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Local History Collection

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 now heads our local history initiatives. We continue to develop and preserve our collection, and hope to share more of it with you soon.

Local History Materials and Questions

We are always looking for additional materials to add to our local history collection. For more information and local history questions, contact Karen Gurski, Head of Local History, at 847-455-6016, ext. 234 or kgurski@fppld.org.


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.

Photo Collection

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 some photographs taken from glass plate negatives, and date back to the 1890s. Photographs predating Hammill Studios can also be found in our collection. View some of our collection on our Flickr page.


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.

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