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Olneyville Free Library Association Records

Historical note

The Olneyville Free Library was formed in 1875 and was originally located in the mill at 12 Hartford Avenue. This library was later annexed to the Town of Johnston in 1898. In 1899 a new location was built in Olneyville Square on land willed to the library by Miss Sarah Waterman in 1890. The will of Miss Sarah Waterman stipulated that the library should be constructed within five years of her death, and should bear the Waterman name. The Olneyville Free Library opened this new location of the Waterman Building in 1900. The library was located on the second and third floors, with the first floor serving as rented storefronts. The library became a branch of the Providence Public library in 1946. The Waterman building was remodeled in 1955 with the removal of the top two floors. The Olneyville branch closed in 1981. A new branch location was opened by the Providence Public Library located at 1 Olneyville Square in 1989. In 2009, the Olneyville branch library became part of the Providence Community Libraries. The Waterman building was bought in 2000 by the Olneyville Arts Collaborative, LLC.