Delaware, Maryland, & Virginia Libraries

Carnegie Libraries are very rare in the Atlantic states: none in Delaware, fourteen branches in Baltimore, Maryland, and three in Virginia, contained in two cities. (However, there are several college library buildings.)

Delaware Public Libraries

Zero Carnegie buildings, and darn few library postcards.


Bridgeville, DE library

1866 church, converted in 1917 to library use. Replaced in 2007: still standing, and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dexter Press card with photograph by F.W. Brueckmann.


Wilmington, DE library

This building was built in 1923, and was renovated in 2012.

Del Mar News Agency linen finish card, mailed in 1947.

Maryland Public Libraries

The only Carnegie buildings in the state are branch libraries in Baltimore.

Baltimore (Enoch Pratt)

Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore

Opened in 1886, it's one of the country's premier libraries. Today, it not only serves the City, it includes the Maryland State Library Resource Center.

The Library has a great history page. One of its highlights came in October, 1886, when the first borrower's card was issued to an African-American, Harry S. Cummings. Another was its four Carnegie grants between 1905 and 1908. However, this building was not built until 1931.

This Tichnor Bros. card was mailed in 1946.

Frederick (Frederick County Public Libraries)

C. Burr Artz Library, Frederick, MD

Built in 1938, with some rather stiff stipulations.
Replaced along the way. Fate of the original building unknown.
The building in the background is a Prebyterian church.

Marken & Bielfeld postcard, probably printed by Curt Teich in 1951.

Hagerstown (Washington County Free Library)

Hagerstown, MD library (L) R.M. Hays card, in exquisite condition.
(R) Beautiful Tuck's card.
Hagerstown, MD library
Hagerstown, MD library According to this post-1965 Kelley Studios card, this is:
  • The 2nd oldest county library in the US (1901).
  • The user of the first bookmobile in the world (1905).
  • 39,000 square feet: not that impressive by today's standards.

The inset shows the bookmobile. Sorry, I don't think a horse-drawn wagon = bookmobile.

I hate taking information from a Wikipedia page, but for this library, I have little choice.
Built at the turn of the last century from a Bruce Price Neo-Georgian design, this building was replaced in 1965.
Still standing (2012).

Salisbury (Wicomico Public Library)

Wicomico Public Library, Salisbury, MD

1963 building of no great distinction, remodeled in 1978-80.

Plastichrome card captures some details of daily life.

Westminster (Davis Library)

Davis Library, Westminster, MD

Converted Methodist church, opened in 1951 as the Davis Library.
Taken over by Carroll County in 1958. Replaced in 1980: fate unknown.

1952 Curt Teich linen-finish card, reprinted along the way.


Williamsport, MD Library

Also part of WCFL today. This building is replaced: I don't know its fate.

Silvercraft brand of Dexter Press postcards.


Weirdly, there are more academic Carnegie buildings in Virginia than public Carnegie Libraries (Norfolk and Waynesboro).

Public Libraries of the Commonwealth

Newport News

Newport News, VA library

At one point, a 2008 architects' survey showed this building still in use, but I have no further information in 2015. The Library per se has no wite site.

1934 Curt Teich card showing Georgian Revival architecture. That medical arts building in the background looks like it may have been a hotel at one point in time.


Richmond, VA Library

The powers that be turned down two Carnegie grants. As a result, there was no public library service in the city until 1924. This building, the Dooley Library, opened in 1930.
Interestingly, service, albeit segregated, was offered to the African-American community in 1925.

This Colourpicture linen-finish card was nearly mailed to the 'Good Morning' program of WREX-TV, channel 13, in Rockford, Illinois. I suspect somebody's postcard collection was raided.

Suffolk (Morgan Memorial Library)

Suffolk, VA library

Built in 1959, replaced in 1986.
One of Suffolk's branches is named Chuckatuck. We are amused.

Lusterchrome card dates between 1959 and 1962.

Winchester (Handley Library)

Looks like it belongs on an ancient college campus.

Handley Library, Winchester, VA (L) Asheville Post Card Co. publication. Its reverse adds the information that it was built of Indiana limestone, and that its construction began in 1908. Plus, it circulated 70,000 items in 1930.
(R) Earlier card scanned badly, but shows some interesting details.
Handley Library, Winchester, VA
Handley Library, Winchester, VA (L, below) Linen finish post card printed by Tichnor for the Shenandoah News Agency.

Built in 1913, gained an addition in 1979, and was totally renovated in 2001. This is an example of Beaux-Arts done right.

Carnegie Libraries of the Commonwealth


Norfolk, VA Carnegie library

1901 grant: replaced in 1970. Building serves as offices.

Hugh C. Leighton postcard, printed in Germany.