Local History Room


Selected Bibliography
Microfilm Collection
Historical Photos
Oneida Independent Company Calvary
Local History Links

The Oneida Public Library’s Local History Room contains a noncirculating collection of over 1,560 books, pamphlets, maps and genealogical materials relating to the City of Oneida, Madison County, Oneida County and New York State. It also contains on microfilm Oneida City and Madison County

The old Erie Canal feeder along Main Street, Oneida, looking south from Washington Avenue (c.1925)

The old Erie Canal feeder along Main
Street, Oneida, looking south from
Washington Avenue (c.1925)

newspapers dating back to 1846, a complete set of published directories of Oneida City and surrounding communities and U.S. Census data for Madison County from 1850 to 1930.

The Local History Room is available for research during regular library operating hours. (See Library Hours & Directions.) Genealogical and historical queries by e-mail, letter or phone are welcome, but there is a suggested donation to the Oneida Public Library of $5.00 for each request requiring research by library staff members.

The old Erie Canal feeder along Main
Street, Oneida, looking south from
Washington Avenue (c.1925)




The OPL Local History Room has substantial holdings in the following areas:

  1. City of Oneida, its history, people and government;
  2. First editions of works by local authors;
  3. Genealogical Collection of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Skenandoah Chapter, Oneida, N.Y.;
  4. Genealogical sources for Madison County, including transcribed cemetery records, immigrant
    Art class in Oneida High School gymnasium, 452 Elizabeth Street (c.1930)

    Art class in Oneida High School gymnasium, 452 Elizabeth Street

    records, Oneida directories and family histories;

  5. Madison County, its history, people, government and municipalities;
  6. New York State, particularly rare histories as early as 1832; copies of state-published, limited editions of encyclopedic works on N.Y.S. botany, horticulture and ornithology; and primary state-published works on N.Y.S. during the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. Civil War;
  7. The Oneida Community (1848-1879), including primary sources such as Community periodicals and works by John Humphrey Noyes as well as primary and secondary works by Community descendants;
  8. Oneida County, its history, people and municipalities.

See the Selected Bibliography for an annotated
listing of major holdings in these subject areas.
Art class in Oneida High School gymnasium, 452 Elizabeth Street

See more digital images of Historical Photographs portraying the people and places of the City of Oneida and environs.

The Local History Room contains microfilm copies of the Oneida Daily Dispatch and selected nineteenth-century Madison County, New York, newspapers. Also on microfilm are U.S. Census data for Madison County, New York, from 1850 to 1930 (except for the U.S. Census of 1890). See the Microfilm Collection for details.

The Local History Room has bound volumes of Atlas of Madison County, New York (1875) and Atlas of Oneida County, New York (1874). It also has unbound topographical maps of Madison and Oneida counties issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Local History Room of the Oneida Public Library is an invaluable collection of unusual, rare and irreplaceable books and materials that concern the history, culture and people of the City of Oneida, Madison and Oneida Counties as well as Upstate New York. In order to help protect and preserve the collection for future generations, we ask our patrons to abide by the following rules and procedures for the privilege of using the Local History Room.

1. You must register in the Local History Room Logbook at the library’s main circulation desk, providing your name, your research interest, specific research materials you need, the date of use, and the time you signed in.

2. Upon registration, you must leave with the desk clerk a valid Mid-York Library System card or a valid U.S. driver’s license [with photograph] or a valid photographic identification card. The library card, license or photo I.D. will be returned to you when you sign out in the logbook.

3. Since only an OPL staff member or librarian can unlock the door of the Local History Room and the individual cabinets within, please be as specific as you can in stating your research interests to the staff and the types of material you need.

4. Please bring into the Local History Room only those materials you need for research. No food, drink, coats or bags are allowed in the Local History Room. Please hang your coat up in the closet located under the stairwell just outside the Local History Room. Bags containing valuables can be left with the staff at the circulation desk.

5. When you have completed a session of research in the Local History Room, leave all materials—books, pamphlets, maps or microfilm rolls—out on the table. A reference librarian will put them away for you.

6. Be sure to close and lock the door of the Local History Room behind you when you leave.

7. Remember to sign out in the Local History Room Logbook at the circulation desk and retrieve your library card, license or I.D.