Research Tools

Research Tools

The following is a list of resources, accompanied by links to where you can find them, for further historical research or simply for further exploration! attempts to connect researchers to volunteers who can find needed information.

The Digital Commonwealth is an online collection of documents from various Massachusetts collections.

A digital library called Digital Treasures provides access to many documents from central and western Massachusetts.

The Emily Dickinson Museum website has an array of online resources related to Dickinson’s life and poems.

The Five College Archives Digital Access Project and the Five College Archives & Manuscript Collections both give researchers access to records at the five colleges: University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Mount Holyoke; Amherst College; Smith College; and Hampshire College.

Five College Museums/Historic Deerfield Collections Database pools resources from the five colleges and Historic Deerfield.

Northampton’s Forbes Library has several special collections in their archives, and they have digitized many documents for their website.

A website called Gold Rush Stories has compiled names and information associated with both the California Gold Rush and the Pioneer Valley.

The town of Hadley has its own library called the Goodwin Memorial Library.

The Greenfield Recorder, established 1792, maintains an archive search on their website which currently extends to 1994. They have articles on all sorts of topics which document the history of Leverett and surrounding towns.

The Hatfield Historical Society has digitized some of their collection of primary sources from families in the Hatfield area. They also have further resources on their website.

Historic Northampton, one town to the west, has online collections as well as a physical archive of over 50,000 items from the 17th to the 20th century. They also have a quite extensive Reference Shelf of titles for researchers as well as links to other online resources. has a database of vital records of Franklin county as well as articles and brief histories of each of its towns.

Jones Library, in Amherst center, has extensive collections in their archives on one of the founders of the Hadley Farm Museum, Clifton Johnson, as well as on Hadley itself, surrounding areas, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost!

Leverett Town Hall has extensive archives related to Leverett’s history as a farming and later industrial society.

This brief historical summary of the town of Leverett includes an extensive bibliography including church records, maps, tax records, and town records.

Massachusetts Land Records can be found on the secretary of state’s website.

Memorial Hall Museum Online has many online exhibits and collections related to colonial New England.

This brief historical summary of the town of Montague includes an extensive bibliography including church records, maps, tax records, and town records.

Information on historic districts in Massachusetts can be found in the National Register of Historic Places.

An online project titled Our Plural History has accumulated much information on immigrant and ethnic groups in the Connecticut River Valley.

The Pioneer Valley History Network has many resources, including a collection of finding aids for various local special collections.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, just two miles north of the Farm Museum in Hadley, has a large collection of papers from the family’s members as well as artifacts such as clothing, needlework, furniture, tools, and more.