Genealogy and Local History


Our Mission

Otis Library’s Edward & Mary Lord Local History & Genealogy Room provides a collection of books, microforms, photographs, serials, and written and pictorial pamphlet file materials.  The collection focuses most intensely on the history and families of Norwich and its surrounding towns.  There is an emphasis on New London County locales; but we also collect significant resources relating to Windham County.

  • The collection includes a significant body of material on Norwich historic homes and architecture, industrial history and diverse cultural heritage.
  • The collection is a dynamic one, adding and expanding resources.
  • The collection is open to the public during regular library hours with Reference Department staff providing assistance in the use of materials and equipment.
  • Ancestry Library Edition is available for use through any computer in the library, including laptops using our free wifi network.

Genealogy Questions  –

Our Collection

Genealogies of local families
Anthologies of regional family histories
New London County & town histories
Histories of local ethnic communities
Local businesses, industries, churches, & organizations
Connecticut military histories, rosters, & service lists
Norwich vital records indexes to c. 1848; & indexes for some other locations.
Barbour Collection of Connecticut vital records, & Hale cemetery & obituary abstracts (1934)
Genealogy journals & magazines
Local authors collection
American Genealogical Biographical Index
Norwich Free Academy yearbook collection
Norwich City Directories, 1846-1986
Norwich Newspapers, 1773-present [some gaps]
Norwich Bulletin microfilm, 1858-1951 [1870s-1880s incomplete]
Norwich Bulletin bound volumes [limited access], 1952-Sept 1982
Norwich Bulletin (modern) microfilm, Oct 1982-present
Norwich Bulletin Index, 1865-1930
New York Times microfilm, Sep 1851-2007
Census microfilm, 1790-1920 [images of 1790-1940 also available]
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Norwich, 1885-1935
Benedict Arnold Biography Collection
Boston Transcript [microfiche]
Architectural surveys of local neighborhoods


Ancestry Services

Otis Library does not have adequate staff to perform extensive or complex genealogical or historical searches.  However, our staff will fill simple and specific requests for information (obituaries, newspaper stories, and the like).  An approximate date is required.

• Up to 3 Obituary or article searches for $10.00
• $.15 per page for photocopies or printouts
• We can provide referrals to local researchers who may be hired to perform research, or to other institutions with pertinent collections.
 Inter-library Loan services. NOTE: If a lending library assesses a fee for loans, patron is expected to prepay this amount before the order is placed.

Staff will assist patrons in using microfilm and other resources in the local history room.  A genealogy librarian is available for assistance with formulating a research plan, identifying relevant resources, and using Ancestry Library Edition and other online databases.


Other Sites

Connecticut State Library

231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
(860) 757-6500
The state library has a great deal of information related to history and genealogy in Connecticut. Please visit their web site for more specific details.


Norwich City Clerk’s Office

Norwich City Hall
Norwich, Connecticut 06360
(860) 823-3732
Vital, probate, tax, land and court records,
military discharges, cemetery index

Norwich Department of Public Works
50 Clinton Avenue
Norwich, Connecticut 06360
(860) 823-3798

City Cemetery Plot Listings

Tourist Guide to Historic Norwich pamphlet


Norwich Historical Society, Inc.

William Champagne, President
(860) 889-9451


Mystic Family History Center

1230 Flanders Road
Mystic, Connecticut 06355
(860) 536-5102  Call for hours.

Order & view microfilmed records from the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


D.A.R. – Faith Trumbull Chapter

Rockwell House & Museum
42 Rockwell Street
Norwich, Connecticut 06360


Society of Founders of Norwich

Christoper Leffingwell House Museum
348 Washington Street
Norwich, Connecticut 06360
(860) 889-9440
Call for hours and information


Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

G. W. Blunt White Library
Mystic, Connecticut 06355
(860) 572-5367
History of maritime activity in coastal CT.