Doug Brown shares research on his Standish Street home during History Cambridge’s “Hidden Huron Village” event in September 2023

If you have a New Year’s resolution to research local history, History Cambridge can be of help

Above image: Doug Brown shares research on his Standish Street home during History Cambridge’s “Hidden Huron Village” event in September. (Photo: History Cambridge)

By Beth Folsom

Did you make a resolution that 2024 would be the year you learned more about the history of your house, your street, your neighborhood? Maybe you have long wondered about who lived at your address in years past, or maybe a recent event or encounter has made you newly curious about some aspect of Cambridge history. Whatever your interest or motivation, History Cambridge can help you find the resources to conduct your own local history research.

Are you looking for information about a Cambridge resident from the past? We have many resources that can help you research a person, including our own collections and those of other Cambridge institutions such as the public library, the Historical Commission, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the City Clerk’s Office. If you are seeking information about one of the city’s many historic buildings – public and private – you can find links on our website to local and regional land records, permits and historic newspapers.

If you are interested in conducting research by neighborhood or by theme, our History Hubs provide useful links to articles, tours, images and primary source documents from our own collections as well as those of other local institutions. Our History Hubs are always expanding, and currently include resource pages on Women’s HistoryEarly Black Cambridge HistoryIndigenous History and on our 2023 and 2024 focus neighborhoods, Cambridgeport and North Cambridge.

Researchers are always welcome to access our collections, and much of our archive is available online. For resources that have not yet been digitized, our staff will work with you gladly to access the materials you may need. But the flow of historical information is not a one-way street – we want to hear about your findings and to share your findings with the rest of the Cambridge community! We are committed to “doing history together,” and the work of citizen historians is integral to our common understanding of our city’s past. We look forward to another year of collaboration as we work toward a fuller picture of the history of the place we call home.

Beth Folsom is programs manager for History Cambridge.

This article was originally published in our “Did You Know?” column in Cambridge Day.