The mission of Lamson Library is to provide print and digital resources, instruction, services, and facilities to support and improve the teaching, learning, scholarship, and research mission of Plymouth State University.
Lamson Library provides information resources and services to over 4,800 undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, and townspeople. It is the largest publicly accessible library in central/northern New Hampshire, second largest overall after Dartmouth College. The Library’s current total collections number over 900,000 volumes/units, including over 300,000 cataloged print volumes, over 10,000 cataloged non-print items (video/DVD, music CD’s, and other media), and over 325,000 microform units.
Lamson Library is dedicated to Dr. Herbert H. Lamson, a beloved science teacher of 34 years, who, although a Dartmouth-degreed medical doctor, devoted his life to teaching and supporting this institution’s library development. The history of Lamson Library spans 140 years: from a one-room facility serving Plymouth Normal School to the current state-of-the-art facility. Several predecessors to the current library served Plymouth over the years.
The first unofficial library (1871-1891) of Plymouth Normal School was in the original Holmes Plymouth Academy building. The library room was approximately 12 ft by 14 ft, and was on the same floor as dressing rooms for both men and women, a large recitation room, and two water closets. (See Holmes Academy Building in the digital archives)
The second unofficial library (1871-1891) was located in Livermore Hall, the northeast corner of Rounds Hall. Livermore Hall functioned as an assembly hall, lecture hall, study hall, and theatre. About two decades after the library was moved and Plymouth Normal School became Plymouth Teachers College, Livermore Hall was converted into two floors. (See Livermore Hall in the digital archives)
The first official library (1932-1963) of Plymouth Normal School was located in the newly built east wing of Samuel Read Hall Hall, now known as Heritage Commons. The library opened in fall of 1932, and was dedicated to beloved professor of natural sciences, Herbert H. Lamson that December. (See Samuel Read Hall in the digital archives)
In September of 1964, the first version of the current library was open. When the building was completed, students formed a human chain to transport books from the old library, By the 1970s, it became clear that there was a need for an expansion. About 20 years later, there was a need for even more room. On September 5, 1996, the groundbreaking ceremony for the $10.3 million renovation and expansion of the current library was held. (See Herbert H. Lamson Library in the digital archives)
The Library & Learning Commons opened in September 2006. Through the seamless integration of library and information technology, and the dedication of its personnel, the Learning Commons committed itself to providing the Plymouth State University community with quality resources, outstanding services, and a welcoming environment to meet research, instructional, and learning needs. The Learning Commons at Lamson Library provided PSU students, faculty and staff with access to a wide variety of research tools and materials, information technology resources and academic support services.