Local History and Genealogy

Screenshot of Blackstone Valley News front page headlines, dated February 2, 1923

Local History Collection

Framed image featuring two photos, one of the display case of the original Nancy Adams headstone and the other of the headstone itself
The original headstone of Nancy Adams, a free
Black woman who escaped slavery three
times. The headstone was damaged during
cleaning — a replica now stands at the new
Almshouse Cemetery in South Uxbridge.

The Library maintains a collection of print and microfilm materials related to the history of the town of Uxbridge and the surrounding Blackstone Valley. It encompasses the region’s colonial, industrial, and modern history and its ethnic, religious, and cultural heritage.

The collection includes the following:

  • Books and documents relating to the history of Uxbridge, especially its industrial and textile mill history
  • Materials that focus on the history and preservation of historic homes, buildings, and cemeteries within the town
  • Personal manuscripts, genealogies, and other materials that record the history, experiences, and ancestry of Uxbridge individuals and families
  • Maps and atlases of the area
  • Vital statistics to 1850 for many Massachusetts towns
  • Uxbridge Annual Reports, Town Meeting Warrants, and Street Lists
  • Uxbridge High School yearbooks (1933, 1946, 1964-1968, 1971, 1973-1987, 1990-1993, 2000-2001, 2014- 2023)
  • Local newspapers on microfilm
  • Scrapbooks of local newspaper article clippings
  • Free Black woman Nancy Adams’s original tombstone and other information about the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in Uxbridge

Please view the Local History Collection Development Policy for more information about our Local History Collection.

Viewing the Collection

The collection is located on the top floor of the library in the Beatrice Sprague Map Room (up the stairs and to the left) and the Local History Room (up the stairs and straight ahead). If you would like to view anything in the Local History Room, please ask a staff member on the main floor for help. These rooms can be accessed during the Library’s normal operating hours. Materials do not circulate; however, temporary loans of materials for exhibition may be permitted at the discretion of the Library Director. 

If you have specific questions or research inquiries, please contact Library Director Chris Powloka by email at cpowloka@cwmars.org.

Online Resources

Uxbridge Local Historical Organizations/Groups
Uxbridge Historical Society
Town of Uxbridge Historical Commission
Town of Uxbridge Historic District Commission
Historic Uxbridge MA "Days Gone By" - Facebook

Historical Collections
Uxbridge Sanborn Maps (Library of Congress)
Anti-Slavery Collection at the BPL - This collection, available through Digital Commonwealth, contains several editions of the Liberator and personal correspondence to and from Uxbridge residents involved in abolition
Digital Commonwealth
Massachusetts Historical Society

Genealogy Resources
American Ancestors
Find a Grave
MassLandRecords - Worcester Registry of Deeds

Library Online Databases
Ancestry Library Edition (in-library use only)

Library Museum Passes
Historic New England
Samuel Slater Museum
Trustees of Reservations