Jones River mural

 Kingston Public Library

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               6 Green Street, Kingston Massachusetts 02364          781-585-0517
Using the Library
Events & Programs Reference Readers
Friends of the Library
Kids Teens
Local History
Check out the Local History blog Pique of the Week and
the rest of the
Local History Room Online.
We're on the Digital Commonwealth!
Many of the Emily Fuller Drew Collection MC16 photographs are now online

In the Exhibit Case

Hours & contact

Shall We Dance?
Kingston High School Junior Prom, 1942
Did you know that ballroom etiquette once prescribed ladies to carry dance cards to pencil in the names of gentlemen who had reserved a dance? Or that in 1875, Kingston residents held a Thanksgiving Ball to celebrate the holiday? Stop by to learn more and to see a selection of photos, invitations, and dance cards from throughout Kingston's history.

Hours for drop-in visits

* Monday *
1:00 to 8:00
Closed on the following Mondays in 2017: 8/14, 9/11, 12/11

Tuesday & Thursday
1:00 to 5:00

Wednesday & Friday
10:00 to 1:00

Second Saturday of every month
10:00 - 5:00

Appointments are required for Saturday visits, extensive research projects and visits outside the hours listed above.

Have more questions or want to make an appointment?
Email or call 781-585-0517 x6277

How do I...

Visit the LHR?

View special collection materials?

Get a local history question answered?

Research my home's history?

Donate books and materials?

Buy a book on Kingston's history?


Welcome to the online home page of the Kingston Public Library's Local History Room and Special Collections - the largest known repository of historical materials documenting the history and development of the town of Kingston and the people who have lived here. Kingston was incorporated as a town in 1726, but its history reaches back to the very beginning of Plymouth Colony.

For more information about Kingston's history, please visit the About Kingston page.

The mission of the Local History Room is to preserve and promote appreciation and understanding of the history and heritage of Kingston, Massachusetts. To accomplish this, we collect, catalogue, preserve and promote materials relating to the history of Kingston. Our research collection comprises rare books, documents, manuscripts, maps, personal papers, small artifacts, paintings, early photographs and other visual materials. Printed finding aids are contained in notebooks located in the Local History Room, and at the Reference Desk.
Collection titles and finding aids are also listed on the Special Collections page.


Reproductions of photographs or maps

Elm Street bridge, 1910.

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Photographs from the Local History Room collections, as well as those on deposit from other organizations, may be duplicated according to the Local History Room policy on photographic reproductions. Please be aware that reproduction may be subject to condition of the original, gift or purchase agreements or restrictions, privacy and publicity rights or copyright issues. While the Local History Room will provide all known information about a photograph, determining copyright status is the responsibility of the user. The nature of archival images means that copyright or other information may be difficult or impossible to determine.

Please contact the Local History Room with any questions or comments.


The Special Collections in the Local History Room exist due to the generous donations of Kingston residents, past and present. If you have information relating to Kingston and would like to preserve and make the information accessible for future generations, please call or email the Archivist, Sharon Pietryka, at 781-585-0517 x6277 or

For more information please view our policy on donations and collection development.



House Histories

111 South Street, 1920

The House History Collection (HHC) contains information on the older houses of Kingston. The Collection is based on the 1998-1999 Massachusetts Historical Commission survey and house information often includes the historical name of the house, the builder, the house's architectural information and information on the house's residents. The Local History Room staff and volunteers have added any additional information that we uncover from any collection, photograph, or other type of resource that comes into the LHR to each of these forms. If the original survey did not cover a specific property and we have information on that location, we have created our own forms.

Many House History forms can be found online at, the new site of the LHR.

If you are interested in researching your home's history we recommend that you give us a call or stop by to see what information we have. We then recommend taking that information and researching your deed history at the Registry. Once you have uncovered your home's past occupants, come back to us with their names and we will take another look into Kingston's past through the Local History Room Collections.

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Local History Books

A variety of books -- both new and old -- on Kingston history are available on the Library's Gift page.
Civic Progress cover

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Additional Kingston history resources

Kingston is fortunate to have many wonderful organizations concerned with preserving the Town's unique history. For more information on these organizations, please visit their web sites.

Major John Bradford House


Jones River Village Historical Society: Kingston's historical society founded in 1909; takes care of the Major John Bradford Homestead and offers many educational and social programs throughout the year.

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Online databases

American Ancestors: The New England Historical Genealogical Society is the oldest genealogical society in the country. For over 160 years, NEHGS has helped new and experienced researchers trace their heritage in New England and around the world. NEHGS databases are now available to Kingston library card holders. It is available only in the Library. is the largest family history site online with over 4 billion names in worldwide historical records, family tree services, genealogy and more. It is available only in the Library.


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© All rights reserved. Town of Kingston, Kingston Public Library. For more information please write to Kingston Public Library, 6 Green Street, Kingston Massachusetts 02364 or email the Library Director at For suggestions on how we can improve our services, please email The Kingston Public Library is a member of the Old Colony Library Network.