Local History Collections

Amesbury Public Library's local history and archives collections include both print and electronic or digital content. Most of the collection is not cataloged and requires an appointment to view in person. We welcome researchers! We offer research appointments Monday through Saturday. Appointments are offered in two-hour blocks and are scheduled as staff availability allows. To make an appointment, email our archivist, and please provide as much information as possible in your research request. 


Library Records

This collection includes operational and institutional records of the Amesbury Public Library, including records of the Amesbury and Salisbury Lyceum, the predecessor to the current library. Trustees meeting minutes, architectural drawings, ephemera, photographs, and director's files form the bulk of the collection. 

Read this brief library history to learn more or check out this book on the history of the library covering the century spanning 1856-1956. 

Municipal Records

As an official repository for City of Amesbury records per the city charter, the library provides print and digital access to several record sets. Additionally, inactive permanent records from various city departments are regularly transferred to the archives. 

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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Our collection includes a range of material in various formats, including the following:

  • handwritten manuscript documents and records from the early 1700s to the present
  • correspondence
  • photographs
  • ephemera
  • 3-D objects
  • fine art
  • rare books
  • time capsules

The majority of the collection is not cataloged, but researchers may schedule an appointment to consult material by emailing our archivist.

Digital Collections

Amesbury Eats

Amesbury Eats was a three-year initiative to document and celebrate food and drink culture in Amesbury. Explore this database to see images of Amesbury's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are always looking to grow our collections. If you have food-related content, including restaurant menus or photographs, please consider adding them to our digital repository.

Digital Amesbury

Digital Amesbury includes our local history blog, Bits of Beauty, as well as digital collections including archival records, photographs, maps, online exhibitions, and community contributions. Items are added as we continue to digitize content. Items include digitized analog material as well as born digital items. 

Local History Archives - Advantage Preservation

With generous support from the Amesbury Public Library Charitable Trust, we have digitized more than 400,000 pages of archival content. This repository, hosted by Advantage Preservation (a digitization and hosting company), includes the following:

  • historical newspaper collection
  • city records including street listings
  • annual reports
  • city directories
  • Amesbury High School yearbooks, and much more.  
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