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

Old Norfolk Public Library

 
 
Old Norfolk Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
1. Old Norfolk Public Library Marker
Inscription.  Norfolk had several libraries for public use during the nineteenth century, among them that of the Norfolk Library Association, organized in 1870. Though designated "public," membership was not free. The fee to use the reading rooms and to check out books continued even after the Norfolk Public Library was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly in 1894.

The book collection of the Library Association was moved from one rented space to another for more than 30 years. In 1901 the library board applied to philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for a grant to build a permanent home and received a pledge of $50,000. The children of William Selden donated the site for the library on West Freemason Street in memory of their father.

The Beaux Arts Classical library was designed by the Boston firm of Herbert D. Hale and Henry G. Morse. Details include a bust of Minerva over the entrance and a frieze engraved with the names of classical authors on the lintel cornice. The library opened free of membership dues on 21 November 1904.
 
Erected by City of Norfolk.
 
Topics and series. This historical
Open Shelf Room, 1924 ~Andrew Carnegie (c 1835-1919) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
2. Open Shelf Room, 1924 ~Andrew Carnegie (c 1835-1919)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
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marker is listed in this topic list: Education. In addition, it is included in the Carnegie Libraries series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 21, 1904.
 
Location. 36° 51.113′ N, 76° 17.724′ W. Marker is in Norfolk, Virginia. Marker is on West Freemason Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 345 W Freemason St, Norfolk VA 23510, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Observation Tower (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marine Observation Tower (approx. 0.2 miles away); James W. Hunter House, 1894 (approx. 0.2 miles away); West Freemason Street Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Taylor-Whittle House, 1791 (approx. 0.2 miles away); William A. Jones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Humbert R. Versace (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jacklyn “Jack” H. Lucas (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norfolk.
 
Old Norfolk Public Library image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
3. Old Norfolk Public Library
Old Norfolk Public Library Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, May 20, 2019
4. Old Norfolk Public Library Marker
<i>Public Library, Norfolk, Va.</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by the Detroit Photographic Company, circa 1905
5. Public Library, Norfolk, Va.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 1, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 1,020 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 1, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.   4. submitted on May 24, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   5. submitted on October 7, 2015. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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May. 20, 2022