Our Archives are maintained by volunteers who will help people research properties, families, businesses and other areas of Manchester history. Appointments are required to do research, and research fees will apply depending of the scope of the research.
Some of the types of collections in our archives are:
Books/Newspapers/Magazines: These contain local history, biographies and town records, and include bound issues of the Beetle and Wedge, as well as interesting old books that are a part of Manchester’s history.
Ledgers: Store ledgers are a good source of insight into the needs of people during different economic periods. Ledgers from the store of Abigail Trask from 1814 through 1840 show carefully kept accounts of her goods and customers. Records kept by cabinet makers, day laborers, merchants, ship captains, and others are available and interesting to read.
Ship’s Logs: Captain Richard Trask’s and Captain Thomas Leach’s, c1830, are the most significant.
Documents: Deeds, military papers, indentures, wills, and other legal papers have been catalogued and many are scanned. They date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Letters: Our most extensive collection of letters is from the Trask family correspondence. During his travels, Captain Trask wrote fascinating letters to his wife Abigail, in Manchester and to their son Charles, at school.
Diaries: We have some diaries, notably John Lee’s c1838, the Rust diaries, and Julius Rabardy’s.
Manuscripts: We have an abundance of research papers on Manchester subjects and many personal reminiscences. The most recent ones by Gordon Abbott are on the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Booths and their Masconomo House, and the Richard Henry Dana family.
Maps: The earliest ones we have are copies. The later 19th century maps, showing property ownership, are available and may be copied.
Photographs: We have a nice photo collection of town events and people, and daguerrotypes and stereopticon slides. The summer cottages from c1870 to c1930 are of particular interest to historians.
Genealogy: The history of the families who settled in Manchester from the 17th to the 20th centuries is an expanding collection and our most active as the interest in ancestry grows.