Special Collections

Edward Bolster Local History RoomSpecial Collections Door

The Canton Public Library Historical Collection exists to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical records and objects that document, educate, inspire, and promote community interest in and appreciation for the history of the town of Canton. The collection comprises printed and manuscript materials, maps, photographs, genealogies, oral histories and other significant memorabilia directly relating to the people who live or have lived in the community.


The Edward Bolster Local History Room is open to researchers during regular library hours:

Monday: 1:00pm - 9:00pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am - 9:00pm

Friday-Saturday: 10:00am-5:30pm (Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm during the Summer)

Sunday: Closed

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Local History Librarian ahead of their visit, so that staff may pull relevant materials ahead of time and confirm librarian availability.

Guidelines for Use:


Please check in at the Reference Desk for help in obtaining the materials that you need. You may be allowed into the Local History Room depending on the nature of the question. Your library card or car keys may be held at the Reference Desk while you are using the Historical Collection. Researchers will also be asked to sign a Collection Use form accepting the Local History Room guidelines.


1. Coats, briefcases, and parcels are not permitted in the research area. Reference staff will store them safely in the Reference Office.

2. No ink of any kind may be used in the research area; use pencils only. Computers may be brought into the Local History Room and used at the discretion of reference staff.

3. Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the research area.

4. All archival materials must be handled carefully: use only one folder at a time and keep the papers in their existing order. Do not place books or volumes face down. Do not lean or press on archival materials. Do not trace maps or other records.

5. No material in the Local History Room may be removed from the research area.

6. Persons requesting access to restricted materials must contact the person or agency imposing the restrictions. The special collections cannot permit access to these materials without written authority.

7. Researchers are advised that it is their responsibility to obtain copyright clearance to publish or otherwise reproduce or distribute archival material. Whenever possible, reference staff will provide the names and addresses of copyright holders.

8. If publishing material from the Local History Room, please credit the special collections:

Item Title. Collection Title. Canton Public Library. Canton, Massachusetts.


Unless restricted or protected by copyright conditions, photocopies of material will be supplied for research purposes at the rate of 15 cents per page for black and white copies and 50 cents per page for color. Although there is no precise limit on the number of pages, it may not be possible to fill an order on the day requested, and the library reserves the right to carry out the work over a period of time. Brittle materials may be photocopied at the discretion of reference staff.

Researchers may take photographs of archival items using hand-held cameras or smart phones without flash subject to restrictions.

Users requiring copies of photographs, maps, sound recordings, or moving image materials are requested to consult the Local History Librarian about conditions and charges.

Local History Room (Interior)