Jones River mural

 Kingston Public Library

Contact us
KPL on Facebook
KPL on Twitter

               6 Green Street, Kingston Massachusetts 02364          781-585-0517
Using the Library
Events & Programs Reference Readers
Friends of the Library
Kids Teens
Local History

Local History Room Special Collections

The Local History Room Special Collections contain the following collections. Each collection is open to the public (unless otherwise stated) under the supervision of the archivist. Patrons must sign a form agreeing to the rules and regulations of the Local History Room before gaining access to the collections. For more information on Special Collections please email the Archivist at or call 781-585-0517 x6277

The Special Collections are divided into the following categories: manuscript collections; pamphlet collections; image collections; vital records; military records and immigration lists; newspapers; and yearbooks. In addition we also have a map collection and a small artifact collection.

Reproductions of materials, including photographs and maps may be possible. Additional information is available at the Local History Room.

To return to the Local History Page click here.

Manuscript Collections

The manuscript collections contain papers, diaries, correspondence, etc. of persons relating to Kingston history in some manner. Links below will bring you to a pdf file of the finding aid. (Not all finding aids are posted on this site. Finding aids for each collection are available at the Local History Room and the Reference Desk.)

MC-1. Helen Holmes Papers (1865-1938) 1 box (3 linear inches) Nearly all of the collection is concerned with Helen Holmes’ interest in gardening. Perhaps most notable are lecture notes and manuscript materials on the topics of herbs, roses, old New England gardens, and gardens in Geneva. Also included are clippings, fliers, and pamphlets on various aspects of horticulture, together with some herb vendor price lists.

MC-2. Lydia T. Adams Letters (1821-1908) 1 box (3 linear inches) Collection of 16 letters sent by Lydia T. Adams to family members and friends while on a 45-day Cook’s Tour of Europe during the summer of 1891. Letters from the following locales are included: On board the SS Friesland (bound for Europe), Brussels (Hotel de la Porte), Munich (Hotel Belle Vue), Rome (Grand Hotel Continental), Naples, Lake Maggiore, Chauionix (Hotel D’ Angleterre), Lucerne (Swiss Hotel), Paris (Hotel St. Petersburg), and London (The Midland Grand Hotel).

MC-3. Hannah T. Adams (1796-1858) Diaries (1817-1836 and 1841-1858) 3 box (15 linear inches) Fourteen volumes of diaries spanning 1816-1836 and 1841-1858. Evidently no diary was kept between January 1837 and March 1841. The diaries cover a variety of different topics including day-to-day work and recreational activities, the weather, comments on sermons that she heard in local churches, concerns about the health of her children, and periodic evaluations of her “interior life.”

MC-4. Charles H. Drew (1853-1937) Diaries (1870-1871) 1 box (3 linear inches) Pair of diaries chronicling the events of two sea voyages; the first to the Mediterranean between March and October, 1870, the second to South America between January and August, 1871.

MC-5. Henry M. Jones (1859-1926) “Ships of Kingston” manuscripts and notes boxes (23 linear inches) Collection of manuscript material used in the production of the Ships of Kingston by Henry M. Jones. The collection includes historical sketches of Kingston ships, and biographical sketches of Kingston ship builders and ship captains. Also included are photographs together with pen and ink drawings that were used to illustrate the book.

MC-6. Walter H. Faunce Diaries (1832-1930) 1 box (3 linear inches) Walter Faunce’s diaries are of the “pocket diary” type. Entries generally contain accounts of daily activities and occasionally the weather. The Kingston Public Library has volumes covering the years: 1855, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1863, and 1865. The Jones River Village Historical Society owns another volume covering the year 1858. Also included in this Collection is a handwritten manuscript believe to have been written by Faunce.

MC-7. Thomas Bradford Drew Collection (1834-1898) 2 boxes (10 linear inches) This Collection contains notebooks and manuscripts about Kingston history and genealogy. Topics covered in the notebooks include Kingston vital records and gravestone inscriptions. Manuscript titles include: “Historical sketch of Kingston, Massachusetts,”“History of Kingston – ancient ferries, highways, & bridges,” “History of Kingston Annals from 1726 to 1821,” “History of Kingston – Houses of some of the early settlers,” “History of the town of Kingston, Plymouth County.”

MC-8. Helen D. Foster Collection (1900-1998) (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public; original diaries may not be accessed by public.)

MC-9. George F. Sever Collection (1866-1954) 4 boxes (20 linear inches) The George F. Sever papers document the involvement of a retired engineer in Kingston town governance and local community organizations. There are two series in the collection, Town Records and Local History.

The Town Records series contains records that relate to Severs work on the Board of Selectmen and on the Board of Public Welfare. Two folders originate from his service on the Board of Public Welfare. Financial records and playground expenses derive from the financial responsibilities of the Board of Selectmen. The largest proportion of the series relates to Severs work on Kingston boundary lines and street lighting.

The Local History series is derived from Severs involvement and membership in the First Parish Congregational Church and the Jones River Village Club. His chief research interest in local history, and the largest proportion of the series, is related to gravestone documentation in Kingston although gravestones in Plymouth County are documented and illustrated in a postcard album. The series includes photographs of Kingston gravestones, notes from a lecture on tombstones and notes related to Revolutionary and Civil War gravestone sites in Kingston. This research was used to order commemorative plaques for soldier’s grave sites in Kingston.

MC-10. Ruth Forbes Chandler Collection (1894-1978)
8 boxes (48 linear inches) The Ruth Forbes Chandler papers document the active literary career of a local Kingston children’s author. The focus of her numerous manu
scripts were of children facing difficult problems. This is especially true of Ladder to The Sky about a young black boy facing adversity. Originally published in 1959 and then later reissued in 1965 during which time most books were published about caucasian children. As Chandler stated in a letter to a young child “Then came the change in people’s thinking and the call for varied racial backgrounds”.

The important early influence of Clement C. Maxwell, president of the Bridgewater Normal School (Bridgewater State College), in encouraging Chandler to undertake a literary career is seen in his incoming correspondence. Logbooks of children’s stories and novels kept by Chandler record the dates and publication history of her works between 1943 and 1966, a period of extensive literary output for the author. The original manuscripts for many of these stories and novels make up a large proportion of the papers. Chandler was frequently called upon for speaking engagements and regularly attended writer’s conferences. She donated part of her manuscript collection to the Grummond Collection at the University of Mississippi.

MC-11. Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (1894-1970)
2 box (7 linear inches) The collection includes Finney’s World War I correspondence, material related to Finney’s role as commander of the American Legion Post 108 in Kingston, and some rare Kingston ephemera including a memorandum of the Kingston Civilian Defense Committee on air raid and blackout signals that were scheduled to be used locally.

MC-12. Reverend W. Wyeth Willard Collection (1905-1999) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection contains an assortment of newsletters and fliers published by or about W. Wyeth Willard, pastor of the Federated church of Kingston, together with newspaper clippings documenting his life and activities. A biographical sketch about Willard titled “Combat Chaplain” which appeared in the November 1980 issue of Leatherneck Magazine and a blueprint map of Camp Good News is also in this Collection.

MC-13. Arthur Beane Collection (shipping papers for the Morning Star, Monte Cristo, Cordova, Leonidas, and the Zamar) 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection contains ship papers from the following ships: Morning Star, Monte Cristo, Cordova, Leonidas, and the Zamar. It forms part of the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection.

MC-14. Henry L. Barker Papers (1875-1948) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists primarily of papers relating to the Frederick C. Adams Library and an assorted of Kingston billheads (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public)

MC-15. Lothrop Holmes Papers (1824-1899) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists mainly of newspaper and auction catalogue clippings containing information about Lothrop Holmes’ decoys, photocopies of town documents pertaining to Holmes’ vital dates and photographs (possibly taken by Ted Avery) depicting Holmes’ decoys and gravestones of Holmes’ family members.

MC-16. Emily Fuller Drew Collection (1881-1950) 4 box (20 linear inches) This Collection mainly consists on unpublished essays and notes on the history of houses, places, and events relating to Kingston before the 1930s. Of particular interest in this Collection are images taken by to Drew. These images can be found in the LHR Image Collection: Drew Collection. This Collection is a minor sampling of the lifelong work Drew accomplished. Many of her contributions may be found in other Local History Room Collections, especially MC- 29, the Jones River Village Historical Society Collection.

MC-17. Cornelius A. Bartlett Papers (1811-1880) 14 boxes (70 linear inches) Among the many deeds and records in this Collection, Bartlett is perhaps best know for his collection of diaries and his work on the older homes of Kingston.

MC-18. Mitchell Toabe Papers (1909-2002) 5 boxes (31 linear inches) As Toabe was heavily involved with Silver Lake Regional High School, this Collection contains account reports, meeting minutes and surveys all relating to the early years of Silver Lake Regional High School. Additional items of note housed in the Toabe Collection include a history of Toabe’s hardware and surrounding businesses on Summer Street, copies of the a yearly calendar, produced by Toabe, containing photographs of area places, houses or events. The Collection contains calendars from 1948 – 1971, though not encompassing all years. Also of interest may be a thank you note to Toabe for his position of Price Administrator from the White House.

MC-19. George C. Burgess Papers (1831-1912)1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection consists primarily of historical papers about Kingston and Kingston residents.

MC-20. Dura Wadsworth Collection (bulk date: 1820-1899) 1 box (3 linear inches) Of particular note in this Collection are correspondences and accounts of the Western Railroad Office and the Plympton Wool Manufacturing Company.

MC-21. Mary Hathaway Collection (Collection not completed; finding aid not yet available to public)

MC-22. Kingston Public Library Papers (1871-present) 8 boxes (33 linear inches) The scope of the Kingston Public Library Papers Collection covers a span of over 100 years of operation and service to the Town of Kingston and its community by the Kingston Public Library. This Collection of Library Papers begins with the history of the Library: from the conception through the execution of establishment. A number of historical sketches exist, which provide detailed descriptions, from a number of different viewpoints. Within the Collection there also are a number of legal documents, including wills and deeds. A large number of these documents focus on the original construction of the building, finances, equipment and maintenance throughout the years and the addition to the Library in 1964.

With the move of the Library in 1994, there was a great deal of controversy raised over the reuse of the F.C. Adams building. There is also extensive information regarding the original construction of the Adams building by architect J.E. Chandler and the eventual acceptance onto the National Register of Historic Buildings.

This Collection is abundant in the number of documents existing from a variety of previous programs sponsored by the Library, including special events such as the Children’s Room 20th Anniversary Celebration and the Library Centennial Celebration. The Collection is also strong in its focus on the Local History Room and the activities of the Local History Room.

Though the Collection is primarily text based, there are a small number of postcards depicting the Adams building and photographs depicting the evolution of the Library as an institution servicing the community. The Collection also contains VHS tapes, original library cards, bookmarks and more.

MC-23. Helen Adair Hammond Adams Papers (1883-1962) 5 boxes (25 linear inches) This Collection contains a information on a variety of topics related to Kingston, from genealogy to place histories, to information on various events which occurred in Kingston. Helen Adams diverse personal interests are reflected in this material that she collected.

MC-24. Ada Brewster Collection (1842-1929) 2 boxes (8 linear inches) Of primary interest in this Collection are the pencil sketches of Indians, Chinese, and landscapes Brewster completed while either visiting or living in California, Nevada, and Florida. Genealogical material on the Brewster family, as well as information on Kingston related topics such as the Bradford House and the Helen Adams estate auction, may also be of interest. A scrapbook that contains photographs from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, created by Flora Brewster, shows many views of Woodside and other areas in Kingston.

MC-25. Albion Holmes (1913 - 2006) 2 boxes (10 linear inches) This Collection contains a number of interesting items, including historical sketches covering the following areas and times of Kingston: “Kingston Post and its Postmaster,” “Stony Brook Neighborhood,” a history of Toabe’s Store, Kingston taverns, a 1947 driving tour of Elm Street through Indian Pond Road, and Irish history in Kingston .

MC-26. Jennie F. McLauthlen Papers (1868-1947) 2 boxes (6 linear inches) This Collection consists of annual town reports, copies of the magazine Our Young Folks; An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls (box 2), the 200th Anniversary pamphlet of the First Church of Pembroke, a 1927 issue of The Quill, a playbill of The Dickens Club, Little Em’ly and an 1828 Farmers Almanac.

MC-27. Town House Attic Papers. (1774-1931) 14 boxes (69 linear inches) The issues covered and the materials included within this Collection, cover a wide range of Town topics. The majority of the dates covered fall between the late 1700s and the early 1900s. Included is a number of papers relating to the Almshouse (poor house) of Kingston.

Included in this Collection are two documents that illuminate an interesting chapter in Kingston's history. The first document is an 1808 letter from the Selectmen of Boston to the town of Kingston, asking Kingston to join with Boston in asking the President of the United States to lift the embargo on European goods that was then in place. The entire Boston Board of Selectmen, including the famous architect Charles Bullfinch, who was then Chairman of the Board, signed this document. The second document is a letter from Thomas Jefferson, who was President at that time, to the inhabitants of Kingston, acknowledging receipt of their petition and explaining his reasons for continuing the embargo. This document was filled in and signed by Thomas Jefferson. According to Stuart Whitehurst of Skinner Auction House, both documents are authentic (documents were authenticated the summer of 2004).

MC-28. Dr. William C. Gould Collection (1909-1984) 1 box (13 linear inches) This Collection consists of Dr. Goulds obituary, medical book and tools.

MC-29. Jones River Village Historical Society Papers (1909-present) 44 boxes (267 linear inches) This Collection is divided into the following series: Early information, Bradford House Council, Bradford House, Literature, Places, People, Diaries, Ledgers, Non-text (photographs) and Lanternslides.

MC-30. Margaret Warnsman Collection (1911- ) 4 boxes (20 linear inches) The Warnsman Collection focuses on Kingston history, events, places and people. Of specific note in this Collection are documents that explore the history Kingston families, as well as documents that focus on Kingston neighborhoods and houses, such as the houses on Bridgewater Road, the Forge Pond District and the Stony Brook neighborhood history. Of other interest may be the collection of newspaper clippings, many of which focus on the 200th birthday celebration of Kingston in 1926. Also within the collection of newspaper clippings are obituaries of notable Kingston residents dating back to 1890. The Warnsman Collection additionally contains a number of photographs that explore the development of Kingston in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

MC-31. Eleanor Loring Cole Collection (1914-2005) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains examples of Kingston and other local town business billheads. Of note in this Collection are three books: the 1928 publication of Laddie and two class autograph books.

MC-32. Juliette A. Ayer Collection (1933-2004) 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains information on the (Reverend Martin) Parris family.

MC-33. Katherine Pratt Collection (1911 – 2004) 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains information from the life of Katherine Pratt. The majority of the photographs are not identified, but are believed to have been Kingston residents.

return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.



Pamphlet Collections

The pamphlet collections contain papers, diaries, correspondence, etc. of organizations relating to Kingston history in some manner. Links below will bring you to a pdf file of the finding aid (not all finding aids are posted on this site. Finding aids for each collection are available at the Local History Room and the Reference Desk)

PC-1. Early American Imprints 1 box (5 linear inches) For decades, the collection of Early American Imprints has served as the definitive resource of information about every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary War, slavery, temperance, witchcraft and just about any other topic imaginable.

PC-2. Sermons, Discourses, and Public Addresses: 1745-1901 1 box (5 linear inches) Throughout the history of the Local History Room, a number of miscellaneous pamphlets have been donated. These pamphlets cover a wide range of topics and are examples of the ongoing discourses that effected Kingston and her residents. The documents within this Collection are bound sermons, discourses or addresses to the public. A majority of the pamphlets are religious in tone and structure. A number of the sermons were delivered at funerals of notable persons or as an act of celebration (of or at a particular event). “A Sermon on the Moral Aspect of the Kingston Tragedy” delivered by Rev.T.M. Merriman, is one of the more interesting sermons in the collection, as it discusses the murder of Cornelius Holmes on May 26, 1868 by Dec. Samuel M. Andrews.

PC-3. The Quill, The Memory Chest, The Independence: Kingston High School Publications 3 boxes (15 linear inches) The Quill (circa1924-circa 1931), The Memory Chest (1934-1937), and The Independence (1937-1955) are yearbooks and writing journals that were published by Kingston High School and its students, serving as the authors and editors. Some issues featured literary and news content, while others served specifically as high school yearbooks.

PC-4. Persons listed by the Board of Registrars in the Town of Kingston: Street Lists 1958, 1962-present 2 boxes (10 linear inches) This Collection in the Local History Room is not complete, as 1954, - 1956, 1958, and 1981 are missing. Available volumes cover the years: 1952-1953, 1957, 1959-1980, 1982-onward.

PC-5. Kingston Town Anniversaries 10 boxes (72.5 linear inches) Many items within this Collection focus on the planning and actual Town Anniversary celebrations for Kingston, including three scrapbooks containing clippings, photographs, etc. documenting the 275th Town Anniversary.

Anniversary publications within this Collection include Civic Progress of Kingston and A History of Her Industries. The book provides an extensive look at Kingston’s history from it’s founding up until 1926. There are approximately 63 photographs, depicting the Town of Kingston buildings and residents. The monograph also contains a map that notes homes of early notable residents and of industrial mills.

PC-6. Kingston Baptist Church and Kingston Federated Church Assorted Papers1 Box (3 linear inches) This collection includes programs, newsletters, and announcements of both the Kingston Baptist Church and the Kingston Federated Church. Items in the Collection include historical sketches of the Church, Church programs, and Church newsletters.

PC-7. Classified Catalogues of the Frederic C. Adams Public Library, 1901-1909 2 boxes (10 linear inches) The Catalogue of 1901 contains a listing of the Board of Trustees (1901), a preface (containing a brief history of the Library), an explanation of the classification system, rules and regulations, a list of contents, and the catalogue.

PC-8. Invitations and Calling Cards, 1857-1940 1 Box (3 linear inches) The invitations in the Collection are gathered from notable Kingston residents, including many from the Adams family. The Collection contains both invitations and calling cards. The invitations in the Collection are primarily wedding invitations or party invitations. The Collection ranges from July 23, 1857 – June 7, 1940.

PC-9. Rocky Nook School Publication: The Leaflet, 1872-1875 1 Box (3 linear inches) The Leaflet appears to have been produced as a student literary magazine, with brief essays being contributed by Rocky Nook students on topics such as “winter,” “fish,” “birds,” “minerals,” “Boston,” “United States,” etc. The last essay in each issue was by Emily Spring (the teacher and presumed editor). Each issue was produced on stationary-grade paper. The essays were hand written. Several different hands are noted, and accordingly it’s reasonable to suppose that each student penned in his own essay. Presumably only one copy of each issue was produced.

PC-10. Kingston Historical Commission Comprehensive Historic and Architectural Resource Survey: 1997-1998 1 box (5 linear inches) In 1997 – 1998, the Kingston Historical Commission funded a complete comprehensive survey of the Town’s historic and architectural resources. The survey provided the Town of Kingston with data to allow effective and consistent historic preservation planning and review of projects that require town permits, funding, or approvals, and to help the town establish local historic districts and to identify buildings and districts eligible for National Register. This survey was completed by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and covered a number of properties in Kingston.

PC-11. Town of Kingston Annual Reports: 1859-1950 1 box (5 linear inches) The Town Annual Reports are bound reports by the school committee, the treasurer, the library, and the town listing taxes, financial support of town services, marriages, births, deaths, etc. The Town of Kingston has produced a report each year since1859.

PC-12. Kingston Schools 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection primarily contains notes written on the history of Kingston’s school system, school building and students. The Collection does not contain any images: please see the image collection finding aid for images of Kingston’s schools.

PC-13. Plymouth Products Plymouth Cordage Company Catalogs, 1908-1929 1 box (5 linear inches) Published by Plymouth Cordage Company, each Plymouth Products catalog discussed the cordage products produced by the company and how the products were used worldwide. Each issue contains a number of stories and photographs that provide insight to local and worldwide happenings. Also of note in each catalog a listing is provided of Plymouth Rope distributors.

PC-14. Kingston Water Department Papers 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection contains material that support the existence of the water system as run by the Town of Kingston. Particular items of note include Water Department minutes and the original copies of petitions and reports submitted by the Water Department Committee to the Town.

PC-15. Monk Tower Log Book 1941 - 1942 1 box (3 linear inches) During WWII, Kingston residents volunteered to stand guard in Monk Tower, on Monk’s Hill in Kingston, to keep watch over Kingston Bay for any suspicious activity. The logbook, which covers from December 8, 1941 – January 1, 1943, contains information observed and recorded by Kingston residents on their (typically) three-hour watches. Most of the information recorded relates to the weather, though some entries do document incoming and outgoing air and sea craft. The logbook may also be of interest as it contains numerous original signatures of Kingston residents.

PC-16. Architectural Assessment of the Frederic C. Adams Building, 2001 1 box (3linear inches) The Frederic C. Adams building is a Colonial Revival building designed by Joseph Everett Chandler, in 1898 and served as Kingston’s first public library. In 1994 the library moved across the street, leaving the Frederic C. Adam building vacant. The Town Selectmen then appointed a committee whose goals include renovating the building into a Heritage Center. The document in this Collection is a direct result of their efforts. The document’s focus is as follows: The Town of Kingston retained Turk Tracey & Larry Architects, LLC in May 2001 to prepare a Conditions Assessment and Feasibility Study for Universal Accessibility. The report is to serve as a comprehensive document that can be used by the town to help guide repairs, accommodation of accessibility requirements and future maintenance of the structure.

PC-17. First Parish (Unitarian) Church Collection 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection contains information that explores the history and development of the First Parish Church into the Unitarian Church of Kingston. Of particular note in this Collection are historical sketches, early records of the Church, and excerpts from the diary of local resident Hannah Adams, which specifically focus on the daily operations and on goings in the Parish.

PC-18. Kingston Finance Reports and Records: 1927 – 1961 1 box (3 linear inches) This collection contains Reports of the Finance Committee of the Town of Kingston from the following years: 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1961. Also contained within this collection is a 1958 budget regarding bonds and interest and a 1958 Finance Committee document on establishing a tax rate.

PC-19. Newspaper Collections 1 box (13 linear inches) The following newspapers are available in either hard copy, or on microfilm: Kingston Reporter 1984 – present, Kingston Mariner 1998 – present, The Kingston Observer 1987 - 1992 and 2002 - present, The Kingston Voice and Journal Opinion 1976 – 1981, The Independent 1978 – 1981, The Independent Voice 1981, 1984 –1986.

PC-20. Documents relating to Kingston and its residents, 1734 – 1903 2 boxes (6 linear inches) This collection contains documents such as deeds, bills of sale, correspondence, land plans, receipts, tax bills and indentures of Kingston residents between the years of 1734-1903. This Collection came together as a result of miscellaneous documents, of undetermined provenance, needing to be housed and indexed. The only relationships that the documents in this Collection have are that they each relate to Kingston and its residents in some manner. (Click here for spreadsheet listing items in PC-20 Collection)

PC-21. Poll, estate, and personal property tax lists, 1830 – 1926 7 box (28 linear inches) This Collection contains pamphlets from 1830-1849 that list Kingston residents and their tax bills. Items that residents were taxed on include poll, real estate, and personal property tax. The resident names are listed in the pamphlets in alphabetical order and though there is space designated for a description of either the estate that is being taxed, or for the personal property that is being taxed, in most cases, neither area is filled in. Starting in 1915 there are 2 volumes per year (one volume for residents and one volume for non-residents: however there is only 1 volume for 1918 and 1921.) The following years are missing: 1877, 1878, 1887 and 1922.

PC-22. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway Company - Central New England Railway Company (Old Colony Railway) 1 box (5 linear inches) The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway Company leased the Old Colony Railway in 1893. Previously local businessmen had established the Old Colony Railway in 1845. The Railway consists of 37 miles of track from Plymouth to Boston. The Railway operated until the construction /opening of Rt. 3, which lead to the downfall of the Railway in 1959. The Collection contains miscellaneous receipts, passenger logs, ephemera, etc… dating from 1896 – 1918.

PC-23. Jones River Collection 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection contains information about the history of and the preservation of the Jones River. Material relating to shipbuilding, mills, and other specific enterprises are not found in this Collection.

PC-24. Evergreen Cemetery Association 10 boxes (43 linear inches) The Evergreen Cemetery Collection consists of material relating to the Cemetery. The majority of the Collection focuses on deed and lot books. These books are of primary interest as they contain hundreds of original signatures of Kingston residents. Additionally the Cemetery’s collection of 49 photographs, taken in 1916, are especially interesting as they show the Cemetery grounds in great detail.

PC-25. George W. Cushman Pamphlet Collection 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection focuses on pamphlets collected by Cushman throughout his lifetime. The pamphlets within the Collection focus on and are separated by town events, town fairs (and Old Home Days), and events with the high school and town government.

PC-26. Assessors Valuation List 1830 – 1935 (Storage) This Collection is complete from 1830 through 1935. Available volumes include: 1830-1842 (small paper “books” in poor condition) * 1843-1845-1847 (even years) * 1844-1846 (even years) * 1848-1850-1852-1854 (even years) * 1849-1851-1853-1855 (odd years) * 1856-1858-1860 (even years) * 1857-1859 (odd years) * 1861 * 1862 * 1863 * 1864 * 1865 * 1866 * 1867 * 1868 * 1869 * 1870 * 1871 * 1872 * 1873 * 1874 * 1875 * 1876 * 1877 * 1878 * 1879 * 1880 * 1881 * 1882 * 1883 * 1884 * 1885 * 1886 * 1887 * 1888 * 1889 * 1890 * 1891 * 1892 * 1893 * 1894 * 1895 * 1896 * 1897 * 1898 * 1899 * 1900 * 1901 * 1902 * 1903 * 1904 * 1905 * 1906 * 1907 * 1908 * 1909 * 1910 * 1911 * 1912 * 1913 * 1914 * 1915 * 1916 * 1917 * 1918 * 1919 * 1920 * 1921 * 1922 * 1923 * 1924 * 1925 * 1926 * 1927 * 1928 * 1929 * 1930 * 1931 * 1932 * 1933 * 1934 * 1935 * 1948 *

PC-27. Bay Farm Collection 1930 - 1950 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection contains images of Bay Farm in the early-mid twentieth-century. Of particular interest is the pamphlet Bay Farm Certified Milk and Certified Cream, which explains the process of certifying the dairy products produced by the Farm and a map drawn by Robert Santheson, grandson of Carl Johan Santheson of Bay Farm’s layout during 1930-1950.

PC-28. Grand Army Republic Martha Sever Post No. 154 Collection 1 box (3 linear inches) Of interest in this Collection are listings of Veterans graves located in Kingston. The article, Last of GAR, also provides unique insight into the final days of the chapter. Note: For additional information on Kingston GAR members, please see the Atwood Family vertical file. Also of note may be lanternslides #212 – Martha Sever Post GAR and #261 Martha Sever.

PC-29. Kingston Historical Commission Collection, 1973 - present 3 box (9 linear inches) This Collection focuses on the forms, photographs and general data that have been collected by the Kingston Historical Commission since its conception. The material in this Collection has been added to the Local History Room House History Project. Note: For additional information on the Kingston Historical Commission survey please see Kingston Historical Commission Comprehensive Historic and Architectural Resource Survey: 1997-1998 (Local History Room Pamphlet Collection, PC-10.)

PC-30. Town House Chatter Collection 1974 - 1983 1 box (3 linear inches) The newsletters found in this Collection mainly contain information on upcoming town events. The newsletters also contain information on active Kingston residents and may be used as a source in studying the growth and development of various town departments.

PC-31. Kingston Civil Defense Collection 1950 - present 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection focuses mainly on images of the old Maple Avenue Schoolhouse (located on Maple Avenue) and its renovation into Town Civil Defense offices in 1988.

PC-32. Kingston Fire Department Collection 1887 - present 7 boxes (59 linear inches*note: Collection is housed in part at the Fire Department) This Collection contains the early records of the Kingston Fire Department, including minutes of the three Hose Companies (the Surprise Hose Company No. 1, the Governor Bradford Hose Company No. 2, and the Pocanoket Hose Company No. 3). These minutes are valuable as they contain information on the early development of the Department. In addition to the minutes, this Collection also includes 2,501 photographs.

The photographs document Department members, equipment and the Department in action, battling fires. Additional photographs in the Collection document the participation of the Kingston Fire Department in local musters (the Kingston Department muster team being formed in 1981 and called the ‘hosebusters’) and parades. Photographs in the year 1987 also include the Department’s 100th Anniversary parade and muster.

PC-33. Kingston Police Department Collection, bulk dates 1931 – 1948 2 boxes and binder (10 linear inches) – this Collection is not yet open to the public (5/2005)

PC-34. Kingston Schoolbook Collection, bulk dates 1847 – 1888 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection contains schoolbooks from 1847 – 1888 that were used in Kingston schools as textbooks. Kingston residents such as Mary Drew, M. E. Cole, George W. McSanthlan, Lottie A. Russell, Waldo S. Cole and Hattie Cook inscribe some of the books

PC-35. Almanacs, 1760 – 1845 1 box (3 linear inches) This Collection contains New England-based almanacs.

PC–36. Poetry 1 box (5 linear inches) This Collection of poetry came together as a result of miscellaneous documents, of undetermined provenance, needing to be housed and indexed. The only relationships that these documents have are that they each in some way can be classified as poetry and many of those who wrote them were either Kingston residents or summer residents. The majority of the poems seemed to have been written during the late 1800s – through the 1920s.

PC-37. Journals of the Honorable House of Representatives 4 boxes (20 linear inches) This Collection was found in the attic of the old Town House on Green Street. The journals were read in order to discover information directly relevant to Kingston. Items of general interest in State and National history were also noted. These notes are included in the finding aid under each journal listing. They are to be used as examples of what each issue contains and are by no means meant to be a complete reflection of the content within each journal.

PC-38. First Parish Church Women’s Alliance Collection 8 boxes (45 linear inches) This Collection contains meeting minutes and programs which provide a history of the Alliance. Minutes often include membership lists and annual reports. Books of expenditures also may include member lists. Of note in this collection are the photographs, including one of the Second Meeting House and a notebook containing autographs of notable abolitionists including autographs and inscriptions of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas.

return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.



Image Collection

Local History photographs
return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.








There are more than 12,000 photographic prints, lantern slides, stereoviews, negatives and other graphic materials dating from the 19th century to today in the Local History Room. These images focus on people, places, houses, events, and ships in Kingston, but the region, the state and the world are represented as well.

The images belong to a number of distinct manuscript and record collections held by the Local History Room, including the Jones River Village Historical Society (almost 1400 images), the Ted Avery Collection (nearly 850 images) and the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (over 600 images), as well as the LHR General Images Collection (just under 2200 images).

At present, the images are described in a local database, searchable by the Archivist on request. Originals can be viewed by appointment. However, there is an active project underway to scan many of the images so that they will be available online.

Vertical Files

The Vertical Files OC2 is a compilation of newspaper clippings and miscellaneous historical materials collected by the Local History Room staff from various sources and arranged by subject. A few of the headings serve as reference points to larger collections. The collection includes materials from the 17th century to last week's newspaper.

Vertical Files Finding Aid

Vital Records

The following vital records, in book format, are available in the Local History Room:

Vital Records of Massachusetts towns to 1850: Abington (two volumes) * Acton * Alford * Amesbury * Andover (two volumes) * Arlington * Ashburnham * Ashfield * Athol * Attleborogh * Barre * Becket * Bedford * Bellingham * Beverly (two volumes) * Billerica * Bolton * Boxborough * Boxford * Bradford * Brewster * Bridgewater (two volumes) * Brimfield * Brockton * Brookfield * Brookline * Buckland * Burlington * Cambridge (two volumes) * Carlisle * Carver * Charlemont * Charlton * Chelmsford * Chelsea * Chester * Chilmark * Cohasset * Colrain (see the Buckland volume) * Conway * Dalton * Dana * Danvers (two volumes) * Dartmouth (three volumes) * Deerfield * Dennis (through to 1900; three volumes) * Douglas * Dover * Dracut * Dudley * Dunstable * Duxbury * East Bridgewater * Edgartown * Essex * Foxborough * Framingham * Gardner * Georgetown * Gill * Gloucester (three volumes) * Grafton* Granville * Great Barrington * Greenfield * Groton (two volumes) * Halifax * Hamilton * Hanson * Hardwick * Harwich * Harvard * Haverhill (two volumes) * Heath * Hinsdale * Holden * Holliston * Hopkinton * Hubbardston * Ipswich (two volumes) * Kingston * Lawrence * Lee * Leicester * Leominster * Lexington * Lincoln * Lowell (four volumes) * Lynn (two volumes) * Lynnfield * Malden * Manchester * Mansfield * Marblehead * (three volumes) * Marlborough * Marshfield * Medford * Medway * Mendon * Methuen * Middleborough (two volumes; not complete through 1850) * Middlefield * Middleton * Milford * Millbury * Montague (see the Buckland volume) * Montgomery * Nantucket (five volumes) * Natick * New Ashford * New Bedford (three volumes) * New Braintree * New Salem * Newbury (two volumes) * Newburyport (two volumes) * Newton * Northbridge * Norton * Oakham * Otis * Oxford * Palmer * Pelham * Pembroke * Peru * Petersham * Phillipston * Plymouth * Plymton * Princeton * Reading * Richmond * Rochester (two volumes) * Rockport * Rowley (two volumes) * Roxbury (two volumes) * Royalston * Rutland * Salem (6 volumes) * Salisbury * Saugus * Scituate (two volumes) * Sharon * Shelburne * Sherborn * Shirley * Shrewsbury * Southborough * Spencer * Stoneham * Stow * Sturbridge * Sudbury * Sutton * Taunton (three volumes) * Templeton * Tewksbury * Tisbury * Topsfield * Truro * Tyngsborough * Tyringham * Upton * Uxbridge * Wakefield * Walpole * Waltham * Warren * Washington * Wayland * Wenham* West Boylston * West Bridgewater * West Newbury * West Springfield (two volumes) * West Stockbridge * Westborough * Westford * Westminster * Westport * Weymouth (two volumes) * Williamstown * Winchendon * Windsor * Worthington * Wrentham (two volumes) * Yarmouth (two volumes) *

return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.


Military Records and Immigration Lists

The following collections are available for patron use:

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War. Boston, Mass.: Wright & Potter Printing Company. 1896-1908

Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War. Norwood, Mass.: The Norwood Press. 1931-1933 (Includes information about trades/professions of thousands of recruits)

Anderson, Charles Robert. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. Boston, Mass. New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1995. (Biographical sketches of hundreds of 17th-century settlers)

return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.


Newspaper Collections

Hard copies are available at the Kingston Public Library for the following newspapers:

Kingston Reporter 1984 – present
Kingston Mariner 1998 – 2002
Kingston Observer 1987 - 1992 and 2002 - 2009
The Kingston Voice and Journal Opinion 1976 – 1981
The Independent 1978 – 1981
The Independent Voice 1981, 1984 –1986

return to top of page

To return to the Local History Page click here.



Kingston High School Memory Chest
1934, 1935, 1936, 1937

Kingston High School Independence
1938, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955

Silver Lake Regional High School The Torch
1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 1999 Alumni guide, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

We are missing SLRHS yearbooks for 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2006.
If you have an extra, please consider donating it.

Sacred Heart School The Corric
1966, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983

Top of this page

Back to the Local History Page





© 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 System.