The purpose of the local history collection is to preserve and make accessible materials that document the history of the West Springfield Public Library and the town of West Springfield. The West Springfield Public Library will preserve and maintain these materials for future generations by using accepted preservation methods, and by providing access to the materials under safe and secure conditions. 

Materials may be reviewed in the Local History Room when open. Otherwise, patrons may view materials under the guidance of Adult Services.


Local History Room


The focus of the collection will include materials about the history of the West Springfield Public Library and of the town of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and, to a lesser extent, materials about the surrounding geographical area that establishes West Springfield within its historical context. Emphasis is also given to the acquisition of those materials which will contribute to a knowledge of the region’s social, civic, religious, economic and cultural life, past and present. Some examples include town records and directories. Genealogical records and family histories pertaining to founding families of West Springfield may be collected. The Library Director and Board of Trustees will be responsible for determining which items will be included in the collection.


Acquisition Policy

The collection emphasizes material of significant local and historical value as determined by the Library Director and Board of Library Trustees. The local history collection includes materials by and about the people of West Springfield, founding families, West Springfield High School yearbooks, cemetery maps, maps, personal papers, manuscripts, deeds, books, historically significant scrapbooks, genealogical information, ephemera, etc. Final decision for inclusion of materials is at the discretion of the Library Director and Board of Library Trustees.

The Library welcomes donations to its Local History collection that meet the conditions below. All donated materials must be free of dirt, mold, moisture, and pests and should be in good condition. When the library receives a donation, a letter of receipt will be sent to the donor. The Library is not responsible for appraising donated materials.

  • Acceptance of additions to the permanent collection shall be made on the following conditions:
  • Consistency with the library’s mission and the purpose of the Local History Room
  • Educational, interpretive and or/exhibit value
  • Intrinsic value possessing rarity, uniqueness or association with important events or individuals and must be in acceptable condition
  • Any available documentation regarding the donation should be included with the item

In accepting donations, the library shall be cognizant of the space limitations inherent in the Local History Room, the Library’s ability to properly preserve the item, the potential usefulness of the item, and the suitability of the materials in the library as opposed to other area collections. The library, in accepting donated materials for placement in the Local History Room, does so with the understanding that the donated materials will be an asset to the Library’s collections. The library reserves the right to decline gift offers. Gifts which are out of the scope of the Local History Room or which require more resources to preserve and make available than the library can provide will not be accepted. All acquisitions become the unrestricted property of the West Springfield Public Library.


Discarding Materials

The West Springfield Public Library reserves the right to withdraw materials that do not fit within the scope of the Local History Room collection. Withdrawn items may be returned to donors, offered to other depositories, offered to the Historical Commission, or discarded. The Library Director and Board of Trustees will be responsible for decisions regarding the disposition of these materials.


Preservation of Materials

The Local History Room’s prime preservation responsibility is to its collections. A goal of the Local History Room is to maintain and preserve items consistent with their use and significance to the collection. Considering user needs and the Library’s investment in its collections, the Library will use preservation measures such as appropriate storage, security, and handling.


Adopted October 22, 2019 by the Board of Library Trustees