The Central Library maintains a collection of published works on Springfield area history, including local publications such as the Springfield Planning Department’s neighborhood studies.
All titles are catalogued and searchable in the online catalog. For a more comprehensive local history collection, including archival material, and assistance with genealogical research, please contact the Springfield History Library & Archives at the Wood Museum of Springfield History.
The Central Library maintains a near-complete collection of City Directories dating back to 1866 through 1989, and a limited collection of Springfield college and public high school yearbooks dating from the early 1900s to the late 1980s. Please contact the Wellman Hall reference desk with inquiries about these resources at 413-263-6828 ext 213 or use our Ask a Librarian reference form. City directories and yearbooks are also available for reference use at the Museum of Springfield History Library & Archives.
Digital versions of many of the Springfield Directories are also available courtesy of the Internet Archive.
The library offers access to Springfield newspapers on microfilm from 1900 to the present at the Central Library. We also have some full-text digital holdings available from 1988 to the present. See the “Newspapers” tab below for more information.
Digital microfilm readers are available for self-service use. Librarians are available for assistance. Springfield newspapers prior to 1900 are held at the Springfield History Library & Archives at the Wood Museum of Springfield History on Edwards Street off the Quadrangle. The Local History and Genealogy Archive is open Tuesday through Friday, 11am-4pm; first Saturday of the month, 11am-4pm; the reference desk number is 413-263-6800 ext. 230.
The library offers in-library access to the genealogical databases, Ancestry.com and American Ancestors, and remote access for Springfield City Library cardholders to HeritageQuest.
More Free Online Resources
Census Records – National Archives – The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and has been taken every ten years since. Because of a 72-year restriction on access to the Census, the most recent year available is 1940. In-library access to the census is available through the genealogical database, Ancestry.com
City of Springfield, Massachusetts – How to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates
Commonwealth of Massachusetts –
Vital Records – Search Records of birth, marriage, and death (1841 – 1910)
Passenger Manifest Lists – Search for passengers arriving in the Port of Boston (1848 – 1891)
How to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates
Connecticut State Library – Connecticut Deaths 1897-1968
Connecticut State Library – Connecticut Marriages 1897-1968
Drouin Collection – Ancestry.org – Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records, 1621-1968
The Ellis Island Foundation – Passenger Search – Ship Search
Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 – Ancestry.org
United States Social Security Death Index – FamilySearch.org
Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Archives Collection – (1629 – 1799)
DigitalCommonwealth.org – Explore historical collections from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts.
Boston Public Library – 19th Century US Newspapers – Searchable full-page and article reproductions of newspapers from across the country. Massachusetts Coverage: Boston: Atlas, Congregationalist, Courier, Daily Advertiser, Emancipator & Republican, Investigator, Liberator; Lowell: Lowell Daily Citizen. New York Times (1851-2015) – Searchable full-page and article reproductions back to the first issue on Sept 18, 1851.
Obituary Database – The Obituary Database indexes obituaries appearing in the Boston Evening Transcript (BET), Boston Globe (BG), and the Boston Herald/Herald American (BH) from 1932–1941 and 1953–2010.
The above resources are available with a BPL eCard – If you are a Massachusetts resident and don’t already have a Boston Public Library card, you can register for one online.
Library of Congress – Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Springfield City Library – Available on Microfilm at Central Library. Holdings listed below:
- Springfield Weekly Republican: Jan 1900 – Sep 26, 1946
- Springfield Weekly Union: Jan 1900 – Jan 1901
- Springfield Evening Union: Jan 1900 – Sep 25, 1946
- Springfield Daily and Sunday Republican: Jan 1900 – Sep 26, 1946
- Springfield Daily News: Jan 1905 – May 1987
- Springfield Union News (PM edition): Jun 1987 – Jun 19, 1992
- Springfield Morning and Sunday Union: Jan 1900 – Jan 1926
- Springfield Morning Union: Feb 1926 – Sep 26, 1946; Mar 6, 1947 – Aug 1947
- Springfield Morning Union and Sunday Republican: Sep 1947 – May 1987
- Springfield Union News (AM edition): Jun 1987 – Apr 6, 2003
- Springfield Republican: Apr 7, 2003 to current
(Yes, there were big problems in September 1946. A massive strike shut down the city’s presses for months, and several of the city’s papers never recovered.)
MassLive Searchable Index for Springfield Newspapers – MassLive provides an (incomplete) searchable index to Springfield newspapers to aid with microfilm searches (1877-1987). The library does not have access to the full archives online – see above listing for microfilm holdings at Central Library. For details of index coverage, click here.
Springfield Republican & Western Massachusetts Full-Text Newspapers – Springfield Republican coverage: 1988 – current. Other newspapers include: Advocate (North Adams), Amherst Bulletin, Berkshire Eagle, Daily Hampshire Gazette, North Adams Transcript, Recorder (Greenfield), Springfield Advocate, Springfield Examiner, and Valley Advocate. Remote Access for Springfield City Library Cardholders
Springfield Republican Full-Color Digital Archive – This digital archive covers January 1, 2019 and forward, with no delays. It is fully searchable, and you can print, email, or download results. Remote Access for Springfield City Library Cardholders
New England Historic Genealogical Society – AmericanAncestors.org – Database Search
The National Genealogical Society – a good list of resources that are kept up to date: https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/free-resources/websites/
Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast, Inc. – 8 Lyle Road
New Britain, CT – Library and Resource Center
The Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts – 33 South Street, Chicopee, MA – Research Library
Polish Genealogical Society of America
Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society – Resources
Free Online Resources on Springfield History – compiled by Springfield City Librarians
AmericanAncestors.org – Database Search
Connecticut State Library – History & Genealogy: Reference
FamilySearch.org – Free Family History and Genealogy Records
Maine Genealogy – Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians
National Archives – Resources for Genealogists
Shrewsbury Public Library – has worked closely with the coordinator of our Genealogy Club (who is our former assistant director) to create their genealogy webpage. Many of these are printable forms and articles you may want to use!
Boston Public Library – online resources listed here- https://guides.bpl.org/genealogymain/databases
Smithsonian Genealogical Research Guide – https://library.si.edu/research/genealogy
Library of Congress Genealogy Guides – https://guides.loc.gov/genealogy