Historical Resources in Winchester
Winchester Public Library
The Local History website is a good place to start as the pages provide links to sections of The Winchester History Research Guide, compiled by Historical Society member Thomas J. Michalak, as well as links to The Winchester Star and the Chase Map Collection
The Local History Room is located on the second floor of the Library and 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 and the Daily Times Chronicle from 1881 to 1986 is housed here as well. Access to these materials can be arranged through the Library Reference Desk at any time.
Current town reports and documents are available in the Library’s reading room. 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. Located in the Main Reading Room on the far left of the Tiffany window.
Offices in Town Hall house their own records, including building codes and permits, plat maps, utility hook-ups, assessments, and engineering records. For an overview of these records, see Resources in Town Departments on the Library website.
The Winchester Archival Center
The Winchester Archival Center is located in Town Hall. Early documents were collected by the Historical Society beginning in the 19th century. The current center, a collaboration of the Society, Library, and town government, opened in 1975 and is maintained as a research center for various historical collections of the town: books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, and records of local organizations. Some of the information available at the Archival Center includes: business and personal papers relating to the Whitney Machine Shop, the Vinson-Owen Collection, the Winchester Historical Commission’s Inventory of Houses Built Prior to 1917, Winchester’s List of Residents Seventeen Years of Age and Over, Tax Lists, and genealogical source materials.
The Archival Center maintains an online catalog of its photographs of buildings, streetscapes, postcards, and portraits. Users can view random pictures or search by keyword.