Huntington Public Library

Department: Special Collections
338 Main St
Huntington, New York 11746
Phone: 631-427-5165
Fax: 631-421-7128

Huntington Public Library


Huntington Public Library is one of the oldest public libraries in Suffolk County with roots dating back to 1759. Thirty-nine people joined together to form the first circulating library in Huntington with Reverend Ebenezer Prime as the first "library-keeper.” The library consisted of 115 volumes which were housed in a "box of shelves.” A book could be borrowed for two months but a fine of "one copper per diem" per book was charged.

The library was destroyed during the British occupation of Huntington during the Revolutionary War and it emerged again in 1801 as a circulating library. It was known as the Huntington Lyceum between 1827 and 1843. Again, it was reorganized as the Huntington Library Association until 1858. In 1869, the Huntington Lyceum emerged once more; featuring debates and lectures, and developed into the Young Men's Literary Association and continued until 1871. Mary Talmage was considered to be the "mother of the library" because of her dedication to library services. The first Board meeting was held at her home on Fairview Street in 1875. It was in 1875 that the Huntington Library Association was formed and it became incorporated in 1883.

Through fundraising efforts, the construction of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building was completed in 1892, commemorating our Civil War soldiers. It became the site for the new library. In July 1958, the Library was then moved to the present location at 338 Main Street, to the former NY Telephone Company building which was built in 1916.

Huntington Public Library is a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council.


Huntington Documents

Historical documents related to the Town of Huntington and its various families.

Huntington Historical Photographs

Historic photographs of Huntington, NY.

Mary Fowler Gaines Postcard Collection

Historical postcards of libraries.

Walt Whitman Collection

Photographs of the birth place and a manuscript of Walt Whitman.