The Greenwich Free Library was established in 1902 by a small group of community women. Funds were raised through donations and various types of sales (including clam bakes, card parties and rummage sales) to purchase a building on Main Street and books to stock the shelves. From its early days, the library has been an important part of the Greenwich community, from its children’s programs as early as 1923 to the present–day computers with internet access, Wi–Fi, and audio and e–books available to download from home computers.
The present library building was built in 1974, and most recently renovated and expanded in 2004. It houses over 34,000 books, with an annual circulation of 34,549. There are currently 2,659 patrons with new memberships issued daily. A large community room is available to groups for a myriad of activities.
The I.V.H. Gill Historical Room
Islay Van Horn Gill (1875–1964) was a community leader for many years and an early supporter of the Greenwich Free Library. He began working for the local electric company in 1898, and in the 1920s and 1930s was instrumental in bringing electricity to rural Washington County. He had a life–long interest in local history, authoring several books, including "The Greenwich Community of 1850." After his death in 1964, his voluminous collection of history books, documents and handwritten notes were donated to the Greenwich Free Library. This donation comprises the core of the Greenwich Free Library's historic holdings, known collectively as "The Gill Room." Although initially it was a single room, the collection is currently housed in two rooms in the library basement. The Gill Room Collection has continued to grow since Mr. Gill's initial donation and includes old and rare local historic items of Greenwich and other Washington County communities, as well as of those of surrounding New York State and Vermont communities. It houses a large collection of microfilms of Federal and New York State Census records, local newspapers from the mid–1800s and the Asa Fitch manuscripts. Many local genealogies have been donated and are available for research. The Gill Room is open during regular library hours.
View the Greenwich Free Library Digital Collection
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Greenwich Free Library Sub-collections:
Gill Room Postcard Collection Greenwich NY