March 19, 2022 – Lecture “Portsmouth Library 125th” by Jim Garman

Portsmouth Free Public Library grew from a group of people called the Thursday Evening Group who met at the Guild House of St. Paul’s Church and at members’ homes to discuss literature and culture.  It was proposed that a meeting be held to explore the possibility of a town library as the group had grown quite large.  About 50 of Portsmouth’s influential people attended this meeting on March 18, 1897, and a charter was granted by RI Secretary of State Charles P. Bennett on March 26, 1897 to form a library “for the distribution of books and other literary purposes.”