Collective Memory Project

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What's your Watertown? The Watertown Free Public Library is embarking on a mission to collect stories and images from Watertown’s recent history, from 1950 to the present day, and preserve them in our permanent collection. The story of Watertown lives in its people, and that means you—your family, your memories, and your experiences. We hope you’ll share them with the Library!

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Do you love talking to community members? Do you want to help build and preserve a record of our community? Join our team of digitization day volunteers! Sign up on our volunteering page.

Contribute Your Photographs

Digitization Days: Over the next two years, the Library will host digitization days to scan and save your family photographs and memories. All Watertown community members are invited. Registration is not required.

  • Sunday, February 13, 2022 | 2 PM – 4:30 PM  | Watertown Free Public Library
  • Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 2 PM – 4:30 PM  | Watertown Free Public Library

Please bring up to three photographs representing yourself, your family, or your experience in Watertown. We’ll scan your photos and return them to you.

Upload Photos Online:  More information coming soon!

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Host a Collection Event

We know we can’t get everyone from Watertown to contribute their photos in just one day, so we are running this project all year long. If your organization would like to host a digitization day, we can bring our scanners to your location. All we require from you is an outlet to plug in the equipment and a few volunteers. Contact Outreach Librarian Marissa Monteiro to let us know you’re interested in hosting:

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of photos should I bring?
Anything from local events to family memories to favorite places is worth saving! Choose photos that are unique and depict something, somewhere, or someone important to you. 

Why is there a limit to the number of photos I can digitize at a digitization day?
Every member of the Watertown community is invited to participate in the Watertown Collective Memory Project and contribute to the collection. That’s a lot of people! We ask that individuals bring no more than three photos to digitize so that we have room for contributions from as many people as possible in the collection.  

Who can bring photos to a digitization day?
The entire Watertown community is invited to participate in the Watertown Collective Memory Project and contribute photos and stories to the collection. Minors must obtain the permission of a parent or guardian to volunteer or contribute. 

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The Watertown Collective Memory Project by the Watertown Free Public Library is brought to you with federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

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