Research Library

The Old Sturbridge Village Research Library encompasses more than 35,000 volumes and focuses on the history and material life in rural New England from the years following the American Revolution until the Civil War. The collection includes textbooks, juveniles, advice books, periodical literature, maps, broadsides, diaries, account books, letters, as well as copies of manuscript census schedules, property deeds, probate records, and town directories. Modern scholarly journals and secondary works, and selected pre-1790 and post-1840 sources dealing with aspects of rural life and American history are also available. Areas of strength include local and regional history, health and medicine, agriculture and horticulture, domestic life, education, religion, architecture, and early industrial history.

The Research Library is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm year-round. The Research Library is a closed stacks facility. Appointments must be made at least 14 days in advance and requests should clearly indicate the purpose of the visit and the researcher’s qualifications. For additional information or to schedule an appointment please email or call 508-347-0204.

Manuscript Collections

The Research Library’s Manuscript Collections contain rare and important primary source material including family papers, business accounts, and town records. These collections span from the 18th century through the early 20th century, and include account books, ledgers, correspondence, friendship albums, diaries, and legal documents.

Old Sturbridge Village is currently working to digitize its finding aids for Manuscript Collections.

To see a list of digitized finding aids, click here.

A desk with notes, papers, and quill pens