3818483003_853b65f457The 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whaling journals, manuscripts, family histories, diaries, letters and correspondence, cemetery records, photographs, historical documents, maps and charts, as well as the collection of personal and research papers of Henry Crocker Kittredge.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 info@sturgislibrary.org. 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

Additional Collections

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 Access to Genealogical Resources

We offer in-library access to Ancestry Library Edition free of charge.  No library card is required.

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 info@barnstablehistoricalsociety.org. 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 Index

The 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 sturgisreference@comcast.net.

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 up to 5 scans; $10 for up to 10 scans, etc.
  • 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, etc.
  • 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 $35 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.