Where Community
Connects

Since 1926, the Burnham Library has stood as a center of community and life-long learning in Bridgewater. Its story begins, not in the handsome stone building that graces our downtown, but scattered in multiple homes, organizations and spaces throughout Bridgewater. The desire to have a place to house a public library was finally realized thanks to the generous bequest of Captain William Dickson Burnham. Since this point, the Burnham Library has continued to keep its vision forward-thinking while being informed and guided by its past.

Digital Branch

The Digital Branch is your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to thousands of different eBooks, eAudio, streaming television, movies, and music, all from the comfort of your home. All you need to unlock these amazing services is your library card.

Museum Passes

Burnham Library offers free or reduced-price admission to a number of cultural organizations through its Museum Pass program. The program includes museums, science centers, and zoos in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York City.

Our Friends

Mission Statement

The Purpose of the Friends of the Burnham Library is to stimulate public use of the library, provide financial assistance to the library, and sponsor programs for all members of the community.

The Friends group provides funding for capital improvements, books, and technological upgrades.

Our History

This is a story with an unusual cast of characters: some civic-minded townspeople, a wealthy ship captain, a respected man of letters, a hermit, and a bulldozer operator. And the State of California.

The first name in the story is that of Captain Nathaniel Randall, who between l8l0 and l840 maintained a circulating library in his house, using his own large collection of books. A smaller collection was kept and lent out by Augusta Lyon, who established a district library in the building that housed the original Bridgewater post office.