Norwalk History Room

The history room and archive combines the library's former Local History Collection with the archival collections of the former Norwalk Museum. The lower level of the main library building at 1 Belden Avenue houses this large array of published and unpublished books and papers, photographs and maps, among other materials, recording over three hundred years of Norwalk history.

Library employees and volunteers will provide suitable access during the open hours, in person, via telephone, mail or email. While the library online catalog identifies books, journals and some other materials, cataloging the remainder of the collection online will be an ongoing process.

Due to the unique and fragile nature of most of the collection, patrons cannot browse the archival area. Staff will identify and retrieve the materials desired by the patron and determine how they can be viewed or perhaps copied. Since one of the objectives of this historical collection is preserving it safely for succeeding generations, immediate viewing or reproduction of some items may not be allowed. However, we plan to film, copy or digitally scan as many such materials - as time and funding permits - to allow the broadest access possible to current and future patrons.

Norwalk History Room Hours

Monday - Friday
and by appointment: (203) 899-2780 x15125
(The history room follows the Norwalk Public Library schedule for holiday closings)

Using archive materials:

Staff are available during open hours (and by appointment) to answer questions, assist in locating materials and provide reference help. Staff will retrieve items for patron use in the adjacent public area.

Staff will be happy to also take requests by telephone, regular mail or email. If a visit is planned in advance, it will be helpful if reference needs can be made known ahead of time by telephone or e-mail to save time in locating relevant material. E-mail requests should be as specific as possible, including known names, dates and places. Staff cannot provide in-depth research – requests requiring more than one-half hour of staff time.

Patrons are required to sign in with name, date and time and leave an ID with the librarian when using archive items. Due to the nature of the materials, only pencils and paper may be used. Laptops will be permitted. Wireless internet access is available throughout the library.

Staff will photocopy pages or documents unless it is determined that the item could be damaged by this process. Patrons’ digital cameras may be used to take an image for personal use.

Copy Fees: Black and white - 10 cents a page, Color – 50 cents a page.

A microfilm reader/printer is available in the public area for the several items currently on film, including the “South Norwalk Sentinel” newspaper, 19th century vital record registers and extracts, and cemetery inscriptions. The Hour newspaper (1895 - present) and filmed city directories (1881 - 1960) remain on the Main Floor.

Digital images and reproduction fees:

Digital files of scanned images are available for purchase. Items are scanned at original size at a lower resolution for fair use requests, and higher resolution for professional use requests. Scans can be delivered in a .tif or .jpeg format to the patron by e-mail or CD. Other delivery arrangements may be negotiated. The Norwalk History Room reserves the right to withhold permission for the reproduction of any material. Payment in full is required in advance


For Fair Use (Private study, scholarship, or research) Image Scan on Request: $15.00 Copy of existing Scan: $3.00

For Professional Use: (In exhibits, films, internet, and other publications, &c.) Permission for one-time use of reproductions of Norwalk Public Library materials must be obtained in advance.

Nonprofit: $20.00 Corporation: $40.00

Uncatalogued Collection Contents - By Category:


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