September Program

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August 3, 2017 by rochesterhistoricalnh

On Thursday, September 13, at 7 PM at the Rochester Historical Society Museum on Hanson Street, Rochester Public Library Director Brian Sylvester will present History of the Rochester Public Library.

This illustrated presentation will span the history of the Rochester Public Library from its beginnings in 1792 as a social lending library to current day. The library was formed in the homes of the original social library members, but was dissolved through inactivity until 1834 when it was given a renewed charter by the legislature. The social library gave way to a free public library in 1893 after a citizen petition led to the city council establishing what is now the Rochester Public Library.

The library has occupied three locations in town – first in rented space on Main Street, then in the McDuffee block on Wakefield Street, before ending up on South Main Street in the Carnegie Building in 1905. This building was expanded twice, in 1941 and 1996. In 2018-19 the Library is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the city’s decision to incorporate a free public library.

The presentation will feature images from the library’s archives, including pictures of the building interior, artwork and signage, previous Trustees and librarians, books, and documents from the library’s past. Of particular interest are local collections now provided by the library, including a collection of WWI and WWII posters, genealogical information on Rochester NH armed services members from WWI and the Civil War, and memorabilia from the Library’s use as the headquarters for the Rochester NH Chapter of the American Red Cross. The presentation will draw on research performed by Bud Scheffer, Darcy Coffta, and current library staff.

This program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow the meeting.
For more information, contact the Rochester Historical Society at 603 330-3099 or

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