The library has access to thousands of online journals and magazines.

The answer to your questions! Learn how to make the most of the resources in front of you.

Local History

Discover the beautiful towns of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.

Special Collections

Special Collection Hours

10am - 12pm
1pm - 3pm
10am - 12pm
1pm - 3pm
5:30pm - 7:30pm
9am - 11am
1pm- 3 pm
Wednesday evening
hours will 
resume at the
end of June.
10am - 12pm 
9am to 11am

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

Contact Information
Local History and Special Collections
Westerly Library
44 Broad Street
Westerly, RI 02891
401.596.2877 Ext. 3



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, 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*

* Please note that access to the starred items requires an appointment. Email to inquire.

Collection Highlights:

  • Almanacs
  • Margaret Wise Brown (please note that an appointment is necessary for access to the Margaret Wise Brown papers)

Using the Collection
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. 

All research requests must be submitted in writing and include pertinent names, dates, and subjects to be researched  Please email the Reference staff for additional 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 Library upon donation.

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