***All 3 Library Locations will open at 12:00pm on Monday, December 6th, to allow for an all-staff training***

Per the Peabody Board of Health, masks covering the nose and mouth must again be worn while inside the Library and all City of Peabody buildings. Thank you for helping to keep Peabody healthy!


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

Timeline of the Peabody Institute Library



Free access to hundreds of our books, photographs, and more




Travel back in time with Peabody’s digital history exhibits




Essex County & Regional History

Charles Augustus Peabody papers, 1864-1872
Foster family papers, 1740-1965
William Sutton deed collection, 1832-1880
Essex County court records
Maps of Peabody & the surrounding area
Military records (Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII)
Biographical accounts of lives & events in local towns & cities
Firsthand accounts of travel from the 1600s to early 1900s

City of Peabody

Danvers vital records, 1700-1854
Danvers records, 1752-1855
Salem & Danvers aqueduct papers, 1796-1958
South Danvers & Peabody marriage intentions, 1855-1883
Town reports, 1855-1916
Selectmen records, 1855-1909
Assessor records, 1856-1893
Street directories, 1859-current

Assessor valuation records, 1861-1922
Voter registration lists, 1877-1974
Assessor & Census, 1878-1896
Fire department papers, 1890-1970
Street list of polls for men & women, 1891-1966
Mayor papers, 1916-2013
Poll tax records, 1917-1962
City departmental reports
Books about the leather industry
School committee reports, 1840-1974
Grade school & high school registers, 1889-1940
Seeglitz Junior High School yearbooks, 1967-1969
Higgins Middle School yearbooks
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School yearbooks

George Peabody

Manuscripts & correspondence
Photographs & postcards
Published biographies
Accounts of his visits to South Danvers & USA travel
Materials about his death & funeral
Materials on the centennial & bicentennial of his birth

Natural History

The Birds of America by John James Audubon
Bound volumes about John James Audubon & The Birds of America
Rare or first editions of books describing American biodiversity
Accounts of weather & other natural events


Manuscripts & family letters
Issues of the New England Historical Genealogical Registers
Issues of the Massachusetts Historical Collections
Issues of the Essex Institute Historical Collections
Issues of the NEXUS
Issues of the The Essex Genealogists
Books about family history, genealogy, & oral history
Vital statistics for various Massachusetts towns & cities

Local Journals & Newspapers

The Salem Gazette, 1790
The Salem Observer, 1848
South Danvers Wizard, 1859-1868
Danvers Monitor, 1869-1876
Peabody Press, 1869-1891, 1911-1912
Today, 1870
Vernal Visitor, 1879
The Peabody Star, 1899-1899
Peabody Enterprise, 1912-1941
The Observer, 1925-2006
Peabody Times, 1941-1976, 1984-1995
New York Times, 1960-current
The Peabody Hide, 1967-1968
The Tanner, 1968
The Bull, 1972-1973
Boston Globe, 1973-current
I.T., 1976
The Times: Peabody & Beverly, 1976-1984
Salem Evening News, 1995-current
The Tanner Times, 2007

Community Groups

George Peabody House Collection, 1989-2009
Peabody Institute Library Collection, 1854-2014
Peabody Historical Society Collection, 1896-2004
Peabody Community House, 1915-2003
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
South Congregational Church, 1711-1955
Unitarian Church, 1827-1876
Universalist Church, 1866-1867
West Congregational Church, 1958

Art & Artifacts

Art collection
Physical objects
Books about local architecture, furniture, china, & monograms


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


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. Contact the Local History Librarian to request permissions.

How can I make a donation?

We always appreciate donations of historically relevant materials in good condition according to our Collecting Policy. Contact the Local History Librarian to get started.


Catherine A. Badal

Local History Librarian

978-531-0100 ext. 28