Pelham Library History Room
The Pelham Library has an archival collection which includes many books, photos, and audio materials. Materials are located in the History Room and the adjacent Library Archive Room. Access is by appointment only. You may contact the library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-253-0657. Information about reserving the History Room is on the Meeting Rooms page.
Pelham Historical Commission
The Historical Commission is a Town government entity, mandated by Massachusetts state law. Its mission is to protect the historic assets of the Town. Its archives are located in the Library History Room and Library Archive room at 2 South Valley Road and in the Town offices at 351 Amherst Road. Access to these materials needs to be arranged in advance via email with the Commission Chairman, Karl Martini, email@example.com. The Commission is also responsible for the care of the Pelham Historical Complex that includes the Pelham Town Hall/Meetinghouse and adjacent historic Pelham Hill Church/Museum building.
Pelham Historical Society
The Historical Society is a private corporation which uses the Pelham Hill Church as its museum. Some materials are stored in the Town vault; access requires an appointment with the Town Clerk. The Historical Society web site is at http://pelhamhs.org/ and the collection’s database is hosted at http://pelhamhs.org/pa2.
Massachusetts Historical Commission
The Commission is in the process of documenting the historic buildings in Pelham and placing them on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s “Inventory of the Historical and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Most of Pelham’s historic buildings (50 + years old) are private homes, but there are also public buildings, our Pelham Hill National Historic District, churches, and others.
Typically, the file for each home shows the date it was built and major modifications, the builder, every family that lived in the house, their occupations, their relationship to other families in Pelham and the history of the house or the plot of land on which it stands. In addition there will be a photograph of the building and a professional description of its architecture. The inventory project is organized in three phases and when completed will number about 135 buildings. Phases 1-3 have been submitted.
The extraordinary completeness of these submissions is to the credit of our late Town Archivist, Robert Lord Keyes. They are particularly useful for genealogical researchers because of Rob’s interest in Pelham genealogy. The completed files are all public documents and can be copied or downloaded from the state Commission’s web site. Go to MACRIS Towns, select “Pelham” and click on “Add to List” and then “Next.” Select “Building,” click on “Add to List” and click “Next” again. The entire collection can be displayed, or if you know the street where the building is located, you can narrow your search to it. There are other terms offered for searching as well.
Explore historical collections from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts, using the Digital Commonwealth database and Special Collections.