Archives & Research
The Sturgis Library's special collections include materials in the Kittredge Maritime Collections, the Lothrop Genealogy & Local History Collections, and archival collections of maritime, genealogical, and historical importance.
The Kittredge Maritime Collections include personal and research materials collected and used by Henry Crocker Kittredge, former Headmaster of St. Paul's School, author, and longtime resident of Barnstable. This collection contains more than 3,000 books, journals, and an archive of Cape Cod manuscripts, documents, personal papers and letters. Kittredge's annotated index of 2,500 Cape Cod shipmasters and their vessels is a unique and invaluable resource for maritime historians. Many of the books in this collection circulate and are available for borrowing through interlibrary loan.
The Lothrop Genealogy and Local History Collection includes Mayflower Society Records, extensive list of local/regional town histories, Genealogical Notes of Cape Cod Families, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, hundreds of published individual Cape Cod family genealogies, military records, probate indexes, vital records of Massachusetts cities and towns, and much more.
The Library's archival collections are housed in a climate-controlled vault. The collection includes extremely rare and one-of-a-kind documents including over 2,000 early deeds from Cape Cod towns beginning in the 1620s , ships logs, whaling journals, manuscripts, family histories, diaries, letters and correspondence, cemetery records, photographs, historical documents, maps and charts, as well as the collection of personal and research papers of Henry Crocker Kittredge. Historical materials related to the founding and development of the Sturgis Library are also kept here, as are original catalogs of the Library. To see the findings aids for our archival collections, click on the links below. The collections are available for in-library use or by contacting us at . Fragile materials may have photocopying restrictions. For further information, please contact the Library directly at (508) 362-6636.
You can search the archives by name and subject using the CLAMS online catalog, or click on the finding aids below to find all the hidden treasures in our special collections.
Sturgis Library Archival Collections -- Finding Aids
- MS. 1 : Henry Crocker Kittredge Maritime Papers
- MS. 2 : Edes - Barker Family Papers
- MS. 3 : Captain Joseph Lincoln Papers
- MS. 4 : William Rotch Papers
- MS. 5 : Captain Nehemiah Smith Collection
- MS. 6 : Schooner Colin C. Baker Papers
- MS. 7 : Brooks Family Papers
- MS. 8: Walter E. Babbitt Research Collection 1745-1977
- MS. 9 : Donald G. and Annabel J. Trayser Papers
- MS. 10 : Percy Fielitz Rex Collection
- MS. 11 : Bessie B. Bliven Papers
- MS. 12 : Mitchell Collection 1762 - 1865 (Childs, Hinckley and Gorham Families)
- MS. 13 : John D.W. Bodfish Papers For more information on John Bodfish, also visit this site on lawyer poets.
- MS. 14 : Joseph C. Lincoln Collection
- MS. 15 : Knowles - Thacher Papers
- MS. 16 : George L. Weekes Papers (Chase Family of Harwich)
- MS. 17 : Charles Bassett Papers
- MS. 18 : Benjamin Harrison Photograph Collection
- MS. 19 : Lewis Doane Papers
- MS. 20 : William Sturgis and Family Papers
- MS. 21 : Mason Family Papers
- MS. 22 : Lang Family Genealogy
- MS. 23 : Linnell Family Papers
- MS. 24 : Priscilla Dean Research Notes on Fieldstone Hall and "Tawasentha," the Crosby Mansion, Brewster, Massachusetts
- MS. 25 : Abner and Abigail Hopkins Family Correspondence
- MS. 26 : Frederick Matthews Papers
- MS. 27 : Stanley Smith Papers
- MS. 28 : Jonathan Higgins Papers
- MS. 29 : Samuel D. Hannah Papers
- MS. 30 : Evelyn Lawson Theater Archives
- MS. 31 : Sturgis Library Records
- MS. 32 : Photographic Postcards of Barnstable
- MS. 33 : Gustavus A. Hinckley Photographs of Barnstable
- MS. 34 : W. R. Bascome Photographs of Barnstable
- MS. 35 : Hinckley Family Photographic Album
- MS. 36 : Lothrop Family Photographic Albums
- MS. 37 : Diary of an Evangelical Minister
- MS. 38 : Diary of a Nantucket Woman (Mary Coffin?)
- MS. 39 : Pesnion Letters [Revolutionary War & War of 1812]
- MS. 40 : Winslow Hall Poem on the Revolutionary War
- MS. 41 : Stephen Smith Records [Furniture Maker]
- MS. 42 : Quahauging Cape Cod's Own
- MS. 43 : Mary K. Cobb Collection
- MS. 44 : Lowell Family Photographic Album
- MS. 45 : Bearse Family Land Documents
- MS. 46 : Child/Wright/Brown/Starr Family Genealogy Notes
- MS. 47 : Barnstable History Documents
- MS. 48: Cobb Family Papers, 1872, 1894-1904
- MS. 49 : Mary Sturgis Correspondence
- MS. 50 : Asa Jones Receipts
- MS. 51 : Daniel C. Bacon [Biography]
- MS. 52 : W Sears Nickerson : Some Lower Cape Indians
- MS. 53 : John Bent Civil War Diary
- MS. 54 : Charles C. Ewer Civil War Diary
- MS. 55 : Charge to Grand Jury, Barnstable, 1802
- MS. 56 : Kenelm Winslow Letter from Jonathan Russell, 1744
- MS. 57 : Cape Cod Association Pamphlets
- MS. 58 : Harwich, Massachusetts Deeds
- MS. 59 : Vessel Property, Dennis, Massachusetts, 1871
- MS. 60 : In Processing
- MS. 61 : Highland House Hotel Register, Truro
- MS. 62 : Luthor Hinkley Account Book
- MS. 63 : Samuel Rider Daybooks
- MS. 64 : Nathaniel Covill + Richard Higgins Genealogies
- MS. 65 : John Davis Will and Account Book
- MS. 66 : Ebenezer S. Whittemore Diaries, 1866-1890
- MS. 67 : Art Ross Deed Collection, 1793-1888
- MS. 68 : Diary of Susie Young, 1875
- MS. 69 : Diary of Frank Mello, 1945-46
- MS. 70 : Sturgis Library's Collection of Ships Logs, Journals, Pier Company's Ledgers, and Correspondence
- MS. 71 : Manuscript for the William Barstow Family
- MS. 72 : Horse and Buggy Days on Old Cape Cod by Hattie Blossom Fritze
- MS. 73 : Bacon Family Collection of Deeds
- MS. 74 : Joseph Otis, Collector of Taxes for the District of Barnstable -- Document Collection
- MS. 75 : Historic Documents Collection
- MS. 76 : Cape Cod Postcard Collection
- MS. 77 : Bassett Fisher Family Papers
- MS. 78 : Garden Grubs of Barnstable : Records
- MS. 79: Barnstable Woman's Club Collection, 1922-1963
- MS. 80: Lothrop Collection Manuscripts
- MS. 81: Photographs and Images Collection
- MS. 82: Kurt Vonnegut Articles and Correspondence
- MS. 83: Mary Sprague Collection
- MS. 84: Mary Bundy / Sturgis / Hooper Collection
- MS. 85: Original Newspaper Collection -- The Liberator
- MS. 86: Freeman Family Papers 1831-1884
- MS. 87: Second Social Library in Barnstable 1796-1807
- MS. 88: Crocker Tavern Blueprints and Letters
- MS. 89: Schooner Bloomer
- MS. 90: Account Book of Eben. Lothrop, Blacksmith
- MS. 91: F. B. Goss, Collector, District of Barnstable
- MS. 92: Cape Cod Library Club
- MS. 93: Barnstable High School
- MS. 94: Kittredge Maritime Manuscripts Collection
- MS. 95: Barnstable Town Library Committee Records
- MS. 96: Dave Crocker Historical Manuscript and Document Collection
- MS. 97: Barnstable County Fair Collection
- MS. 98: Expenses of the Town of Barnstable, 1859-1865
- MS. 99: D. G. and W. B. Bacon Company Account Book, 1857-1867
- MS. 100: Friends of Sturgis Library Collection
- MS. 101: Cape Cod Canal Collection
- MS. 102: Crocker Family Papers
- MS. 103: Sundial Village, Hyannis, Massachusetts : Copperplates
- MS. 104: Records of the Barnstable Masons, 1885-1908
- MS. 105: Jerauld Family Collection
- MS. 106: Family Bible Collection
- MS. 107: Shooting Record Number 4, 1881-1894 (Wildfowl Shooting Record)
- MS. 108: Kittredge Maritime Research Center Collection, 1967-1996
- MS. 109: Swift Family Whaling Letters
Genealogical Notes of Cape Cod Families
One of the most-used resources at the Sturgis Library is the 50-volume handwritten set of vital records entitled Genealogical Notes of Cape Cod Families, (aka the "Green Books.") The set compiles Cape Cod births, deaths, and marriages from a variety of publications into one resource. The information was assembled by three tireless and dedicated women in 1966, and the only print copy resides at the Sturgis Library. It is also available on microfilm.
We have been working with the Boston Public Library on a project to scan and digitize items from our collections, and the opportunity arose to have the set digitized at no cost through the BPL's grant-funded project. The digitized set now resides in the Internet Archive, and is available online for the first time to researchers doing Cape Cod research and genealogy.To see and use this important resource, CLICK HERE and choose the volume you are interested in.
In-Library and Home Access to Genealogical Resources
We now offer in-library access to Ancestry Library Edition, and both in-library and at-home access to Heritage Quest Online. A Sturgis Library card is required for home access to Heritage Quest. To find out more about obtaining a Sturgis Library card or accessing the databases, call us at (508) 362-6636 or email us at . Or, you can print out a library card registration form here.
To access Heritage Quest Online from home with your Sturgis Library card, CLICK HERE.
Barnstable Historical Society Collections
The Barnstable Historical Society has a rich collection of documents, manuscripts, photographs, and other research materials, many of which compliment the Sturgis Library's collections. The collections at the Barnstable Historical Society are available to researchers and genealogists with a demonstrated need, but are not open to casual browsing. In order to access the collections you will need to contact the curatorial staff two weeks in advance of your visit. They may be reached at 508-362-2982 or via email at . Fees may apply for commercial usage. Please view their online finding aids in advance of your visit.The finding aids can be viewed by clicking HERE.
Barnstable County Deeds and Public Records
The following documents are now available through the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds website:
--Recorded Land indexes and images from 1704 to the present (complete).
--Recorded Land Plan indexes and images (complete).
--Land Court name index (incomplete, see the caveat at the bottom of the Land Court by Name search result page)
--Land Court Document images from 1899 to the present.
To access these resources, click here.
Whelden Memorial Library Historical IndexThe complete indexing of sixteen volumes of West Barnstable history was recently completed and is now posted on the Whelden Memorial Library website. The compilation of this work was the longtime effort of resident Martin Wirtanen and others who supported him along the way. The information in these works dates all the way from 1644, when the first parcel that was to become West Barnstable was purchased from the Indian Serunk, to the present day. This comprehensive history includes volumes of information on historical houses and cemeteries, the brickyard and many other areas of interest. Of special interest is extensive information on the Finnish community that settled in West Barnstable, as well as the other ethnic groups that made West Barnstable their home. The volumes are stored at the Whelden Memorial Library on Route 149 in West Barnstable, and are available for in-house use. To access the index, click here.
Research and Reference Services
Reference Services: Library staff can provide basic reference assistance to students and general researchers of all ages.
Special Collections Research Services: The library provides research and reference services for those requiring specialized research assistance. We must limit research assistance to approximately 30 minutes per inquiry, due to limited staff availability. We accept phone inquiries but prefer, if possible, that you send your questions via email to our Adult Services Librarian at .
The following charges apply for scanning and photocopying of documents and images, which may be paid by credit card or by check or money order:
- Scanning and mailing/emailing of documents (8 1/2 x 11 size maximum): $5.00 for 1 or 2 scans; $10 for 3 or 4 scans
- Photocopying and mailing/emailing of documents (8 1/2 x 11 size maximum) : $5.00 for up to 10 copies; $10 for 11- 20 copies
- To copy or scan materials over 8 1/2 x 11 size, we work with a local printing company. There is a minimum charge of $25 for this service, which does not include the cost of scanning and printing. Scanning and printing rates will depend on the size of the item, the number of copies and the needs of the researcher.