Dedham Collection


The Dedham Historical Collection contains a variety of books, manuscripts, and government documents relating to the history and people of Dedham.

Included are Dedham High School yearbooks; vital records; town records; town and county histories; historical registers; some family histories, and other books of interest.

The items are in the reference collection at the Main Library, and can be accessed any time by asking a staff member for assistance. This material is for in house use only.

The Library is currently working to digitize and catalogue old pictures and documents. This will enable patrons to research some of Dedham’s history from home.

“A Brief Guide to Dedham Village” which includes an 1859 map of Dedham, along with some local history.
• In 1971, Helen Cimeno released a brochure highlighting Dedham points of interest, much like Boston’s Freedom Trail, titled “Dedham Historical Trail.”
• If you are interested in the history of the Dedham Post Office or past postal employees, this document begins in 1639 and works its way through 1972, detailing some of the lives of the Postmasters.
• Looking though old archives we found past library cards, dating back to 1899!
• The Fairbanks House is thought to be the oldest standing timber frame building in North America. Here are two different histories of the Fairbanks family and pictures of the house and artifacts inside the house, one is in color, while the other is printed with an antique style.
• Test your Massachusetts knowledge with “How much do you know about Massachusetts?”
• Learn about the history of the Church Bells of Dedham with this publication, written by Frank W. Kimball
• Old photos of Dedham dating back to the 1890’s.
• In the late Sixties early Seventies (1968, 69, 70, 71) groups in Dedham sponsored a Dedham Education Day; the Selectmen sent out a proclamation to the town, indicating that there would be tours where people could re-live some of Dedham’s history.
• In 1966 the Massachusetts Historical Commission published “Massachusetts Historic Landmarks” with about 20 landmarks through out Massachusetts, including Dedham’s Fairbanks House.
• Take a look at Massachusetts’ population for the years 1970-65-60, see how things have changed.
• For Christmas in 1938, The Dedham Transcript compiled messages from Dedham Clergymen in the special Christmas Supplement; check out the advertisements too!
50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save Dedham, from 1990!
• In 1986, Boston Edison released a calendar filled with interesting facts about the company’s history.
• Check out the different style of houses in Dedham from 1636-1986.
A short history of Dedham Pottery.
Family Services of Dedham
• In 1975 the Herman Mann House was moved from Church St to Bullard St.
• In October of 1979, Lisa Brems, with the Patriot Ledger, wrote a series of articles highlighting the different neighborhoods in Dedham.
• May of 1975, residents voted to make sections of Dedham a historic district; here are some articled leading up and following the decission.
• To celebrate the United States bicentennial the American Freedom Train departed Boston in April 1975, traveled through the country, visiting every state in the contenential United States, before finishing up at Providence in December 1976. Read about the American Freedom Train, along with some news articles from its visit to Dedham.
• Over the years a number of newspaper articles about the library have been clipped and saved, including pictures from library events and issues that the library has faced, some sound like they could’ve been written today.
• A map of Dedham from 1931.
• August of 1977 marked the 50th anniversary of the Sacco-Vanzetti trial and execution.
• Check out news articles from different Bicentennial celebrations that took place in Dedham.
• The Tall Ships were included in part of the bicentennial celebrations; Boston Harbor was filled with Tall Ships.
Newspaper clippings from Dedham and Westwood.
The Bicentennial Bee was a publication that Boston 200 put out with activities and lessons for teachers and students in honor of the country’s bicentennial.
• Over the years, the Fairbanks house and Fairbanks family have been in the news for several different reasons. Here are some news clippings, including one from when a car crashed into the Fairbanks House.
• Read about the Avery Oak, before and after it fell down.
Dedham Recycles!
Know Your Town Meeting
Let’s be Right on Flag Etiquette
• Over the years, the Dedham Historical Society has put out a number of publications about the history of Dedham; Notes on Historic Dedham is one that was published in the 1980s.
• On January 20, 2009, history was made when President Barak Obama was sworn in as the first Amreican-American president.
• In 1974 the Town of Dedham, Charter Commission misprinted the final report that was sent to every resident in Dedham, after the mistake was noticed every resident received this letter.
• The Dedham Historical Society published a calendar with photos of Dedham dating back to the late 1800’s. Also included with these pictures are pictures of Dedham that were donated to the library by the Keaney family.
• In the late 70s, the Children’s Room at the Dedham Library had a “Super Hero Reading Club” where children’s authors and celebrities sent pictures and letters.

As more documents are completed they will be added to the Library’s website.


The library holds a range of local newspapers on Microfilm, please phone us at (781) 751-9287 / 9288 for assistance.