The Old Library was designed by Philadelphia architect, Frank Furness, and built by the New Castle Library Company in 1892.
The Library Company, chartered in 1812, had housed its collection of classics and law books in the Academy (built in 1799) across the street. Originally, the library was private: borrowing privileges were limited to members and, it is believed, students at the Academy. In the 1940s, the library became a free public library open to everyone.
This library was replaced by a new library on Delaware Street in 1965. The Old Library was used by the sculptor Maurine Ligon as her home and studio from 1965 until her death in 1979.
Since 1982, the New Castle Historical Society has leased the building for use as a meeting place, library, and museum.