About American Library

We are American Library, Memorial to the 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force, United States Army Air Forces. The Library is a living memorial to the nearly 7,000 American personnel from the 2nd Air Division who were based in East Anglia during World War II and were killed in action.

We are the only public war memorial library in the UK and the only public American Library in the UK. We have an exhibition about the 2nd Air Division and over 4,000 books which include non-fiction on all aspects of American life, history and culture as well as the best in classic and contemporary fiction. We run a varied events and education programme. Our book stock and programming reflect the amazing diversity of American life. We also have 30,000 original photographs, letters, memoirs and other documents available to the public online in our digital archive.

The American Library was first opened  in 1963 with the aim of honouring the memory of the 2nd Air Division and be a place of cultural exchange between the people of the United Kingdom, specifically East Anglia, and the people of the United States of America.

We are free to visit and books can be borrowed with a Norfolk Library and Information Service card. The American Library is based on the ground floor of the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library in The Forum in central Norwich. It is funded by the Memorial Trust of the 2nd Air Division USAAF, registered UK charity No. 269047 and managed by the Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.

A Living Memorial

Crowd waving off a B-24 Liberator

During the Second World War nearly 7,000 young Americans, members of the 2nd Air Division of the 8th United States Army Air Forces, based in Norfolk and Suffolk, England, lost their lives in the line of duty.

The idea of a memorial in Norfolk to honour its casualties was conceived by senior officers of the 2nd Air Division at the close of the war. All personnel supported their appeal for funds resulting in a unique and living memorial.