Detail from the
carved wood
fireplace surround
in the Library
Interior and
exterior views of
Carnegie Library
Guthrie's Historic Carnegie Library was constructed
in 1902. It was the second Carnegie Library built
in Oklahoma, and is the oldest existing Carnegie
Library in the state. Placed on the National Register
of Historic Places in 1971, the Carnegie Library now
exists as a part of the Guthrie Museum Complex.
Andrew Carnegie was a wealthy steel manufacturer
in the late 1890's. He donated over $56,000,000 to
build 2,811 libraries worldwide, 25 in Oklahoma.
J.H. Bennett, a prominent local architect, designed
the building. His design included two stories; the
first story with a domed rotunda room, with five
radiating reading, book storage and club rooms.
The building is designed in the second Renaissance
Revival style. Architectural features of the original
design have been preserved and many original
furnishings are also found in the building.

The Stacks, located north of the Rotunda, was
used for book storage.  Library patrons would
approach the desk and request certain books or
topics from the librarian. The librarian would then
retrieve the book and check it out to the patron.
Patrons read in the reading rooms of the Library
and returned the book when they departed.

The Carnegie Library has been the site of many
programs and events. Tom Mix reportedly taught
exercise classes in the gymnasium of the library.
During the 1930's a children's story
hour was very popular. In the 1950's
and 60's, teenagers enjoyed the
Carnegie for Teen Town, a popular
gathering place. The most historically
significant events occurred in 1906
with the inauguration of Oklahoma's
last territorial governor, Frank Frantz,
and on November 16, 1907 with the
inauguration of Oklahoma's first
governor, Charles N. Haskell.

During the inauguration ceremony,
a symbolic wedding was held between
Mr. Oklahoma Territory and Miss Indian
Territory to symbolize the wedding of
the two territories into one state.
The Carnegie Library operated as the
City of Guthrie's Library until 1972. The
city was in need of a new library and
plans were made to tear down the
Carnegie and build a new library in it's place. A local
philanthropist, Fred Pfeiffer, offered to build a museum next
door in exchange for Guthrie not tearing down the Carnegie.
The city agreed and the building was saved.

The main floor of the Library is open to the public during
regular museum hours. The lower level now houses museum
offices, meeting spaces, and storage rooms. Carnegie Library
records are available to researchers. Please contact us for
an appointment
The Library Rotunda
Women's Club Room
Fireplace in
Reading Room
Piano in the
Club Room
in fireplace surround