Archival Center

Visitation by Appointment

The Newburyport Public Library is excited to welcome back visitors on a limited basis by appointment with specific guidelines in place. Please contact the Archival Center (978) 465-4428 x231 for details and to schedule time for research. Advance notice strongly recommended.

NPLAC Preservation Virtual Exhibit

NPLAC Exhibit Image

Between 2018 and 2020, the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center completed a large preservation project for hundreds of local history items through a Library Services and Technology Grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Massachusetts Board of Libraries Commissioners. View a virtual exhibit highlighting the preservation project here.

Newburyport and COVID-19: Share Your Story

Covid-19 Banner

The Newburyport Public Library Archival Center and the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church (FRS) invite the Newburyport community, young and old, to share their experience and impressions of how the coronavirus has affected their lives.

As we have all witnessed, the events surrounding this epidemic are changing by the day. They are specific to you, and to your families, friends and communities. Please help us document this period in history, so it can be shared for generations to come.

More Information


Archival Center maps

The Archival Center's collection focuses on genealogy and local history, primarily that of Essex County with additional material covering New England. It includes published monographs on Newburyport history and individual family genealogies as well as local primary source material. We receive regular donations of both personal papers and company records for which finding aids are written to help researchers locate what they need.

Cataloging records are created so that researchers are able to locate areas of interest via subject, author, or title. The Library has a microfilm collection that includes most of The Newburyport Daily News from 1773 to the present, as well as Essex County probate records and other materials. Online resources include Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and American Ancestors.

One of the collection's more idiosyncratic sections consists of hundreds of pamphlet files each containing unique material related to the history of Newburyport. We have both an extensive historic photograph collection and a more recent photo collection focusing on the years 1964–2000. Online resources include Ancestry, Heritage Quest, American Ancestors, America’s Historical Newspapers and Newburyport Historical Newspapers.

Computers, copier, scanner, microfilm reader, research assistance, group visits, & Archival Center tours are available.

Hours, Contact Information

Antique photo of Joppa fisherman

The Archival Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00am until Noon and 1:00pm until 4:00pm. The Archival Center professional library staff and dedicated volunteers are available to assist you. Contact the Archival Center at 978-465-4428 x231 or x229.

Historic Photographs

View a sample of our historic photograph collection HERE.

Online Resources

Online databases

Ancestry: Library Edition
(in library use only)
[From Home thru 12/31/21]

Heritage Quest Online
(from home with NPL library card)

American Ancestors
(in library use only)

America’s Historical Newspapers

City of Newburyport Annual Reports
The Newburyport Public Library has digitized the City Annual Reports from 1875 to 2010

Digitized issues of the Daily News, Herald, and other local historical newspapers from 1773 to 1963.
Funded by a generous grant to the Newburyport Public Library

Digitized issues of the Daily News 1964-1985 & 2019- [In Library Only]
Funded by a generous grant to the Newburyport Public Library

Tutorial: How to Use Newspaper Databases

Other online resources

Local resources