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LSS256: Design for Social Sustainability, Our Place in the Public Realm: The Neighborhood

Spring 2010 - Spring 2013, M. McNally & R. Bertone-Johnson

Books, Reports & Media

Five College Library Catalog
Browse through the listings for books and media on local and regional history, population, architecture using "subject begins with" terms such as:

News Sources

Use newspapers and online local news sites to document the history of an area and public opinion (in editorials) about events and development.

Municipal Records

City of Northampton
Official website includes:

Local History Collections

Forbes Library: Hampshire Room
"extensive resources in local history, genealogy, and a large collection of historic Northampton photographs. Highlights of the Hampshire Room collections include account books and town papers, maps, manuscripts, stereoscopes... Hampshire Gazette negatives."

Historic Northampton
Online and on-site documentation of Northampton and surrounding towns. On-site research is by appointment only, Tuesday - Saturday from 10 to 4. Non-members are charged a fee to use resources. See Historic Northampton's Research Policy for more information about using the on-site collections.

Smith's subscription to Historic Northampton online includes these resources of special interest:


Forbes Library: Hampshire Room
The local history collection includes over 50,000 photos (originals and clippings) most dating from the later 19th and early 20th centuries.

Historic Northampton Digital Collections
Includes several substantial photograph collections. Limit your search to archives, objects, or photos in Advanced Search.

Maps & Geographical Information

Ward 3

These maps of Ward 3 and adjacent areas were created by Reid Bertone-Johnson using data from Data sourced from the City of Northampton's Office of Planning and Development and the Office of Geographic Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Information Technology Division.

General Map Resources

Google Earth
Geographic information (down to the level of street addresses) for sites around the globe combining recent satellite imagery, maps, and other data (demographic, economic, commercial).

Microsoft Research Maps
Dated aerial photographs and topographic maps of the United States. Good coverage for Northampton. (Formerly called Terra Server.)

Digital Sanborn Maps
Large-scale maps of cities and towns drawn to the scale of 50 feet to an inch. Maps give an "outline of each building, the size and shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors ... street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. Textual information includes construction details, ownership and building use."

  • Smith's subscription includes 8 maps of Northampton dating from 1884 to 1930.

Map Collection, Historic Northampton
The digital library offers 8 maps of Northampton dating from the mid-17th century through 1895. 

Other Maps of Northampton