The Zakynthos Public Library is one of the oldest and richest Public Libraries in the country.
The Public Historical Library was established in 1628 first founded inside the Castle, when Venetian governor Thomas Flagginis donated 200 volumes of books to the Community of Zakynthos. It was officially founded in 1803 by the Ionian State. In 1882, by decision of the Minister of Education, Konstantinos Lombardos, the library became an independent public service with the historian Panagiotis Chiotis as its first Director.
It was then enriched with books from donations and included an archeological and monetary collection and a gallery.
In 1935 the Public Historical Library and the Municipal Foskoliani Library, which has existed since 1888, were merged into the Public Historical Library of Zakynthos.
The destructive earthquake and the fire in 1953, destroyed more from 33.000 tomes of its unique collection, among them being important documents of Kolokotronis, of Lord Byron and of several other important historical documents. Immediately after the earthquakes of 1953 the library was rebuilt with donations and bequests.
In 1954 the Library was temporarily lodged in the school of Ammos and in 1959, it was transferred to the premises of the Auditorium Center where it stays until nowadays. Most vacancies were covered by the donations of many Zakynthians who offered the library private collections of big historical importance. In the Municipal Library you may admire:
- Photos from the old pre-earthquake city, and photos that present the interior of old mansions and Temples.
- Rare documents of St.Dionisios and T. Kolokotronis.
- Rare books (roughly 60.000 tomes) with regard to the history and tradition of Zakynthos Zante.
- The historical archives of Zakynthos with codes and documents, most from them never published.
- Archives of the local Newspapers.
- Miniatures with the local costumes.
- Memorials of the World War 2 but also from older periods, as in the ground floor of the building operates the "Museum of Bodage andNational Deforcement ".
The Library includes about 70,000 volumes of books, a local archive, CD-ROMs, video tapes. It also hosts a collection of dolls with local costumes, a collection of paintings, a collection of photos of the pre-earthquake (1953) Zakynthos and old furniture.