Hello! Welcome to the Local History/Special Collections page.
Please see below for some links to resources you may use from your home.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Collections drop-in hours are not in effect,
and the room itself is not accessible.
However, we are happy to be working with researchers!
AN APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY.
We will book a small study room for you and bring Special Collections items to you for your research,
so please get in touch!
Contact the librarian, Nina Wright, for assistance:
nwright @ westerlylibrary.org (preferred) or 401-596-2877 ext. 325
There are many questions coming in so we do ask for your patience.
Thank you and please stay safe!
Local History remote access!
You can enjoy our photos from home:
The yearbooks are also available from home:
Digitized newspapers from Westerly:
The Library of Congress has Sanborn maps available for free on their website.
The link below shows maps of locations in Washington County, see the left side of the page for specific towns:
The Special Collections at Westerly Library encompass Local History and Genealogy materials, as well as rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts.
These materials reflect the rich history of Westerly and Pawcatuck, CT.
In addition to a wide variety of books relating to the history of Westerly and the surrounding area, the Local History collection also includes:
- Photographs (click here to view in our Flickr account)
- Margaret Wise Brown papers
- Historic documents
- Old Postcards
- Westerly & Stonington yearbooks (click here to view the Westerly ones online)
- City directories for Westerly & Pawcatuck beginning with 1875 (these are also available online with an Ancestry subscription, or using the library's subscription from inside the building)
- Vertical files containing clippings from local newspapers on various topics of local interest
Using the Collection
Special Collections materials do not circulate. Materials must not be subjected to any risk of damage during their use, such as food, drink, ink, rough handling, etc.
Since many of the materials are not cataloged, it is important to contact the Library first to determine if the desired information is available (contact information is below). It may take some time for staff to locate certain items or information.
Queries by Mail or Email
Staff can provide basic assistance with long distance research. In lieu of a research fee, a donation to Special Collections would be welcomed. We request a $10.00 donation for each search.
All research requests must be submitted in writing and include pertinent names, dates, and subjects to be researched. Please email the Special Collections librarian, Nina Wright, for additional information: nwright @ westerlylibrary.org.
We welcome donations of materials that meet the criteria of the collection policy. Great treasures found in local attics will be well cared for and shared by future generations at the Westerly Library upon donation.