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I'm a western MA expat now living in New York City. I've lived in North Hadley, Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton and am originally from Holyoke (where some of my extended family still reside).

Over the years—in conducting my own family research—I have collected interesting books and ephemera of a historical nature.

This site contains selected reproductions of text and images from my personal library about subjects and places I love: history and genealogy of Western MA, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the UK.

These are free for you to use for research purposes, but please do not reproduce elsewhere without asking and receiving prior approval.

July 17, 2024

New! Hampshire County Town Profiles

History And Antiquities of Every Town In Massachusetts by John Warner Barber was published in 1848. This is an edited version of the Hampshire County section of the book. Interesting and brief profiles, though in many cases the author has included some tombstone transcriptions and historic description relevant to the town. Read more ...

The Railway Mail Service

The Railway Mail Service, by Colonel Thomas P. Cheney (Superintendant of the New England railway mail service). An 1884 overview of how the railway postal system worked and increased efficiency.

Curious Punishments of Bygone Days

Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, by Alice Morse Earle. A historical description of the various crimes and punishments used during the colonial period including bilboes, ducking stool, stocks, pillory, whipping, scarlet letter, branks, and more. [on]

The Early History of Children's Books in New England

The Early History of Children's Books in New England, by Charles Welsh. An overview of early reading material available to New England children, including some focus upon the well-known publisher John Newbery and many authors of the time.

Customs and Fashions in Old New England

Customs and Fashions in Old New England by Alice Morse Earle, originally published in 1893 (about 400 pages). The author, a well-know antiquarian of her day, discusses the day-to-day life and culture in Early New England. Topics range from birth to death and include: Courtship, Domestic Service, Books, Taverns, Holidays, Sports and Clothing.

Business Life In Early New England

Business Life In Early New England, by By Rev. Anson Titus, New England Magazine, 1888. Discussion of early enterprise in New England, with emphasis upon dual responsibility of farming while maintaining a trade.

New England Dialect

New England Dialect, by By Isaac Bassett Choate, Bay State Monthly, 1888. The author attempts to show the origin of our New-England dialect, and to prove that all talk about an American language, as distinct from English, is without the shadow of reason in history or in common-sense.

Mount Auburn

Mount Auburn, by Frank Foxcroft. Reproduced from a 1896 article published in New England Monthly. History of the cemetery and profiles of various buildings and monuments with some discussion of a few of the more famous people buried within. Illustrated, including a cemetery map.

Copyright ©2006-2023 Laurel O'Donnell
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