Library Collections

The Gloucester Shelves
The Gloucester Shelves–both on the Mezzanine Level and in the Children’s Services Department–are full of books about Gloucester’s history! On the Mezzanine Level, you will find books about Dogtown, Cape Ann lighthouses, Portuguese Hill, the Sea Serpent, and more. We also have Cape Ann oral history CDs. “Toward an Oral History of Cape Ann,” an oral history project that involved interviews of prominent and ordinary Cape Ann citizens between 1978 and 1989. Principal oral historians Linda Brayton and David Masters recorded 100 oral histories reflecting the cultural and economic past and present of Cape Ann. All the works on the Gloucester Shelves are available for checkout.


The Gloucester shelf in Children’s Servicesy has fiction books by Gloucester writers and non-fiction books about Gloucester. All of these works are available for checkout.



Local History Collection
Our Local History Collection contains both materials about Gloucester and Cape Ann and written by and about Gloucester and Cape Ann authors. Subjects include local history, genealogy, biography, and some fiction. Materials are in the form of books, hand-printed items, maps, city documents and more. The collection is located on the Mezzanine Level, and you are free to browse the materials and use them inside of the library. In some cases, duplicate materials are located on the Gloucester shelf and available for check out. 


Of special note in the Local History Collection are the Charles Olson Collection, which contains materials by and about Charles Olson, a local poet, and the Richard Recchia Papers, which includes materials about of Richard Recchia, a local sculptor.


The Cape Ann Vertical Files
This collection, located on the Mezzanine Level in the Local History area, is a collection of file folders containing information about Gloucester and Cape Ann. It’s arranged by subject. The file is mostly made up of newspaper clippings from the Gloucester Daily Times, but there are also other sources of information. If you’re searching for Gloucester or Cape Ann subjects that don’t appear in books, the Cape Ann Vertical File is a good place to look. The files must be used in the library and articles may be photocopied.

Print a list of subjects available in the Vertical Files or ask for it at the Information Services desk. 


Microfilm Collections 
Our state of the art microfilm scanner is located on the Mezzanine Level, and rolls of microfilm are stored in cabinets. Feel free to retrieve and load your microfilm if you are familiar with using it. If you’d like an overview of the machine or help finding what you need, the Information Services staff will be glad to assist you. 

Judith Sargent Murray Papers
This is a microfilm collection of indexed correspondence, essays and poems relating to Judith Sargent Murray, an 18th century Gloucester writer and advocate for women’s rights. The microfilm reader is located on the Mezzanine level.


Local Newspapers

Cape Ann Advertiser (weekly) (1857-1900)

Cape Ann Bulletin (weekly) (1/1833-12/1855, 9/1877-12/1882, 2/1886- 4/1887)

Cape Ann Evening Breeze (weekly) (8/29/1884-11/1901, missing May-August 1897)

Cape Ann Light & Gloucester Telegraph (weekly) (1/07/1843-12/31/1873, missing 1/5/1847-1/15/1856)

Cape Ann News (daily) (12/02/1901-12/31/1902)

Cape Ann Revolver (February & April 1867)

Christian Neighbor (11/07/1827)

Essex Register (1807-1820)

Gloucester Daily News (10/11/1848-11/1901)

Gloucester Daily Times (1888-present)

Gloucester Democrat (bi-weekly) (8/19/1834-2/17/1838)

The Gloucester News and Semi-Weekly Messenger (10/11/1848-8/30/1851)

Gloucester Telegraph (weekly) (12/29/1827-9/27/1876)

Impartial Register (1800-1801)

Ipswich Bulletin (10/12/1866-12/21/1866)

Jeffersonian Republic (10/15/1838-11/23/1838)

Salem Register (1802-1807)

Temperance Gleaner (6/1/1864)

Trumps (10/23/1867)

Other Cape Ann Resources

Cape Ann Museum
The Cape Ann Museum houses both a library and a document/photographic archive that provides resources for the study of the industrial, social, maritime and art history of Cape Ann. An historical photographic collection is also available for purchase or research.


Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System
The Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) allows you to search the Massachusetts Historical Commission database for information on historic properties and areas in the Commonwealth.


The Historical Marker Database
The Historical Marker Database (THMD) is a national database of signs and markers that designate historical sites across the United States. The database welcomes information and photos from the general public in order to update its collection.


Maritime Gloucester
Maritime Gloucester is a working waterfront museum offering students and visitors hands-on educational experiences concerning marine science, maritime history and heritage, and environmental stewardship.


Magnolia Historical Society
Magnolia Historical Society retains a collection of memorabilia from Magnolia’s rich past as a summer retreat for the wealthy and famous.


Dogtown is a wooded area in Gloucester of about five square miles, or 3600 acres. From 1642 to fifty years after the Revolutionary War, the Commons Settlement flourished then disappeared, leaving behind the cellar holes of the houses as well boulders engraved with interesting messages. Artists, poets and many other visitors have found inspiration and enjoyment in the beauty and history of this unique place.