Contribute to the Collection

Interior of Library Local History Room shows a curved bookcase filled with old books.

Watertown Free Public Library’s Local History Collection serves the community by preserving and providing access to materials with a lasting and cumulative value for documenting the history of Watertown.

What Do We Collect?

In building the Local History Collection, WFPL seeks cultural heritage materials and community records that document Watertown people, places, organizations, and activities, both past and present.

The library looks for items created by or about individuals, groups, or institutions whose activities have principally been in—or relate to—Watertown.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Journals
  • Newsletters
  • Maps
  • Books
  • Posters
  • Reports
  • Essays
  • Pamphlets
  • Scrapbooks
  • Videos
  • Photographs
  • Meeting minutes
  • Periodicals
  • Correspondence
  • Ephemera

WFPL also actively collects local stories and perspectives by promoting community archiving projects. Check out interviews from the COVID-19 Collective Memory Initiative at Storycorps.org, or learn more about WFPL’s new zine collection.

Contribute to the Collection

Are you involved in a committee, club, business, or other organization based in Watertown? Do you live here, work here, or have family here? You may have personal or organizational records that are a part of Watertown community history. WFPL is committed to growing, preserving, and providing access to a balanced and inclusive local history collection that captures the full diversity of our community’s past and present. We encourage you to consider donating to the collection and helping us build this valuable resource for future generations.

To inquire about donating to the Local History Collection or to ask about the eligibility of specific materials, please contact Jill Clements at jclements@watertown-ma.gov.

Donation Procedures

The library will evaluate the content, format, property status and physical condition of all eligible materials to determine if they are a good fit for the collection. Please do not organize or rearrange materials or leave them at the library without first contacting staff. 

If your materials would be an appropriate addition to the collection, we may ask you to sign a Deed of Gift to transfer ownership to the library.

While we cannot accept everything, we greatly appreciate all interest in contributing to the Local History Collection!

Learn More

Check out these guides for prospective donors:

Review the Library’s current Local History Collection Development Policy