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oak ridge room

The oak ridge room is open tuesday-saturday by appointment only.

Charter residents and newcomers can enjoy the rich history of Oak Ridge in the Oak Ridge Public Library's Oak Ridge Room. There, patrons can find information and items that will give them an idea of what life was like in the 1940's when Oak Ridge was a brand new town as well as current information about our city government and issues important to citizens today.

Oak Ridge Cemeteries
New pre-Oak Ridge historical photos available for viewing (Oak Ridger article)
Community Television Videos now available for check out
Project Ownership Maps

    Read about Oak Ridge
    Learn about our local government

    Browse our collection of oral histories and personal accounts 
    Enjoy our Department of Energy Photographs
    See what's available in the vertical file collection 
    Choose material listed on the Oak Ridge bibliography
    More Resources


    Read about Oak Ridge

    City Behind a Fence by Charles W. Johnson and The Oak Ridge Story by George O. Robinson give an excellent overview of how Oak Ridge came to be. The Oak Ridgers by Martha Cardwell Sparrow paints a vivid picture of daily life in the "frontier town." We'll Call it Wheat by Dorathy Moneymaker chronicles the thriving Wheat Community that was here before Oak Ridge. In addition to these titles you will find materials about the Manhattan Project and the making of the first atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project by Stephane Groueff, Now It Can Be Told by Leslie Groves, and The Road to Trinity by Kenneth D. Nichols are accounts of this important and interesting time in our history.

    Learn about local government
    Those who like to check records or crunch numbers can find city and school budgets, city council and school board agendas and minutes, financial reports and planning commission minutes.

    Browse our collection of oral histories and personal accounts
    Many Oak Ridger's have taken the time to write about their life and work here. The Library is fortunate to have copies of their works. Bill Wilcox, George Jasny, Walcot Watson, John Googin, Alvin Weinberg, Sam Spirie and William Pollard all have contributed their writings and personal recollections to the Library. The Library offers biographical information on each of these and many other Oak Ridgers.

    In addition to these accountings, The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women each have undertaken oral history projects.  The Library has received some of their tapes and others will be forthcoming. These tapes offer a wealth of information about life here and are a valuable part of the Library's historical collection.

    Enjoy our Department of Energy Photograph Collection
    The Library is fortunate to have a collection of photographs taken by Ed Wescott during his years as Atomic Energy Commission photographer. These photographs depict life in early Oak Ridge, which was especially remembered for the mud, the lines, and the gates. It is possible to get reprints of these photographs. Just ask at the reference desk for assistance.

    See what's available in the vertical file collection
    The vertical file collection in the Oak Ridge Room contains a wealth of information about our community. There you can find information on the “alphabet housing”, the beginning of our fine school system, and the many clubs and organizations in Oak Ridge. You will also find environmental reports from the Department of Energy as well as information about the three government facilities here.

    Choose material listed on the Oak Ridge bibliography
    This is a convenient listing of magazine articles and books by Oak Ridgers or about Oak Ridge. It's a handy guide to a portion of the material in the Oak Ridge Room.
    More resources
    In addition to the materials listed above, you can find a variety of other resources in The Oak Ridge Room. There are histories of area counties, cemetery records, and current maps of Oak Ridge as well as historic maps of the area before Oak Ridge was built. Local historian Snyder Roberts gave the library much of his material, which is a colorful as well as historic account of this area.

    Community Television Videos
    From 1988 to 1994 groups of community volunteers participated in the Community Television Video Project. These teams made more than 300 videotapes on a myriad of topics. Topics vary from local government and politics to ballet and art to science and biography.