Library, Archives, & Artifacts

There are so many ways to connect to the past at the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

Researching in Our Library

Keene Link- BooksAccess over 5,000 of the Society’s library research books via Keene-Link, which also contains the book catalog for Keene Public Library and Keene State College.  Most of the books relate to family histories, town and county histories, and vital statistics.



Request Research


 To further assist Historical Society members and patrons with their research needs, the Society conducts research in response to mail, phone, and email requests for fee.




With more than 300,000 items of regional historical interest, the Society’s archives offers a wide range of research materials.

Business & Organization Records

 The collection includes more than 160 Record Groups pertaining to the history of Cheshire County businesses and organizations.  These include ledgers, inventories, day books, and account books.

Press Control and “F” at the same time to do a search for a type of business such as blacksmiths, boot manufactures, builders, (carpenters/architects), cabinetmakers, fire engine companies, fire insurance companies, furniture manufacturers, glass factories, hotels, livery stables, lumber companies, meat markets, personal account books, physicians, post offices, railroads, retail stores, shoe stores, tailors, tanneries, taverns, telephone companies, textile mills, and weavers.

Personal Papers

Over 138 collections of personal and family papers are archived in our Manuscript Group collection and include materials ranging from diaries and letters, to family genealogy materials, photographs, school books, and newspaper clippings.  These include the Jonathan Daniels Collection, Madame Sherri Collection, and Dr. Albert Johnston Collection.  For a full list of manuscript groups available, click on the image.

Press Control and “F” at the same time to do a search for a surname of the person you’re looking for.


Photograph Collection

Approximately fifty Cheshire County photographers are represented in this collection of more than 11,500 photographs, predominantly of Keene.

 Monographs: These include Cheshire County related books and pamphlets such as Cheshire County imprints, town histories, town reports, town and business directories, The Repertory, The Old Timer, and a diverse collection of publications and original records by and about local people, organizations, schools, businesses, towns, buildings, homes, churches, etc.

Maps: More than 300 different maps of New Hampshire, Cheshire County, County’s towns, and related areas are in the collection.

Newspapers: There are approximately 30,000 pages of newspapers published in the County. The Society’s collection contains examples of some fifty Cheshire County periodicals, including a single issue of the region’s first paper The New Hampshire Recorder and the Weekly Advertiser. The collection also contains hundreds of rare issues from the four successors of The New Hampshire Recorder, all of which were printed in Keene. Extensive runs of Keene’s Cheshire Republican, 1828-1914, and The Cold River Journal, published in Alstead between 1884 and 1904, comprise approximately 20,000 pages of the collection.

Census: Federal population Census from 1790 to 1930, every 10 years, except for the year 1890 which was lost in a fire. Federal Agricultural and Manufacturing Census from 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880.

Artifact Collections

Artifact Collections

The artifact collections at The Historical Society of Cheshire County contain more than 5,000 objects of historical significance to Cheshire County.

The Society is working hard to make these collections accessible online in the near future.  For more information contact us at 603/352-1895.