The Library has its origins in the collection of Reverend Jabez Chickering who began loaning books to parishioners in 1790. This collection became the Social Circulating Library of South Dedham. After the organization was dissolved, a commonly held collection of books served residents during the nineteenth century until the public library was created as a town department in 1873. In 1897 the Morrill family donated funds to erect a library building, and in 1898 the present Morrill Memorial Library was dedicated. During the following decades the library building was expanded several times: in 1928 an addition was built to the rear, in 1965-1966 a front section was constructed, and two new wings added, in 1998-2001 the interior was renovated to include a meeting room. Today the library, a member of the Minuteman Library Network, houses a collection of over 90,000 books, periodicals, newspapers and audiovisual materials.
Inclusive dates: 1790 – present (predominant 1890 – present)
The documents of the Norwood Historical Collection have been given randomly to the Library over the years. Major town-related printed documents such as Street Lists and Annual Reports of the Town are listed in the Library’s holdings. Holdings include unpublished materials relating to the Library, such as a list of “Proprietors of the Social Circulating Library of 1830” and hand-written minutes of meetings of the Library Trustees between 1898-1923. Other record types include photographs, lantern slides, wills, programs, and flyers.
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