The Library began collecting local history materials shortly after Louise Keuck was hired as head librarian in 1962. Miss Keuck had the foresight start saving Franklin Park telephone books, photographs, and high school yearbooks. Lillian O’Boyle was hired as Local History Librarian in 1973, and the collection grew to include oral histories, newspaper clippings, biographical information on early settlers, additional photographs, and maps. Mark Johnson was Head of Local History until 2011, and was instrumental in digitizing our collection and bringing it online. Karen Gurski took over from 2011 until 2018. Marcin Wrobel now heads our local history initiatives. We continue to develop and preserve our collection, and hope to share more of it with you soon.
We have U.S. Census microfilm covering the Leyden Township area for 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1910, 1920, and 1930.
Our newspaper collection begins with the first issue of the Franklin Park Journal (September 13, 1946). The Franklin Park Journal combined with the Franklin Park Herald in 1983. Past issues are both bound and available on microfilm.
The East Leyden yearbooks date back to 1928. We own the East Leyden yearbooks from the years 1928-32, 1934, 1936-39, and 1951-present. We also own the West Leyden yearbooks from 1960 to the present. More recent yearbooks are available digitally on CD.
Our photo collection includes many from the Hammill Photography Studios, with photos dating to 1942. Many of the local history photographs on this website are courtesy of Hammill Photography. We have also acquired photographs taken from glass plate negatives, which date back to the 1890s. Photographs predating Hammill Studios are found in our collection as well. View some of our collection on our Flickr page.
The photo collection consists of the Rodger Hammill Collection and works by other local photographers. Many original historical photos by unknown donors are part of the collection.
All photos are the property of Franklin Park Library unless otherwise specified by agreement with the photographer. All copyrights are the property of Franklin Park Library unless previously specified by an agreement with the photographer. Use of the photos for publication, distribution or Internet use must be accompanied by a statement that the photo is a part of the Franklin Park Public Library District’s photo collection. Photos of individuals may be used by relatives of the individual for personal use, such as family history and private family albums.
All photos are held in the Local History Room. Access to photos is not permitted except under the direct supervision of a librarian, and access and viewing is by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling or emailing the Local History Coordinator.
Franklin Park Library was endowed by the Hammill family with Rodger Hammill’s collected photos and negatives, which cover six decades. Photos range from passport shots of area residents, individual and family portraits, police and fire department activities, weddings, graduations, Village board meetings, Library activities and reprints of historical photos.
The Local History Room is in the process of preserving, identifying, filing and recording these photos and negatives in a searchable database. Many of the photos were taken and printed in the 1940s. Both prints and negatives may be in a fragile state. Local History Department is engaged in an on-going preservation process. Access to the photos is limited based on the degree and progress of the preservation process.