Deerfield — Libraries

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      Before the close of the last century there was an agricultural library here, and another devoted to military science. Soon after, there appears a "Union Library," which, perhaps, absorbed the others. The Union was finally dissolved and scattered, and upon its ruins was founded the "Social Library," which contained about 4000 volumes in 1830. This being broken and getting behind the times, a more radical club was started in 1840. This now exists as the "Deerfield Reading Association," with about 2000 volumes. Its main features have been periodical literature and history. It has met every Thursday night since its organization. Its librarians have been Charles Williams, E. H. Ames, Geo. Sheldon, C. M. Crittenden, Alanson Thayer, C. S. Williams, James C. Hitchcock,, Nathaniel Hitchcock, Eliza D. Williams, and Martha G. Pratt, who is now serving her eighteenth year.
      A juvenile library was founded some sixty years ago, which was probably the foundation of the first Congregational Sunday-school library. A library was established at Bloody Brook a few years ago, which is increasing in strength and usefulness. The new town library of the Dickinson bequest will be spoken of elsewhere.

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