Library Hours and location: 


Monday-Thursday:     9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday:                          9:00 a.m. – 12 noon



We are located beneath the Meeting House of First Church, West Hartford. Enter through the Rotunda Entrance which is behind the building where the parking lot is located. Walk down the hall to the left, to the elevator or stairs. Go to the 2nd floor. Follow signs to the JPW Library!



(if you get lost, give us a call:


The JPWL is open to patrons!


Come in, check out and/or return books, browse the stacks, read the newspaper, and get on our free wi-fi!


Jennifer and Molly will be glad to help you.


We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful library!





For questions and assistance, please email us at


You can reach the John P. Webster Library via phone at:
(860) 232-3893


Mailing Address:
John P. Webster Library at First Church, West Hartford
12 S. Main St.
West Hartford, CT 06107

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Senior Resource Manual


The JPWL Senior Resource Manual was developed in 2017 by FCWH member Julia Rosa, R.N., to assist those who may be experiencing challenges associated with aging. The Senior Resource Manual addresses Care Options, Aging at Home, Transportation, Managing Illness, Spirituality, and Legal Concerns for elders and their families. It contains descriptions and definitions, helpful tips, contact information for organizations that deal with elder care, and much more. 


A section on Downsizing was recently added after other FCWH members accomplished the gargantuan challenge of clearing out homes with over 50 years of accumulated belongings. This section has tips on how and where to donate, sell, consign, and otherwise off-load the stuff we collect over our lives. Jennifer deSimas and Julia are planning to embark on revising the manual in the coming months. In the meantime, Julia hopes that what is presented will serve as a beginning point for further investigation. “As we all become older, there is a possibility that we, or those we love and care for, may need assistance. Our hope is that you find this support at First Church, West Hartford, ‘whoever you are and wherever you are on your life’s journey.’” 

Recent Acquisitions to the Archives 


We are pleased to share that we recently added several significant items to the JPWL Archives. The materials include a Bible inscribed “William A. Burr of West Hartford, June 29th 1846,” a small hymnal (Happy Voices, ca. 1840) inscribed “C.W. Mallory,” and, significantly, two meeting house pew diagrams dated 1814 and 1834. 


The pew diagrams are especially exciting to have because they give us a glimpse of church cultural norms in the early 19th century. We can see who sat near the front during services and meetings — and who sat in the back. “Mr. Perkins’ Pew” is clearly noted, as is a section for “Old Maids.” 


The items were donated by Ms. Tena Benson, the great granddaughter of Rev. Thomas M. Hodgdon, who was pastor of First Church from 1891 to 1926. Ms. Benson, of Milwaukee, WI described finding the materials in a trunk filled with old books and papers that her mother had intended to donate to First Church. This is the second group of items from the family; in 2017 Ms. Benson donated two boxes of antique books (Bibles, songbooks, religious instruction guides), and a wonderful quilt dedicated to Rev. Hodgdon that had been “signed” (stitched) by members of the church at his retirement. 


We are delighted to add these valuable documents and books to our already outstanding historical collection, and we hope to have them on display in the near future.

Archives larger view

Located beneath the First Church Meeting House, the JPWL is the go-to place for books and media related to sermons, Sunday School, social justice issues, and so much more!


Phone: 860-232-3893



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