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Research Recommendations: The Cambridge Room

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Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

The Cambridge Room in the public library for Cambridge, Massachusetts, houses the library’s archival and rare book collection. The collections focus on Cambridge history and include reference books, public documents published by the City of Cambridge, manuscripts, and photographs.


The main library recently opened a major addition, and the Cambridge Room is temporarily closed to the public, but some of the collections are available online and in other areas of the library. The archivist also maintains The Cambridge Room, a wordpress blog, that talks about the collections and provides research assistance. Posts are made in several categories. You can search the site, or browse through the posts by category. Among the categories are:


  • "If This House Could Talk"
  • Baker Library
  • Cambridge Businesses
  • Cambridge Chronicle
  • Cambridge in the American Revolution
  • Cambridge Women’s History Day
  • Cambridgeport History Day
  • Famous Cantabrigians
  • On This Day in History
  • Preservation Tips
  • Tips for Researchers

The preservation tips includes a valuable link to a Smithsonian Institute Archives video demonstrating how to remove photographs from self-stick albums.


The research tips posts are very interesting. Browsing through them reveals book reviews, online resources, and events. One valuable resource profiled is the Zimmer Index. Compiled by Massachusetts State Librarians in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, it indexes current events of interest to citizens of the Commonwealth. Among the stories it indexes are obituaries, a valuable genealogical resource. Newspapers indexed include the Boston Advertiser, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Journal, Boston Post, Boston Transcript, Cambridge Chronicle, Dorchester Beacon, New York Post, New York Times, Somerville Journal, Springfield Republican, and the Worcester Telegram


The Cambridge Room is very interesting and informative, and a blog worth checking in on.

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