The Library History Buff

Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of library history



 Postal Librariana

Library History


American Library History On the Web

Here are some sites I've come across in my pursuit of library history. No claim is made at being comprehensive.  Suggest additions by contacting me at

See Also: World Library History On the Web

General History Sites (non-library)

Library of Congress - American Memory Digital Collection

Making of America (MOA) Digital Library of Primary Sources

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)

New Deal Network (Search for "library")

American Historic Documents (Compiled by WI State Law Library)

Repositories of Primary Sources (Compiled by Terry Abraham)

Best of History Web Sites

Digital Book Index

Digital Book Index About Page

Digital Book Index Main Page

Digital Book Index
Libraries, Librarianship, Electronic Librarianship

Digital Book Index
US History: Libraries in the 19th Century

General Library History Sites (In no particular order)

Google Books Library History Resources

The American Library Association: A Selective Illustrated History

Library History Round Table of the American Library Association

Archives of the American Library Association

Libraries & the Cultural Record (Journal) Home

Libraries & the Cultural Record (Journal) Bookplate Archive

The Davies Project at Princeton University
Database of American Libraries before 1876

The Special Libraries Association Centennial and History

The First 100 Years (of the American Libraries magazine) PDF format

The Academic Library in the American University

Links to Carnegie Library Sites (compiled by the Library History Buff)

School Libraries - History

Membership Libraries

Presidential Libraries

Milestones of Academic Library History

Timeline in Library Development for African Americans

A Chronology of Events in Black Librarianship

American Federal Libraries/Information Centers Chronology

Army Libraries Through the Years

Books for Swabbies: Ship's Libraries in the "New" Steel Navy, 1880s-1930s
Charles A. Seavey

American Public Libraries in the Great Depression
Charles A. Seavey

Images from the Library Report of 1876 (Charles A. Seavey)

Reader services in libraries : a day in honor of Margaret E. Monroe

Sixty Years of the Association of Research Libraries

Confessions of a Library Historian (Haynes McMullen)

Biographies of American Library People

Web Sites of Library Historians and History Buffs

The American Library Association and Access to Libraries and Information
Rocks in the Whirlpool - Paper by Kathleen de la Peña McCook for ALA

Books Go to War: The Armed Services Editions in World War Two

McCarthyism and Libraries (Stephen Francoeur thesis)

Brief History of Library Instruction In the United States (Michael Lorenzen)

Federal Library Depository Program

Brief History of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR)

National Library Week

A Bibliographical Guide To A Chronological Record of Statistics of National Scope on Libraries In The United States by Robert V. Williams

Woodworking and Libraries - Raymond McInnis Woodworking History Site

Library History by State
[Note:  Ideally, every library that maintains a Web site should have at least a brief history of the library on that site.  That is far from the case.  Even some very large libraries do not have the history of their library on their Web site. The examples below provide a variety of models for doing this. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have developed more comprehensive lists of sites for their states. I encourage other states to develop a similar lists.]


Alabama Libraries Prior To World War I: A Chronology in Progress

Birmingham Public Library History 

Talladega College’s Savory Library

Fairhope Public Library


Bancroft Library, Univ. of California - Berkeley

Carnegie Libraries of California

Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco

San Francisco Public Library


Connecticut State Library

Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT


History of Colorado Libraries

Manitou Springs Public Library


Delaware Public Libraries Centennial Brochure

District of Columbia

Library of Congress (History of LOC by John W. Cole )

Smithsonian Institution Libraries


Jacksonville Public Library


Georgia Library History Project


Hawaii State Library


Idaho Commission for Libraries


Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois

Edwardsville Public Library

Galena Public Library

Highland Park Public Library

The Illinois State Library

Milner Library, Illinois State University

Wilmette Public Library"WilPL")&sort=groupid_440+asc&p=1


Purdue University Libraries


Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project


Carnegie Library Legacy in Kansas


Enoch Pratt Free Library

Washington County Free Library / Western Maryland Regional Library (Hagerstown)
The First Bookmobile in America


Amherst College Library

Avon Public Library

Boston Athenaeum

Boston Public Library

Report of the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston 1852

Andover-Harvard Theological Library (Harvard University)


Hennepin County Library


Harry S. Truman Presidential Library


Parmly Billings Library, Billings, Montana

Lewis and Clark Library, Helena, Montana


Nebraska Libraries for the Centuries

Nebraska Carnegie Libraries

New Hampshire

New Hampshire State Library

Lane Memorial Library, Hampton, NH

Peterborough Town Library

New Jersey

Princeton University Library

New York

Buffalo and Erie County Public

Columbia University Library

Cornell University Library - Willard Fisk (Cornell's first librarian)

Mercantile Library of New York
Article in
February 1871 issue of Scribner's Monthly at Cornell University's Making of America (MOA) digital site.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library - Branch Libraries in the Bronx

North Carolina

The Legacy of Public Libraries in North Carolina (Digital Collection of the NC State Library)

Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Rowan Public Library (Salisbury, NC)


Cleveland's Carnegie Libraries

Open Shelves and Open Minds, book on the history of the  Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library's library image collection

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Ohio State Library

Oberlin College Library


Oklahoma Public Libraries


Multnomah County Library

Oregon State Library


Pennsylvania Library History on the Web
Compiled by Bernadette A. Lear

Drexel Institute Library and Drexel Library School (Virginia Carter Castleman)

Free Library of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia

State Library of Pennsylvania

Medical Library of the Pennsylvania Hospital (oldest medical library in America)

Rhode Island

Redwood Library and Athenaeum

South Carolina

South Carolina Library History Project

South Carolina Library Heritage Database


Nashville Public Library

Vanderbilt University Libraries


Houston Public Library

Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Ilsley Public Library (Middlebury)


Norfolk Public Library


Seattle Public Library


Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Links



 Postal Librariana

Library History


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Last updated: 02-24-2011   © 2005-2011 Larry T. Nix