Welcome to our new website!

With our new website Conant Public Library will let you know all the new materials available at our library.  Check this space for staff recommendations, information about upcoming programs, and to get access to our new catalog.

Check Out Our November Book Displays!

National Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month: Celebrating the Work of Indigenous Authors

November is National Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month. To celebrate, we've put together a display of must-reads by indigenous authors. Whether you like nonfiction, realistic fiction, or scifi and high fantasy, these authors have a book for you. Stop by the library to check out the full display!

Some of our favorites:

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

In the Mood for Food: Recipes for Every Occasion

We're getting ready for the holidays with a collection of cookbooks that will whet any appetite. Whether you're cooking for a special occasion, particular dietary restrictions, or you just need a healthy dinner on the go, we have a cookbook with the food for you. Stop by the library to see the whole display!

Some of our favorites:

Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld

The New Soul Food Cookbook: Healthier Recipes for Traditional Favorites by Wilbert Jones

The Magic of Gingerbread by Catherine Beddall

Gluten-free Baking: Delectable From-scratch Sweet and Savory Treats by Robert Landolphi

Historical Collection Events

Winchester in Wartime

Our special exhibit Winchester in Wartime features items from the Library’s historical collection. Artifacts on display date from the War of 1812 to World War II and offer a window into Winchester’s role in the conflicts that have defined our nation.

In addition to the materials on exhibit, a selection of local history books from our catalog are available to check out. The exhibit opened at the Winchester Pickle Festival on September 23, 2023, and will remain on display during the library’s regular hours. Stop by and learn about town history!

Historical Collection Spotlight

Grand Army of the Republic Ribbons ca. 1890

Left: Grand Army of the Republic “In Memoriam” Ribbon
Right: Grand Army of the Republic Ribbon

Founded in 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization whose members were Civil War veterans of the Union Army, Navy, and Marine forces. The GAR was composed of hundreds of local branches, referred to as “posts.” It was one of the first racially integrated fraternal organizations in the United States, and at its height in 1890, the GAR had an estimated 410,000 members and was among the first organized political advocacy groups in the United States. Considered the most powerful single-issue political lobby of the time, the GAR is credited with contributing to the election of five Republican presidents. Its platform promoted voting rights for Black veterans, education, and pensions for veterans. Through the efforts of the GAR, the first national observance of Memorial Day–known as “Decoration Day” until 1971–took place on May 30, 1868. The GAR was dissolved in 1956, with the death of its last member.

Founded in 1883, the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC) was the official women’s auxiliary to the GAR. Until the WRC’s founding, women were not permitted to participate in the activities of the GAR. Their primary goal was to unite the philanthropic groups advocating for and providing aid to Union veterans and their families in the wake of the Civil War. The first chapter of the WRC in New Hampshire was formed in 1890. The WRC had both segregated and desegregated chapters, as well as chapters in both northern and southern states. While the GAR declined in power and was eventually dissolved, the WRC exists to this day. The organization’s modern mission is the preservation of historical documents and artifacts related to the GAR and WRC.

These ribbons are from Post No. 63, founded by the veteran communities of Cornish and Plainfield, NH on June 21, 1887, and named for Sergeant Major William H. Bryant (18 April 1843–31 January 1883) of the 14th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. According to History of the Town of Cornish, New Hampshire by William Henry Child, the primary activities of the 63rd post included the burial of deceased veterans and the observance of Memorial Day. The ribbon featuring a star-shaped, cannon bronze medallion was in use by members of the GAR from 1869 onward. The shape of the medallion is reminiscent of the Medal of the Honor and it features an image of the goddess of liberty at its center. The “In Memoriam” ribbon was worn by members of the 63rd post when attending the funerals of fellow Union veterans. Similar ribbons were worn by the members of the GAR’s other posts.

Post no. 19 of the GAR was located here in Winchester and its members, along with the members of the affiliated WRC chapter, erected the memorial at the corner of Main Street and Richmond Road to honor Winchester residents who served in the Civil War in 1908.