The Library’s Local History Collections (LHC) are housed in the Frey-Hoeg Historical Collections Room in the Adams Center, formerly the Frederic C. Adams Public Library, at 33 Summer Street.
The Collections are available by appointment. Please contact the Archivist at 781-831-6277 or email@example.com with any research requests. Thanks in advance for your patience!
Use the menu at right to navigate to the materials we have online, and for additional information about the Library’s historical materials.
Enjoy the latest posts from the Local History blog “Pique of the Week”.
- “Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War IWhen the US entered World War I in 1917 and called for a draft, Joseph Finney registered during the first round. He became one of approximately 2 million men who joined the American Expeditionary Forces, armed forces sent overseas to Europe. Throughout his service he exchanged postcards with friends and ...Continue Reading
- Feline friendSince we saw a photo of Rose Delano with a litter of puppies earlier this month, it’s only fair to see a feline friend too! Here is Norma Drew holding a rather patient cat in her arms. Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).Continue Reading
- Skiing down Summer StreetOn a snowy, winter day a hundred years ago, these four young men strapped on their cross-country skis and posed for this picture right in the center of Summer Street, just north of the railroad tracks. The Adams Block is visible on the right, and the laundry building that was ...Continue Reading
- CyanotypesCyanotype photographic prints are immediately recognizable. Their striking blue appearance is the result of a particular chemical combination (though the prints can in fact be toned to alter this color). Credited to Sir John Herschel—an astronomer and chemist—in 1842, the cyanotype process involves coating a piece of paper with a solution of ...Continue Reading
- PuppiesHere’s an especially fun photograph to enjoy. It’s clear from the blurriness that the puppies were on the move—as puppies usually are. Rose (Blair) Delano is holding one of them, while a stoic hound sits by her side. Source: Image from the Delano Photograph Collection (IC11).Continue Reading
- Ada Brewster: Civil War Nurse, Traveler, and ArtistAda Brewster, born in Kingston on May 25, 1842, lived a fascinating life. She served as a nurse at Lovell General Hopsital in Rhode Island during the Civil War; worked at the U.S. Mint in Carson City, Nevada during the production of the first trade dollar coined by the federal government; ...Continue Reading
- Best New Year WishesHappy New Year from the Local History Room! Source: Postcard from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).Continue Reading
- A Season’s GreetingFor other holiday postcards, see here and here. Source: Postcard from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).Continue Reading
- Consider the ManiculeWhen looking at historical texts, it is especially exciting to stumble upon a manicule. You may not know the symbol by this particular name, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen this punctuation mark before: a pointing hand, drawing attention to a particular line or passage. I’m particularly referring to ...Continue Reading
- Major John BradfordToday marks the 281st anniversary of the death of Major John Bradford, as he died December 8, 1736. The inscription on his gravestone reads: Here lyes y body of Mayjear John Bradford who dec Decbr y 8th 1736 in y 84th year of his age he lived near 62 years with his wife Major John Bradford, born February 20, 1652, was ...Continue Reading
- Happy Holidays!In the spirit of the holidays, the Local History Room’s December exhibit features a collection of limited edition holiday ornaments created by the Kingston Lions Club between 1990 and 2002. Each one bears the likeness of a Kingston icon – from the old Town House and the Faunce School, to ...Continue Reading
- Thanksgiving 1917With Thanksgiving in just a few days, check out these negatives taken by noted Kingston historian and photographer, Emily Fuller Drew (1881-1950), on a freezing Thanksgiving Day in 1917. Source: Images from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).Continue Reading
- Looking forward to seeing The Post? Don’t forget about Gobin Stair and Beacon PressOne of this season’s new movies, The Post, recounts The Washington Post’s efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers. Here in the Local History Room, we have a four-volume set of the Pentagon Papers, published by Beacon Press in 1971. As director of the publisher, Kingston’s own Gobin Stair played a decisive role in accepting ...Continue Reading
- CranberriesAccording to a recent article in the Kingston Reporter, 20% of American cranberry consumption falls during Thanksgiving week. Our love for this particular fruit is certainly not new. This image of Keith & Adams cranberry bog on Summer Street dates back to around 1885. Source: Image is from the Mary Hathaway Collection (MC21).Continue Reading
- The (Almost) Centennial of the End of World War IToday marks the 99th anniversary of the armistice agreement between Germany and the Allies, ending the actual fighting (though the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919). November 11th became known as Armistice Day until 1954, when the United States ...Continue Reading
- Winter is comingThe chill in the air this week reminds us that winter is right around the corner. Soon we’ll all be bundled up like these Center Primary students from the winter of 1926! Source: This image is from the School Photographs Collection (IC5).Continue Reading
- Shall We Dance?During November, the lobby display case will feature a selection of photos, invitations, and dance cards from throughout Kingston’s history. Did you know that ballroom etiquette once prescribed ladies to carry dance cards to pencil in the names of gentlemen who had reserved a dance? Or that in 1875, Kingston residents held ...Continue Reading
- Happy Halloween!Take a look at these Halloween costume winners at Kingston Elementary School back in 1952! Source: This image is from the School Photographs Collection (IC5).Continue Reading
- Ted Avery’s Costume ShopWhile going through a box of photographs, I came across this striking image of Ted Avery, holding a mask in front of his face just inside the doorway of his costume shop on Summer Street. With Halloween just around the corner, it was too fitting not to share! Source: Image from ...Continue Reading
- On this day in 1919…October 18, 1919 was a known as “Welcome Home Day” in Kingston in honor of its servicemen and nurses returning from World War I. The “Welcome Home Committee” presented each with a bronze token of appreciation for service to the town and country, and sponsored festivities that included the parade ...Continue Reading