Friday Reads: Cape Cod Telephone Directory, July 1977

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

Today’s blog is written by Jill Erickson, head of reference and adult services

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Why are we featuring a telephone directory for Friday Reads?!? Because we were recently given a copy of the July 1977 New England Telephone Cape Cod with Orleans Area Yellow Pages. What did we do with this gift? We were delighted to add it to our Reference Local History collection in the reference room. As it happens, a surprising number of people show up at the reference desk looking for addresses of people who at one time lived in Falmouth. Our collection of telephone books previously began in 1986, so this is a lovely addition.

There are some other resources for addresses. Our collection includes two Resident and Business Directory of Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich Massachusetts: containing a complete resident, street and business directory, town officers, schools, societies, churches, post-offices. One from 1900 and one from 1903. In addition we have a number of “blue books” which begin in 1908. The official title of the 1908 edition reads: The South Shore Blue Book: containing lists of the summer residents of the principal resorts along the South Shore from Hull to Plymouth and Sagamore, Shores of Buzzards Bay, including the Falmouths, Woods Hole, Marion, Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, Salter’s Point, Quisset, etc. In these volumes one learns not only where people were living in Falmouth, but where their winter home was as well! For Woods Hole it also tells the reader that Woods Hole can be “Reached by trains of New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. 72 miles from Boston. Time 2 hours, 31 minutes. Fare, $1.45; 10 rides $12.75.”

So before you throw out your pre-1986 phone books … think about giving them to us!

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