Holyoke: Queen of Industrial Cities

Featured Exhibit at State Library of Massachusetts.

If you are in Boston this fall, be sure to visit the State Library of Massachusetts at the State House on Beacon Hill. There you will see the exhibit “Holyoke: Queen of Industrial Cities,” a joint exhibit of the State Library of Massachusetts and the Holyoke Public Library. The exhibit includes books, maps, documents and photographs from both the Holyoke Public Library History Room & Archive and from the State Library collections.

“This collaborative project was initiated earlier this summer with the idea of developing an exhibit that would travel from East to West across the state, presenting the unique history of Holyoke’s industrial presence at the early part of the twentieth century,” commented Penni Martorell, archivist of the Holyoke History Room. Many photographs from the Milan P. Warner collection show Holyoke’s paper and textile mills. There are maps showing how the city was planned as an industrial center, harnessing waterpower from the Connecticut River by the construction of a dam and then diverting the water into canals that ultimately ran the turbines under the mill buildings.

In addition there are several significant documents from the State Library collection that include early maps of Holyoke and documents from the former Representative Walter DeFilippi legislative papers collection. “The State Library has worked hard to bring the story of Holyoke to life through the display of primary sources, many contemporary to the heyday of the industrial boom in Holyoke,” says Lacy Crews Stoneburner, Preservation Librarian at the State Library.

The exhibit opens at the State Library on September 14, 2009 and will run through January 15, 2010, at which point it will either come to Holyoke, or travel on to another interested library.

The hours of the State Library of Massachusetts are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and the exhibit is available for viewing during those times. For more information please contact the State Library of Massachusetts at 617-727-2590 or visit http://www.mass.gov/lib; or call the Holyoke Public Library History Room & Archive at 413-552-2842.