Museum & Archives Collections
The collection is on semi-permanent display in the Historical Room and is used for changing exhibitions in the lower hallway. It is open free to the citizens of Stockbridge, as well as to tourists, students and visiting scholars, but only under the supervision of the Curator. Various finding aids for the archival records include collections guides and a computer cataloging system. It is a non-circulating collection. The Room is not handicapped accessible, but arrangements can be made for research assistance on the main floor of the Library.
The Stockbridge Library Association’s Historical Collection consists of five hundred+ artifacts and almost one hundred pieces of fine and graphic art. It includes such important objects as Jonathan Edwards’ writing desk; a contemporary portrait of Agrippa Hull; and two portraits by noted painter Ammi Phillips (a mid-nineteenth century Stockbridge resident).
The archival collection includes over six hundred books by Stockbridge authors and original documents by eighteenth century Mahican Indians. The works of Longfellow, Bowker, Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Watson Gilder, and members of the Sedgwick and Field families are also available. The collection includes preliminary writings (drafts and corrected proofs) by Rachel Field, Stefan Lorant, Lyman Beecher Stowe, Robert Underwood Johnson, and William Gibson. Also invaluable are account books, legal briefs, sermons, journals, family letters and other records dating back to 1738.
Also available is an assortment of reference material. Books include area histories, family histories, biographies, and reference books on topics relating to Stockbridge history, such as Native American studies, religion, photography, and legal history. The Vertical file, or information file, contains clippings and other printed material.
The collection is mentioned as early as 1865 in the Stockbridge Library Association records. The Edwards desk is prominently displayed in 19th century photos of the library’s interior. However, serious attempts at creating an historical collection began during R.R. Bowker’s term as President of the Board (1904-1928). When the addition was put on to the library in1937/38, the collection became a separate department, housed in the lower lever of the addition.
Materials that are most often requested by researchers include those on the Stockbridge/Mahican Indians; Agrippa Hull and Mumbet; Jonathan Edwards, Catharine Sedgwick (noted author); the Field family papers; and Hitty, the doll portrayed in Rachel Field’s children book.
Three types of collections are available:
1. Institutional and business records.
- Berkshire Republican Library Records
- Hill Water Company Records
- Interlaken Congregational Church Collection
- Indian Hill Music Workshop Records
- Laurel Hill Association Records
- Williams High School Alumni Association Collection
- Housatonic National Bank Ledgers
- Schilling & Noble Account Books
- Stockbridge Bowl Association Records
- Stockbridge Casino Company Records
- Stockbridge Fire Department Records
- Stockbridge Planning Board Records
- Three Arts Society Records
- Tuesday Club Records
2. Personal and family papers
- Eleanor Wilson Papers
- Edwards (Jonathan) Family Collection
- Emmet/Sherwood Family Collection
- Field Family Collection
- Handberg Family Papers
- Kickery Family Papers
- Lynch/Whitney Family Collection
- Niebuhr Family Collection
- Rockwood Music Collection
- Sedgwick Family Collection
- Sergeant Collection
- Van Deusen Family Papers
3. Miscellaneous collections
- Map Collection
- Oral History Collection
- Photography Collection
- Postcard Collection
- Stockbridge Authors Collection
- Stockbridge Imprints
- Stockbridge Indian Collection
- Stockbridge Indian Study Collection