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The Daily Genealogist: The Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library, Massachusetts

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

The Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library, Massachusetts

The City of Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The Cambridge Public Library has made some resources available through The Cambridge Room website. Click on the Online Resources link to access them.

Historic Cambridge Newspapers
The Cambridge Public Library has made available on its website all of the historic newspapers in its collection that are not copyright restricted. The digitization of historic Cambridge newspapers is a project of the Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections. The newspapers are full-text searchable and available to all researchers for free. The database can also be browsed by title or by date. The newspapers in the database are as follows: Cambridge Chronicle (1846–1923), the Cambridge Press (1887–1889), the Cambridge Sentinel (1903–1912), and the Cambridge Tribune (1887–1923). More than 6,300 issues have been digitized.

Click on the Cambridge Historic Newspapers link to open the search page. Click on the Search link in the menu bar at the top of the page. Enter a keyword or keywords in the search box. This will open a new page with search results. At this point the search can be refined by publication, category, decade, and word count. With Advanced Search researchers can limit a search to a specific date range and/or a specific publication. Searches can be full text or headlines only. Click on the article title link to view a digitized image of the newspaper page, with the article highlighted. To the left of the image you will find a transcription of the article with your keyword(s) highlighted.

Cambridge Buildings and Architects
Another resource available through the library’s website is the Cambridge Buildings and Architects database. Christopher Hail created the database during his time as a librarian at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. As noted in the introduction the “focus of the list is the history of the design of Cambridge buildings.” This database may also prove useful to family history researchers with an interest in the buildings in which their ancestors lived.

Cambridge buildings are listed by street. Entries are listed by the style of the building, when it was built, and by whom. You can view the database street by street by clicking on the first letter of the street name in the alphabetical list at the top of the page. There is also a list of Harvard University buildings outside of Cambridge, an index of personal names of the architects and names of buildings, and an index of street names. It is noted in the introduction to the index of street names that references for discontinued street names can be found in the alphabetical street files. “(F)or example: "Fourth street: see Sciarappa street" follows Fountain Terrace in the Streets - F file.” For some properties high-quality color images are available for downloading. Click on the List of Images link to access them. Consult the User’s Guide to learn more about the database and how it functions.


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