In 1822 when John Adams was 86 years old he deeded his extensive collection of books of nearly 3,000 volumes to the Town of Quincy, Massachusetts. The library had six different locations before it found its final site at the Boston Public Library.
In 1822 the collection was stored in an outbuilding near the Old House awaiting the construction of the Adams Academy. In 1844 the new Quincy Town Hall was built and the Adams Library was transferred to the second floor. In 1851 a fire destroyed part of the City Hall but the books were saved as they were wrapped with plastic covers. The collection had to be moved to a different room within the building.
The Adams Academy once housed the Adams Library
In 1870 the library moved to a building within the Adams Academy where it was available to all students. The collection became the foundation of the Quincy Public Library. Unfortunately school boys had no respect for the books, many of them were damaged, signatures cut out and others disappeared. As the Adams Academy grew so did its demand for space and in 1873 the collection had to be moved again to the Quincy Town Hall.
In 1875 the Quincy Public Library along with the Adams collection moved to the Evangelical Congregational Church and again in 1882 to the Thomas Crane Memorial Hall.
In 1894 the Adams Library found its final home in the newly built Boston Public Library in Copley Square.