Public Libraries of Massachusetts

Cities A-B*

*Excluding Boston.


Still in use, and well-kept by the Town of Adams.
It was built in 1897 as a Civil War memorial, and President McKinley laid its cornerstone.


Curt Teich 'C.T. Photochrom' postcard, likely purchased at Woolworth, and mailed in 1917.


(L) Published by the Leighton and Valentine Co. of New York, with quality similar to the German imports.
(R) Robbins Bros. card, never mailed.

Amesbury was the home of a really eclectic bunch of people, including the poets John Greenleaf Whittier and Robert Frost, as well as Mary Baker Eddy.

Its library building is still in use.

Amherst (Jones Library)

The 'anti-Carnegie' library building, built in the 1920s in a residential design. Enlarged in 1993.


Curt Teich 'Photo-Finish' card published in 1941.

Annisquam Village Library, Gloucester

It's always difficult to know where to place a library, when its municipality became subsumed into another.

Miss Annie Fisher was instrumental in the development of this library, but several other women have carried on her tradition.

The postcard's date is unclear, and its reverse is divided oddly. I estimate its age as between 1907 and 1911.

Annisquam Village Library, Gloucester, MA
Arlington (Robbins Library)

1892 Italian Renaissance library building. Several additions have been made since then to retain function.


Postcard mailed in 1939.

Ashburnham (Stevens Library)
Slevens Library, Ashburnham, MA

In 1985, the Library moved from the 1890 building shown to the Dolly Whitney Adams building; just as pretty, nearly as old, and significantly larger.


Beautiful postcard, of the PCK series: mailed in 1910. It was at least three years old at that point, as it has an entire back.


This building was a 1901 donation by Edwin Chapman to house the 1874 library. Despite its size. it remains in use.

The Silvercraft (Dexter Press) postcard bears an image taken by the Frank Mazanec Studio. It was never mailed.

Ashfield (Belding Memorial Library)

Those of you of a certain age may remember Belding silk thread. This is the family, and Milo Belding was the donor. Ever quality conscious, the building's marble was set by Italian workmen that Belding specially hired. 

If Belding's generosity wasn't enough, a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation was discovered in the library basement. The $105,000 it fetched at auction was a financial help.


The RPPC was never mailed, but at least someone saw fit to annotate it.


Formerly the Auburndale Branch of the Newton Free Library. Non-profit library, funded by donations, since 2009.

This monochrome, linen finish postcard was made by Colourpicture, of Boston, and dates between 1942 and 1962.


George H. Hill postcard, mailed in 1909.


The ca. 1894 library building is still in use, with a 1997 addition.

Barre (Henry Wood's Library)

1886 library, now known as Woods Memorial Library. Renovated in 2001.


An Americhrome brand card. There is nothing 'chrome' about it. In fact, as it's an American product and has an RD 8679 plate code, I suspect it was printed by Curt Teich.

Belchertown (Clapp Memorial Library)

Built in 1887 from a 1882 bequest.
Still in use. The Library website shows an impressive Romanesque brick building: this room looks to be at its front. Its architect was
H.F. Kilburn.

Newvochrome card, printed in Germany. A librarian's work is never done.

Bernardston (Cushman Library)
Cushman Library of Bernardston, MA.

Built in 1863, the Italianate building is still in use.

The Merrimack Post Card has no clues to its age. My best guess is 1960s.


(L) American Art Postcard, not the Curt Teich product. Photo taken from an unusual vantage point.
(R) Unknown publisher. Mailed in 1922.

Built in 1913, from a Cass Gilbert plan. Renovated in 1993. Oddly, the Library's Beverly Farms Branch is located in a much older building.

Billerica (Bennett Public Library)
Billerica, MA's Romanesque library building

Built in 1880, it served the town 100 years exactly, replaced by the Billerica Public Library. The building (High Victorian, according to the Library, Gothic, according to me) is in the process of restoration, but is available to rent as a event location.

The photo postcard was printed on DuPont Defender brand paper.


Memorial of Edgar Sheffield Porter, according to The Free Public Libraries of Massachusetts
Possibly still in use.


Part of W.J. Peebles' Series: entire back. I am not 100% convinced that this isn't a reprint.

Boxford, MA public library

The Library's web site lacks history, but a photo shows what might be this building, sans frippery, plus a red brick addition.

Surprisingly, this is an E.C. Kropp postcard. I have never seen a self-framed postcard by that firm before. It was mailed in 1912.

Boylston (Sawyer Memorial Library)

Tudor/Stone masonry.
River rock, English architecture, and a slight touch of Romanesque combine to yield a pleasing structure.
Although this is an early card, electric street lights are evident in the photo. Logical, since the Municipal Light Building was its neighbor.


New building rejected. Maybe this is a case where a library is too beautiful.

Braintree (Thayer Library)

1874 building which looks about 40 years more modern. Now serves as the town water department.
Replaced in 1953: that unattractive building was demolished in 1997 for the third building.


The local publisher, A. Torrey, had the card printed in Germany.


Caption misspelled.


This building is still standing, according to a 2012 Google street view. However, it's not the building seen on the Library's web site.
The stonework over the Eastlake-influenced Romanesque entryway states 'A Memorial.' Of what, I'm uncertain, but it might be the Civil War.

Brimfield (Daniel Lincoln Memorial Library)

Tudor building, dating from 1904-5, and apparently still in use. There is no apparent connection to Abraham Lincoln's family.

(L) Early photo postcard by a photographer named Brown. It bears a pencil date of July 16, 1908, and was never mailed.

(R) Springfield News Co's. Poly-Chrome tinted postcard, mailed in 1912. Likely to have been printed for the American News Company.


Predates the Carnegie building. Serves as the City Clerk's office, who must rattle around in this magnificent building like a dropped pill on a pharmacy floor.According to Wikipedia, its architect was Wesley Lyng Minor, and was built between 1892 and 1894.


(L) Mailed in 1904 to Pomona. California as part of a postcard exchange.

To avoid neck strain:

Mrs. W. L. Wrigly

162 Highland St.

Brockton, Mass.


(L) Unattributed postcard in beautiful condition for its style and age.

Brookfield (Merrick Public Library)

Impressive red sandstone building: just short of Romanesque in its design. Still in use.


Valentine & Sons' Publishing postcard, never mailed.

Brookline, MA's first public library

Brookline's first public library was built in 1869 (see photo, top right) and received an addition shown on this postcard. I don't have a date for the A. Eagan postcard, and its postmark is illegible, but its divided back dates it to 1907 or later.

The Italianate/Neoclassical building was demolished in 1910 for the next iteration.

This postcard was an ALA souvenir from May, 1914, touting the Snead Standard Stack. Its manufacturer was Snead and Company Iron Works of Jersey City, NJ, according to the 'Descriptive Catalog of the American Library Association Exhibit of Labor-Saving Devices.' NYPL gives a nifty picture of a Snead Standard Stack.

The Library has a very multi-culturally friendly site and one of the most detailed histories I've ever seen.
Other salient points include that the 1910 building is the second library; its first renovation was in 1970; and the current renovation occurred in 2003.

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