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Hamilton Public Library

Opened 5 May 1913

Hamilton Central Library exterior on 55 Main Street West, n.d.

Following the example of the Toronto reference library (1909), Hamilton library trustees decided also to serve residents in the city core by providing reference and circulating services from a central library. A Carnegie promise of $75,000 was received on 23 March 1909; this amount was increased to $100,000 in 1911. The building cornerstone was laid on 1 August 1911 and the library opened in May 1913 with the Lieutenant-Governor in attendance.

As originally conceived in 1911/12, the lower floor held a ladies' reading room, children's room, and men's reading room. The main floor provided open access to book stacks and to a reference room. The interior featured coffered ceilings and marble decoration. This building was renovated in 1952 and served as Hamilton's central library until 1980.

Source: National Archives of Canada, PA-43605

Interior browsing alcove in new-decorated main library, c.1952. (Source: Report of the Minister of Education, Ontario, 1952)

Page created on 25 May 1997
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Created February 1996 | Book requests or comments to: Libraries Today | top of this page |