22 Bedford Road
Carlisle, MA 01741

phone: 978-369-4898
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For a century, what is now the Hollis Room was the home of the collections of the Carlisle Historical Society and the Gleason Public Library. When the library renovation was completed in the summer of 2000, the collections were separated. The Carlisle Historical Society now houses their object and document collections in their headquarters, the Heald Homestead.

In 2002 the materials in the Gleason Public Library's archives were processed and arranged. A finding aid is available to assist researchers in locating materials. The collection contains documents and records unique to Carlisle that are of interest to researchers and genealogists.

Wilkins Notebooks

Wilkins Notebooks (Old Houses and Families of Carlisle): NOW ONLINE

The core of the Gleason's local history collection is the 25 volumes of the Wilkins' Notebooks (Old Houses and Families of Carlisle), researched, written, and assembled by Martha Fifield Wilkins during her tenure in Carlisle as the wife of the minister of the Congregational Church. The result of over a decade of research, the Notebooks contain local history and lore, genealogies, photographs, poems and drawings, and a wealth of information illustrating the history of Carlisle.

In 2012, the Wilkins Notebooks were digitized through the Internet Archive in cooperation with the Boston Public Library, supported by a grant the BPL received from the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) and funded by the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act). You can flip through the notebooks online, or download a copy to your computer.


Town Histories

Military Histories

Vital Records to 1850 for Carlisle and surrounding towns

The Wilkins Notebooks and the History of the First Parish Church - now available in full online at the Internet Archive:

Photograph Collection

Lewis French Collection

Old Home Day Collection

Numerous small local history document collections

Carlisle Mosquito: print and microfilm

Carlisle Journal/Concord Journal Scrapbooks


"Creating Carlisle" originally ran in the Spring 2002 edition of The Concord Magazine, an online webzine based in Concord, Massachusetts.


This guide provides a list of print resources at the Gleason Public Library for researching Carlisle's history. The guide is in pdf format. Carlisle History Guide


A listing of maps housed in special collections.
In pdf format Map Collection


Subject Date Available Formats
Cal Adrian 1987 audiocassette
Herb Bates 1987 audiocassette
Father James Byrne 1987 audiocassette, transcript
Guy Clark 1995 videocassette, audiocassette, transcript, DVD copy (request)
Kathy Coyle2010DVD (request)
Cutter Home 1998 videocassette, DVD copy (request)
James (Jim) Davis 2002 audiocassette, transcript
Rachel Page Elliott 1997 videocassette, audiocassette, DVD copy (request)
Garthe Family 1985 audiocassette & genealogy
Great Brook Farm 1998 audiocassette, transcript, DVD copy (request)
Anna P. Johnson 1996 videocassette, audiocassette, transcript, DVD copy (request)
Inga MacRae 1996 videocassette, audiocassette, transcript, DVD copy (request)
Sharing stories: an oral history about Ellen Miller2010DVD (request)
Al Peckham 1986 audiocassette
Beulah Swanson 1996 videocassette, transcript, DVD copy (request)
Helen L. Wilkie 1996 videocassette, audiocassette, DVD copy (request)


Mary Green in Hollis Room

Gleason Public Library Special Collections is located in the Hollis Room.


Click here for our special collections policy, including mission statement, image reproductions, loans, and more.