“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portsmouth, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Portsmouth Public Library

Portsmouth Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, November 12, 2007
1. Portsmouth Public Library Marker
Inscription. The Portsmouth Public Library was established in 1914 primarily due to efforts of the Students Club. The first library was housed in the annex behind the 1846 Courthouse and most of the original collection was donated from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the YMCA. The first librarian was Mrs. Esther Murdaugh Wilson. An African-American Community Library was established in 1945 with Mrs. Bertha Edwards as Director.

The two libraries merged in 1963 and moved into the renovated 1909 Post Office at 601 Court Street. The Library added three branches: Cradock (1964), Churchland (1969) and Manor (1973). The Students Club still supports the Library, as do the local Lions and Kiwanis clubs. In support of Rotary International's emphasis on literacy, the Rotary Club of Portsmouth established its Birthday Book program in 1949 and has contributed a book for each member each year since, adding thousands of books to the collection.
Location. 36° 50.049′ N, 76° 18.048′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, Virginia. Marker is on Court Street south of King Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth VA 23704, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Church (within shouting distance
The Library image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, November 12, 2007
2. The Library
of this marker); Towne Square (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Norfolk County Court House (about 500 feet away); The Commodore Theatre (about 500 feet away); Confederate Monument (about 500 feet away); The 1846 Courthouse (about 600 feet away); Monumental Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Reverend Francis Devlin (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Portsmouth.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the Path of History.
Categories. African AmericansNotable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. This page has been viewed 969 times since then and 51 times this year. Last updated on , by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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