Springfield Public Library, Springfield Mass (3)

The newly-completed Springfield Public Library, around 1912. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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Springfield’s current main branch of the public library system was opened on January 10, 1912, which is probably around the time that the first photo was taken. The Library of Congress data indicates that it was taken between 1900 and 1910, but obviously that is not the case. Regardless, not much has changed with this view, although the foreground is now a parking lot; in 1912, it was the front lawn of the Church of the Unity.

Springfield Public Library, Springfield Mass (2)

Springfield Public Library, around 1900-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same view in 2014:

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Another view of the old library, which was built in 1871 and moved around 1910 in preparation for the construction of the new library, which sits on the same spot today.

Springfield Public Library, Springfield Mass (1)

The Springfield Public Library, around 1900-1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same scene in 2014:

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Springfield’s first public library opened in 1871, on State Street just up the hill from Chestnut Street.  However, it didn’t take long to outgrow the building, and in 1905 Andrew Carnegie donated money to Springfield to build a new main library and several branch libraries.  The library needed to stay open during construction, so the old building was moved back and the new building was built in its spot. It was dedicated on January 10, 1912, and the old library building was subsequently demolished.

Forbes Library, Northampton Mass

Northampton’s Forbes Library, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Libraries

The library in 2014:

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Built in 1894, the Forbes Library is one of two public libraries in Northampton, and it is also home to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum. Not much has changed in its exterior appearance since Calvin Coolidge visited here while studying law in the late 1890s.