Local History

The Local History Room is located on the second floor of the library. It is open to the public during regular library hours. If you need assistance, a Reference Librarian is available during the following times:

  • Tuesdays           11-1
  • Wednesdays      4-6
  • Other times by appointment. 
    Please email jclements@watertown-ma.gov to arrange a time that works for your schedule.

The materials in this collection do not circulate. They are all cataloged and searchable in the online catalog.

The Library is committed to collecting and preserving Watertown's long and rich history and to making the materials as accessible as possible. Please refer to our collection development policy for more detail about what we collect.

Below is a brief list of some of the more popular materials available online. Many of these online resources have print counterparts that can be used in the Local History Room. Click on the category name for more information and links.

For more information, please call the Reference Department at 617.972.6436 or email jclements@watertown-ma.gov.

Watertown History and Genealogy

Click here for links to sites about Watertown's History, full-text ebooks and links to genealogies in print and online. Click here to go directly to full-text ebooks of family genealogies by name.


Click here to access digitized historic maps and to view information about maps in print.


Click here to view historic Watertown photographs hosted through Digital Commonwealth. For more information about our historic photographs, click here.

Historic Records

Click here for house and building histories. Click here for town directories. Click here for cemetery records.


Though historic Watertown newspapers have not been digitized at this time, a list of historic newspapers available on microfilm can be found here.

Special Collections

Click here to access our digitized collections on Watertown authors, artists, the Arsenal Collection, and more.


Click here for full-text access to a number of Watertown High School yearbooks.