either been replaced or heavily remodeled, as the current building is more Neogeorgian in design.

Suffolk (Morgan Memorial Library)

Built in 1959, replaced in 1986. 
One of Suffolk's branches is named Chuckatuck. We are childishly amused.

The Lusterchrome card dates between 1959 and 1962.

Winchester (Handley Library)

It looks like it belongs on an ancient college campus. It was built in 1913, gained an addition in 1979, and was completely renovated in 2001. This is an example of Beaux-Arts done right.

(L) Linen finish post card printed by Tichnor for the Shenandoah News Agency.

(R) Earlier card scans poorly, but shows some interesting details.

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