From its birth as a cooperative book club in 1892 to the present day, the Port Washington Public Library has always preserved and organized historic records of local organizations, individuals and institutions.
Today, the History Center at the Port Washington Public Library houses the History Center Office, Special Collections, Archives, Oral Histories, and Folk Arts Projects. The Center’s goal is to collect, preserve and manage historic and folkloric materials that are special or unique, with a strong emphasis on items of local interest.
To date, 78 Special Collections have been donated, purchased or bequeathed to the Library. Materials arrive in a variety of formats: correspondence, administrative documents, accession books, ledgers, artifacts, postcards, photographs, manuscripts, audio and video tapes, maps, printed books, pamphlets, and scrapbooks.
Contributors to the History Center include cultural organizations (the Cosmos Club and the Play Troupe); civic groups (the Village Welfare Society, General Council of Homeowners, League of Women Voters of Port Washington/Manhasset, Beacon Hill Residents Association); official agencies (the schools, post office, police and fire departments); families and individuals (the Hewletts, Dodges, Zwerleins, Reids and Monforts, among many others), and local businesses (the Mason Photography Studio and Larsen Sailmakers, for example). The Center has received funding from government organizations, private foundations, and local businesses.
Our archivists are available during History Center hours. The public is invited to acquaint themselves with these fascinating collections.
For more information or to make an appointment to access these collections, please email us or call (516) 883-4400, ext. 1409.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEERS:
Peter J. Zwerlein
The Local History Center of the Port Washington Public Library receives funding from national, state, and local government and private sources. They include: New York State Council on the Arts (Folk Arts program), New York Council for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Port Washington Public Library Foundation, as well as the New York State Archives and New York State Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund.