Roberta LaMonaca, Director of Library Services

    WELCOME TO

PROSSER PUBLIC LIBRARY

1 TUNXIS AVENUE, BLOOMFIELD, CT 06002

 

Bloomfield's Prosser Public Library and P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library
are committed to enriching our community by providing opportunities to
acquire information and education while fostering inspiration and imagination.

 

860-243-9721 (Prosser Adult)     860-242-2972 (Prosser Children)     860-242-0041 (McMahon Wintonbury Library)

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HISTORY OF THE
BLOOMFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARIES

 

 

The buildings of the Prosser Public Library and the P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library date from 1965 and 1972 respectively. However, the history of libraries in Bloomfield predates the Town’s incorporation in 1835. There were at least three, perhaps, four subscription libraries that preceded the founding of Prosser Public Library as the main library in the Town of Bloomfield, Ct. The Wintonbury Society Library was in existence from
1793-1824 and was affiliated with the Congregational Church. The Wintonbury Union Library operated in the decade prior to the Civil War. The inscription of the Young Gentlemen and Ladies Library appeared in some of the early books donated to Prosser Library. The last library of interest was the Bloomfield Library Company that was operated by Samuel G. Buckingham from his cobbler shop that was located on Tunxis Ave. (Prosser Library owns a bench from the cobbler shop. Cobbler Buckingham was shown on early bookplates of the Prosser Library.) In 1900 Levi Prosser, son of a prominent Bloomfield family but a resident of Massachusetts, left 1/6th of his estate ($15,255.85) to the Town of Bloomfield to establish a free public library.

 

Prosser Library was dedicated in 1903 and was housed in a multi-purpose building that included the Town Hall and was located on the Library’s present site, 1 Tunxis Ave. In 1963, the original building was torn down. Unfortunately, while the library’s collections were in storage at the Center Grammar School on Jerome Ave, that building was destroyed by fire along with most of the collections. The present building was dedicated in 1965. There were also precursors to the P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library. A home in North Bloomfield served as the first branch library beginning in 1908.

 

The Blue Hills Branch Library, also called The East Branch Library, was fundedby the Women’s Auxiliary of the Citizen’s Party beginning in 1933. It was later supported by the Town of Bloomfield. The present P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library at 1015 Blue Hills Avenue opened in 1972.*

*Information about Prosser Public Library comes from the book, From Wintonbury to Bloomfield
published by the Wintonbury Historical Society, 1983. The Bloomfield History Collection.

Prosser Public Library owns a small but significant historical collection related to the Town of Bloomfield.
The oldest portion is made up of approximately 115 books that were donated to Prosser Library when it
was established in 1903. The books came from the town’s original subscription libraries. Town newspapers are an important segment of the collection. The library owns a full run of The Messenger published in Bloomfield during World War II, The Bloomfield Zip, and the Bloomfield Journal.

Earlier this year postcards from the 1935 centennial celebration were digitized and now appear on the Connecticut State Library website in a collection called Treasures of Connecticut Libraries. (Visit the website at: http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/ ) Citizens of the Town of Bloomfield are justifiably proud of their fine libraries and the historical collections that they are preserving for future generations.

 

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