National Trust of Guyana

New Amsterdam National Library

Table of Contents

Reading Progress

Location: New Amsterdam, Berbice 

Classification: Community 

Period/ Year Built: 1953 

Historical Background / Description: 

The New Amsterdam National Library is located in Vryman’s Erven, New Amsterdam. The library was officially opened as a branch of the Public Free Library on April 23, 1953, by Sir Frank McDavid, C.M.G., C.B.E., Chairman of the Public Free Library Committee. The first attempt of having a library in the Berbice region dates back to December 1943, when the New Amsterdam Library Committee was approached by Governor of British Guiana, Sir Gordon Lethem, K.C.M.G to have library services introduced into the region. 

An enquiry was launched into the Governor’s request, but not much was done to establish a library. It was not until January 1952, when the Mayor of New Amsterdam, Mr. C.P. Ferreira wrote the Public Free Library Committee appealing for the establishment of a branch in the town. 

Librarian of Georgetown’s Public Library, Ms. Ruby Franker visited the town to inspect the site proposed for the new library. She approved the location and the Public Free Library Committee tendered the project to the Government, specifying an estimate for $24,000 for the library. The single-storey brick and concrete structure was opened with a book stock of 2000 and the first Branch Librarian was Ms. Edith Pieters.