Special Collections & Research


Pequot Library’s exhibitions feature a variety of theme-based curated selections from our Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives. Some displays include contemporary books and artwork that highlight and complement each subject’s relevance to modern life and culture. Pequot Library is unique thanks to its Special Collections of over 30,000 rare books, manuscripts, and archives, which offer a vibrant portrait of the culture and history of the United States, nature, science, literature, and the arts.

Explore our Exhibitions


Browse our available Special Collections online.

Special Collections Catalog


While the Library’s programs and services have made it a literary and cultural beacon, Pequot’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives make it truly unique.

Explore the Collections

Special Collections Policies

Pequot Library and its Special Collections represent the inspired collecting history of its forward-thinking, late-19th-century founders and benefactors, who created a cultural legacy, comprised of approximately 30,000 rare books, manuscripts, and archives.

Read About Our Policies

“I love Pequot because of its excellent history archives and genealogical materials.”



Pequot Library is known for its outstanding collection of materials on genealogy and local history. The collection offers published family histories, lineage society resources, military histories, ethnic genealogy, and a good selection of genealogy finding aids.

Discover Your Past

Online Collections

Compiled by Southport historian V. Louise Higgins, the Southport Picture File contains nearly 800 photographs of historic buildings and homes in Southport.

Southport Picture File

Special Collections

English/Language Arts

  • Shakespeare Collection including extracts from First Folio (1623) and complete Second (1632), Third (1666), and Fourth (1685) Folios
  • Grammars and Primers by Noah Webster
  • International Editions of Gone with the Wind

History/Social Studies

  • Collections on Civil War, World War I, and World War II
  • Collections on Native Americans
  • Antiquities of Mexico. Published by Edward King, Lord Kingsborough, in the early 19th century
  • Nine volumes of colored facsimiles showing Mesoamerican literature and history
  • Sermons and essays by 18th-century clergy

Rare Manuscripts

  • The Sancti Gregorii magni epistolae (the Letter of Pope Gregory I, c. 540-604), the oldest book found in a public library in Fairfield County
  • 15th century illuminated antiphonal