“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
The Library image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, November 12, 2007
2. The Library
traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth VA 23704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Church (within shouting distance 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the Path of History.
Categories. African AmericansNotable Buildings
More. Search the internet for Portsmouth Public Library.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,042 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on June 30, 2009, by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.