HCC library is proud to participate in the college-wide theme, One Community: Holyoke, for the academic year 2017-2018. HCC is investigating, appreciating, and celebrating the City of Holyoke and its long relationship. The library will be celebrating this theme by posting monthly topics from the HCC Archives & Special Collections along with introductions to what you'll find in our collections.
Multiple digitally reproduced books contributed to the Internet Archive by the Holyoke Public Library.
This site provides access to photographs, manuscripts, books, audio recordings, and other materials of historical interest that have been digitized and made available by the Holyoke Public Library.
Holyoke is home to some of the most amazing and courageous individuals. In 1658, European pioneer John Riley, along with other early planters, was instrumental in establishing a community in the West Springfield area called Ireland Parish, which eventually became known as Holyoke. This tenacious man led the way for many other trailblazers, including George Ewing, who envisioned utilizing hydropower to operate factories and inspired town engineers to design one of the first planned cities in the United States. In 1898, the progressive Elizabeth Towne encouraged Holyoke residents and an international audience with her New Thought movement that advocated a healthy lifestyle. Another outstanding citizen, Timothy Alben, judiciously leads the Massachusetts State Police, while Holyoke's Henry Jennings honorably served his country in the armed forces, as a commander of the Holyoke War Memorial Building, and on the Holyoke City Council. Barbara Bernard has astutely kept residents informed about current events for the last 70 years. Legendary Locals of Holyoke chronicles the community's finest men and women who survived and prospered through harsh circumstances and against all odds.
Wistariahurst Museum curator Kate N. Thibodeau asks the questions, "Who were these people?" and, "How did their experiences contribute to Holyoke's history and character?" Expanding on her work as curator of four exhibits on the subject, Thibodeau combines family histories with previously unpublished photographs (one of which is pictured) to understand Holyoke's history and honor the people who made it. Thibodeau uncovers how these individual histories weave together to create the fiber of communities, and even of our national character.
Published in honor of Holyoke's Centennial: "This history of Holyoke is an eloquent tribute to the vision and foresight of our forebears. It is really a story of love because it gives an account of persevering courage, generous sacrifice, patient understanding, and with these, an intense appreciation of our good fortune."
Free e-book version of The Story of Holyoke. Published in honor of Holyoke's Centennial: "This history of Holyoke is an eloquent tribute to the vision and foresight of our forebears. It is really a story of love because it gives an account of persevering courage, generous sacrifice, patient understanding, and with these, an intense appreciation of our good fortune."
History of two cities directly across the Connecticut River from each other. Learn about the families who were instrumental in city government, religion, and industry.
"Here in Massachusetts, as we look to the future and approach the twenty-first century, there is an unmistakable longing to make connections with our past. At the grass-roots level this longing manifests itself in the private restoration of many lovely and historic homes. Another sign is the growth of local historical societies and small museums. The Holyoke Museum at the public library and the Wistariahurst Museum are two nationally recognized organizations that are bringing the history of Holyoke to the forefront. Holyoke draws from the priceless photograph collections of these two archives, as well as from the photo treasures of the Holyoke Water Power Company and other important public and private sources. The images take readers from the late 1800s, when Holyoke was known as the Paper City, to the 1960s, when the downtown was the place to go shopping. Readers are delivered to a time when the author remembers taking the bus downtown to go to the Strand, the Victory, Dorothy Dodds, and Steigers."
The Holyoke School Committee voted on September 9, 1946 to established Holyoke Graduate School. Classes began at the Holyoke High School on the evening of October 1, 1946 with fifteen part-time faculty and eighty-five students. These were the early years of a program that became Holyoke Community College.
Learn all about the Founding Years of HCC on our exhibit site and see the original pictures and documents.
This exhibit is a small example of the amount of resources that can be found in the Archives & Special Collections at HCC. For more information pertaining to the founding years of HCC, including collections consulted to create this exhibit, please explore below:
- Record Group 02.01: Office of the President- Dr. George Frost
- Record Group 11.02: History of HCC- The Fire
- Record Group 11.03: History of HCC- Holyoke Graduate School
- Record Group 11.06: History of HCC- George Ashley History Book
- Record Group 12.02: Slides, Negatives, Photographs, Digital Images- Photograph Prints
- Local History- Holyoke Public Schools (LH003-LH007)