About the Collections

Hardwick Historical Society Collections


The Hardwick Historical Society holds a collection of historical records, images, newspapers, government publications, maps, and ephemera. Each collection documents the history of the town, the village, the schools, the businesses, and the people. To search the index of all collections click here.

  • The annual reports collection hold annual reports for the Town of Hardwick from 1898 to the present. It holds annual reports for the incorporated Village of Hardwick (1891-1989) from 1927-1987. Finally, it holds some annual reports from Hazen Union School District and the Hardwick Elementary School District.
  • The archival collection holds a large collection of business records from the granite industry that dominated the community’s economy during the first half of the 20th century. It also has smaller collections reflecting the life of a particular person, family, or business of the area. To search the index to the archival collection click here.
  • The book collection holds published works by local authors, published works describing Hardwick or  people of Hardwick, and manuscript books created by Hardwick people and businesses, including a substantial number of 19th century business financial records. The books do not circulate; we keep them as research tools.
  • The map collection holds a few 19th century maps, but the real strength lies in a large collection of aerial maps from the second half of the 20th century.
  • The newspaper collection contains the great majority of the local paper, the Hardwick Gazette, which started publishing in 1889. The HHS has issues from 1891 to the present. The HHS also has a complete run of The Hardwickian, published between 1970-1975. To search the Hardwick Gazette click here.
  • The notebook collection holds the work of volunteers who have compiled several dozen notebooks to provide researchers with of copies of primary materials or previously published material. Some hold histories of local places or buildings. Others hold collections of obituaries of prominent men and women of the 20th century. Yet others provide genealogical essays, compiled information about sports at Hazen Union High School, and assorted school projects.
  • The photographs collection documents Hardwick as a place and community. It holds hundreds of images of buildings, roads, community events, and groups of people, including a large collection of school class pictures dating to the late 19th century. To search the index to the photographs collection click here.
  • The post card collection contains hundreds of post cards with images of Hardwick’s streets, buildings, places, and general scenery.
  • The poster and pamphlet collection contains ephemeral materials created to advertise school and community events of all kinds.
  • The school collection holds a nearly-complete collection of directories and yearbooks from both Hardwick Academy, 1892-1971, and Hazen Union High School, 1971-present. It also holds ephemera from both high schools and the Hardwick Elementary School, 1971-present. To search the index to the photographs collection click here.
  • The vertical file collection holds materials about people, families, buildings, businesses, lakes, rivers, bridges, the Town and Village of Hardwick, Hardwick history, and other topics that shed light on the life and times of the people of Hardwick. It also includes a sample collection of legal documents, letters, business documents, cookbooks, music, ticket stubs, etc. To search the index to the vertical files click here.

The HHS uses its collections for exhibits. It maintains a permanent exhibit for casual visitors, and it creates special exhibits to complement local celebrations, especially during the summer. HHS volunteers provide researchers with notebooks of copies of primary materials or previously published material. In addition, they provide genealogical essays based on their own research into the HHS materials and the newspaper. The HHS also has volunteers who do fact-based, short answer, and genealogical research for people, at no charge.

Other Local Collections

The Hardwick Gazette’s morgue goes back to the early 20th century. The local library, built in 1898, has its own archives. The Town Clerk’s Office has a nearly complete record of the educational and governance entities of the Town, including the active records of the town: legal documents, land records, birth, marriage, and death records, and proceedings of town meetings. The HHS’s holdings, largely business related, complement them all.