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Local History

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The Public Library of Brookline strives to preserve and provide access to materials that illustrate the rich history of our town.

The Brookline Room at the Main Library is our dedicated space for local history materials and is open during regular library hours. Materials in the Brookline Room do not circulate.

Some local history items, including volumes of the Murivian (Brookline High School yearbook) and the Sagamore (Brookline High School newspaper) are kept in locked areas of the building. To request these items, please present a valid photo ID and complete a Special Collections Registration Form at the Reference desk.

Included in the collection are:

Online resources:

Physical resources:

  • Directories and street lists from 1871 to the present
  • Local newspapers from 1874 to present. Please see our local history index to search for articles and obituaries
  • Maps and atlases depicting Brookline from the 17th century to the present
  • Histories of the town and biographies of prominent residents
  • Brookline author collection. This collection includes books written by authors living in Brookline at the time of publication. Many were donated and signed by the authors
  • Brookline Historical Society proceedings and publications
  • Genealogy materials including the vital records of Massachusetts to 1850 and the New England Historical and Genealogical Register
  • Pamphlet file containing local newspaper clippings arranged by subject
  • Town records including annual reports and reports of the Selectmen
  • Records of local organizations
  • Murivian (Brookline High School yearbook). All volumes from 1923 to the present excluding 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002. A note about the name Murivian: From 1923-1935, the yearbook was called The Yearbook, Brookline High School. In 1936, the title was changed to the Murivian and the following explanation appeared: The Year 1936 celebrates not only the fourteenth anniversary of the yearbook but also the initial appearance of this annual as the “Murivian,” a name derived from Brookline’s historical title “Muddy River”
  • Sagamore (Brookline High School newspaper) from 1895 to the present. The June issue of the Sagamore served as the yearbook from 1895-1923