Local History Collections

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Santa Clara County Library District 1914 – 2014

A Celebrated Past; An Exciting Future

1914 - 1923

1914 – 1923
Santa Clara County Library District established

This period was dominated by World War I and its aftermath. The war began in August, 1914 and continued for the next 4 years.

July 1, 1914 - Santa Clara County Library was established in the Hall of Justice, which was located on the corner of Market and St. James Streets in San Jose, California. Two years earlier, a one-cent tax had been levied for the purpose of supporting a county library. It provided $3,700 for the first year of operation.


1914 - Miss Stella Huntington was appointed as the first County Librarian (1914-1925). To begin operations, she purchased a typewriter, dictionary, and a desk with two chairs. In the first year of service the collection consisted of “6,127 books and reached a circulation of 49,048.” (San Jose Mercury News, June 28, 1934)


July 25, 1914Los Altos Library was the first library to be established under the new county library system. C.E. Minor, a Los Altos land agent, made the County a proposal it couldn't turn down. For $5 a month, he would open and run a library with 50 books in his land office at First & Main Street. In the next few years the library was housed in various locations including the Copeland Building, the Shoup Building and Scout Hall.


1914 - Morgan Hill Library was the second library to be established under the new county library system.

It opened in the Goold's Department Store on the corner of 2nd Street and Monterey Road, and offered a few shelves of books behind a curtain. Open hours were from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.  Before incorporating with the County Library system, Morgan Hill Library had maintained a “traveling library” with cases of 50 books.


1914 - The Saratoga branch was incorporated as the fourth branch library. It was located in the drug store of George S. Buckley. His wife Clara Buckley was the first librarian.


1914 - Campbell Library was the fifth branch to be established.  Housed in a one-room building known as the Campbell Library and Clubhouse, its first librarian was Mrs. Ellen Lewis.



November 16, 1914 - The Cupertino branch was incorporated. It was housed in the “Cupertino Store located on the northeast corner of Stevens Creek Road & Saratoga-Mountain View Road (now Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road).” (Cupertino Courier, April 7, 1971, p. 19)   Miss Fanny Jollyman was the first librarian and she attended to a collection of 50-75 books on 4 shelves within the store. The library was in existence until 1946 when the owner, Mr. Archibald Wilson, sold the store.


1921Saratoga Library moved to the Sunday School Room of the old First Christian Church on Big Basin Way. Mrs. Nell C. Emrich was appointed the librarian at that time.


1923Campbell Library moved to a beautiful building, known as Briner Hall. It was built for the library by the Country Women’s Club of Campbell.

1924 - 1933
1934 - 1943
1944 - 1953
1954 - 1963
1964 - 1974
1974 - 1984
1984 - 1994
1994 - 2004
2004 - 2014
2014 - Present

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Browse the Catalog

Additional Resources

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Online Library Tutorials, Guides, & Help

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