Jones Library Special Collections

Jones Library Special Collections We preserve, promote, and make accessible the history of Amherst, Massachusetts.

We collect, preserve, and make available the history of Amherst, Massachusetts. Our collections include local history and genealogy resources, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and maps.

For Biographers’ Day we give you Ray Stannard Baker, who wrote part of his multi-volume biography of President Woodrow...
05/16/2019

For Biographers’ Day we give you Ray Stannard Baker, who wrote part of his multi-volume biography of President Woodrow Wilson here at the Jones. Baker is seated at his desk in his favorite third-floor study.
#throwbackthursday

It’s Get Caught Reading Month! Here we’ve caught one of the very first patrons reading in the new Jones Library buil...
05/09/2019

It’s Get Caught Reading Month! Here we’ve caught one of the very first patrons reading in the new Jones Library building – this picture was taken on the day the building opened, November 1, 1928.
#throwbackthursday

Here’s a photo you probably haven’t seen before - an interior of the Jones Library when it first opened in the Amher...
05/09/2019

Here’s a photo you probably haven’t seen before - an interior of the Jones Library when it first opened in the Amherst House. Want to hear stories about the Jones you probably haven’t heard before? Join us tomorrow (Thursday) night at 7pm as Bruce Watson shares some of our library’s 100 year history! You can also buy a copy of his new book, Hearth and Soul: The Jones Library at 100!
#joneslibrarycentennial

The snow has melted, the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding – spring is finally here! To celebrate, we presen...
05/02/2019

The snow has melted, the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding – spring is finally here! To celebrate, we present this photo of our own backyard taken in 1933 by prolific Amherst photographer Lincoln Barnes.
#throwbackthursday

Our new book is now out on the shelves ready for you to check out - literally!
05/01/2019

Our new book is now out on the shelves ready for you to check out - literally!

Check out our book!! To celebrate our centennial, we published a new history of the Jones Library. Written by Bruce Wats...
04/30/2019

Check out our book!! To celebrate our centennial, we published a new history of the Jones Library. Written by Bruce Watson, copies are now available for sale in the Library Office. And on May 9, Bruce will be here to give a book talk and sign copies. (Copies will be in circulation very soon, but wouldn’t you rather own this lovely piece of history?)

Thank you to Amherst College for once again hosting the Sammy Awards, this year at Converse Hall, formerly the Converse ...
04/25/2019

Thank you to Amherst College for once again hosting the Sammy Awards, this year at Converse Hall, formerly the Converse Memorial Library. This undated photo taken by Lincoln Barnes shows several people (and one dog) enjoying a sunny day on the steps of the building. We hope you’ll be walking up those same steps tonight on your way to the 6th Annual Sammy Awards!
#throwbackthursday

Author of the upcoming book on history of the Jones Library, Bruce Watson is receiving a special Centennial Sammy this y...
04/18/2019

Author of the upcoming book on history of the Jones Library, Bruce Watson is receiving a special Centennial Sammy this year. Seen here is an early proof of the book cover. The book will be released next week at the Sammys. After that, it will be available for purchase at the Jones, so stop by and pick up your copy of the finished product!
#throwbackthursday

A part of the Amherst Authors Collection, this wonderfully silly book was written by 2014 Sammys Honoree Norton Juster a...
04/11/2019

A part of the Amherst Authors Collection, this wonderfully silly book was written by 2014 Sammys Honoree Norton Juster and illustrated by Eric Carle, whose Museum of Picture Book Art is the recipient of this year’s Sammy Award for Significant Contribution to Amherst’s Literary Culture.
#throwbackthursday

04/09/2019

Special Collections will be open today from 10AM - 2PM.

Rich Michelson, poet and author, is the recipient of the 2019 Sammy Award for Local Literary Achievement. Here he is at ...
04/04/2019

Rich Michelson, poet and author, is the recipient of the 2019 Sammy Award for Local Literary Achievement. Here he is at the 2015 Sammys with Julius Lester, that year’s Local Literary Achievement honoree. Join Rich and other book lovers at Amherst College’s Converse Hall on Thursday, April 25th!
#throwbackthursday

This photo from the Edwina Fish collection shows three ‘Jones Girls’ from the late 1920s  – from left to right are...
03/28/2019

This photo from the Edwina Fish collection shows three ‘Jones Girls’ from the late 1920s – from left to right are Annise B. Kane (Cataloguer), Frances Powers (Assistant), and Dorothy M. Fish (Secretary). #throwbackthursday

100 years ago TODAY at 3:44pm, The Jones Library was incorporated!! Celebrate with us tonight in the Woodbury Room at ou...
03/21/2019

100 years ago TODAY at 3:44pm, The Jones Library was incorporated!! Celebrate with us tonight in the Woodbury Room at our kick-off to a year of programming and events!

It all started with this man… Samuel Minot Jones (1836-1912) grew up in Amherst and generously bequeathed his fortune ...
03/21/2019

It all started with this man… Samuel Minot Jones (1836-1912) grew up in Amherst and generously bequeathed his fortune to the town to build and maintain a Town Library. In the inset are his wife, Harriet Stenger Jones (1874-1907) and son, Minot Jones (1899-1918). Join us tonight at 6pm for the Jones Library Centennial Kick-Off Party! #throwbackthursday

Pictured here is the Public Services Desk, what today we would call Circulation. But since today is International Ask A ...
03/14/2019

Pictured here is the Public Services Desk, what today we would call Circulation. But since today is International Ask A Question Day, maybe you’d rather visit the friendly staff at the Reference Desk. (A good question for today – What is Pi Day?) #throwbackthursday

What better day to begin our ‘Year of the Jones’ celebration than on World Book Day! This photo from the Amherst Rec...
03/07/2019

What better day to begin our ‘Year of the Jones’ celebration than on World Book Day! This photo from the Amherst Record Collection shows several patrons enjoying the fiction room (pre-1993 renovation). #throwbackthursday

Jones Library Special Collections
03/05/2019

Jones Library Special Collections

Jones Library Special Collections's cover photo
03/05/2019

Jones Library Special Collections's cover photo

In 1995, Massachusetts Governor William Weld proclaimed February 28 to be Floral Design Day in honor of Carl Rittner, fo...
02/28/2019

In 1995, Massachusetts Governor William Weld proclaimed February 28 to be Floral Design Day in honor of Carl Rittner, founder of Boston’s Rittners School of Floral Design. This photo shows a flower show held 60 years earlier here in the old auditorium (the room now houses post-1900 fiction). #throwbackthursday

Save the date for our Centennial Celebration, a kick-off event that ushers in a year of special programs, exhibits, and ...
02/26/2019

Save the date for our Centennial Celebration, a kick-off event that ushers in a year of special programs, exhibits, and more to mark the 100th anniversary of the Jones Library’s incorporation! On March 21 at 6pm, we will have a reception in the Woodbury Room with refreshments and toasts. We hope you can join us.

This picture gives new meaning to the phrase ‘mobile home.’ On March 23, 1989, the Marsh House was moved down Main S...
02/21/2019

This picture gives new meaning to the phrase ‘mobile home.’ On March 23, 1989, the Marsh House was moved down Main Street to make room for the new police station. #throwbackthursday

This new addition to our collections is the gavel used at Town Meeting for decades. It was originally given to Clarence ...
02/19/2019

This new addition to our collections is the gavel used at Town Meeting for decades. It was originally given to Clarence Eastman, who was Town Moderator from 1926-1949. Many thanks to Jim Pistrang for the donation!

In this Clifton Johnson photograph, a shy young boy offers flowers to a bashful little girl. However you might choose to...
02/14/2019

In this Clifton Johnson photograph, a shy young boy offers flowers to a bashful little girl. However you might choose to celebrate (or not) Valentine’s Day, we hope you have a good one. #throwbackthursday

It’s Library Lovers Month! This hand-colored postcard by Edgar Scott shows one of the most loveable of libraries. This...
02/07/2019

It’s Library Lovers Month! This hand-colored postcard by Edgar Scott shows one of the most loveable of libraries. This year, beginning on March 21st, we’ll be celebrating the library’s centennial so you’ll have lots of opportunities to show the Jones Library some love. #throwbackthursday

For Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, this photograph from the Amherst Record Collection shows a young man admiring the w...
01/31/2019

For Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, this photograph from the Amherst Record Collection shows a young man admiring the work of portrait artist Doris Baucom. #throwbackthursday

Here’s a lovely wintry scene of the old Town Farm in South Amherst. #throwbackthursday
01/24/2019

Here’s a lovely wintry scene of the old Town Farm in South Amherst. #throwbackthursday

It’s a Throwback from across the pond! A bovine tourist departs by Walmgate Bar after a day of sightseeing in York, En...
01/17/2019

It’s a Throwback from across the pond! A bovine tourist departs by Walmgate Bar after a day of sightseeing in York, England. Such a sight today would likely bring a bit more attention from bystanders! Photograph by Clifton Johnson (who was born on January 25, 1865 in Hadley). #throwbackthursday

A t-shirt from the early days of the ESL program featuring the Khmer language. This 30-year-old gem is now in Special Co...
01/11/2019

A t-shirt from the early days of the ESL program featuring the Khmer language. This 30-year-old gem is now in Special Collections thanks to ESL Coordinator extraordinaire, Lynne Weintraub!

Beginning in the 1980s, Amherst welcomed many Cambodian refugee families. The Amherst Public Schools established bilingual transitional classes for Cambodian children, but there were very few resources for adults. The ESL center was first created in response to the need for adult Cambodian refugees to learn English. The center also had a program to teach Khmer to children in Amherst, from which we have this shirt.

Taken before 1868, this image of Amity Street shows Amherst Academy on the left and the Rev. David Parsons’s home on t...
01/10/2019

Taken before 1868, this image of Amity Street shows Amherst Academy on the left and the Rev. David Parsons’s home on the right. Oh, the changes that 150 years can bring; that location is now a parking lot and bank! #throwbackthursday

Do you think Helen Hunt Jackson also used this pen to write her poems? 🤔January by Helen Hunt JacksonO Winter! frozen...
01/05/2019

Do you think Helen Hunt Jackson also used this pen to write her poems? 🤔

January by Helen Hunt Jackson

O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice. June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn
The bridges thou dost lay where men desire
In vain to build.
O Heart, when Love’s sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter’s own release.

We’re getting the new year started with this gorgeous image of the waterfall at Puffers Pond, captured by Robert Coffi...
01/03/2019

We’re getting the new year started with this gorgeous image of the waterfall at Puffers Pond, captured by Robert Coffin on a glass plate negative circa 1965. #throwbackthursday

Snowy night view of Pleasant Street, looking south from the Post Office.  Lincoln Barnes used a 10-minute exposure when ...
12/27/2018

Snowy night view of Pleasant Street, looking south from the Post Office. Lincoln Barnes used a 10-minute exposure when he took this photo at 11 pm on March 2, 1929 - that is why the headlights of an approaching car in the center of the picture appear as a line of light.
#throwbackthursday

Though many modern velocipedes have been put away for the season, this May 1881 photo of the Amherst Bicycle Club - comp...
12/20/2018

Though many modern velocipedes have been put away for the season, this May 1881 photo of the Amherst Bicycle Club - complete with penny-farthing - reminds us that warmer weather will be here before we know it!
#throwbackthursday

Taken by Edgar Scott, this photo is identified as Baxter Eastman's ice pond on Montague Road in North Amherst.#throwback...
12/13/2018

Taken by Edgar Scott, this photo is identified as Baxter Eastman's ice pond on Montague Road in North Amherst.
#throwbackthursday

As Amherst ushers in the next phase of Town Government, we harken back to the past with this document – the warrant fo...
12/06/2018

As Amherst ushers in the next phase of Town Government, we harken back to the past with this document – the warrant for the first meeting in the Third (or East) Precinct of Hadley, September 1735. By 1754 the area was the Second Precinct of Hadley, and an Act passed on February 13, 1759 declared it an independent district by the name of Amherst. The first Amherst Town Meeting was held on March 19, 1759.
#throwbackthursday

This autumnal tableau is so realistic it’s hard to believe it is a miniature scene created for the 1959 UMass Flower S...
11/29/2018

This autumnal tableau is so realistic it’s hard to believe it is a miniature scene created for the 1959 UMass Flower Show. (Photo by Lincoln Barnes)
#throwbackthursday

We’re hard at work creating an exhibit of Amherst history for the Town Council Inauguration on Sunday. Here’s a snea...
11/29/2018

We’re hard at work creating an exhibit of Amherst history for the Town Council Inauguration on Sunday. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the posters we’re creating. We’re so honored to be part of this important occasion and to celebrate Amherst’s past as the Town enters a new phase of its future. Hope to see you December 2nd at 1pm at the Amherst Regional High School.

Happy Thanksgiving from Special Collections! (Do you think the chicken is showing moral support or thanking her lucky st...
11/22/2018

Happy Thanksgiving from Special Collections! (Do you think the chicken is showing moral support or thanking her lucky stars?)

Photograph taken around 1880 by Clifton Johnson.
#throwbackthursday

Happy 142nd birthday to our first director, Charles R. Green! 🎈 🎉 Green served as director of the Jones Library fr...
11/19/2018

Happy 142nd birthday to our first director, Charles R. Green! 🎈 🎉 Green served as director of the Jones Library from 1921 to 1954. After his retirement, he continued to work at the Library as the Special Collections curator for several years.

Come to the BEST BOOK SALE EVER! We'll have some great deals for you.
11/16/2018

Come to the BEST BOOK SALE EVER! We'll have some great deals for you.

Since November is Native American Heritage Month, this #throwbackthursday is dedicated to Dr. Charles Eastman. He was bo...
11/15/2018

Since November is Native American Heritage Month, this #throwbackthursday is dedicated to Dr. Charles Eastman. He was born as Hakadah (later renamed Ohiyesa) in Minnesota in 1858. Eastman went on to become a doctor, author, and lecturer. He and his wife, Elaine Goodale – herself an advocate for Native Americans – lived in Amherst for many years. (Portrait by Frank Waugh)

Today is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day! Our spotlight exhibit in the Atrium shows how the residents of Amherst ...
11/11/2018

Today is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day! Our spotlight exhibit in the Atrium shows how the residents of Amherst marked the occasion at home and abroad.

With help from Mike and the Town of Amherst, MA’s fabulous IT department, we scanned this Olmsted Brothers blueprint o...
11/09/2018

With help from Mike and the Town of Amherst, MA’s fabulous IT department, we scanned this Olmsted Brothers blueprint of the Cook Memorial Fountain for the DPW! We love making history more available, especially when it involves collaboration among our Town departments!

On November 12, 1918, Amherst celebrated the armistice that heralded the end of WWI. More than 300 Amherst men were invo...
11/08/2018

On November 12, 1918, Amherst celebrated the armistice that heralded the end of WWI. More than 300 Amherst men were involved in the ‘Great War.’
#throwbackthursday

In celebration of National Author’s Day, here are four Amherst authors! Clockwise from top left: Robert McClung, Helen...
11/01/2018

In celebration of National Author’s Day, here are four Amherst authors! Clockwise from top left: Robert McClung, Helen Hunt Jackson, Ray Stannard Baker, and Howard Garis (with Uncle Wiggly).
#throwbackthursday

Address

43 Amity Street
Amherst, MA
01002

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 14:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(413) 259-3097

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