Watts Library Research Center
Reproduction Right & Cost
Copies & Licensing
Journal Back Issues
The History Museum's Watts Library houses an extensive collection of reference materials, including over 1,300 books, 8,000 photographs, 8,000 documents and hundreds of maps, slides and postcards. No materials may be checked out, but a copy machine is available (25 cents per page), and volunteers are on hand to assist patrons with their questions. The History Museum's library is open to members and non-members alike.
Hours are Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon, or by appointment. Calling beforehand is strongly recommended - 540.342.5770.
Educational Opportunities in the Library
The collection of the History Museum's Library and Archival Collection can be of value to school groups wishing to provide an "in-house" educational experience for students. Some of the specific reference tools include the Sanborn Insurance Maps, Roanoke City Directories, the J.R. Hildebrand maps, newspapers, photographs, local histories and genealogies.
Below are some examples of projects
- With a copy of Hildebrand's map Original Land Grants of Roanoke County, locate a specific spot, such as the location of a school or their home. On the map, determine who the original land owner was. Using local histories, research that landowner.
- Make a copy of a photograph of downtown Roanoke around the turn of the century that has names of businesses along a particular street. By using city directories, the students are to determine the exact location from which the photograph was taken and the date of the photograph.
- Compare an early Roanoke newspaper with a current newspaper. How are they similar? (Both carry local, state, national news, advertising; entertainment, etc.) How do they differ? (Prices, cartoons, "local gossip", use of the language, etc.)
- Using the Sanborn Insurance Map, select a business in the downtown area, determine its street address, then use the City Directories and area histories (Barnes, White, Prillaman) to learn something about the business and what other businesses have been in the same location.
For more information about Watts Library e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540.224.1245
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