Welcome to the Booth Library

The Booth Library is the center for genealogy and historical research at the Chemung County Historical Society. It holds approximately 3,000 books, 30,000 manuscripts, 16,000 photographic images, and 11,000 maps and architectural drawings. It has been collecting and preserving resources on the Chemung Valley region since 1923.

Some of the holdings especially worth noting are:

  • Personal and family papers of Chemung Valley residents
  • Copies of government records, manuscript personal accounts, and published scholarship on the Elmira Prison Camp
  • Resources concerning Mark Twain’s life in Elmira, NY
  • Unofficial records of births, marriages, deaths and burials
  • Resources concerning the role of the Chemung valley in the US Civil War
  • Railroad, turnpike, and canal maps and records
  • Resources concerning the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad in the Chemung Valley region
  • Records of regional businesses that are no longer in operation
  • Resources concerning the Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois during the American Revolution



The Booth Library is open from 1pm to 5pm, Monday through Friday.  Research is $5 per day for non-members and free for students and members.  Click here to see our on-site research policy and sign-in form.



The Booth Library also offers a distance research service.  Click here to see our off-site research policy and request form.  Contact the Archivist at (607) 734-4167 ex 207 or via e-mail at archivist@chemungvalleymuseum.org for more information.



Our collections grow thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organizations.  If you have items which you would like to donate, please deliver it to the museum any time Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm or contact the Archivist at (607) 734-4167 ex 207 to arrange a pick-up.  We also accept donations by mail.