The Old Bristol Historical Society is pleased to accept donations that fall within the scope of its collection policy. We are particularly interested in donations of photographs, archival items such as diaries, letters, and former organization and business records, and smaller objects, though we are happy to consider larger objects if they are of particular historical significance. We are also pleased to accept loans of items that are able to be scanned and returned to the owner (see Digital Images Archive below). Unfortunately, due to limited staffing, budget and space, we regret that we will not be able to accept all items that are offered. Please click on the link below to review our full Collection Policy and thank you for considering our society as the final repository for your heritage items.

Collection Policy


The Old Bristol Historical Society holds a small collection of library items at the McKinley School. Please click on the link below to view its holdings in a bibliographic format sorted by author and title.

Library Holdings


[Summary of archives holdings]


[Summary of objects holdings]

Digital Images Archive

Recognizing the need to preserve Bristol’s visual history, the Preservation and Access Committee is excited to announce the launch of a new initiative to create a Digital Images Archive. The committee, led in the project by professional archivist and board member Chuck Rand, will be soliciting community members for permission to scan photographs from their personal collections. Each digital image will carry with it the name of the contributor. The result of this collective effort, if participation is high, will be an amazing collection of old Bristol images organized on a searchable database. The committee plans to make this archive available through the Bristol Area Library and eventually hopes to provide online access. If you have any photos that you would like to have scanned and added to the archive, please contact Chuck at 207-553-0034.

With the help of several generous donations made over the winter, OBHS is happy to announce the purchase of two items that will dramatically move forward its digitization project. OBHS now owns an Epson Perfection V800 Photo Color Scanner and a new 4TB external hard drive to back-up and store the digitized images. OBHS wants to thank the donors that made these purchases possible. If you have images that you would like to share with the OBHS archive, please call Chuck Rand (553-0034) or Belinda Osier (677-2996) to arrange for your images to be scanned. We are particularly interested in old photographs or postcards that depict old village, harbor or landscapes scenes and images of ancestors at work or in interesting settings, as well as formal or multigenerational portraits of former Bristol natives.