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Special Collections

10am - 12pm
1pm - 3pm
10am - 12pm
1pm - 3pm
5:30pm - 7:30pm
9am to 11 am
1pm - 3pm
10am - 12pm

Please call in advance of visiting to verify that Special Collections is open. Access to some collection materials may require a special appointment.



Contact Information
Local History and Special Collections
Westerly Public Library
44 Broad Street
Westerly, RI 02891



The Special Collections at Westerly Public Library encompass Local History and Genealogy materials, as well as rare books, manuscripts and artifacts.  These materials reflect the rich history, literature and life in 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
  • Historic documents
  • Genealogies
  • Postcards
  • Maps
  • Oral Histories
Collection Highlights:
  • Almanacs
  • Margaret Wise Brown
  • Westerly Granite

Using the Collection
The Special Collections Room is staffed by volunteers who generously donate time to assist patrons seeking information on Westerly and the surrounding area.

Special Collections materials do not circulate and must be used in the Local History Room. Fragile items, or information protected by restrictions, may not be available for use. 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. It may take some time for Library staff and Local History volunteers to locate certain items or information.


Queries by Mail or E-Mail
The Reference 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. Photocopies of collection materials will be provided for an additional fee of .15 per page.

All research requests must be submitted in writing and include pertinent names, dates, and subjects to be researched  Please email the Reference staff for addtional information:

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 Public Library upon donation.


Contact the Westerly Public Library for information on becoming a Local History volunteer, or submit an online application.

Additional Resources

Rhode Island Historical Society
Westerly Historical Society
Westerly Town Hall
Rhode Island State Archives
New England Historic Genealogical Society