155 Van Buren Street
Monterey CA 93940
Hours: 1:30-3:45pm Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Book Sale every Wednesday!
Scholars, researchers, students, and the general public are all welcome to use this resource. A volunteer librarian is available during open hours to answer questions or to advise researchers. You can search our reference catalog through the
Monterey Public Library PALS online catalog
The Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library was originally the Saint James Episcopal Church, built in the California Gothic style by the Reverend James S. McGowan in 1876. It originally stood on Pacific Street near the Merritt House.
To save the little church from the wreckers’ ball, the Monterey History & Art Association moved the property to its present location on north side of the Doud House on Van Buren Street in 1970. Visitors entering the library are struck at once by the lancet windows in the raised chancel at the end of the room, which provide a spectacular view of the harbor, the city of Monterey, and its backdrop of hills and mountains.
Today, as the Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Research Library, it houses an extensive collection of over 4,000 books, photographs, and primary documents pertaining to the history of Monterey and California. The core of this fine collection was amassed by MHAA member Mayo Hayes O’Donnell during her years as a columnist for the Monterey County Herald newspaper. Her books were greatly augmented by the Frank LaCauza Memorial Collection. In addition, the Library holds ephemera, photographs, documents and biographies donated by Amelie Elkinton, former Monterey Mayor Minnie Coyle, Judge Monty Hellam, Wayne Edwards, and the Ardaiz/Cano families.