Paper City Scribblings

Paper City Scribblings is a collection of rambling thoughts on Holyoke Massachusetts by Sarah Campbell, Curator of Historical Collections at Holyoke public Library in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Topics will include historical jaunts through Holyoke's past, History Room happenings, and Holyoke news.

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Location: Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States

My name is Sarah Campbell and I am the Curator of Historical Collections at Holyoke Public Library. I have my MA in Art History, my MS in Information Science with a concentration in Archival Management and my BA in English. While I live in South Hadley, I am a born Holyoker. I was born in Providence Hospital and have had a permanent link with Holyoke ever since. I went to Miss Jone's Story Book Nursery, the Children's House, and finally Holyoke Community College. I love Holyoke and am quite excited about the many fascinating things that are going on right now.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Hello Holyoke History Room



  • Hello all,

    I thought that before I got into my first historical topic I would tell you a bit about the Holyoke Public Library's History Room, the source for all of my information.

    The Holyoke History Room documents the history of Holyoke, a city whose industrial developments during the late 1890s and early 20th centuries played an influential role on the paper and textile industries both nationally and internationally. These collections document the history of Holyoke's businesses, social and charitable organizations as well as that of Holyoke Public Library itself. Among the more exciting resources housed at the Holyoke Public Library are:
  • A collection of microfilm reels of the Holyoke Transcript spanning from the 1850s to 1993. This is a very interesting collection as it documents a gigantic span of Holyoke's history. One can watchour cityy grow up. Recorded in those pages are the events that still impact our lives today. You can also look up your family'ss' marriage, death and birth announcements, which is certainly a great resource.
  • A collection of Holyoke City Directories that span from 1869 to 1981. These are especially useful as they list the name and occupation for every working person in Holyoke. Many of these volumes also include death dates. And the later versions allow you to search by address.
  • A Photograph Collection including the Milan Warner Itinerant Photographer Collection This group of photographs, which spans from the late 19th century to the present, is a formidable collection of images of Holyoke that includes many images of buildings that no longer exist. Of particular interest is the Milan Warner Collection,which includes a set of glass slides and study photographs taken by the itinerant landscape photographer.
  • The Papers of the Holyoke Water Power Company, Graciously Loaned by Holyoke Gas and Electric The Holyoke Water Power Company papers give a wonderful view of the history of hydropower in Holyoke. Given that Holyoke was a city built around its canal system this is anincrediblyy important collection.
  • The Richards Fire Insurance Map of 1911 This map includes a detailed view of Holyoke, including property owners, building fabric, and places of interest. This is an incredibly important resource for those searching for information on historic properties as it would help date properties built before 1915, the first date that the Holyoke City Directories list by address.
  • The Holyoke Historical Index Compiled by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, this is an invaluable resource for those searching for information on Holyoke's historic buildings. Included amongst these are civic buildings, private homes, businesses, and parks.
  • Holyoke High School Yearbooks from 1914 to the Present, with a few gaps This is great for genealogists hoping to find their relatives picture. Unfortunately, we do not have the junior high school books or Holyoke Catholic's yearbooks.

In addition to these resources we also have an extensive collection of books written on Holyoke and other areas in Massachusetts, a local file of clippings on Holyoke, and a collection of maps of the area, and access to Ancestory.com and Heritage Quest.

The Holyoke History Room staff fields questions for walk-in patrons. We also fill requests for out of town patrons however we do ask that you supply as much information as you can. Also, for microfilm requests please bear with us- this is a popular resource.

So how is it that I am at Holyoke Community College rather than downtown on Maple Street? That is a topic for next time.

Next: Holyoke Public Library: Joseph Clough's classic beauty and

There to Here- Holyoke History finds a Temporary Home at HCC

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