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LSS300: Rethinking Landscape: Local History

N. Antonetti, Spring 2013


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.

Digital Amherst 
Features over 800 notable images, documents, and media from the Jones Library Special Collections.

American History Online, Memorial Hall
More than 2,000 digital images from the PVMA Memorial Hall collection.

City Directories in Ancestry (Library Edition)

City directories include listings and often ads for businesses, street directories, listings of heads of households (and sometimes other family members), and other information about the town (schools, churches, etc.).

To browse through the city directories for Northampton, Amherst, Holyoke, and other places in Ancestry (Library Edition):

  • Search Titles
    Type U.S. City Directories
  • Matches
    Click on the title

  • Browse This Collection
  • Select Massachusetts / city or town / year

Northampton 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."

  • Guide to Microfilm Resources at Forbes Library lists the library's extensive holdings of town records which document every aspect of municipal administration and town life for Northampton as well as other places in the region from the 17th through the 19th century.

Open: 1-5, Thursday, Friday & Saturday. Call 413-587-1014 or email to make an appointment to use the collection.


Historic Northampton

Online and on-site documentation of Northampton and surrounding towns. Smith's subscription to Historic Northampton online includes these resources of special interest:

Open: Tuesday - Saturday from 10 to 4. On-site research is by appointment only. 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 College Archives


Jones Library: Special Collections 
"... extensive collections in the fields of local and regional history.... 

Open: Monday 2-5, Tues-Saturday 10-5. "Appointments for conducting research are not necessary but are strongly encouraged."

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections


Goodwin Memorial Library (Hadley) 
The historical collections are being rehoused and moved. Call the library (584-7451) for information about access to this material. 

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association 
In addition to the museum collection, the holdings of the PVMA Library "represents the life and thought of one small town and its environs from the close of the 17th century through the 20th century" through family papers, account books, personal diaries, and other manuscripts as well as printed books and ephemera.

Open: Tuesday-Friday 9 - 12, 1-5 

Holyoke Public Library: Holyoke History Room
In addition to newspaper resources, this substantial local history collection includes city directories, public records, photograph and ephemera collections, business archives. The collections are housed at Holyoke Community College Library while repairs are made to the downtown facilities.