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Finding Stories at the Library

Historical research at the Morse InstituteRecently we welcomed budding historians Brooke, 5, and Ella, 8, to the Morse Institute with their mother, Hillary, in pursuit of information about the history of their 100-year-old Natick home. The pair became curious about their house and the people who lived there in the past after visiting an old schoolhouse with their grandfather. “We saw old toys and saw pictures of what they wore a really long time ago. I wanted to learn more about the kids who used to live in my house, especially the first people,” said Ella. With help from the reference librarians, they were able to search through water records, resident lists, census records, and a very helpful map from 1908. They also utilized the Libraries subscription to Ancestry.com to look through digitized Natick records and put names, ages, even occupations to the people who once lived on their street. Ella’s advice to other kids who are interested in starting a project like this one is “go to the library”. Of course, we love to see our collection help piece together the history of a place and to fuel the appetites of even our youngest researchers.