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About our collections
We have extensive collections of documents,
photographs, books, maps and museum objects. All are available for
research. Some of our more important family collections:
of Clara Pollard Blinn
· Davis Family Papers
of Blanche Proctor and Leona Proctor Cail
Some of our other document collections:
· Bedford Celebrations
· Bedford Community
· Bedford Garden Club
· Bedford Historical
· Bedford History
· Bedford People
· Bedford Properties
· Bedford Town Government
· Bedford Woman's
Scrapbooks of Charles Jenks
articles of Ina Mansur
articles of Louise K. Brown
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Books on Bedford
Note: Books marked with a single asterisk * are available for purchase from
the Bedford Historical Society. Click the Store button for details. Items
marked with a double asterisk ** can be purchased at the Bedford Free
Public Library. Other books listed here can, in many cases, be borrowed
from the Bedford
**History of the Town of Bedford, Abram English Brown,
originally published 1891, reprinted 1992. This is THE book on Bedford history.
Includes genealogical information. Available for purchase from the Bedford
Free Public Library. A fully searchable electronic version of this book is
available on the Google Books site. To see it, click here.
An Awesome Century, Charles Williston
Farrington with Judith Lindau McConnell, 1999. Originally published as a
series of articles in the Bedford Minute-Man, these essays present a
changing view of Bedford
history as seen through more than 90 years of keen and loving observation.
116 pages, photographs.
Center in the 1800's (second edition),
written by Ina Mansur, illustrated by Lawrence Mansur. This book profiles
three builders who constructed most of the noteworthy buildings in Bedford Center and gave it the character we
still enjoy today.
Bedford in the World War; an Account of the Part
Played by the Citizens of the Town of Bedford, Military and Civilian, in
the Great War with Germany, 1917-1919, by Charles W. Jenks,
undated. Capsule biographies of Bedford's
service personnel and their activities in World War I. Photographs.
Flag Unfurled by Sharon Lawrence McDonald, 1996, 2000. A richly
detailed and thoroughly documented history of the Bedford Flag.
Sampler, Bicentennial Edition, 1974. Paperback book, 256 pages,
illustrated. Compiled and edited by The Friends of the Bedford Free Public
Library. A variety of articles on Bedford’s history; descriptions of
historic houses and their inhabitants; brief biographies of Asher Benjamin
and Rufus Porter; and an assortment of favorite recipes.
Beneath Old Rooftrees, by Abram English
Brown, 1896. Written to show "in a story-like manner the part taken by
many towns [including Bedford]
in the opening events of the Revolution." With photographs
Beside Old Hearth-Stones, by Abram English
Brown, 1897. Profiles of some of the early patriots and their communities.
With photographs. A fully searchable electronic version of this book is
available on the Google Books site. Click here.
*A Brief History of Bedford, Kathleen Kelly-Broomer,
2004. (Excerpted from Communitywide Historic Properties Survey,
1998.) Paperback book, 36 pages. A concise overview of the town’s founding,
development, industries, institutions, and architecture, from the 1700s to
Communities in Transition: Social Change in
Bedford and Lincoln, Massachusetts, 1729-1850, by
Richard John Holmes, 1979. A sociological "enquiry into the nature of
rural society in New England from the
early eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century."
The Deacon Job Lane House of Bedford, Massachusetts,
compiled by Ina Mansur, illustrated by Ellen Hatch Michaud, 1984. A
monograph on the history and architectural development of the c. 1713 Job
Lane House on North Road,
Job Lane of Bedford;
Major John Lane
of Billerica; Job Laine of Malden
by Ina Mansur, 1982. This monograph is a valuable reference work on
three members of one of Bedford's
The Flag of the Minutemen by Williston
Farrington, 1996. A pamphlet on the history of the Bedford Flag.
*Freeholders & other Votable Inhabitants:
Bedford’s Town Meetings During the American Revolution.
Carla Fackler, Signe Hanson, and Judith R. Brown, editors. 1976. Paperback
book, 43 pages. Extracts from Town Meeting minutes, with modern
commentaries, providing a vivid illustration of the reaction of Bedford’s people to
the events of the Revolution.
General Marshall's Victory Report on the Winning
of World War II, 1945. With an added section on Bedford's servicemen
and women by the American Legion Auxiliary of Bedford.
Gilman of Redford
by William Stearns Davis, 1927. A novel centering on a young man from
"Redford" (a fictional version of Bedford)
and his experiences in Boston and Harvard College at the beginning of the
Glimpses of Old New England Life, Legends of Old
Bedford by Abram English brown, 1892. A retelling of Bedford tales told to
the author by his grandmother. Includes "The Mysterious Room,"
"The Silver Crown," "The Witch of Shawsheen," and
"A Pod of Nine Peas."
*Historic Properties and Neighborhoods of Bedford by
Kathleen Kelly-Broomer, produced for the Bedford Historic Preservation
Commission. Complete, detailed, and authoritative descriptions of the
history and architecture of more than 300 houses and other noteworthy
buildings, plus the origins of Bedford’s
most historically significant neighborhoods. More than 300 photographs,
380+ pages, fully indexed.
History of Bedford by Marie T. Johnson,
illustrated by Lucia S. Kespert, published by the Bedford Woman's Community
Club, 1960. Essays on Bedford's
history and customs from early days to modern times.
History of the Bedford Fire Department, 1974. Boston: Boston
Publishing Co. The most detailed publication on Bedford's firefighters, from the early
days of the Shawsheen Engine Company to modern times. With photographs.
1730-1834, Ina Mansur, 1974. Paperback book, 238 pages,
illustrated. A thoughtful study of the town’s early religious life and of
the dissention, beginning with the Great Awakening of the 1740s, that split
Bedford’s single congregation in two in the 1830s.
*The Old Burying Ground: Gravestone Survey, Map,
and Databases. Third edition, 2004. Paperback book, 65 pages. A
complete reference on the Old Burying Ground on Springs Road – its history;
catalog listings of the stones, alphabetically and by number; a detailed
fold-out map; and a complete list of inscriptions and epitaphs, with notes
on items of special interest.
Old Paths and Legends of New
England, by Katharine M. Abbott, 1903.
"Saunterings over historic roads with glimpses of picturesque fields
and old homesteads in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire." Includes a brief
chapter on Bedford.
Photographs. A fully searchable electronic version of this book is
available on the Google Books site. Click here.
**A Pictorial History of Bedford, Massachusetts,
1729 to Modern Times, by Ina and Lawrence Mansur, 1992. A lavishly illustrated
overview of Bedford's
history. Photographs, drawings, maps.
*Remembered in Bedford,
Mass., written and illustrated by Bedford's Town Historian, John Brown. a
thoughtful and entertaining distillation of fourscore years of life in Bedford. Illustrations.
K. Brown, 1975. Hardbound book, 318 pages, illustrated. Bedford’s role in the Revolution, with a
detailed look at the customs and institutions that shaped the town.
Includes capsule biographies of Bedford’s militia and Minute Men.
*Scenes from Bedford,
Second edition, 2004. Paperback book, 12 pages, illustrated. Reprinting of
a 1909 pamphlet published by the Edison Electric Illuminating Co. Fifteen photographs
plus a description of the town’s attractions and amenities.
Vital Records of Bedford, Massachusetts, to the
Year 1850, published by the New-England Historic Genealogical
Society, 1903. The most complete compendium of Bedford births, marriages, and deaths
from early days to 1850. A fully searchable electronic version of this book
is available on the Google Books site. Click here.
Town: The Story of Bedford, Massachusetts,
Louise K. Brown, 1968. Paperback book, 219 pages, illustrated. An
affectionate portrait of life in Bedford
from early days to modern times. Includes genealogical information on
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