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413-376-7788 (text)

Local History

The Chicopee Room at the Chicopee Public Library contains materials relating to the history of Chicopee and the surrounding cities/towns in Hampden County. The primary purpose of the Chicopee Room is to promote the study of local history and genealogical research. Some information has been digitized. To view the collection visit Chicopee Archives Online. A small collection of historic Chicopee photographs is also available on Digital Commonwealth.

Download the Chicopee Room Collection Leaflet

Historical Collections

  • Chicopee Municipal Reports (1848-1977)
  • Chicopee Soldiers Record– Handwritten ledger containing the name, address, and occupation of the 600 men from Chicopee who served in the Civil War.
  • City directories (for Chicopee, the directories begin in 1875-76) 1875-1901, 1906, 1911-12, 1916, 1919-33, 1935-38, 1940, 1942-43, 1945, 1947-48, 1950-58, 1960-71, 1974-78, 1980, 1984, 1986-89
  • Historical Photographs - Miscellaneous photographs relating to the history of Chicopee in addition to 2 Albums of Black & White Photographs (with Index) of Chicopee taken by Russ H. Gilbert, Chicopee reporter for the Springfield Union (1917-1922 ).
  • Maps - Chicopee Maps (various 1855-1916)
    • Chicopee Sanbourne Fire Insurance Maps 1915
    • Springfield (1897-1972)
    • Hampden County (1857)
  • Published books related to Chicopee History, including local biographies, industry histories, geological and environmental overviews, as well as books about surrounding cities and towns.
  • Scrapbooks - WWII Chicopee Soldiers, Operation “Little Vittles” (WWII), Chicopee City Baseball League (1950)
  • Street Listings (from voter lists, 1939 – present)
  • Vertical Files - Newspaper clippings and pamphlets related to people and events in and around Chicopee organized by topic, including historical homes files compiled by the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
  • Veterans' Grave Registration - Colonial Era to Vietnam War
  • Yearbooks - Chicopee High School (1942-2001) Chicopee Comprehensive (1964-2002) (Various years are missing)

Historical Local Newspaper & Magazine Collections

  • Hampshire Federalist (10 issues 1806-1811)
  • Hampden Federalist (24 issues 1813-1816)
  • Hampden Journal (44 issues 1813-1824)
  • Cabotville Chronicle and Chicopee Falls Advertiser (8 issues from 1839-1845)
  • Cabotville Mirror (4 issues 1847, 1849)
  • Chicopee Telegraph (3 issues 1849-1851)
  • Chicopee Journal (18 issues 1857-1880)
  • Olive Leaf (mill newspaper, 1843)
  • The Weekly Journal (2 bound volumes, 1853-1856)
  • Fisk Bulletin (from the Fisk Athletic Club and Social Association, 1917 - 1920)
  • Westover Flier (Westover Air Base newspaper, 1955 - 1970)
  • Chicopee Highlights (1958-1971)
  • Chickuppy Magazine (1977-1987)
  • Skipmunk Magazine (Winter 1977-Summer 1981)

A few select issues are available from The Oracle, Chicopee Herald, Chicopee Times, Springfield Daily Homestead, Springfield Daily News, Springfield Republican, and Springfield Union. Please call, text or email the Reference Department for specific issue dates.

Microfilm Collections

Vital Records:

  • Index to births: 1848 – 1909
  • Register to Births: 1848 – 1903
  • Index to Intentions of Marriage: 1848 – 1890
  • Register of Marriage Intentions: 1848 – 1903
  • Index to Marriages: 1848 – 1909 Last page of M’s
  • Index to Marriages: 1891 – 1909 (P – Z)
  • Register of Marriages: 1848 – 1890
  • Index to Deaths: 1848 – 1912
  • Register of Deaths: 1848 - 1906
  • Republican Newspaper: 1982-Present

The Chicopee Public Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. This means we have a large collection of microfilm and microfiche useful for genealogy research on extended loan. To search our current collection, please visit: https://familysearch.org/catalog-search.

Microfilm may also be ordered from FamilySearch.org and sent to the Chicopee Public Library for viewing. The Chicopee Room has one ScanPro 2000 microfilm reader. The shipping cost for the microfilm is at the researcher’s expense. For more information please visit: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Ordering_Microfilm_or_Microfiche.

Please contact the Reference Department to schedule time on the microfilm reader. The local history room is open to researchers during normal library hours. The local history librarian may not be able to assist you during all operating hours. If you need special assistance or plan to use the microfilm reader, please call, text or email prior to visiting.

Donating to the Chicopee Room

The primary purpose of the Chicopee Public Library's History Room is to promote the study of the history of Hampden County with a special focus on Chicopee.  We actively collect manuscript material, photographs, and records that support research into the history of Chicopee politics, communities, and cultural life, as well as material documenting the history of families and businesses associated with Chicopee. This includes materials from before 1848 when Chicopee was still a part of Springfield.  We are especially interested in:

  • Materials that record the history and development of the City of Chicopee.
  • Materials that document the history and ancestry of the City of Chicopee and greater Western Massachusetts area families and individuals.
  • Materials that record the cultural heritage of  past and present ethnic and religious groups in the community.
  • Materials that contribute to a better understanding of area geography, demographics, industry, and architecture.
  • Materials written by or attributed to local authors, fictional works set in the City of Chicopee and the greater Western Massachusetts area, and critical and biographical works about locally or regionally significant individuals.
  • Materials that provide instruction relating to genealogy, local history, preservation, historic architecture, oral history and other topics related to local and family history.

The Chicopee History Room gladly considers donations that fall into the categories listed above and which conform to the criteria listed below.  Decisions regarding acceptance of donations will be made through the Reference Department with the approval of the Library Director.  Larger items will also need to be approved by the Trustees of the Chicopee Library.

Donations should:

  • Be consistent with the mission and collection development goals of the History Room.
  • Build on existing collection strengths, or establish a new collection strength consistent with the mission of the History Room.
  • Have strong research, educational, or exhibit value.
  • Not duplicate existing materials within the collection.
  • Be free of mold, insects, moisture and other factors that could present a hazard to existing collections.
  • Be in usable condition and not require extensive preservation measures.
  • Be within the ability of the Chicopee Public Library to store and care for the long-term needs of the donated materials.

Items will not be accepted on a temporary-loan basis.  Exceptions are made when items are for display in a temporary exhibit.

The Donation Process: Contact Reference Librarian, Brigitte Bisaillon at 413-594-1800 x109, bbisaillon@cwmars.org or send a letter to describe the materials you may wish to donate. Acceptance of donations is contingent on the Librarian's examination of the items, application of the above criteria, and the signing of a formal deed of gift.

Approved by the Board of Library Trustees: January 7, 2014

Search the Library Catalog

Locations & Hours

Emily L. Partyka
Central Library
449 Front St
Chicopee, MA
Map or Directions

  1. Monday: 9am-9pm
  2. Tuesday: 9am-9pm
  3. Wednesday: 9am-9pm
  4. Thursday: 9am-9pm
  5. Friday: 9am-5pm
  6. Satuday: 9am-4pm
  7. Sunday: 12pm-4pm