Historical Society

About the Historical Society

The Hudson Library & Historical Society archives maintain an extensive genealogy and local history collection. The genealogy collection provides a well-rounded selection of materials for researchers, with an emphasis on sources for the eastern United States and especially Ohio. The collection is enhanced by a wide variety of genealogical periodicals. Additionally, there is an extensive microfilm collection, which includes selections of census records (mostly Ohio), vital records, and other research tools such as the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records. Our Genealogy On-Line Desktop service provides users full free access to subscription sites such as ancestry.com as well as internet access to free sites such as the Ellis Island records.

The library houses a large manuscript collection, including one of the nation’s largest collections of materials about famed abolitionist John Brown. In addition to substantial holdings concerning founding families such as the Hudsons, the collection also contains documents related to local organizations such as the Hudson Garden Club and the Hudson League of Women Voters.

The collection is available to the public, but hours may vary. Appointments are recommended. Please call the Adult Services department at (330) 653-6658 x1010 for the current schedule.

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The Hudson Library & Historical Society maintains an extensive local history collection, focusing primarily on Ohio, with particular emphasis on Hudson, Ohio, and Summit County. The local history collection includes:

  • Yearbooks of Hudson High School and Western Reserve Academy
  • Hudson imprints collection (books printed in Hudson)
  • Hudson authors collection
  • John Brown collection – Books, artifacts, manuscripts, and genealogical materials related to John Brown and the anti-slavery movement.
  • Newspapers – Virtually a complete run of Hudson newspapers from 1828 to the present and 19th century area newspapers like the Ravenna Republican and the Summit County Beacon. A searchable index of the newspapers is available in the library.
  • Hudson necrology file – A file of obituaries of Hudson residents.
  • Historic house reports – Research reports of many historic homes in the area documenting the architectural features and ownership history.
  • Hudson telephone and city directories from 1917.
  • County histories of Ohio and surrounding states.
  • Over 100 unique manuscript collections, including the papers and records of Hudson citizens and organizations.
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The Hudson Library & Historical Society has taken particular interest in the life and history of John Brown, who spent over 20 years in Hudson, Ohio. It was at the First Congregational Church in Hudson that John Brown famously vowed during an 1837 prayer meeting that he would dedicate his life to abolishing slavery.

The Hudson Library & Historical Society’s collections on John Brown are particularly valuable for researchers interested in the life of John Brown and the family of John Brown. Our collections include an extensive collection of books written about John Brown, an ongoing project to document the genealogy of John Brown, as well as several manuscript collections including the entire research collection of Clarence S. Gee, the premier Brown scholar.

The collection is available to the public during selected library hours. Please call (330) 653-6658 or email historical.society@hudson.lib.oh.us to inquire about hours. See the Historical Society’s policies and procedures [policies & procedures page] for more information about using the collection.

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