America’s Oldest Libraries

Doesitevenmatter3 asked what America’s oldest libraries are and again, I went to google to research. This one was a little tough – there seems to be a few libraries that claim to be the oldest.

The oldest library building is Sturgis Library located in Barnstable, Massachusetts. It was constructed in 1644, but the library didn’t open until 1867.

According to History magazine, the oldest library began with a 400-book donation from John Harvard to a new university that would eventually use his name.

In 1731, Benjamin Franklin and others founded the first subscription library and until the 1850s it was America’s largest public library.

But Redwood Library located in Newport, Rhode Island describes itself as America’s oldest lending library and the oldest library building in continuous use in the country. It was founded in 1747.

And according to the Darby Free Library located in Darby, Pennsylvania, it is America’s oldest library in continuous service since 1743.

And there are even more. I’ll give you all a link so you can read more about some of America’s oldest libraries:



2 responses to “America’s Oldest Libraries

  1. This is such interesting fun history! Thank you for posting this! 🙂
    I love that on some of the old libraries it says “Free”. I guess they wanted people to know it wouldn’t cost them any $$$ to come in and enjoy! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂


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