carnegie library of pittsburgh

It’s 1895 – a year that will see the first woman admitted to practice law in Allegheny County (Agnes F. Watson), the first professional football game (Latrobe YMCA team vs. Jeannette Athletic Club), and Andrew Carnegie’s long-planned “free to the people” library opening in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. As we look back on the last 125 years, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh hopes you’ll join us to learn more about our legacy. 

CLP timeline

CLP wasn’t the first library in Pittsburgh, but since our founding in 1895, we’ve introduced a number of innovations (free borrowing for everyone) and once-unusual services (a Children’s Department) that are now standard in the library world. This timeline captures just a few of the milestones in our long history. 


CLP’s archives represent both the library’s history, as well as manuscripts and documents connected to other organizations and people here in Pittsburgh. We invite you to browse the digital versions of these collections on Historic Pittsburgh and PA Power Library.  

CLP then & now

Our building and neighborhood have seen major changes over the years – take  a look at some of our favorite images showing these differences. 

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