Browse Exhibits (3 total)

The First Family: Thomas and Nina Hatfield


Thomas and Nina Hatfield are some of the most important individuals in the library's history. Thomas Hatfield was the first librarian at HPL, a post he held from its founding in 1890 until his death in 1925. His wife Nina, originally a cataloguer at the library, took up the mantle and became the second head librarian in HPL's history, founding numerous institutions that remain today, such as children's storytime and the local history collection.


The Library's Beginnings


Hoboken Public Library's early days were spent in the Second National Bank building on the corner of Hudson Place, near the train station. The library swiftly began to outgrow this location, however, and it was concluded that a new, purpose-built library building would be needed. In stepped Martha Bayard Stevens, who donated the land on which the new building would be constructed, and by 1897 the current building was open for business at the corner of 5th Street and Park Avenue, across from Church Square Park.

This collection showcases those early days, including the construction of the building and photographs of the library in its earlier years.

Still Growing

Time Capsule, 1990-91.pdf

The library's growth has continued to this day. Featured here are some items reflecting the library's history as it's changed throughout the years to continue to offer the best services and resources to all our patrons.