The following collections have been digitized for online access. Index compiled by staff of the Local History Division of the Rochester Public Library.
Books and Journals
Rochester City Directories – digitized pdf versions of Rochester City Directories.
Historic Monographs Collection – digitized pdf versions of 19th and early 20th century books with a Rochester area connection. These items may deal with Rochester people, places and things, or may be part of Rochester Public Library’s Local Authors or Local Imprint Collections.
Historic Newspapers Collection – digitized pdf versions of 19th and early 20th century newspapers with a Rochester area connection.
Historic Scrapbooks Collection – digitized scrapbooks from our vast scrapbook collection.
Historic Serials Collection – digitized pdf versions of 19th and early 20th century journals with a Rochester area connection.
Rochester and Monroe County Civil records and Indexes – digitized original records and indexes to local censuses, election rolls, tax assessments and Surrogate Court records.
Rochester History – digitized pdf versions of the quarterly pamphlet focusing on Rochester and western New York. Rochester History has been published quarterly since 1939.
Rochester Newspaper Index – consists of references to articles that appeared in the Rochester newspapers during the period 1818-1897.
Rochester Trade Catalogue Collection
The Local History and Genealogy Department of Rochester Public Library holds a collection of trade catalogs from over two hundred various businesses in Rochester and the Genesee Valley region. We have digitized our early Eastman Kodak Company catalogues.
Wheatland Historical Association Digital Collections – contain official town records, including election and tax rolls, as well as various diaries, scrapbooks, area histories and papers of townspeople and local organizations.
Albert R. Stone Negative Collection of the Rochester Museum & Science Center consists of images made for the Rochester Herald and the Democrat and Chronicle between 1904 and 1936. Albert R. Stone, staff photographer for those newspapers, took pictures of newsworthy events and the people and places associated with those events. Topics include World War I, women’s suffrage, prohibition, African Americans and immigrant groups, recreation, and transportation during a time when automobiles slowly replaced horse and wagon, and more.
Brighton Municipal Historian Collection contains images pertaining to the town’s history as an agricultural, manufacturing, and residential community. Because of the many annexations of Brighton land by the City of Rochester, many of the photos depict areas no longer within the current boundaries of the town.
City Hall Photo Lab Contemporary Collection contains images depicting official City events and programs and documenting public works services and projects in Rochester during the past 20 years.
City Hall Photo Lab Vintage Collection contains images selected from over 5,000 35mm slides made in 1984 from photographs, maps, renderings, and other graphics from Rochester’s past. Images include many aspects of City government through the years, plus general views of Rochester from the 1760’s through the 1960’s.
East Rochester Municipal Historian Collection contains images pertaining to the history of Despatch/East Rochester from the late 1800s to the present and includes early images of the Merchant Despatch Transportation Company and the Foster-Armstrong Piano Works, later known as the Aeolian American Company. The collection also includes numerous sports and other village and school related photos.
Greece Municipal Historian Collection contains images pertaining to the history of the Town of Greece from the late 1800s to the present and includes historic buildings such as farmhouses, barns, churches and stores as well as industries such as the Odenbach, Eastman Kodak and Rochester Gas & Electric facilities. As the Charlotte neighborhood of Rochester was previously part of Greece before its annexation in 1916, there are also pictures of that area. In addition, there are photos that depict the beach resorts of the turn of the century at Manitou Beach. The physical collection is located at the Greece Historical Society and Museum, as the Society is contracted to care for the Greece Municipal Historian collection.
Hamlin Municipal Historian Collection contains items relating to Central Hamlin and the hamlets of Walker, Morton, Kendall Mills, Troutburg and North Hamlin as well as the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, Hamlin Beach State Park and the “Hojack” (N.Y.C.R.R.) Railroad.
Hilton Municipal Historian Collection consists of photographs relating to the early history of the Village of Hilton, including churches, businesses, fires, homes and people of a mainly agricultural community.
Office of the Monroe County Historian Map Collection contains the maps from Beers’ 1872 Atlas of Monroe Co., New York and the 1918 Farm Journal Map of Monroe County, New York. These images can be zoomed in on at various levels for easier viewing.
Perinton Municipal Historian Collection contains items that are part of a collection that documents the town’s development as an agricultural and then suburban community. The collection also includes photos that trace the development of the village of Fairport first as an Erie Canal town, then as an industrial community, and again as a community centered around the revitalized Erie Canal.
Rochester Municipal Archives Early Collection consists of images relating to Rochester selected from the Archives’ full collection of 10,000 glass plate negatives dated 1865-1920.
Rochester Municipal Archives Modern Collection includes images relating to Rochester from the years 1920 to around 1960 selected from over 50,000 prints, safety negatives, nitrate negatives, and lantern slides.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Alson Shantz Collection contains images relating to Captain Alson Shantz and his war experiences in World War I and the 1916 Mexican border conflict. Some ephemeral items are included.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Manuscript Collection includes images from the library’s manuscript collection. These may be letters, pictures, ephemeral items, diaries, etc.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Map Collection contains regional maps dating from 1827 to the 1930’s. Both individual maps and bound maps, such as plat maps, are included. These images can be zoomed in on at various levels for easier viewing.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Picture File Collection contains images relating to Rochester’s history. The collection includes many portraits of well-known Rochesterians, in addition to images of historic buildings, city parks and other recreational facilities, Rochester industries, etc.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Postcard Collection contains postcards showing scenes from Rochester and the surrounding area since the early 20th century.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Stereograph Collection contains stereographs, many printed in Rochester, showing scenes from Rochester and the surrounding area. The time period is from the mid 1860s to around 1900.
Rochester Public Library Local History Division Vertical File Collection contains a selection of ephemeral items from the Local History’s vertical file. These include advertising cards, menus, pamphlets and souvenir items.