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W.B. Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives: Genealogy

A guide to the historical materials and resources available in the W.B. Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives

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Search for Collections in the CLAMS Catalog


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Archival materials are non-circulating and available for library reference only

Search results often represent an entire collection, rather than a single item.  Want to know more about the specific items that can be found within a collection?  Check the collection finding aid!


Family Histories

     The Nickerson Archives actively collects and preserves scrapbooks, diaries, family bibles, and compiled genealogical research from historical Cape Cod families.  These provide a more intimate and personal look at our local history, often complete with detailed portraits, family nicknames, and amusing anecdotes.  You can find a limited list of the family histories housed in the Nickerson Archives on our website







  Do you have a collection of historical materials from your own family that you would like to see safely preserved in the Nickerson Archives?  Contact Coordinator of Library Services Tim Gerolami at to learn more about our donation policies.

Vital Records By Town

Cover of: Vital records of Sandwich, Massachusetts to 1885 by Caroline Lewis Kardell     Vital records, town of Harwich, Massachusetts, 1694-1850

Vital records are the certificates and other documents which record a birth, death, or marriage.  Collections of early vital records are frequently compiled and published according to a specific town or county.  Some collections include additional information, including religious affiliations, occupations, or gravestone locations.  At the Nickerson Archives, you will find collections of vital records for almost every Cape Cod community, from New Bedford to Provincetown! 

What if your family is not from the Cape?  No problem.  The Wilkens Library has resources to help you find vital records in any Massachusetts community, or even out of state.