Guide to the Research Collections
The strength of the collections is based upon important gifts which have come to the Research Libraries over the years in addition to their continuing purchases. In 1896 the purchase of the W.P. Robinson collection of American town and family histories (3,221 volumes and 921 pamphlets) formed one of the cornerstones of the holdings. By 1900 a separate catalog for materials on local history and genealogy was located in the Lenox Library, and the books were shelved in a separate area. The Cleveland Dodge gift of some 400 British genealogies and town and county histories came in 1909. In 1916 the widow of Professor Frank Dempster Sherman gave a large collection of materials relating to the Sherman genealogies.2
The John Malcolm Bullock gift of a collection relating to Scottish genealogy and local history was added in 1920. In the early 1950s the Research Libraries purchased the Washburn collection consisting of the office files of Mabel R.T. Washburn and the National Historical Society, Inc. The material includes many unpublished genealogies. In 1958 the most extensive genealogy devoted to one family, that of the Palmers in the United States, was deposited by Nellie Morse Palmer, who had assisted her husband Horace Wilbur Palmer in the preparation of this work in 17 bound volumes totaling 8,220 pages.