The new Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History opened to the public in the fall of 2009. Exhibits describe Springfield’s development as a manufacturing center, the city’s role in transportation history, the many inventions and “firsts” that were generated here, and the stories of Springfield’s diverse populations. Its collection also includes many items from the former Indian Motocycle Museum.
One exhibit, “John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War” highlights Springfield’s role in the life of John Brown and the importance of the Springfield Armory during the Civil War era. The Museum of Springfield History has been designated as a research facility on the Underground Railroad “Network to Freedom” by the National Park Service.
Housed within the Museum of Springfield History is the Springfield History Library & Archives. One of the premier genealogy and local history research facilities in western Massachusetts, it contains over 20,000 genealogy books, 6,000 microforms, 25,000 photos and 1.3 million archival documents, including diaries, deeds, account books, corporate documents and photographs. Formerly located in the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, its collections reflect the history of Springfield area from its founding in 1636 to the present. The Springfield History Library and Archives, located on the lower level, are open to the public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and the first Saturday of each month.
The Museum of Springfield History is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. It occupies a newly-renovated building and is fully accessible. There is an elevator for public use.