Local History & Genealogy Collection

The Local History Room of the Scituate Town Library was created to preserve and make available books, documents, photographs, genealogy resources and other materials highlighting the history of Scituate, Plymouth County and surrounding areas as well as individuals whose activities have contributed to its development and growth. The Local History Collection contains a vast wealth of material on local history and genealogy of Scituate and the region.

The collection in the Local History Room consists of print, microfilm, and online sources. Materials in the Local History Room may only be used in the Library. Whenever possible duplicate titles are added to the Library's general circulating collection and are available for checkout. 

Print Collection

Our print collection consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Cemetery Records
  • Family Histories
  • Military Information
  • Histories of Massachusetts Counties, Cities and Towns
  • Vertical File Materials
  • Scituate Town Reports 1873 – present
  • School Yearbooks 1924 – present
  • New England Historical Register 1965 – present
  • Local Authors

For more information about Scituate's history, visit the Scituate Historical Society or the Scituate Town Archives

Microfilm Collection

Scituate Herald: (incomplete holdings)
September 13, 1929 - December 1939 (gap September 1938 - August 1939)
January 1940 - October 1942 (gap April 18, 1941 - February 5, 1942)
January 1942 - December 1943 (incomplete)
January 1944 - February 16, 1967

South Shore Weekly Mirror: October 13, 1955 -  December 1955

South Shore Mirror: January 1957 - December 1979*
*note: January 1975 - December 1975 titled South of Boston Mirror

South of Boston Mirror: May 22, 1974 - December 1, 1974

Scituate Mariner: January 1979 - December 2018  

Scituate Mirror: January 1980 - December 1981

Digital Scituate - Digitized resources to view online:

  • Chimes - Scituate High School Yearbooks beginning with 1924.
  • Town Reports - Scituate's annual reports, searchable online. The years spanning 1848-1874 are contained in one digitized volume. 
  • Newspapers 
    • Scituate Mariner (1979-2018)
    • Scituate Herald (1929-1967)
    • South Shore Weekly Mirror (1975-1977)
    • South Shore Mirror (1957-1979)   
    • South of Boston Mirror (1974-1975)
    • Scituate Mirror (1974-1981)
    • Mirror (1975-1977)

Online Library Genealogy & Local History Research Tools

FamilySearch logo tree with squares  Ancestry logo with leaves

The Library provides access to several online genealogical research tools. 

  • Ancestry Library Edition Free in-library access
    Access to billions of genealogical records including federal and state census, vital records, Social Security Death Index, passenger lists, and naturalization records. New databases are added constantly, including Newspapers.com, Obituary Index, church records, US Veterans Administration Master Index 1917-1940 and US WWII Hospital Administration Card File 1942-1954.
  • HeritageQuest OnlineFrom anywhere
    Heritage Quest is a ProQuest database that contains genealogical and historical records from more than 60 countries, with coverage dating back to the 1700s. Some of the databases included are the PERSI (Periodical Source Index - list of people covered in periodical articles), American Revolutionary War pension records, Bounty-land Warrant Applications, and Freedman's Bank records.
  • American AncestorsFree in-library access
    American Ancestors is a service from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and holds more than 1.4 billion searchable records with new databases and names added weekly.  NEHGS is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States. Use this website to find great tutorials on getting started with your genealogical research!  In-library access funded by Scituate Town Library.
  • Heritage HubFrom anywhere with your library card number 
    A comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices. Discover obituary information spanning more than 200 years with content from all 50 states – including hard-to-find information from the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s. Search by name, date range, or text such as institutional name, social affiliation(s), geographic location(s), philanthropic activities, and more.
  • Black Life in America –  From anywhere with your library card number
    Sourced from nearly 19,000 American and global newspapers from 1704 to the present, including over 400 African American newspapers. Provides full-text searching as well as access to content by Topic, Event, and Eras in African American History. Nearly 800 Suggested Searches, organized by historical eras, themes, topical areas, and events, provide direct links to useful content. Examples of curated Suggested Searches include “Emancipation Proclamation,” “Brown v. Board of Education,” “Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the movie “Black Panther,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Updated daily. 
  • FamilySearch Free in-library access; you must create a free account to access the resources
    FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Search the Family History Library catalog as well as digitized records, which include hundreds of thousands of books and maps relating to family history and genealogical research. Account registration is required. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free online while in the Library or through more than 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Digital Commonwealth – From anywhere
    Digital Commonwealth is a non-profit collaborative organization that provides access to thousands of images, documents, and sound recordings that have been digitized by member institutions. 
  • Featured Digital Collections List  –   From anywhere This page at the Massachusetts Library System website features a selection of digitized collections from the Boston Public Library and other Massachusetts institutions, as well as links to the Digital Commonwealth and the Digital Public Library of America. Organized by topic.
  • Digital Public Library of America - From anywhere
    The DPLA is a gateway to a treasure trove of digitized resources from all over the country. The DPLA has made millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions across the country available to all in a one-stop discovery experience.  Use their Family Research Guide to help you get started. Find historic photographs of a coal mine your ancestor worked in or the street your great-grandfather grew up on. Look for digitized family histories, oral histories, family bibles, meeting minutes from a fraternal organization, and so much more!
  • ArchiveGrid – From anywhere
    ArchiveGrid provides access to detailed archival collection descriptions such as documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. It also provides contact information for the institutions where these collections are kept.
  • Massachusetts City & Town Documents - State Library of Massachusetts - From anywhere

General Genealogy Research Websites & Tools

The Library staff has selected some helpful general research sites to assist you with your project. Please feel free to contact the Scituate Town Library with any questions you might have. See the list.

Government Resources, Genealogical Societies & Organizations

Massachusetts & South Shore Resources
We've also compiled a list of additional societies and other organizations that may help you with genealogy in Scituate, the South Shore, and Massachusetts in general. See the list

More Resources
In addition to the resources in the lists above, you can also find specific interest groups as well as other genealogical organizations, archives, and more, for Massachusetts and beyond. See the list.