Welcome to the Edwin B. Worthen Collection
Cary Memorial Library Lexington, Massachusetts
The Edwin B. Worthen Collection documents
life in Lexington, Massachusetts from its earliest settlement through the
mid-20th century. The materials were collected by Edwin B. Worthen (1879-1956),
his son Edwin B. Worthen, Jr. (1913-1976) and his daughter-in-law, Anita P.
Worthen (1913-2008), and donated to Cary Memorial Library in 1976. The
Worthens were avid collectors of, and enthusiastic participants in, all
things Lexington. They lived during a period when the town was transformed
from a relatively small community of 3,831 in 1900, to a vibrant suburb of
17,335 in 1950, peaking at over 31,000 in 1970.
The Worthens had a
particular interest in the settlement, growth and development of the town of Lexington, and this interest is reflected in the materials
they collected. Subjects covered by the materials include:
Battles of Lexington and Concord
19th reenactments and other commemorative celebrations
properties and monuments
groups and individuals
social and civic organizations
schools and businesses
conditions, politics and town government
researchers and prolific writers, the Worthens not only collected materials
but also created them. They wrote and published monographs, articles and
letters to the editor; gave talks to a variety of audiences; and participated
in numerous civic and social organizations. These activities are
well-documented in the Worthen Collection materials.
Edwin B. Worthen Collection has
1. The materials that can be researched on this site – a Lexington-focused
collection of "non-book" materials encompassing research notes,
manuscripts, pamphlets, photographs, lantern slides, scrapbooks, maps,
drawings, sketches, correspondence, newspaper clippings, vertical file
materials and memorabilia. In 2011, these materials were organized and
cataloged by a team of librarians and archivists. The result is this
"Virtual Exhibit," which presents the materials in six sections (listed
on the left side of this page) and makes them available for viewing and
2. A library of more than 500 books, which may be searched via the Minuteman
Library Network's catalog.
Using this site: To browse or search an exhibit, click one of the images or links on
the left. To search the entire collection, click the Search All Exhibits link
QUESTIONS? Please contact the Reference Department at
781-862-6288 x. 250, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collection cataloging project has been funded in part by a Library Sciences
and Technology Assistance (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) through
Board of Library Commissioners. The Institute of Museum and Library
Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000
libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong
libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The
project also is funded by a gift from the estate of Anita P. Worthen.
Collection project team includes Linda L. Carroll, project director; Alethea
Yates, project archivist; and Sandra Waxman, photo archivist. Cataloging
assistance was provided by Simmons GSLIS students Sarah Wetherbee, Christina
Tanguay, Alyson Bowers and Erin Smith. Staff from the Lexington Historical
Society scanned the lantern slides.
Materials in the
Worthen Collection Virtual Exhibit may be used for personal, educational
and/or research purposes. Images may not be reproduced in any format for
profit or presentation without the permission of Cary Memorial Library.