Local History at Forbes Library

Northampton 1875

Map of Northampton, 1875. From the Hampshire Room for Local History.

Forbes Library maintains a sizable local history collection covering Northampton and Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

Please also refer to our online resources for studying local history.

In the library you will find:

The Hampshire Room for Local History
The Hampshire Room houses extensive resources in local history and genealogy. Highlights include account books and town papers, maps, manuscripts, the Judd Manuscript, rare books, and Seth Pomeroy’s Journal.  The Hampshire Room is staffed by local history librarians knowledgeable about the history of Northampton and the surrounding area. It is open limited hours, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Newspapers and other materials on microfilm
Our microfilm collection includes local church, town, and school records, the Judd Manuscript (Sylvester Judd’s invaluable compilation of documents of local interest), and local newspapers including the entire run of the Daily Hampshire Gazette on microfilm since its inception in 1786. The microfilm collection can be found in the reference room and is available whenever the library is open.
Local photographs, engravings, prints, and other visual materials
Forbes Library Special Collections contains thousands of images documenting the history of Northampton, Florence and Leeds, including images of farms, factories, shops, schools, houses, and local residents both well known and anonymous. Subcollections include the Elbridge Kingsley, Robert Emrick and Walter Corbin Collections, and the negatives from Daily Hampshire Gazette photographers between 1954-2004.
The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum
The CCPLM collects, preserves and makes available for research materials documenting the public and private life of Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States.

In addition, Forbes Library is proud to host the Local History/Local Novelists series of talks on local history.