Public Libraries of Massachusetts

Cities O-S

Orange (Wheeler Memorial Library)

(L) No identifiers on reverse, but it was mailed in the 1910s.
(R) Curt Teich 'American Art' card, for Chas. W. Hughes' 'Star Quality' line.

Still in use, with one branch: Moore-Leland in North Orange. It appears that the back wing shown above was expanded at one point in time.

Orleans (Snow's Library)

Fire and blizzard: that combo can destroy the best built library.


Card produced for the Provincestown Advocate: looks suspiciously like a Rotograph brand card.

An E.D. West postcard, with strong similarities to Curt Teich's "Blue Sky" line. If this were a Curt Teich printing job, it would date to 1927, using its plate number.


Replaced: a clapboard library doesn't seem a wise choice for fire safety.


A Huntress, Photographer card.


Still in use.
This is an amazing structure: I can't peg its architecture very easily, but might call it Vernacular.


Rotograph brand card with an entire reverse.


Built in 1890. Replaced in 1977: still standing. Now a senior center.
I don't normally scan both sides of a postcard, but this 1904 W.M. Waite card is an exception.


I suppose I need not add that this Romanesque building served as a GAR meeting place at one time.

It almost looks as if we have a case of a flipped negative.

The Hugh C. Leighton postcard was mailed in 1914.

Pepperell (Lawrence Memorial Library)

Still in use.
Built in 1901, its architects were Ernest Flagg and W.B. Chambers.
Like Marshfield, Wisconsin's public library, Lawrence also has a collection of stuffed birds.


Fairbanks Card Company product, annotated 1970.

Pittsfield (Berkshire Athanæum)

(L) Leighton & Valentine card.
(R) C.W. Hughes/Curt Teich postcard with white border.


Want to see a few more views? Check out the Library's 140th anniversary page.


What a beautiful building!
Built in 1872, it is also known as the Berkshire Athenaeum, and has also served as a museum. It was renovated in 1897, making pre-renovation postcards scarce, and replaced in 1975.
The new library is next door, and in turn was renovated in 1997 and 2008.


It now houses the Berkshire County Registry of Deeds.




Wintertime view in sepia tint.

Quincy (Thomas Crane Public Library)

Designed by H.H. Richardson himself.

(L) Curt Teich postcard.
(R) Late Tichnor Bros. 'Lusterchrome' card mailed 1967. The Coletti addition is visible off the right side of the library.

Built in 1882; Coletti addition, 1938; renovated 2001.
You can see touches of English Tudor in the eyebrow windows, and precursors of Prairie Style in the windows that are snugged up to the roofline.

Randolph (Turner Free Library)

(L) N.E. Paper & Stationery postcard.
(R) Rotograph card.

Built, 1874: funded by the Royal W. Turner family. Destroyed by arson, December 6, 1962.

Despite diligent reading of the digitized Randolph Town Minutes, I have not discovered whether this crime was ever solved.

In an incredible act of resillience, the Library reopened during the fire, with only six books remaining. At one point, the Library operated out of a station wagon. Talk about selfless devotion to service!

Despite this history, the Library was temporarily decertified in 2007, when it was no longer able to stay open for the mandated 63 hours/week. Today the replacement building is contemplating renovation.


Still in use. This was a converted mansion (John Bertram: where have I heard this surname before?) built in 1855.


The card was used (reverse not shown) to boost local merchants. Since it's before automobile transportation was common, you can't blame Walmart.
So where was everyone going?

Sandwich (Weston Memorial Library)

I'm confused.
The Library is referred to as Sandwich Public Library and as Weston Memorial, although the latter seems to pertain to the operating bequest. Operational funds seem to be more or less donations.
Anyhow, I believe this building to still be in use. I hope it was sandblasted after this card was produced.

Another Fairbanks Card. FCC seems to be the National Press of the East.


Shelburne essentially has two libraries.


The postmark date is 1909. The Suffolk Post Card shows a tiny stone building. A drawing of it adorns the library's web page, but I don't know if it's meant to imply that this is still in use. 

Shelburne Falls (Pratt Memorial Library)

Apparently still in use.


Photo postcard shows a library in a style more common west of the Mississippi. In the middle right of the card is a combination horse waterer and drinking fountain.


Unknown German card printer.


An imposing structure built in 1884: predates the Carnegie building.

South Hadley Falls

Nearby South Hadley is said by Bobinski to have received a Carnegie grant in December, 1905.

Appears to have been replaced.

From the Dexter Press card reverse:

The South Hadley Falls Public Library was opened in 1907 on Bardwell St., South Hadley Falls, Mass. The Library has filled a vital need in the town and as it continues to serve the growing community, its value and convenience are widely appreciated. The three blue spruce trees standing in front of the Library were planted by the Girl Scouts.

Spencer (Sugden Town Library)

Still in use. Google Street View shows a lovely addition.


'Excelsior' brand card by The American News Company, printed in Germany. It was mailed in 1907.


1905 Rotograph card.

Horsecart in foreground.

Includes the Smith Art Museum.

This 1871 building was moved, and replaced by a Carnegie building in 1912, according to the Library's website.


1885 building. Replaced, with an unknown fate.


Mailed in 1904.


Failed at obtaining a Carnegie grant. Dedicated in 1904. Replaced ca. 1974. Apparently still standing.


Printed for 'Cobb the Druggist, The Rexall Store.'

Sunderland (Graves Memorial Library)

Built ca. 1900 by the Allen Brothers, after a Walter Leslie Walker design.
Attacked by mold in the 1980s. Replaced ca. 2003. It appears that the historical society now occupies the space.


I hope their artifacts are glass and steel.


Card by Scott Photo.


Beautiful library rendered unpleasantly and anonymously.

It was built in 1896, and funded--along with the Town Hall and the neighboring church--through the generosity of the Honorable Frank S. Stevens. Henry Yaughan was the stone building's architect.

Information from History of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917 , as found on

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