All 3 Library locations will be closed from Saturday, May 28th through Monday, May 30th, in honor of the Memorial Day holiday.


The local history collection is located in the historic Eben Dale Sutton Room in the Main Library.

Timeline of the Peabody Institute Library



Rare and historical books


Photographs, maps, letters, historical records



Art & Artifacts

Audio & Video collection, 1919-2013

Books about local architecture, furniture, china, & monograms

Maps of Peabody & the surrounding area

Peabody Postcard collection, 1880-2017

  Edward Everett
  George Peabody
  Gideon Foster
  Queen Victoria
  Rufus Choate
  William Henry Harrison

City & County Government

City of Peabody collection, 1796-2015
  Assessor & Census, 1878-1896
  Assessor records, 1856-1893
  Assessor valuation records, 1861-1922
  City departmental reports
  Danvers vital records, 1700-1854

  Fire department papers, 1890-1970
  Grade school & high school registers, 1889-1940
  Mayor papers, 1916-2013
  Poll tax records, 1917-1962

  Salem & Danvers aqueduct papers, 1796-1958
  School committee reports, 1840-1974
  Selectmen records, 1855-1909
  South Danvers & Peabody marriage intentions, 1855-1883
  Street list of polls for men & women, 1891-1966
  Town reports, 1855-1916
  Voter registration lists, 1877-1974

Essex County court records

Massachusetts court records


Peabody Church papers, 1816-1958
  Methodist Episcopal Church, 1914 & 1929
  Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 1946
  St. John’s Church, 1911-1957
  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1918-c.1940
  Unitarian Church, 1827-1876
  Universalist Church, 1866-1867
  West Congregational Church, 1958

South Congregational Church records, 1711-1955


Biographical and autobiographical accounts of local families and figures

Books about researching family history and genealogy

Firsthand accounts of events in local towns & cities

Firsthand accounts of travel from the 1600s to early 1900s

Records of colonial New England

Historical Society Publications

American Ancestors (New England Ancestors)

Danvers Historical Society

The Essex Genealogist

Essex Institute Historical Collections

Massachusetts Historical Collections

New England Historical Genealogical Register


Niles Register

Peabody Historical Society

Topsfield Historical Society

Influential People

George Peabody
  Manuscripts & correspondence
  Photographs & postcards
  Published biographies
  Accounts of his visits to South Danvers & global travels
  Materials about his death & funeral
  Materials on the centennial & bicentennial of his birth

Charles Augustus Peabody papers, 1864-1872

Foster Family papers, 1740-1965

Franklin Parker papers, 1936-2014 

William Sutton Deed collection, 1832-1880 

Military records

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Veterans History Project, 2003-2004

Natural History

Birds of America elephant folios by John James Audubon & associated literature

Rare or first editions of books describing American biodiversity

Accounts of weather & other natural events

Street directories

Street directories, 1859-current


Seeglitz Junior High School yearbooks

Higgins Middle School yearbooks

Peabody Veterans Memorial High School yearbooks
  1922-1929, 1931, 1933, 1935-1937, 1939-1945,
  1947-1975, 1977-1991, 1993-1996, 1998-2020


Check out these books on the 3rd floor and online to keep learning on the go!


If we don’t have what you’re looking for, try one of our friends in the North Shore


When can I visit the Sutton Room?

The Sutton Room is open by appointment. Email the Local History Librarian to schedule a visit.

Do I need a library card to use the Sutton Room?

You do not need a library card to use the Sutton Room, but you will need a form of identification to check in.

Can I borrow books from the Sutton Room?

Materials in the Sutton Room do not circulate. We are happy to keep your materials on hold in the Sutton Room for the duration of your research project.

Can I use a picture from the archives in my book?

To use text or images from the local history collection in your publication, please see the copyright statement on the item record. Email the Local History Librarian to request permissions.

How can I make a donation?

We appreciate donations of historically relevant materials in good condition according to our Collecting Policy. Contact the Local History Librarian before bringing items to the library.


Catherine A. Badal

Local History Librarian

978-531-0100 ext. 28