Local History and Genealogy

The Local History and Genealogy Room is located on the second floor of the library.  Please visit the reference desk for assistance.

The library’s historical collections are available to the general public on a limited basis for research involving local, genealogical and/or historical issues.  Those wishing to use the Historical Room for research need to provide current identification and agree a use policy.  This policy outlines guidelines for photocopying, etc.  Reference staff is available to assist users with questions.  For those who need assistance with in-depth research, please contact the reference staff to schedule an appointment.

Library Resources

The intent of the Local History Collection is to preserve, collect, describe, exhibit, and make publicly accessible materials that document the history of Sudbury and its inhabitants.

Materials Include:

  • Original Goodnow Library Collection (remaining volumes date from 1863-1900), including Audubon’s “Birds of America”
  • Town documents:  town meeting records and reports (1644 – ), official warrants (1940 – ), tax records (1778 – ), valuation reports (1870-1972, sporadic years after), List of Persons (1946-2012), and town by-laws (1937-2001)
  • Books, photographs and artifacts relevant to Sudbury history and genealogy
  • Dyad: the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Yearbook (1957 – )
  • Maps and Atlases
  • Genealogy Collection: Books cover much of Massachusetts and some Greater New England, genealogies for various local families, Vital Records (to 1850) for many Massachusetts towns, and cemetery records
  • Vertical File: News clippings, pamphlets, article reprints, and other materials relating to persons, places, organizations, events, and subjects relevant to Sudbury.
  • Local Newspapers on Microfilm (Now also online)

Notable Collections:

  • Barton Collection:  Personal papers, publications and artifacts from the estate of George H. Barton, noted geologist, explorer and MIT professor.
  • Goodnow Collection:  Includes publications from the Goodnow Family Association, biographical information, various genealogies, books, “Goodenow’s Ghosts” dating from 1981 – present, and the key to John Goodnow’s tomb.
  • Loring Papers:  Diaries, notes and sermons, dating from 1748-1765, of the Revered Israel Loring.  Transcriptions are available.
  • Parmenter Collection:  Diaries, books, photographs and other items dating from the late 1800’s – 1978, which belonged to Gilbert, John Robert, and Mary F. Parmenter.  This collection highlights local life and 3 prominent families (Bent, Haynes and Parmenter).
  • Rice Collection: Includes publications from the Edmund Rice Association as well as copies of the Dunster papers from the Harvard University Archives.
  • Vincent Collection: Native American artifacts from a cremation pit dating to ~ 1520 BC, uncovered along Dudley Road in Sudbury, MA.


  • Ancestry.com (In-library use only) – Premium collection of worldwide genealogy records.
  • HeritageQuest (In-library use, remote use for Sudbury/Goodnow Library cardholders only) – Census data and documents for genealogy research.
  • The Sudbury Archives – Online, searchable database of approximately 15,000 town records dating from 1639 – 1850.  Includes records from the Town Clerk’s Office, the Goodnow Library, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, the Sudbury Historical Society, and the Wayland Historical Society.
  • Sudbury Newspaper Archive NEW! – Sudbury newpapers from 1915-2015 can now be searched, viewed, downloaded or printed. 

Additional Resources:

Massachusetts History & Genealogy:  

Sudbury History

Need help with your research?  ASK A LIBRARIAN!