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Local History
The library has a Local History Room that contains a variety of resources about the people and communities of Baldwinsville, Lysander and Van Buren, New York.
  • Ancestry Plus and Heritage Quest are two computerized resources that provide a wealth of material for anyone researching their family history.  While Ancestry Plus must be used in the library Heritage Quest can be used from home with an Onondaga County Public Library card and PIN.
  • A search of the Onondaga County Public Library system catalog will identify a number of local history titles, some of which may be borrowed.
  • There is a Walking Tour of Baldwinsville, New York which is available online. Copies are also available in the library.
  • A section of Oswego and Oneida Street was designated an historic district on the National Registry of Historic Places on July 29, 1982.  National Register Houses in Baldwinsville Walking Tour is available on-line and in the library.
  • The library and PAC-B, Inc., the Baldwinsville area public access cable channel, have created a videos of the walking tours. The videos are available for loan from the library. They can also be purchased for $20, plus shipping and handling, by contacting the library.  There is also a video available about Morris Machine Works, a former Baldwinsville manufacturing company.
  • Additional Area Resources For Historical and Genealogical Research is a handout prepared by the library. It describes the resources and contact information available at other agencies within Baldwinsville and Syracuse, New York. Please note that charges mentioned in the document are subject to change.
  • George Hamill Diary of a Civil War soldier from Baldwinsville who fought with the south.

Local History Room

Given memory of
Donald R. Wilbur
Teacher, Historian and Mentor
September 18, 1996

Initiated by Ruth Connell, the Baldwinsville Public Library's first librarian, with the assistance of the Beauchamp Club members the local history collection focuses on Baldwinsville, Lysander and Van Buren. The collection is continually being enhanced so that information about the past, as well as current events, may be preserved for future generations.

The collection includes:

  • Baldwinsville newspapers on microfilm
  • Miss Voorhees Cemetery Records
  • Newspaper clipping files
  • Directories
  • Photographs
  • Yearbooks
  • Environment impact reports (e.g landfill, 690 bypass)
  • Maps/atlas
  • NYS Census of Lysander and Van Buren (1855, 1865, 1875, 1892)
  • Federal Census of Clay, Lysander and Van Buren (1840, 1850)
  • Books, booklets, papers, etc.

The library staff is interested in being able to complete the collection of yearbooks. If anyone has any of the Baldwinsville yearbooks for the following years please consider donating them as a permanent addition to the local history collection:

  • Baldwinsville Academy/Union Free School Annual Catalog: 1888, 1890, 1895-96, 1905-06, 1909-1910, 1911-12, 1912-13, 1915-16, 1919-20 through 1925-26, 1927-28 through 1930-31.
  • Lyre: 1917. 1918, 1919, 1981, 1987 AND 1996.

Persons interested in donating yearbooks or any other materials of local historical interest to the collection should contact Meg Van Patten, Reference/Adult Services Librarian 315-635-5631.

Local History Rules

Help us preserve the collection for your use and for future generations by following these basic rules:

  • Sign in at the reference desk.
  • For purposes of security and climate controls all materials must be used in the local history room and the door must remain closed.
  • Handle fragile materials with special care.
  • Remove a book from the shelf by grasping it in the middle of the spine. Pulling from the top does permanent damage to book spines.
  • Use a bookmark to mark your place. Bending page corners weakens paper and using pencils or other objects stresses the spine. Never lay an open book face down.
  • Writing or marking in books is prohibited. It damages the book and is a discourtesy to other readers. Ink is not allowed as it is especially destructive. Pencils and separate paper must be used to take notes.
  • A book is not a desk. Elbows, notebooks and other books belong on the reading table, not on the book. Please place purses, briefcases & other bags under the table.
  • Coats and jackets are not allowed in the local history room, there is a coat rack near the parking lot entrance to the library.
  • Paperclips leave rust stains and can tear pages.
  • Clean hands are basic. Dirt and oils from hand cause permanent stains on paper and attract more dirt.
  • Bring damaged books to the attention of library staff so they can be mended.
  • Photocopies may be made of some materials. Requests for photocopies may be made at the reference desk. In some cases it may not be possible to provide the copies immediately, you may pick the copies up at a later time or arrange to have them mailed to you.
  • Food, drink and smoking is not allowed in the local history room.
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