Local History and Genealogy

Searching for you family history? Check out our local and national resources for genealogical research.

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. For an (incomplete) online index to the Springfield newspapers from 1877 – 1987, click here. Please note that the library does not have access to the online archives prior to 1988, only to the index.

Access to the Springfield Republican database from 1988 to present is available. Remote access for Springfield City Library cardholders only. C/WMARS cardholders from Western Massachusetts visit your home library link for access.

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 database, Ancestry.com and remote access for Springfield City Library cardholders to HeritageQuest.

More Free Online Resources


Local and National Resources for Genealogical Research
Vital RecordsArchivesNewspapersHistorical Organizations Digitized BooksGeneral

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, MassachusettsHow 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 LibraryConnecticut Deaths 1897-1968
Connecticut State LibraryConnecticut Marriages 1897-1968

Drouin Collection – Ancestry.org – Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records, 1621-1968

The Ellis Island FoundationPassenger SearchShip Search

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991Ancestry.org

United States Social Security Death IndexFamilySearch.org

Commonwealth or Massachusetts – Archives Collection – (1629 – 1799)

DigitalCommonwealth.org – Explore historical collections from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts.

Boston Public Library19th 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 CongressChronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Springfield City Library – Available on Microfilm. For an (incomplete) online index to the Springfield newspapers from 1877 – 1987, click here.

Springfield Daily News – 7/3/1950-8/15/1972, 8/16/1972-9/30/1986
Springfield Morning Union & Sunday Republican – 1/1/1950-5/15/1954, 5/16/1954-4/10/1973, 4/11/1973-5/16/1987
Springfield Republican – 4/7/2003 –
Springfield Union News AM Edition – 6/1/1987-1/31/1994, 2/1/1994-4/6/2003
Springfield Union News PM Edition – 10/1/1986-6/19/1992

New England Historic Genealogical SocietyAmericanAncestors.orgDatabase Search

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 SocietyResources

AmericanAncestors.orgDatabase Search

Connecticut State LibraryHistory & Genealogy: Reference

FamilySearch.org – Free Family History and Genealogy Records

Maine Genealogy – Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians

National Archives – Resources for Genealogists