Historical Documents

Libraries and Archives

Winchester Public Library

The Winchester Public Library contains resources for the study of local history, including Winchester, and is a good place to start exploring Winchester's history.

Reference Collection on Winchester History and Current Town Reports and Documents

Located in the Reference Room (Near the Tiffany Window) this collection contains a number of documents, books, and pamphlets on local history together with current documents from the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, Town Manager, and various Town departments and committees.

Winchester Public Library, Local History Room

Located on the second floor of the Library, this collection contains a broad range of documents and published materials on the history of Winchester, surrounding towns, and Massachusetts. A card index of the Winchester Star from 1881 to 1986 is housed here. Access to these materials can be arranged through the Reference Desk. 

The Winchester Archival Center

The Winchester Archival Center, located in the lower level of Town Hall, is maintained by the town as a research center for historical collections of the town and the Winchester Historical Society. It is staffed by volunteers from the Winchester Historical Society. Its resources are much broader and deeper than those of the Winchester Public Library and should be consulted for any extensive research on Winchester.

The Archival Center collects and preserves materials that document all aspects of Winchester history and the lives of its residents; assists research into Winchester history by facilitating public access to the information contained within the collection; provides historical information to other municipal departments and town officials; and collaborates with the Public Library, Town Clerk, the Winchester Historical Society, and Historical Commission in promoting community awareness and participation in documenting local history.

The collections include primary and secondary documents (manuscripts, typescripts, print materials, photographs, maps, research reports, artworks, misc. newspapers, published histories, oral histories) on such subjects as town government, schools, waterways, public events, biography and family history, architecture, military service, churches, clubs and organizations, industry and business, and more  Other collections available include business and personal papers relating to the Whitney Machine Shop, the Vinson-Owen Collection (in conjunction with the National Skaters Hall of Fame), the Winchester Historical Commission's Inventory of Historic Buildings, Winchester Directories of Residents and Tax Lists, genealogical source materials and town public records prior to 1900.