Our History

“Strangers who visit this place are frequently heard to express great surprise that so large, flourishing, and wealthy a village as this should be destitute of a public library [...] This is a standing reproach to our citizens. [...] The benefits resulting from [establishing a library] would be incalculable. It would furnish the means whereby the mind might be enriched and cultivated.”

- Newspaper excerpt from Dec 15, 1849


Rev. Andrew E. Thayer begins a small circulating library. 


Union Atheneum forms when several Nashua citizens donate private libraries so that books may be borrowed for a small fee. The local bookstore serves as quarters.

May 1867

Resolution passed by Board of Alderman of City of Nashua, accepting offer of Union Atheneum that a Public Library be started with its collection of 1300 volumes. City agrees to appropriate $1000 a year for support of the library.

County Records Building

February 1868

Nashua Public Library opens on the second floor of the old municipal building. 


Mrs. John M. Hunt and daughter, Mary, gives the city $50,000 for the construction of a building for the library, in honor of John M. Hunt. Construction is delayed because of difficulties in obtaining the site, known as the Greeley block, at the beginning of Main Street. 

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From the Forty-fourth Annual Report, City of Nashua, 1896

September 1903

Hunt Memorial Building opens as the main library. Reflects Gothic Style of architect Ralph Adams Cram.


Branch library opens in Crown Hill area.



Miss Mabel Chandler devises her home at 257 Main Street to be used as a library. Also, she bequeaths in trust the sum of $60,000, the income of which is to be used for the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings. The Chandler branch opens one year later.


Hunt Memorial Building designated a National Historic Monument. 

a black and white photo from the 70s shows a librarian helping a patron at the main desk


New wing opens for music, art, and media (what is now the Chandler Wing.)

greeley lot


Library moves into the first floor quarters in Odd Fellows' Building.




Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Nashua created by an act of the legislature.


Bookmobile begins operations.

chandler house


Eliot A. Carter donates gifts of $1,100,000 for construction of a new library building. 

September 1971

Dedication of new (current) building at 2 Court St. Total project cost for the current building in 1971: $2,071,017. Adjusted for inflation, about $16 million.




Library switches to online catalog system!


Bookmobile makes its last run.

exterior frontfireplace in front room (2)

library staff smile in front of the bookmobile


Chandler branch of library closes.


Library introduces self-checkout.

self checkout



The library removes overdue fines!


Chandler Wing opens with additional meeting and training rooms.