William T. and Mary L. Hurley Library
Our research library specializes in materials pertaining to Southeastern Massachusetts prior to 1850, with special concentration on Taunton’s early European settlers. The library is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for on-site research and contains more than 7,000 volumes (non-circulating) on topics such as genealogy, local history, military history and the decorative arts.
We encourage you to make an appointment so that the staff can prepare for your visit in advance. Email the Curator of Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment!
Quick tip: If you’ll be doing newspaper research on our new ScanPro 1100 digital microfilm reader/scanner we encourage visitors to bring a USB flash drive to save their research, which helps us cut down on printing and remain eco-friendly.
Some of our resources
Our research collection, which includes more than 7,000 volumes in our non-circulating library and over 400 linear feet of archival material, embraces a wide range of topics.
Some of the largest collections include:
• Family papers
• Unpublished manuscripts
• Cemetery gravestone transcriptions
• Local church and municipal records
• Military records and accounts from the 17th to 20th centuries
• Materials related to prominent local industries (textiles, machinery, locomotives, stoves, iron, pewter, silver, pottery, nails, tacks, bricks, shipbuilding, etc.)
• Collection of maritime records including diaries, papers, ships’ logs, etc.
• Account books of local merchants, businesses, and citizens
• Selected Bristol County Court records (17th to 20th centuries)
• Newspapers: Taunton Daily Gazette (1848-2001) on microfilm; other newspapers on microfilm and in bound copies as early as 1824
• Maps and atlases for Taunton and Bristol County
• Taunton municipal records, dates vary (Fire Department, Police Department, Public Schools)
• Taunton City Directory, 1850 to 2002
• Yearbooks from Taunton High School (1891-1990, incomplete), Msgr. Coyle High School, Bishop Cassidy High School, St. Mary’s High School, St. Anthony Parish, St. Jaques Parish