Portsmouth Main Library

Portsmouth Public Library - Main Branch601 Court Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704


Monday–Thursday 10AM-6PM
Friday & Saturday 10AM-5PM

Branch Services

Open Book Collections: Books, Magazines, DVDs and Videos, Music CDs, MP3s, Books on Tape & CD
Technology: 10 adult public Internet computers + 6 Teen Internet computers + 4 children’s public Internet computers, High Speed Internet Access, Free wireless Internet, Microsoft Office Software Programs, Printing ($0.15 per B&W page, $0.25 Color), Photocopier ($0.25 per B&W page $ 0.50 for Color)
The Portsmouth Main Library’s departments include the Children’s Department, Esther Murdaugh Wilson Local History Room, and Portsmouth Public Law Library. The Portsmouth Library System has four locations.

Library History

The Portsmouth Public Library began in 1914 as the result of efforts by the Students Club to provide a library for the citizens of Portsmouth. Most of the books in the original collection were donations from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the Portsmouth YMCA. The African-American community established the Community Library in 1945. The land for the new facility was purchased with contributions from the community, and the City provided the building. The two libraries were merged in 1963 and moved to the current building at 601 Court Street. Since then, the Library has seen many changes, including the addition of three branches.