Local History Room

The Local History Room contains historical documents and information about the Town of Berlin and its residents. It is open to the public, although items must be used within the library and cannot be checked out.

Local Historians

The Local History Room is staffed by the Town Historian and volunteers.

For further information, updates and corrections, or to make an appointment with the Town Historian, call the Library at 860-828-7126 or email the Town Historian at berlinhistorian@gmail.com.

Local Historian Hours


Historical Resources

Historical Name Index
The Historical Name Index is an index of Kensington, Berlin, and East Berlin families. Due to the scarcity of information some names may be only a listing. There may be some entries taken from recent obituaries but most of the information is historical in nature.

Berlin High School Yearbooks
The Berlin High School Yearbook Collection contains yearbooks dated 1937 to 2010. Print copies up to the current year are available in the library’s local history room. Copies of all yearbooks in the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library archives were digitized by OCI Digital Imaging Service and are available at the Internet Archive.

Berlin Oral Histories
A digitized collection of oral histories collected by Berlin historians, available at the Internet Archive.

Berlin Buildings and Houses Histories
A digitized collection of building and house histories collected by Berlin historians, available at the Internet Archive.

Berlin in the American Revolution (PDF)
Records of service, genealogy, and other research related to Berlin residents who participated in the American Revolution.

Anti-Slavery and Underground Railroad (PDF)
Information on Berlin and anti-slavery efforts.

Slavery in Berlin: Forgotten No Longer (PDF)
Information on slavery in Berlin.

Berlin in the French and Indian War 1753 – 1763 (PDF)
Records of service, genealogy, and other research related to Berlin residents who participated in the French and Indian War.

1686 Founders of Berlin (PDF)
Information about the founding of Berlin.

The Geographic Center of Connecticut (PDF)
References and history for Berlin as the geographic center of Connecticut.


Kensington Soldiers Monument

Soldiers Monument (Kensington)
Information from the Connecticut’s Civil War Monuments website.

“Kensington Soldiers Monument Dedicated – Today in History: July 28”
Article from ConnecticutHistory.org

“Kensington Monument Listed As Nation’s Oldest Civil War Memorial”
Article from the Hartford Courant

Kensington Soldiers Monument (PDF)
Brochure with names and biographical information.


East Berlin Soldiers Monument

Soldiers Monument (East Berlin)
Information from the Connecticut’s Civil War Monuments website.

East Berlin Soldiers Monument (PDF)
Brochure with names and biographical information.


Genealogy Resources

These genealogy tools are available for anyone to use on Berlin-Peck’s public computers. If you have a Berlin-Peck library card, you can use these tools at home (with the exception of Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com In-Library Use Only
With 7 billion genealogical records from across the globe and millions of family trees, this is the world’s largest online family history resource.

Genealogy Books Booklist
Dig into your family history with these books on genealogy!


Additional Historical Resources

These resources are not owned or maintained by the Berlin-Peck library, but they may help guide you in your research!

Town of Berlin

Berlin Historical Society
The Berlin Historical Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization devoted to preserving and sharing Berlin’s rich cultural heritage.
Programs and events, including monthly meetings of the Berlin Historical Society Board of Directors.
The Berlin Fair
Each year, the Berlin Historical Society creates special exhibits for the annual Berlin Lions Fair in the Barn Museum.
1771 House
Located at 725 Worthington Ridge. Open by appointment.
Esther Woodruff Memorial Butterfly Garden
Located on the grounds of the 1771 House at 725 Worthington Ridge.
Berlin Historical Society Museum
Located on 305 Main Street in Kensington, CT. Open Saturdays, April – December, 1-4 or by appointment.

Berlin in the Civil War
Information on Berlin in the Civil War.


State of Connecticut

Connecticut in World War I
A statewide collaborative archive of WWI stories and photographs. The Connecticut State Library, in partnership with libraries, museums, and community organizations around the state, are holding Digitization Day events to record and digitize the WWI collections of Connecticut’s citizens.

Treasures of Connecticut Libraries
A collection of items from libraries and cultural institutions across Connecticut and include historical photographs, maps, postcards, films and more.New items are added on an ongoing basis. Materials deemed appropriate for the Connecticut History Online and Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online projects will be made available as well.

Connecticut State Library Databases
Online searchable databases with legal, biographical, genealogical, government, and general information, including indexes, journals, and online newspapers available on-site at the Connecticut State Library.

Connecticut State Library Digital Collections
Historical photos and papers; account books, diaries, and journals; photographs of Connecticut; Connecticut State Library history; court documents; library items; State Archives items; law and legislation; legislative histories; newspapers; portraits; and more.

Connecticut State Library Archive
Records from Connecticut state government departments, commissions, and offices; non-governmental institutions, organizations, and churches; tax lists and other official records from Connecticut towns.


Local History & Genealogy Programs

Handout from Part 1: Accessing Connecticut Land Records (PDF)
Information from our 2021 program on how to access land records.

Handout from Part 2: Who’s Lived in Your House? (PDF)
Information from our 2021 program on how to find out the history and previous occupants of a house.

Handout from Genealogy Basics: FamilySearch (PDF)
Information from our 2021 program on FamilySearch, a free site that includes access to records, how-to guides, classes, and more.


Recovering Family Treasures

With a little patience, prompt action, and professional tips, saving cherished photographs, letters, and other irreplaceable objects is possible.

Save Your Family Treasures
Smithsonian’s guide to saving photos, books, documents, and other items.

Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Treasures (PDF)
A short guide to salvaging different types of items.

Fact Sheet: After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures (PDF)
Advice and additional resources for salvaging after a flood.