All Library locations will be closed at 1pm on Wed, Dec 24, and all day Dec 25 for Christmas. We will re-open for regular hours on Fri, Dec 26. Looking for something to read, watch, or listen to? Explore our download and streaming resources and share with friends.
Postcards! Although not manuscripts in themselves, these images provide many levels of information- not simply showing us how things looked, but also what subjects were selected to be topics for postcards that visitors to a place might wish to send back home. Here in the Portland Room, we have a growing collection of local postcards- some older than newer. Each era of the city’s portrayal is equally valuable as documentation. And of course, there are the notes written by the senders! Some examples below:
Tukey’s Bridge, in the 1900s. The note on the back of the card shows it was mailed in 1907.
The Portland Exposition Building in the 1920s. Postage was 1 cent.
Portland Harbor, near the Old Port, in the early 1980s. Can you notice what hadn’t yet been built in this picture?
Yes, it’s that time of the year! Here are a few images from a recent exhibit in the Portland Room, displaying books from our collections on the topic of education and schools. We focused on the old-fashioned “3 R’s.”
A primer, a math book, and a slide rule
Reading and writing books
Portland school reports, with an old Portland Public Library card
Before the angular bank building stood at what is now 1 Monument Square, the eastern end of the Square was home to Edwards & Walker hardware store. This was the vantage point for the view below, looking west along Congress Street. The photo was taken in 1935, using a glass-plate 4×5″ camera. Before the invention of cellulose film, glass provided the needed transparent surface for photographic emulsions.
This particular photograph preserves a very brief moment, recorded 75 years ago, but the image continues to inform us!
At the right side of the image, you can see where the Library is today.