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About this collection

The Watervliet Public Library endeavors to be a "communi-library:" a library that enriches the lives of people of all ages in our community through creative programming, access to innovative technology, and growing a modern collection of educational, informational, recreational and cultural materials. 

The Watervliet Public Library was founded in May 1953 under the auspices of the Watervliet Civic Chest, Inc. From the beginning we have had tremendous support from the community. The original Library holdings consisted solely of donations from the public and the original work force consisted solely of volunteers. Financial support came primarily from the Chest, although important donations also came from the Watervliet Rotary Club, the Watervliet Lodge of Elks, and the Knights of Columbus.

In 1965 the Library received a provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents, thus officially becoming the Watervliet Public Library. The permanent charter and Certificate of Registration were granted nine years later, in 1974. In February 1980, the Library moved into its present location in the Senior Citizen Complex.

The local history collection contains materials on Watervliet, Troy, and selected materials on Albany County. It includes town histories and a vertical file of published materials, clippings, and other materials dealing with the Town of Watervliet. The vertical file also contains a History of Watervliet by Florence Service, 1902 (manuscript); and unpublished Watervliet histories by various authors (1980s through 1996). City Directories for Troy and Watervliet can be found at the Watervliet Historical Society Museum located just across the parking lot from the Library. The Museum's phone number is (518) 272-0715.  Its hours are Wed.-Sat.11:00AM - 4:00PM.

Watervliet Sub-collections:

Hudson River Voyage c.1937-39

Image of steamboats that went up and down the the Hudson River between 1937 and 1939.

Watervliet Businesses

This collection consists of images of businesses and industries located in and around Watervliet, N.Y. in the early 1900's.

Watervliet Flood 1913

In early 1913, a severe winter storm hit the Eastern, Midwest, and Southern parts of the United States.  It was the most geographically widespread natural disaster the United States had suffered up to that point in its history, and was considered worse than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire by many. This collection of photos shows the flooding in Watervliet, N.Y., along some of the main thoroughfares.

Watervliet NY - Florence Service Collection

Florence P. Service (1888-1983) was a life-long resident of Watervliet, NY.  At the age of 14, she wrote a history of Watervliet, N.Y., and at 16 began working as a button sewer for Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc.  She would work there for 60 years before retiring at the age of 76.  This collection contains both the history that she wrote in 1902 and a portrait that was taken of her by the Obenaus Studios in Albany, N.Y.

 

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