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Celebrate Local History At Your Library

Happy Independence Day from your local libraries! As we celebrate our nation’s history, it’s a good time to reflect on the local history that surrounds us every day. Our St. Lawrence County libraries are a great place to start your research.

Our local libraries have a wealth of history housed in each building. Many libraries have a variety of local history books and publications that may be browsed while visiting the library, and in some cases, borrowed to read at home. Some libraries, such as the Ogdensburg Public Library, have a local history expert on staff, a local history room, and a vault filled with archival materials. At the Hepburn Library of Lisbon, the Town Historian maintains an office with extensive local history records. In Colton, the Director of the Hepburn Library of Colton is also the Town Historian!

Libraries have many books about New York State, St. Lawrence County, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Adirondacks, and local municipalities. Books in the local history section may include historical non-fiction, books about local personalities, books written by local authors, school yearbooks, and books specific to each town or village.

The Northern New York Library Network, based out of Potsdam, has collaborated with the Empire State Library Network to create the NYS Historic Newspapers database which provides free online access to a wide range of newspapers dating back to the mid-1800’s. Other free historic resources may be found on the North Country Library System’s website, including Newsbank (recent and current newspapers), and the Grolier Encyclopedia for elementary, middle, and high school students. A library card is required for free access to Newsbank and Grolier. 

Genealogical resources are also available through our libraries, including access to NYGenWeb, New York Heritage, and – the latter may be accessed from within the library at no cost. 

Of course, our libraries have plenty of books and DVDs that chronicle United States history. Stop by your local library this week as we celebrate our nation’s independence, and pick up a book about the Revolutionary War, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, or a biography of a historic figure. All you need is a library card, so stop in and check us out!

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