The County Historian maintains a reference library of local history. 

Books and Reference

The County Historian maintains a reference library of state, regional, local and family history, consisting of histories and biographies, reference works, and printed collections of historical documents.  The library materials are for reference only and may not be loaned.

Of special interest are –

  • Histories of Putnam County and its towns
  • Published town, church & cemetery records
  • Printed guides to other archives
  • Bibliographies
  • Biographies of Putnam County people
  • Gazetteers from 1814
  • State census statistics 1835-1885
  • Books and articles about Native Americans
  • Federal census schedules, many indexed
  • Records of Board of Supervisors
  • Records of Putnam County Legislature
  • History encyclopedias


Genealogy and Family History


The Library is rich in family history resources.  Beside the vertical family files, there is a great variety of primary and secondary material useful for searching one’s family’s past. Some of the more important sources and guides follow:

  • Censuses.  We hold on microfilm all of the Federal censuses schedules for Putnam County from 1790 to 1930.  Indexed paper copies of many censuses prepared by Glendon E. Wheeler are also available.  The 1915 and 1925 NYS censuses for the county and the 1845 state census for Kent and Philipstown are here as well.
  • Records in the County Archives such as probate records, deeds, and court records.  (see County Archives for more relevant series)
  • There is a master database of more than 125,000 entries that point to names found in records held in the Archives (deeds, wills, court cases, etc.) and in the non-governmental records in the Historian’s Collection.
  • Lineage Books 2-166 of the Daughters of the American Revolution have been deposited here by the DAR for public use. 
  • Cemetery records for Putnam County and adjoining towns
  • Published and unpublished church records
  • Information on individual families’ histories found in the vertical files and in published and unpublished genealogies


Newspapers and periodicals


The Library holds the following newspapers (M=microfilm):

  • The Cold Spring Recorder, 1867-1935 (M)
  • The Community Current, 1984-1990 (gaps)
  • The Patterson Weekly News, 1901-1918 (M) & bound copies
  • The Putnam County Courier, 1851-1972 (gaps)
  • The Putnam County Democrat, 1849-1851
  • The Putnam County News and Recorder, 1950-1999 (M)
  • The Putnam County Republican, 1882-1946 (many gaps)(M)
  • The “morgue” of articles relating to Putnam County from The Patent Trader (partially indexed) 1956-1988


The County Historian’s Office subscribes to

  • CRM and Common Ground
  • Heritage
  • Historic Preservation
  • New York Archives
  • New York History
  • The Hudson River Valley Review (formerly the Hudson Valley Regional Review)
  • The New-York Journal of American History

In addition, it maintains some past runs (incomplete) of

  • The  Dutchess County Yearbooks
  • The Nimham Times
  • The NY Genealogical and Biographical Record
  • The Westchester Historian


Vertical Files

The Library has vertical files on a variety of subjects.  They consist primarily of newspaper clippings, dating from the mid 19th century to the present.  Some of the most important categories are:

  • Genealogy files – individual family histories, most submitted by various genealogical researchers and some developed by Archives staff
  • Sites & structures – information on buildings and places of historic interest in the county Churches & places of worship, including some church records
  • Issues in county, town, and village government
  • Planning, zoning and environmental issues
  • Open space preservation
  • People important in Putnam’s past, e.g. Sybil Ludington, Enoch Crosby, James Kent, et al.
  • Schools – rural schools in history and today’s central school districts
  • Local business and trades
  • Farming
  • Iron mining, smelting, and casting
  • New York City reservoirs