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Howe Library (Hanover, NH) (1900-)



The original Howe Library building was erected in 1773 by Eleazar Wheelock. It was used as the president's house for many years and then went through a succession of owners and renters. In 1850, it was rented to Israel O. Dewey and Benjamin D. Howe. They bought the house in 1864; Dewey subsequently sold his half, an in 1882, Howe's widow bought the second half, thus owning the whole property. Emily Hitchcock Howe, born in 1853, inherited the property. In 1899, about to marry her cousin, Hiram Hitchcock, Emily deeded the house to a group of townspeople, to be known as the Howe Library Corporation, for use as a public library. The library opened officially on April 7, 1900 after a librarian, Mabel Read, was hired. The sole income for the library's operation came from the rental of the upper stories to "bachelor gentleman," and the book collection consisted of uncatalouged gifts. In 1912, Emily Howe Hitchcock died and left a large sum of money to the library. Under the aegis of Howe's first trained librarian, Etta Clark (1913-1923), cataloguing of the collection began and in 1914 a two story brick building was erected in the rear of the house. New services began to be developed; a children's department was organized, and Howe began to serve the schools in lieu of their own libraries. During the Depression years, the libary saw a rise in circulation under the supervision of Grace Kingsland, who was appointed in 1923.

During the next two decades, the Howe Library was presided over by four Head Librarians, Elsie Lilley (1947-1949), Francis Haslett (1949-1952), Dorothy Hurlbutt (1952-1965) and Joan Stewart in 1966. The Library became a Service Center for the Statewide Library System in 1966. Patricia Eckels was appointed Head Librarian in 1967. Space and budget constraints had been an issue for several years, and so, after a study had been commissioned, the Hanover taxpayers authorized the town to assume financial responsibility for the operating expenses of Howe Library. As a result, a new library was built on town-owned land which opened on December 9, 1975. In addition, collections were upgraded and new programs for adults and children were added.

Patricia Eckels retired in 1987 and was replaced by Ann Trementozzi (1987-1992) and then Peggy Hyde (1992-1994).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Howe Library (Hanover, NH) records

Identifier: ML-92
Date(s): Circa 1975-
Scope and Contents The records of Howe Library contain construction files, such as, blue prints, plans, contracts, daily construction reports, notes, memos, budget calculations, certs for payment, and program objectives for the construction of the new site for the Howe Library in the 1970’s. These documents chronicle the objectives for the construction of a new and larger site for the Howe Library, while chronicling the daily paperwork, approvals, and plans necessary to build in the town of Hanover in the...
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