Summer Reading 2024

Nature in New Hampshire

Join us at the library for Summer Reading 2024: Nature in New Hampshire, a summer full of crafts, activities, and programs for all ages!  Events will run July 6th through August 23rd and are all free and open to the public. Check the library calendar for dates and more information.

Conant Public Library and Richmond Public Library present "Coffee with the Classics"

The Conant Public Library and the Richmond Public Library are working together to present “Coffee with the Classics,” a book club focusing on classical literature.  Barry Deitz, Director of the Conant Library, has over 20 years of experience leading book discussions and is looking forward to facilitating our fourth meeting on Wednesday, August 7th at 6:00 p.m. in Winchester.  Wendy O’Brien, Librarian at the Richmond Public Library, will provide refreshments.  We have selected Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, with multiple copies available at both the Conant and Richmond Libraries.  We hope to see you then!

Check Out Our June Book Display!

Pride Month

Celebrate Pride Month with us by checking out our display of must-read fiction featuring LGBTQIA+ Authors and Stories.

Some of our favorites:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Carole Silver Children's Collection Spotlight

The Works of Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire were authors and illustrators of numerous children's books. Active from 1931 to 1976, their work was influential in shaping the Golden Age of Children's Literature (ca. 1950-1999). Their work received the Caldecott medal, the Catholic Library Association Regina Medal, and the Boy's Club award, and was nominated for the National Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. While many of their joint works remain in print, they are best-known for d'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths (1962) which remains the most well-respected and definitive children's collection of Ancient Greek Mythology. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths was selected as part of the New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books and NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14. This first edition volume retains its original dust jacket and contains original stone lithography illustrations in color and black-and-white. Volumes of D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants (1st ed., 1967) and D'Aulaire's Trolls (3rd ed., 1972) are also part of the Carole Silver Children's Collection. Stop by the library to view all three of these unique volumes.

Historical Collection Events

Winchester in Wartime

Our special exhibit Winchester in Wartime features items from the Library’s historical collection. Artifacts on display date from the War of 1812 to World War II and offer a window into Winchester’s role in the conflicts that have defined our nation.

In addition to the materials on exhibit, a selection of local history books from our catalog are available to check out. The exhibit opened at the Winchester Pickle Festival on September 23, 2023, and will remain on display during the library’s regular hours. Stop by and learn about town history!

Historical Collection Spotlight

Grand Army of the Republic Ribbons ca. 1890

Left: Grand Army of the Republic “In Memoriam” Ribbon
Right: Grand Army of the Republic Ribbon

Founded in 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization whose members were Civil War veterans of the Union Army, Navy, and Marine forces. The GAR was composed of hundreds of local branches, referred to as “posts.” It was one of the first racially integrated fraternal organizations in the United States, and at its height in 1890, the GAR had an estimated 410,000 members and was among the first organized political advocacy groups in the United States. Considered the most powerful single-issue political lobby of the time, the GAR is credited with contributing to the election of five Republican presidents. Its platform promoted voting rights for Black veterans, education, and pensions for veterans. Through the efforts of the GAR, the first national observance of Memorial Day–known as “Decoration Day” until 1971–took place on May 30, 1868. The GAR was dissolved in 1956, with the death of its last member.

Founded in 1883, the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC) was the official women’s auxiliary to the GAR. Until the WRC’s founding, women were not permitted to participate in the activities of the GAR. Their primary goal was to unite the philanthropic groups advocating for and providing aid to Union veterans and their families in the wake of the Civil War. The first chapter of the WRC in New Hampshire was formed in 1890. The WRC had both segregated and desegregated chapters, as well as chapters in both northern and southern states. While the GAR declined in power and was eventually dissolved, the WRC exists to this day. The organization’s modern mission is the preservation of historical documents and artifacts related to the GAR and WRC.

These ribbons are from Post No. 63, founded by the veteran communities of Cornish and Plainfield, NH on June 21, 1887, and named for Sergeant Major William H. Bryant (18 April 1843–31 January 1883) of the 14th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. According to History of the Town of Cornish, New Hampshire by William Henry Child, the primary activities of the 63rd post included the burial of deceased veterans and the observance of Memorial Day. The ribbon featuring a star-shaped, cannon bronze medallion was in use by members of the GAR from 1869 onward. The shape of the medallion is reminiscent of the Medal of the Honor and it features an image of the goddess of liberty at its center. The “In Memoriam” ribbon was worn by members of the 63rd post when attending the funerals of fellow Union veterans. Similar ribbons were worn by the members of the GAR’s other posts.

Post no. 19 of the GAR was located here in Winchester and its members, along with the members of the affiliated WRC chapter, erected the memorial at the corner of Main Street and Richmond Road to honor Winchester residents who served in the Civil War in 1908.