Our Archives & Collections
The Great Barrington Historical Society (GBHS) is the proud caretaker for a collection of over 50,000 items connected with the Town’s history. These consist of photographs, drawings, books, letters, maps, awards, weaponry, legal documents, ledgers, signs, Native American items, textiles, china, glassware, artwork, furniture, and many, many other artifacts.
Numerous artifacts and photographs are displayed at the Historical Society Headquarters – the Town Museum and Archive Education Center at the Wheeler Farmstead, 817 South Main Street (Route 7), Great Barrington. With your help, fund-raising is ongoing as renovations to our buildings continue. In the meantime, most of the collection is in storage on the second floor of the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. An archival research area has been set up where volunteers sort, organize, and process the artifacts on an ongoing basis. Items are then placed in archival-quality boxes and files, and their information is entered into a museum-quality database for eventual use by the public.
Currently, volunteers under the direction of GBHS archivist Gary Leveille are working on thousands of photographs and negatives in the Dominic and Marie Tassone collection dating from the 1940s to the 1980s.
Genealogical and Family History Inquiries
The GBHS unfortunately does not have the volunteers available to handle genealogical inquiries. We do have information about certain families in our files which we are happy to share. However, if you want help with genealogical research, we can refer you to local genealogists and researchers who provide that service at a reasonable price.
You’ll find the following two local history books quite helpful for historical research. They can be found online or in local libraries:
History of Great Barrington by Charles Taylor, and Great Barrington: Great Town, Great History by Bernard Drew