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Burlington, Vermont Town/City Records

Identifier: mss-688

Scope and Content

The collection contains records from the town, and later city, of Burlington, Vermont up to 1900. The collection is not a comprehensive archive for that time period. Some categories are rich in documentation, others contain only a few folders of scattered material. The collection fills 14 cartons and is partially arranged.

Series Descriptions

Alderman/Selectmen. Minutes of board meetings; correspondence and communications to/from selectmen; City Common Council notes/ordinances/misc. mostly 1860s-1890s. Carton 1, 13 folders.

Cemeteries. Expenses/bills for cemetery upkeep; petitions about cemeteries; establishment of new cemeteries. 1840s-1910s. Carton 1, 23 folders.

Elections. Local returns for town/state/national elections; checklist of eligible voters. Late 19th century. Carton 1, 33 folders.

Financial. Bills/receipts for town/city expenses that don’t fall into other departments/categories in the collection. 1820s-1910s. Carton 2, 43 folders.

Fire Department. Independent local fire-company lists and rosters; bills/receipts for independent companies and municipal fire-department expenses; fire-company and fire-department reports. 1850s-1900s. Carton 3, 42 folders.

Health Department/Vital Statistics. Records of births and deaths, a few marriages; municipal health-department reports/statistics/bills; reports of doctors who did occasional medical work for town/city; a little on smallpox, 1830s. Mostly 19th century. Carton 3, 37 folders, 1 oversize volume, 1 oversize roll.

Land Records. Deeds; property records and real estate transactions, private and public. 1790s-early 1900s. Cartons 4 and 5, 105 folders.

Legal/Courts. Miscellaneous legal papers; records of municipal courts; writs and local court orders; miscellaneous from town/city attorneys on work done on public cases; court writs/docs. 1850s-early 1900s. Cartons 5-7, 89 folders.

Libraries. Miscellaneous pieces. Late 19th century. 1 folder.

Licensing Requests. Requests for licenses, mostly to open restaurants (1860s-1880s); requests for building permits and licenses (1910s). Carton 7, 7 folders.

Liquor/Alcohol Control. Reports/finances of city liquor agents; temperance petitions; bills/receipts for city purchases of liquor. 1840s-1910s. Carton 7, 27 folders.

Marriage Certificates. Certificates of marriages in Burlington. Early 1900s. Carton 7, 10 folders.

Mayor. Miscellaneous correspondence to/from mayors. 1867-1900. Carton 8, 3 folders.

Military. Militia rolls/lists/reports, pre-Civil War; town expenses/reports for Civil War recruiting; Civil War draft lists. 1805-1860s. Carton 8, 31 folders.

Overseer of the Poor. Bills/receipts/reports on care of town/city poor; miscellaneous on town/city poor farm, building of new poor house (1858-1859). 1820s-1890s. Cartons 8-10, 98 folders.

Police. Constable reports/expenses for town (pre-1865); police department reports/expenses (1865-on); arrest lists and records, jail records; appointments of policemen. 1850s-1890s. Carton 10, 18 folders.

Public Buildings and Parks Department. Maintenance of town/city hall and other municipal properties; expenses for upkeep of town/city parks; petitions concerning local parks; requests to rent/use City Hall for lectures/meetings/performances. 1850s-1890s. Carton 10, 20 folders.

Schools. Reports on district schools; bills/receipts for town/city school expenses; reports of school commissioners and superintendents. 1830s-1900s. Cartons 10-11, 33 folders, 1 oversize roll.

Streets/Roads. Maintenance/repair of town streets, roads, and bridges; petitions for new streets; winter care of bridges; maintenance of street/bridge lamps; accidents/injuries incurred on town streets; surveys of early town roads. 1800s-1890s. Cartons 11-12, 67 folders.

Taxes. Grand list; tax bills and receipts; requests for abatement of taxes; tax assessor/lister/collector reports; highway rate-bill books (1830s-1840s). 1800s-1890s. Cartons 12-13, 97 folders, 8 volumes.

Town Meeting. Minutes of meetings, ordinances proposed, warnings for meetings, etc. Scattered 1800-1900, most detailed are 1850s-1860s. Carton 14, 22 folders.

Water/Sewer Department. Water supply expenses and bills; petitions for extension of water/sewer services; miscellaneous from Burlington Aqueduct Company; establishment of new city waterworks (late 1860s); reports from city engineers. 1850s-1890s. Carton 14, 18 folders.


  • 1800-1900


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.


17.25 Linear Feet (14 cartons)

Language of Materials



The collection contains records from the town, and later city, of Burlington, Vermont up to 1900. The collection is not a comprehensive archive for that time period. Some categories are rich in documentation, others contain only a few folders of scattered material.

Shelf location

Silver Special Collections, Billings Library.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by the City of Burlington, July, 1988

Guide to the Burlington Town/City Records, Burlington, Vermont, 1790-1900
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)