The (old) Otis Library
- Built by: Joseph Otis (July 1768-April 1854)
- Opened: 1850
- Architectural style: Greek Revival
- The library opened with 250 volumes and over 1,000 subscribers.
- Hamlin B. Buckingham was the first librarian.
- By February 1865 the library had 6,666 books. A library “ticket” for the year cost $1.
- In use as a library until 1962.
- The building is now known as the William F. Bourgun Memorial, which houses Norwich’s Department of Human Services.
|Mr. Otis spent $10, 500 on the land, the building, the furniture, and the initial book collection. He also left $6, 500 in his will for the library.|
|Originally, the first floor was the library and the second floor was the pastor’s study. The lamps are a later addition.|
|The library is directly across from Town Hall.|
Read some history of the library here.
|A stylized rendering of how the library looked in its early days. Source: Forgotten Founders|
|An old postcard of Union Square that shows the library (Source: the new Otis Library’s Flickr account).|
The new Otis Library, which is just blocks away on Main Street, was awarded a 2016 Museum and Library Services national award.
|Michelle Obama presents the award to Bassem Gayed & Robert Farwell of the Otis Library (source).
Norwich, CT was established in 1659 and was a thriving city by the time of the American Revolution. It was the center of activities for the Sons of Liberty as well as the birthplace of Benedict Arnold.