Library updated
William T. and Mary L. Hurley Library

We specialize in research materials pertaining to Southeastern Massachusetts prior to 1850, with special concentration on Taunton’s early European settlers.  The library is open daily for on-site research and contains more than 7,000 volumes (non-circulating) on topics such as genealogy, local history, military history and the decorative arts. A vast archival collection of early documents, images, and family papers is also available for research.

We recently added a ScanPro 1100 digital microfilm reader/scanner to our library. This state-of-the-art machine allows for visitor-friendly research of our microfilm collection, which contains editions of the Taunton Daily Gazette dating back to 1848 as well as several other local newspapers and records from the Taunton State Hospital. We encourage visitors to bring a USB flash drive to save their research, which helps us cut down on printing and remain eco-friendly.


Library visits are free for OCHS Members and students working on school projects; $4 per day for non-members; genealogical research is $7 per day. If staff time is needed, research appointments are appreciated. The library is located on the second floor of the Old Colony Historical Society. Materials can be brought to researchers on the first floor, which is wheelchair accessible, as needed. The Society welcomes donations of patrons’ completed work if it relates to the Old Colony region for the benefit of future researchers.  Please contact the staff in advance of a proposed donation.

Library Use Policies

  • Pencils or patrons’ laptops only for taking notes
  • No food or drink permitted
  • No briefcases or large bags
  • No smoking anywhere in the building
  • Please handle all materials carefully, with clean hands or gloves (provided), and do not write on, erase, lean on, fold or trace materials
  • Photocopies can be made;  25¢ per page for non-members,  15¢ per page for members and students (color copies extra)
  • Photographs, postcards, digital images and other types of pictures may be reproduced for patron use according to our Image Reproduction Policy and for a modest fee.  Please ask a staff member for more details.

Research By Mail

For those who cannot visit the library themselves,  we offer a research-by-mail service for resources housed within our building.
Fees are $20 per hour plus 25 cents per photo copy ($15 per hour for OCHS Members).

Inquiries can be sent to:

Old Colony Historical Society
66 Church Green
Taunton, MA 02780

or by email to:

Thank you for your interest in research at the Old Colony Historical Society