Local History and Genealogy

Searching for Springfield Massachusetts local history and genealogy resources? We can help!

Springfield MA Local History Collection

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. These items can be used at the library, but most cannot be checked out.

All local history titles in our collection are catalogued and searchable in the online catalog.

(For a more comprehensive local history collection, including archival material, please contact the Springfield History Library & Archives at the Wood Museum of Springfield History.)

Springfield City Directories and Springfield High School Yearbooks

The Central Library maintains a near-complete collection of City Directories from 1866 through 1989, some digitized online, and a limited collection of Springfield college and public high school yearbooks dating from the early 1900s to the late 1980s, many of which are also digitized online.

Please contact the Central Library reference desk with inquiries about these resources at 413-263-6828 ext 213 or use our Ask a Librarian reference form.

Springfield MA Newspapers

The library offers access to Springfield newspapers on microfilm from 1900 to the present at the Central Library. (Springfield newspapers prior to 1900 are held at the Springfield History Library & Archives.) Digital (computer-based) microfilm readers are available for self-service use. Librarians are available for assistance.

We also have some full-text online newpapers available from 1988 to  present. See the “Newspapers” tab below for more information.

Genealogy Resources

The library offers in-library access to the genealogical databases, Ancestry.com and American Ancestors, and remote access for Springfield  City Library cardholders to Fold3 (military records), HeritageHub (obituaries), and HeritageQuest. You can make an appointment for genealogical assistance from a librarian – please click here for more information.

More Free Online Resources

Local and National Resources for Genealogical Research
NewspapersVital RecordsArchivesHistorical OrganizationsGenealogy Resources

Springfield City Library – Available on Microfilm at Central Library. Holdings listed below:

  1. Springfield Weekly Republican: Jan 1900 – Sep 26, 1946
  2. Springfield Weekly Union: Jan 1900 – Jan 1901
  3. Springfield Evening Union: Jan 1900 – Sep 25, 1946
  4. Springfield Daily and Sunday Republican: Jan 1900 – Sep 26, 1946
  5. Springfield Daily News: Jan 1905 – May 1987
  6. Springfield Union News (PM edition): Jun 1987 – Jun 19, 1992
  7. Springfield Morning and Sunday Union: Jan 1900 – Jan 1926
  8. Springfield Morning Union: Feb 1926 – Sep 26, 1946; Mar 6, 1947 – Aug 1947
  9. Springfield Morning Union and Sunday Republican: Sep 1947 – May 1987
  10. Springfield Union News (AM edition): Jun 1987 – Apr 6, 2003
  11. 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

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

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 1950. 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

The Ellis Island FoundationPassenger SearchShip Search

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

United States Social Security Death IndexFamilySearch.org

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

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

New England Historic Genealogical SocietyAmericanAncestors.orgDatabase 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 SocietyResources

FamilySearch.org – Free Family History and Genealogy Records

National Archives – Resources for Genealogists

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