local history

high school yearbooks

The Rutland Historical Society and the library have partnered to make the Rutland High School yearbooks from 1930-2012 available, along with Mount St. Joseph Academy,Proctor High School, West Rutland and Mill River Union High SchoolCollege of St. Joseph also has yearbooks online.


There are several ways to access Rutland Herald articles through the library:

  • The library subscribes to Newsbank, which maintains a text archive of the paper from 9/30/1999:

Rutland Herald (9/30/1999 to current): External use only
Rutland Herald (9/30/1999 to current): For use from in the library only
Find full-text articles on local news, issues, events, people and much more from current and archived issues of the Rutland Herald. Updated daily, it includes obituaries, editorials, announcements, sports, real estate, and other sections.

  • The Department of Libraries and the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration make available to Vermont residents without charge (information here, scroll down). The Free Press and the Herald are available to Vermonters through MyVT.gov up to the present, with a one-month delay for the Free Press and slightly longer for the Herald.
  • Free access to the Rutland Herald web version and e-Edition is available to patrons using library computers. You need to register with an email (or username) and a password. The web version is searchable back to 1995, although there is a per-article cost to retrieve archived records. The e-Edition is searchable back to 2010. Facsimile versions of the past week’s paper are available using the e-Edition, just like reading the paper version online.
  • Even more information on historical newspapers can be found at UVM’s Vermont Newspaper Project page, including information about other newspapers and ongoing digitization of the Rutland Herald for 1836-1954. A great tool for finding out about other newspapers is the Library of Congress’ U.S. Newspaper Directory.
  • Chronicling America: Vermont historical newspapers Nearly 130,000 historical Vermont newspaper pages can be searched or browsed on the website. One can search all of Vermont’s titles or individual titles using a simple keyword search. Chronicling America now boasts titles from all over the state, including Bennington, St. Johnsbury, Middlebury, Brattleboro, Burlington, St. Albans, Newport, Rutland, Woodstock, and Montpelier.

other media

digital Sanborn maps Insurance maps from 1867-1970 for cities in Vermont. Contains information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property

Rutland Free Library assistance


We are here to answer your basic genealogical or Rutland local history questions. We have the Rutland Herald available on microfilm from 1791-2008. Our Vermont Room has town directories, books on the history of Rutland and surrounding communities, genealogy resources and handbooks, and other material of local interest as well as books about Vermont and New England families and more. We also have a computer dedicated for local history and genealogy research available for anyone who comes into the library.

For obituary requests and other basic local history requests please give us a call at (802) 773-1860. For birth records, please contact the town clerk for the appropriate community. Out of state users, please note: There is no county government in Vermont, so no countywide repository of records.

our history

The Rutland Free Library was started in 1886. Originally housed in various storefronts and at the old Memorial Hall on West Street, the library has been located in the old courthouse and jail on Center Street since the 1930s.

In 1965 an addition was built to expand the capacity. In 1990 a second addition was completed, making a total of 24,167 square feet available including meeting rooms, book stacks, reading rooms, administrative offices, and storage.

Rutland’s history

Rutland County historically was a transportation, commercial, and manufacturing center. After World War II, the marble industry declined, followed by a decline in the machine industries and the demolition of the railroad complex in 1964. Today, the biggest employers are General Electric, Rutland Regional Medical Center and Green Mountain Power, an electrical utility. The retail commercial sector and the service industry supporting the tourist trade are also significant parts of the economy. Rutland City has a full range of community facilities and each of the towns in Rutland County also provides some services and facilities. Briefly, Rutland City is home to a major medical center, ambulance and paramedic service, full-time police and fire personnel, Stafford Technical Center, Community College of Vermont, and private elementary and secondary schools. Cultural and recreational opportunities are provided by Rutland City Recreation Department, the senior citizens center, the Chaffee Art Center and other art galleries, and various clubs and organizations. There are four high schools in addition to Rutland High in the county.


Heritage Quest online

A genealogical research database that offers a collection of family and local history books as well as the complete census from 1790 – 1930.

Ancestry.com library edition

Only available inside the library. Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online resource for family history with more than 11 billion historical records. Sources include censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.

free online resources

Cyndi’s list of genealogy sites Over 260,000 Web sites for the genealogist. Sites are categorized and cross-referenced by many categories. Particularly good for access to library catalogs around the world.

family history library catalog Run by the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this site has over 2 million rolls of microfilmed original records and hundreds of thousands of books and maps. This is an online catalog for the largest genealogy library in the world. Materials that are available on microfiche and microfilm may be requested at minimal cost at local LDS family history centers.

GENUKI (Genealogy of the United Kingdom and Ireland) provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland.

USGenWeb project A volunteer project to provide Internet sites for genealogical research in every county and state of the U.S. Includes access to the USGW Digital Library transcription project and a variety of other special projects and sites.