A Brief History of the Library
Our library was opened December 5, 1891. Melville Dewey, the secretary of the library department at the State University of New York, signed the Certificate of Registry for the library, dated February 14, 1896.
The library was named after Benjamin F. Bancroft, banker and benefactor of the community in the mid-to-late 19th century.
The Starting Collection
Ornithology was epidemic in early 20th century Salem. The infamous John James Audubon had a granddaugher whom lived in Salem. Marie R. Audubon lived in Salem from 1890 to 1925. In 1897, she published her grandfathers' journals, which are still available today in the library's Audubon Collection.
The fire of 1976
The 1976 fire was later determined to have been caused by an electrical fault.
The modern library
(c) 2008 Bancroft Public Library, Salem NY.