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


Hello! Welcome to the Local History/Special Collections page.

Please see below for some links to resources you may use from your home.

The Special Collections Local History room is open


Appointments are preferred, to allow us to gather materials for you in advance.

Alternatively, the room is open weekdays from 10 am - 4 pm (Thursdays 12-4),

with exceptions for meetings and capacity restrictions.

Contact Nina Wright:

nwright @ (preferred) or 401-596-2877 ext. 310

There are many questions coming in so we do ask for your patience.

Questions go into a queue and are answered in the order they are received. 

Local History remote access!

You can enjoy our photos from home:

Westerly Library & Wilcox Park's Photo Collection

 The yearbooks are also available from home:

Westerly High School yearbooks

Digitized newspapers from Westerly:

The Literary Echo, 1851

The Literary Echo, and Pawcatuck Advertiser, 1851-1854

The Westerly Echo, & Pawcatuck Advertiser, 1854-1858

The Library of Congress has Sanborn maps available for free on their website.

The link below brings you to a list of maps of Washington County, see the left side of the page for specific towns:

LOC Sanborn Maps for Washington County

Local Genealogies (from the Westerly Historical Society)



 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:

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 @

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.