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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Local Histories of Essex County, MA in the 19th Century

Nancy Dennis & Anna Hocker

Holdings in Salem State's Berry Library

  • Berry Library has both print and microform histories of Essex County towns in the 19th century. 
  • Basic search strategy:
    • Go to "Advanced Search" in the NOBLE Catalog to explore holdings.
    • Enter terms like:
      • Salem history
      • Lynn history
    • Limit search results to Salem State University or to other local libraries
    • Adjust "Sort" to "Oldest to Newest." Refresh your Search.
    • Scan the results for items published in the 1800s.
  • Circulating books are shelved in the stacks. Rare books are shelved in the Archives. Microform titles are shelved in cabinets on "G." Ask for assistance at the Help Desk for use in using the microform reader.
  • Citation example:

Holdings in other Libraries in the NOBLE Consortium

  • NOBLE Catalog Link
  • "NOBLE" is the acronym for the"North of Boston Library Exchange." 
    • This consortium includes Salem State and some 40 other public and academic libraries. 
  • When you search the NOBLE Catalog, you will identify books in all other libraries. 
  • The libraries might carry local histories of their town and surrounding areas. 
  • Tip: sometimes historical titles have been reprinted. Read citations carefully to see the original date. 

Citation example:

Holdings of Libraries beyond Salem State and NOBLE: WorldCat Database

  • Search tips:
    • Enter terms like "Lynn, Massachusetts and history" in the search box.
    • Select publication dates for 1800 to 1899 in the left frame.
    • WorldCat will tell which libraries hold items.
    • Even though a title of interest might not be in a library closeby, you might find it in a digital repository like the Internet Archive and the HathiTrust. 
      • So, keep track of interesting titles!
  • Example:

Special Research Libraries in the Boston Area

  • The online catalogs of these three institutions will list local histories of Essex County towns in the 19th century. 
  • Note the citation for items and read the full text in the HathaTrust and the Internet Archive.