Local History

“The Battle of White Plains,” by the beloved White Plains artist Edmund F. Ward, was created to mark the nation’s 1926 sesquicentennial and was displayed for over half a century in the old White Plains Post Office. It was “rescued” and restored through a community effort in 1984 for permanent exhibition in the White Plains Public Library.

Welcome to WPPL’s White Plains History page. WPPL is a prime site for community memory and we hold a rich set of materials relevant to White Plains’ past. The White Plains Collection includes books, photographs, maps, oral histories, pamphlets, clippings, and ephemera that help us understand the past in White Plains and build a richer context for our own time. Although our collection focuses on White Plains, we also hold material relevant to surrounding communities and Westchester County as a whole.

The White Plains Collection is here for people to use. We encourage you to contact the Librarian for White Plains History and browse our website for help with your research. Areas of our collection are highlighted on this page, but not all of our holdings are represented online.

We assist people- regardless of their level of experience- with historical and genealogical research. Sharing our resources and knowledge with others is our goal.

Subscription Database

Ancestry Library Editon (in-Library use only)
Family history research tools

Other Local History Resources:

City of White Plains Archives. Call City Archivist Elaine Massena at 914-422-1450.
Westchester County Archives
Westchester County Historical Society


Atlases and Insurance Maps

Atlases

Atlases contain useful information like the names of property or building owners, past residents, town or city boundaries, and the historical layout of roads and other transportation infrastructure.  Use of the atlases may be limited, as some of the atlases are damaged or fragile.  Contact the Librarian for White Plains History for access to the atlases.

Atlas of Westchester County, New York: Complete in Four Volumes from Official Records, Private Plans, and Actual Surveys. Philadelphia: G.M. Hopkins Co., 1929-1931. Vols. 1-4.

Beers, Frederick W.  Atlas of New York and Vicinity.  New York: F.W. Beers, A.D. Ellis, and G.G. Soule, 1867.

Beers, Frederick W. Atlas of New York and Vicinity: From Actual Surveys. New York: F.W. Beers, A.D. Ellis & Others, 1868.

Bien, Joseph R. Atlas of Westchester County, New York: Prepared Under the Direction of Joseph R. Bien from General Surveys and Official Records. New York: Julius Bien, 1893.

Bromley, George W. & Bromley, Walter S.  Atlas of Westchester County, New York.  Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley & Co., 1907.

Bromley, George W., and Walter S. Bromley. Atlas of Westchester County, New York: From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley, 1910. Vols. 1 & 2.

County Atlas of Westchester, New York: J.B. Beers & Co., 1872.

G.W. Bromley & Co., Atlas of Westchester County, New York.  New York: George W. & Walter S. Bromley, 1881.

Insurance Maps of White Plains, New York: Including North White Plains and Part of the Town of Harrison. New York: Sanborn Map Co., 1930. Vols. 1 & 2.

Sanborn Map of White Plains, N.Y.  New York: Sanborn Map Co., 1905.

 

Maps and Large-Format Documents

Maps and Large-Format Documents in the White Plains Collection include reproductions of 18th century maps, road maps from the 20th century, and municipal or governmental land use maps.  Reproduction will be permitted at the discretion of the Librarian for White Plains History.

Map Case Shelf #1

  1. Map of White Plains 19th Century
    Handwritten on back:
    Beers Atlas Map, Older than 1867? Maybe older than 1881.
    Lucas (Researcher for Concerned Citizens) says that the name “Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum” would have been used only after 1892. The hospital was built from 1892 to 1894.”
    Measures 24”x24”

 

  1. <Map of White Plains 1867>
    From map: Reproduced from an original map by F.W. Beers, 1867
    Measures 16”x20”

 

  1. <Map of White Plains and Environs in 1776>
    From map: John Rösch 1935
    Handwritten on back: Insert in “Historic White Plains” by John Rösch
    Measures 16” x 14,” laminated

 

  1. <Map of White Plains and Environs in 1776 w/additions> 3 copies
    Doctored version of John Rösch’s 1935 map, including explanatory text about the Battle of White Plains and arrows showing troop movement.  Origin not indicated.
    Measures 17”x 11”


Map Case Shelf #2

  1. <Town of White Plains & Town of Scarsdale 1872>
    Handwritten on back: Beers Atlas of New York and Vicinity 1872
    Measures 13” x 16,” on cardboard with plastic cover

 

  1. <White Plains, NY, 1887>
    From map: Drawn & Published by L.R. Burleigh, Troy N.Y.
    Two-dimensional map showing buildings including: Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church, Baptist Church, Episcopal Church, Catholic Church, Public Schools, Westchester Co. Jail, Westchester Co. Court House, Soldiers’ Monument, Railroad Station.
    Measures 32½” x 19½,” laminated.

 

6a. Reprint of map described in #6 above. Printed in brown ink.
Measures 22½” x 14”

6b. Reprint of map described in #6 above. Black ink on glossy paper. Stamped on the back with “Reproduction from the collections of the Library of Congress.”
Measures 20” x 16½”

 

  1. <Map of Village of White Plains, 1881>
    Includes names of property owners. Also indicates if buildings were made of brick, stone, or wood. Origin not indicated.
    Measures 27” x 17,” on cardboard with plastic cover

 

  1. <Street Map of the Village of White Plains and Vicinity, 1902>
    From map: Copyright 1902 by John Moyer Farley
    Map is on reverse side of a piece of stationary from I. & A.G. Wright Real Estate & Insurance Brokers. Underneath stationary heading is a hand-drawn map of the corner of Maple and Mamaroneck Avenues.
    Measures 11” x 8 ½”

 

  1. <Outline Map of the Village of White Plains, showing Greenridge Park, c.1891>
    Photocopy out of an unidentified book. Handwritten note states “History & Directory 1891.”
    Measures 8½” x 11”

 

  1. <Village of White Plains, 1892>
    On map: Copyrighted by Julius Bien & Co. 1892.
    Includes names of property owners. Also indicates if buildings were made of brick, stone, or wood (color coded).
    Measures 30½” x 20½,” on cardboard with plastic cover


Map Case Shelf #3

  1. <Map of White Plains, 1867>
    Reproduced from Atlas of New York and Vicinity, Beers, Ellis and Soule, 1867.
    Both measure 14½” x 17½”


Map Case Shelf #4

  1. <Illustrative Site Plan, 1969>
    Part of the Design Concept Study, White Plains Central Renewal Project. Wallace McHarg Roberts and Todd, Architects, 1740 Cherry St., Philadelphia.
    Mounted on black poster board.
    Measures 16” x 11”

 

  1. <Business Section City of White Plains, 1955-1956>
    Nirenstein’s National Realty Map Co., Springfield, Mass. Shows locations of businesses. Also has several photographs on reverse side and additional information about industry/retail in White Plains. Appears to have been pulled out of a book of maps.
    Measures 36” x 23”

 

  1. <Topographical Map of White Plains Quadrangle of Westchester County, 1957>
    Produced by the U.S. Department of the Interior Geological Survey.
    Measures 21” x 27,” mounted on white poster board.

 

  1. <Central City Area, White Plains, 1968>
    Prepared by the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency. Includes proposed locations of public and middle-income housing and new land uses within the Central Renewal Project.
    Measures 13” x 10½,” laminated


Map Case Shelf #5

  1. <Map of the City of White Plains, 1955>
    Fold-up map with Street and Avenue Index. Also includes index to schools. Printing of the map sponsored by the National Bank of Westchester. Copyright Albert Weiner, 50 West 72nd Street, NY, NY.
    Measures 17” x 22” unfolded

 

  1. <Map of the City of White Plains, c. 1944>
    Fold-up map with Street and Avenue Index. No sponsor indicated. Copyright Albert Weiner, 50 West 72nd Street, NY, NY. The year 1944 is penciled in on the back of the map (probably by Library staff).
    Measures 17” x 22” unfolded
  1. <City of White Plains Zoning Map with Amendments to Sept. 1, 1938>
    Prepared by the Dept. of Public Works Bureau City Plan, City of White Plains, NY. Includes key and index to special provisions.
    Measures 17” x 32” approx.
  1. Photocopy of #12 above.
  1. <White Plains, New York Official Street and Bus Guide with Map, 1933-1934>
    Booklet including fold-out map in black and red ink with index to hospitals, fire departments, schools, etc. Copyright 1933 by C.J. Nuttall, White Plains, NY.
    Booklet measures 4½” x 6,” fold-out map measures 11½” x 17”
  1. <City of White Plains, post-1930>
    Photocopy of a map of unknown origin. Includes index to hospitals, fire department, schools, etc. A note on the back indicates that the map is post 1930.
    Measures 12” x 18”
  1. <Battle Hill Park in the Town of Greenburgh, May 1907>
    Map showing about 260 lots in Battle Hill Park in the Village of White Plains to be sold at auction on the premises on Decoration Day, Thursday, May 30, 1907. Includes information about terms of sale.
    Measures 22” x 8½”


Map Case Shelf #6

  1. <Documenting the Past – Early Westchester>
    A set of 12 display cards documenting events and historical periods in 18th-century Westchester. Produced by the Westchester County Historical Society. Card #9 covers the Battle of White Plains.
    Each card measures 14½” x 14½”
  1. <150th Anniversary of the Constitution>
    Color proclamation issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt designating the period from September 17, 1937, to April 30, 1939, as one of commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing and ratification of the Constitution. Origin unknown. There are portraits of Presidents around the border of the proclamation.
    Measures 17” x 22”
  1. <Draft Exemption Notice 1864>
    Reproduction of a Civil War draft exemption notice, Greenburgh. Reads in part, “$15 will exempt from the draft – a substitute will be procured.”
    Measures 11” x 14,” mounted on cardboard
  1. <White Plains Courthouse Demolition, 1977>
    Black-and-white photograph of the White Plains Courthouse demolition, June 19, 1977.  A gift to the Library in March 1978 from Mr. Filardi. Note handwritten on back: “Photograph taken on a Saturday morning – blue sky – beautiful clouds. Work in progress most probably to avoid dangers to regular workers and passerbys on weekdays.”
    Measures 20” x 16” including matte


Map Case Shelf #7

  1. <Eastchester, 1778>
    Reproduction of a map made for General Washington – original in the library of the New York Historical Society (according to a handwritten notation on back of map). Box on map reads “No. 19 – Crofs Roads to East Chester, and above.” Presented to the Library by Mrs. Robert D. Bristol, Oct. 1926.
    Measures 19” x 14”
  1. <Westchester County & Southwestern Conn., 1778>
    Reproduction of a map made for General Washington – original in the library of the New York Historical Society (according to a handwritten notation on back of map). Box on map reads “No. 20 – Road from the White Plains to Bloomer’s Mill at Rye Neck and Crofs Roads.” Presented to the Library by Mrs. Robert D. Bristol, Oct. 1926.
    Measures 14” x 19”
  1. <Scarsdale, 1877>
    A photocopy from “Scarsdale’s Early Days” published in 1976.
    Measures 11” x 8½”
  1. <Greenburgh, 1867>
    Measures 14” x 17,” laminated
  1. <Map of One-Day Journeys in Westchester County, c. 1925>
    Photocopy of a page from White Plains and Environs, published by County Trust Co.
    Measures 8½” x 11”
  1. <Revolutionary War in Westchester 1776>
    A plan of the operations of the American and British armies in New York and E. New Jersey from 12th of Oct. to 28th Nov. 1776 including the engagement at White Plains. Photocopy from p. 824 of The Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution, (1859) by Benson John Lossing.
    Measures 8½” x 11”
  1. <Westchester County 1776 as drawn by Major Holland>
    Photocopy from 801Westchester Co. Freeholders of 1763, by Marie Becker, p. 283 (from notation on back).
    Measures 8½” x 11”
  1. <Westchester County 1775-1783>
    Photocopy, origin unknown.
    Measures 8½” x 14”
  1. <Map Showing Boundary Line, Scarsdale Manor and Mamaroneck, 1788>
    Photocopy from New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, v. 25, p. 39.
    Measures 8½” x 11”
  1. <Revolutionary War in Westchester 1776>
    Military operations from Oct. 12 to Nov. 20, 1776, on Upper Manhattan Island and in Westchester County, including the capture of Fort Washington and Fort Lee. Photocopy from the Pageant of America by Gregor Noetzel, American Geographical Society.
    Measures approx. 3½” x 6’


Map Case Shelf #8

  1. <Upper New York City and Adjacent Country, 1889>
    Photocopy of a map showing New York City above 125th Street, the city of Yonkers, the townships of East Chester, West Chester, Pelham and New Rochelle, and a portion of Mamaroneck. Published by Hyde & Company, 48 Exchange Place, NY, NY.
    Measures approx. 45” x 61” unfolded
  1. <Westchester County, 1881>
    Map engraved and printed for Bolton’s History of Westchester County.
    Measures 15” x 19”
  1. <Westchester County During Revolutionary Days>
    Prepared under the direction of the Westchester County Historical Society by workers supplied by Emergency Work Bureau, Westchester Co., NY, 1933.
    Measures 25” x 57”
  1. <Revolutionary War in Westchester 1776>
    A map of the plan of operations of the King’s Army under the command of General William Howe in New York and E. New Jersey against the American forces commanded by General Washington, from the 12th of Oct. to the 28th of Nov. 1776, wherein is particularly distinguished the engagement on the White Plains on the 28th of Oct. Published as the Act Directs, Feb. 25th, 1777, by W. Faden.
    Measures 20” x 18½”

14a. Duplicate of #14.
Reverse photostat (white on black) mounted on cardboard.

  1. <Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, White Plains, Harrison, Rye, 1867>
    Reproduction from an original map by F.W. Beers, 1867.
    Measures 16” x 20”
  1. <The Attack on Youngs’ Corners 1780>
    Photocopy of a road map with farms and dwellings for the attack on Youngs’ Corners. Arrows indicate the probable movement of British and American forces. Origin unknown.
    Measures 11” x 8½”
  1. <Washington’s Campaign in 1778>
    Photocopy from George Washington Atlas of Washington’s campaign in 1778 from Valley Forge to the Hudson via Monmouth Court House.
    Measures 13” x 17”
  1. <Westchester County 1776>
    A plan of the country from Frog’s Point to Croton River shewing [sic] the Positions of the American and British armies from the 12th of October 1776 until the Engagement on the White Plains on the 28th. Drawn by S. Lewis from the original surveys made by order of General Washington, and published in 1807. Reproduced, in 1885, to illustrate Dawson’s Westchester County New York during the American Revolution 1774-1783.
    Measures 12” x 23,” reverse photostat (white on black), in cardboard sleeve with plastic cover.


Map Case Shelf #9

  1. <Publicly Owned Property Westchester County, 1943>
    A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Commission. In color, showing ownership for Federal, State, County, Municipal, New York City & City of Norwalk, CT.
    Measures 25½” x 32½”

1a. <Map of Transportation Routes Westchester County, 1943>
A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Commission. In color, includes bus, trolley and railroad routes.
Measures 25 ½” x 32 ½”

1b. <Map of Drainage Areas Westchester County, 1943>
A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Commission. In color.
Measures 25 ½” x 32 ½”

  1. <Population Distribution Westchester County 1940 Census>
    A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Commission. In color, each dot equals 100 persons.
    Measures 25½” x 32½”
  1. <Tax Exempt Property Westchester County, 1943>
    A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Commission. In color, showing tax exempt ownership for Federal, State, County, Municipal, New York City and Private.
    Measures 25½” x 32½”
  1. <Westchester County School Districts, 1977>
    A map produced by the Westchester County Planning Department based on school district boundaries and school locations provided by forty-three school district offices. In red and gray ink.
    Measures 21” x 29½”


Map Case Shelf #10

  1. <Soil Map, New York, White Plains Area, Rockland and Westchester Counties Sheet, 1919>
    Base map from U.S. Geological Survey Sheets. Upper right corner reads “NYS College of Agriculture, Cornell University, A.R. Mann, Director, E.O. Fippin, In Charge Soil Survey.” Lower right corner reads “Field Operations, Bureau of Soils.” In color, with legends.
    Measures 41” x 37½”
  1. <Realty Maps, North White Plains, undated>
    Approximately 20 realty maps, with property owners handwritten in on plots. Maps are stamped with “Norbroca Realty Corp., 12 Fisher Lane, White Plains.” Many are duplicates. Appears to be some sort of indexing number on maps. In large green cardboard folder.
  1. <North White Plains, 1907>
    Map of North White Plains, The Terminal City situated in the Town and Village of White Plains and the Town of North Castle in the County of Westchester and the State of New York. Surveyed for New York Suburbs Co. 1907. Map is stamped with “Norbroca Realty Corporation” and shows plots.
    Measures 19½” x 16½”
  1. <Parks and Parkways of Westchester County, 1925>
    Produced by the Westchester County Park Commission, Bronxville, NY, April 1925.
    Measures Approx. 12” x 19”

10a. <Parks and Parkways of Westchester County, c. 1926>
Appears to be a reproduction of #10 above. Photocopy from an unidentified book.

  1. <Map of Rye Lake by John Rösch>
    Undated (possibly late 19th-early 20th century)
    Measures 15” x 11½”


Map Case Shelf #11

  1. <Lower Westchester County Indexed Street Map, 1923>
    Published by Dolph & Stewart, 152 W. 42nd Street, New York City.
    Measures (folded) 5” x 10”
  1. <Upper Westchester County Street and Property Ownership Map, c. 1928>
    Published by Dolph & Stewart, 152 W. 42nd Street, New York City. Map cover reads “Compliments of Chauncey B. Griffen, Westchester’s Realtor”
    Measures (folded) 4½” x 9”
  1. <Hammond’s Auto Route map of Westchester County, c,1930s>
    Measures (folded) 4″ x 8½”
  1. <Hagstrom’s Street and Road Map of White Plains, c. 1954>
    Measures (folded) 4” x 7½”
  1. <Hagstrom’s Map of Westchester County, c. 1955>
    Measures (folded) 4” x 9”
  1. <Hagstrom’s Street and Road Map Lower Westchester, c. 1960>
    Measures (folded) 4” x 9”
  1. <Hagstrom’s Upper Westchester County Street Map, 1985>
    Measures (folded) 4½” x 9”
  1. <Hagstrom’s Lower Westchester County Street Map, 1993>
    Measures (folded) 4½” x 9”
  1. <Westchester Transit Guide, 1976>
    Produced by the Westchester County Department of Transportation. Shows bus and Metro North train routes.
    Measures (folded) 3½” x 8½”
  1. <Westchester Transit Guide, 1986>
    Produced by the Westchester County Department of Transportation. Shows bus and Metro North train routes.
    Measures (folded) 3½” x 8½”

Books

The White Plains Collection has approximately 600 books concerning White Plains and Westchester County history. All of these books are listed in the library’s online catalog.  Books from the White Plains Collection do not circulate. However, additional copies of some of them are available in the circulating collection.
Listed below are some of the most frequently used books.  These are a good place to start your research:


About White Plains

Hoffman, Renoda. The Changing Face of White Plains. White Plains, NY, 1994. (974.727 H)

Hoffman, Renoda. It Happened in Old White Plains. White Plains, NY: Efficiency Printing Co., 1989. (974.727 H)

Hoffman, Renoda. Yesterday in White Plains: A Picture History of a Vanished Era, 3rd ed. Tuckahoe, NY: Little Art Graphics, 2003. (974.727 H)

Rösch, John. Historic White Plains. Harrison, NY: Harbor Hill Books, 1976 (reprint of the 1939 edition). (974.727 R)


About Westchester County

Bolton, Robert. A History of the County of Westchester, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time. New York: Alexander S. Gould, 1848. (974.727 B, in two volumes)

Griffin, Ernest Freeland. Westchester County and Its People, a Record. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1946. (974.727 G, in three volumes)

French, Alvah P. History of Westchester County, New York. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1925-1927. (974.727 F in five volumes)

Hoffman, Renoda. Historic Highlights of Westchester. White Plains, NY: The Battle of White Plains Monument Committee, 1969. (974.727 H, pamphlet)

Hufeland, Otto. Westchester County During the American Revolution, 1775-1783. White Plains, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1926. (974.727 H)

Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Westchester County, New York, including Morrisania, Kings Bridge, and West Farms, Which Have Been Annexed to New York City. Philadelphia: L.E. Preston & Co., 1886. (974.727 S, in two volumes)

Shonnard, Frederic, and W.W. Spooner. History of Westchester County, New York, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Year 1900. New York: New York History Co., 1900. (974.727 S)

Weigold, Marilyn E., ed. Westchester County: The Past Hundred Years, 1883-1983. Valhalla, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1984. (974.727 W)

In addition to these books, the collection contains bound volumes and indexes of The Westchester Historian, a quarterly magazine published by the Westchester County Historical Society.

City Directories

Some volumes include reverse directories and some cover surrounding communities (see below). White Plains City Directories were not published after 1967. For coverage after 1967, the Library holds telephone books and some county directories from 1967-present in the Reference Collection.


Holdings:

1888 1912/13 1925 1950
1891/92 1913 1926/27 1952
1901/02 1914/15 1927 1954
1903/04 1915 1928/29 1956
1904/05 1916/17 1930 1958
1905 1917 1931 1961
1906/07 1918/19 1932 1963
1907 1919 1934 1965
1908/09 1921 1937 1967
1909 1922 1939
1910/11 1923 1942
1911 1924 1947


Reverse Directories

City Directories for the following years include a reverse directory (which allows one to search by street name and house number to find resident’s name):

1930 1939 1952 1961
1931 1942 1954 1963
1932 1947 1956 1965
1934 1950 1958 1967
1937



Coverage of Other Communities in City Directories by Year

Amenia 1888
Bedford 1891/92
Bedford Hills 1910/11 1912/13 1914/15
Bedford Station 1888 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09
Boston Corners 1888
Brewster 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09
1910/11 1912/13 1914/15
Bronxville 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09
1910/11 1812/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Chappaqua 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09
1910/11 1912/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Chatham Village 1888
Coleman’s Station 1888
Copake Iron Works 1888
Craryville 1888
Croton Falls 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15
Dykemans 1888
Elmsford 1919 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926/27
1927 1928/29
Fordham 1888
Dover Furnace 1888
Dover Plains 1888
Ghent 1888
Golden’s Bridge 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
[Golden Bridge] 1912/13 1914/15
Hartsdale 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1904 1905 1906/07
1907 1908/09 1909 1910/11 1911 1912/13 1913
1914/15 1915 1916/17 1917 1918/19 1919 1921
1922 1923 1924 1925 1926/27 1927 1928/29
Hawthorne 1903/04 1905 1906/07 1907 1908/09 1910/11 1912/13
1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Hillsdale 1888
Katonah 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1904 1905 1906/07
1908/09 1910/11 1912/13 1914/15
Kensico 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1904 1905 1906/07
1907 1908/09
Kensico Cemetery 1918/19
Lake Mahopac 1888
Martindale 1888
Melrose 1888
Millerton 1888
Morrisania 1888
Motthaven 1888
Mount Kisco 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Mount Pleasant 1918/19
Mount Riga 1888
Mount Vernon 1888
Patterson 1888
Pawling 1888
Philmont 1888
Pleasantville 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Purdy’s Station 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15
Scarsdale 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1903/04
1907 1908/09 1909 1910/11 1911
1914/15 1915 1916/17 1917 1918/19
1922 1923 1924 1925 1926/27
Sharon Station 1888
Sherman 1901/02
Sherman Park 1903/04 1905 1906/07 1907 1908/09 1910/11 1912/13
Silver Lake Park 1904
Somers Centre 1888
South Dover 1888
Towners 1888
Thornwood 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Tremont 1888
Tuckhoe 1888 1891/92 1901/02 1903/04 1906/07 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Unionville 1888 1891/92 1901/02
Valhalla 1903/04 1904 1905 1906/07 1907 1908/09 1910/11
1912/13 1914/15 1916/17 1918/19
Wakefield 1901/02
Wassaic 1888
Williams Bridge [Williamsbridge] 1888 1891/92 1901/02
Woodlawn 1888 1891/92 1901/02

Clippings and Pamphlet Files

White Plains and Westchester County Subject Files include newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photographs, brochures, pamphlets, published documents, and other relevant ephemera. The subject files are still being added to, but the collection is strongest from 1940-1990. Separate sets of files exist for materials relevant to White Plains, Westchester County, and the White Plains Public Library. Please contact the Librarian for White Plains History to see if we hold materials relevant to your research and for access information.

Genealogy

The White Plains Collection contains useful materials for genealogical research in Westchester County.  These include census records, genealogical periodicals, published records, narrative histories, and indexes.  The Library also has a subscription to Ancestry.com where digital versions of the Federal Census and other useful genealogical materials like immigration, military, and vital records can be found.  If we are unable to meet your research needs, the Librarian for White Plains History can work with you on determining which institutions hold the records you are seeking.



Materials Especially Useful for Genealogy Research

Biographical History of Westchester County, New York.  Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1899. (920 B)

Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books.  Washington, D.C. : [The Society], 1896-1921 ; Harrisburg, Pa. : Harrisburg Pub. Co.  (Contact for availability of a specific volume)

Davis, Norman. Westchester Patriarchs: A Genealogical Dictionary of Westchester County, New York, Families prior to 1755. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1988. (929.3D)

Fuller, Elizabeth Green. For Better or Worse: Westchester County Marriage Notices in the Eastern State Journal, May 1845 – April 1875. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1994. (929.3 F)

Fuller, Elizabeth Green. Index of Personal Names in J. Thomas Scharf’s History of Westchester County, New York. Mamaroneck, NY: Harbor Hill Books, 1988. (974.727 F)

Fuller, Elizabeth Green. Indexes to Westchester County Names in the Federal Censuses, 1790-1840. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1994. (317.4727 F)

Fuller, Elizabeth Green. Lives Well Spent: Westchester County Obituaries and Death Notices in the Eastern State Journal, May 1845 – April 1875. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1994. (929.3 F)

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.  New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. (Contact for availability of specific volume)

Renino, Marjorie Chamberlain Herrmann. The Guide to Genealogical Research for Westchester County. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 2003. (929.1 R)

 

Westchester County Census Records on Microfilm

The United States Federal Census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. Copies of census rolls for Westchester County are available on microfilm for the years 1790 through 1930 at the White Plains Public Library. Because of confidentiality, census forms are not available to the public for 72 years after their creation.

Two websites helpful in understanding how to use census information for genealogy research are the National Archives and Records Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census microfilm should be requested at the Periodicals Desk. In most cases, where multiple rolls cover Westchester County, towns included on individual rolls are listed on the side of microfilm boxes.

 

Census Indexes:

Name indexes for Westchester County for census years 1790 – 1840 can be found in:

Fuller, Elizabeth Green. Indexes to Westchester County Names in the Federal Censuses, 1790-1840. Elmsford, NY: Westchester County Historical Society, 1994. (317.4727 F)

An index to the 1890 and 1910 census is available on microfilm (see below under microfilm holdings).

 

Microfilm Holdings:

First Census of the United States, 1790
M637 Roll 6 (New York)
Note: M637 reproduces original census schedules for 1790 (handwritten).

First Census of the United States, 1790
T498 Roll 2 (New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania)
Note: T498 are printed schedules as published by the Bureau of the Census in 1907 to 1908.

Second Census of the United States, 1800
M32 Roll 27 (Saratoga, Suffolk and Westchester Counties)

In addition, the 1800 census is published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Record, v. 57, no. 1 – v. 59, no. 1, January 1926 – January 1928. (929.1 N in the Reference Collection)

Third Census of the United States, 1810
M252 Roll 37 (Schenectady, Steuben, Tioga, Ulster and Westchester Counties)

Fourth Census of the United States, 1820
M33 Roll 75 (Lewis, Seneca and Westchester Counties)

Fifth Census of the United States, 1830
M19 Roll 112 (Westchester and Kings Counties)

Sixth Census of the United States, 1840
M704 Rolls 352 and 353 (Westchester County)

Seventh Census of the United States, 1850
M432 Rolls 614 and 615 (Westchester County)

Eighth Census of the United States, 1860
M653 Rolls 878, 879, 880, 881 and 882 (Westchester County)

Ninth Census of the United States, 1870
M593 Rolls 1114, 1115, 1116, 1117 and 1118 (Westchester County)

Tenth Census of the United States, 1880
T9 Rolls 945, 946 and 947 (Westchester County)

Index to the Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890
M496 Rolls 1 (A-J) and 2 (K-Z)

Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890
M407 Roll 3 (Eastchester in Westchester County)
Note: Most of the 1890 population schedules were badly damaged by fire in 1921.

Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War
M123 Roll 48 (Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties)

Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900
T623 Rolls 1174, 1175, 1176, 1177 and 1178 (Westchester County)

Twelfth Census of the United States Enumeration District Descriptions, 1900
T1210 Rolls 6 and 7

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910
T624 Rolls 1088, 1089, 1090, 1091, 1092 and 1093 (Westchester County)

New York Index to the Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910
T1224 Roll 35 (New York)

Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920
T625 Rolls 1275, 1276, 1277, 1278, 1279, 1280 and 1281

Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930
T626 Rolls 1658, 1659, 1660, 1661, 1662, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1666, 1667, 1668, 1669 (Westchester County)

Index to Selected City Streets and Enumeration Districts of the Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930 (Arizona through Virginia)
M1931 Rolls 4, 5


Biography Index / Scrapbooks

Biography Scrapbooks consisting of newspaper clippings about individuals were created by past librarians.  There are scrapbooks for White Plains and Westchester County, covering most of the 20th century.  All the scrapbooks have been indexed.  Contact the Librarian for White Plains History to access the Biography Scrapbooks and index.

Newspapers


The White Plains Public Library holds microfilm copies of the following local newspapers:

  • The Journal News — October 5, 1998 – Present
  • The Reporter Dispatch — April 1941 – October 4, 1998
  • The Evening Dispatch — March 1939 – February 1941
  • The Daily Press — April 1, 1929 – February 18,1933
  • The Daily Reporter — November 1925 – February 1941
  • White Plains Daily Argus — Jan. 2, 1913 – Feb. 1913; April 1, 1913 – Sept. 30, 1913
  • White Plains Daily Argus — Nov. 21, 1908 – Dec. 31, 1912 [Incomplete, scattered issues]
  • White Plains Argus — Jan. 2, 1906 – Nov. 5, 1906:
  • White Plains Argus — Dec. 2, 1902 – Dec. 26, 1905
  • White Plains Argus — Dec. 11, 1900 – Nov. 25, 1902
  • White Plains Argus — Dec. 8, 1896 – Nov. 27, 1900


Index
An index to two White Plains daily newspapers for items of local interest was kept on a card file by staff of the White Plains Public Library beginning in the mid-1920s. It covers The Daily Reporter (1925-1941) and the Reporter Dispatch (1941- Feb. 1986.). The card file is in a staff area of the library. Drawers can be retrieved for patrons upon request. The index is divided into two parts, Westchester County articles and White Plains articles. Obituaries and deaths printed in the newspaper are recorded in the index, under “Biography” from 1925-1976 and under “Deaths” from 1976-1986. While the index is extensive, not every name or article printed in the paper during the period covered was recorded.

People & Stories: Oral History Project

People & Stories has three ingredients: storytellers, interviewers, and recorders. Using these three simple elements, P&S seeks to facilitate deep conversation between community members and preserve previously undocumented history in a sharable, engaging way. People & Stories functions by training community members as volunteer interviewers who independently seek storytellers to interview. Copies of interviews are given to the participants, cataloged, added to the White Plains Collection, and made available at the Library and on our website.

We are interested in supporting groups or organizations who want to document their contributions to life in White Plains through oral history recording events. We are also always interested in training and supporting the work of volunteer interviewers and storytellers. If you are interested in participating in People & Stories in any capacity, simply contact the Librarian for White Plains History.

  • People & Stories Oral History Project: Harry Bright


    People & Stories is the oral history project of the White Plains Public Library. People & Stories seeks to record and share the voices of people who have lived or worked in White Plains. The project functions by pairing interviewers with storytellers from the community. If you are interested in becoming an interviewer, we have our first training event on Saturday, April 18, from 10:30 am- 12:00 pm at the Library.

    Harry Bright’s work as an educator took him around the world, from Cambodia to Europe, and, of course, to White Plains. Bright worked as a teacher and coach at White Plains High School and was Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission for many years. Bright grew up in the South before the civil rights movement, was a highly successful athlete in college, and began teaching in Westchester in the early 1960s. He and his wife moved to White Plains in the mid-1960s and he said he “never felt like a stranger.” In this interview, conducted by Librarian for White Plains History Ben Himmelfarb, Bright shares his goals for an integrated community where “everybody has an equal opportunity in this city.” Some of Bright’s most moving stories are about the positive impact he made on students’ lives through teaching and coaching.

    We hope you enjoy listening to this oral history. People & Stories is a great way to learn more about our city and the experiences of the people who make it the dynamic, rich place it is.

  • People & Stories Oral History Project: Milton Hoffman


    During his 86 years, Milton Hoffman was an important presence in White Plains. Hoffman grew up in White Plains and recalls what life was like for kids in the city in this oral history. He also recounts experiences from his 50 years in the newspaper business in White Plains, where his reporting on politics earned him respect from people throughout the county and state.

    This oral history is in two parts- after the first interview concluded, Hoffman began recounting the history of White Plains’ Jewish community, and the recorder was turned back on to capture more of his insightful perspective. This occurs at the 1:01:50 mark.

  • People & Stories Oral History Project: Isabel Villar


    Isabel Villar is the Executive Director of El Centro Hispano, an organization that supports the Hispanic Community in White Plains. She is also a longtime resident of White Plains, arriving from Cuba in the late-1960s. In this oral history, Villar describes the experience of being a Hispanic immigrant in White Plains. She tells stories about her first educational and professional experiences, and reflects on the character of Hispanic immigrants in White Plains. Villar’s story is one from among over 17,000 Hispanic people in White Plains and is a great way to begin to gain a sense of what life is like for new and longtime residents alike.

    People & Stories is the oral history project of the White Plains Public Library. People & Stories seeks to record and share the voices of people who have lived or worked in White Plains. The project functions by pairing interviewers with storytellers from the community. If you are interested in participating, contact Ben Himmelfarb, the Librarian for White Plains History.

Photographs

The White Plains Collections contains many fascinating and informative photographs of buildings, people, events, and landscapes. While there are some photographs included in our general collection, many are part of special collections like the John Rosch Collection or Peter Kanze Collection. For help finding photographs of specific buildings, locations, or people, contact the Librarian for White Plains History.


John Rosch Collection:
Rosch owned a photography studio in White Plains and was the first City Historian. This collection contains photographs attributable to him as well as photographs he collected or reprinted. Coverage is generally from the 1870s to the mid-1940s. The condition and format of the photographs varies widely. A finding aid for this collection is available upon request.


Peter Kanze Collection:
Kanze donated hundreds of photographs of the City of White Plains covering the years 1952-1976. The photographs in this collection are in JPEG format. Contact the Librarian for White Plains History to conduct searches in this collection.

School Yearbooks

White Plains High School, The Oracle
1898-Present, Missing Years: 1899, 1900, 1902-1907, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1934, 1963, 2001

White Plains Middle School, Visions
1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999

St. John’s High School, The Eagle
1948-1959, 1961

St. John the Evangelist
1995, 1996, 1997

Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel, The Aloysian
1954-1967

Urban Renewal

The White Plains Collection contains material relevant to urban renewal, housing, city planning, and urban development projects in White Plains. Materials in our collection relevant to what is broadly labeled “urban renewal” in White Plains cover the 1930s through the present. Below is a finding aid for records and a link to the WLS catalog where bibliographic information on our cataloged holdings is available.


Folder Titles:

Box 1
Battle Hill Development Project
Central Renewal Project
Citizens Advisory Committee
City of White Plains Urban Renewal Newsletter, 1962, 1963, 1969
Civic Center
Developers, Sponsors, Architects, Contractors
Eclectic Digest (2 folders)
Hamilton Shopping Center
Newspaper Clippings, 1961-1962
Newspaper Clippings, 1963
Newspaper Clippings, 1964
Newspaper Clippings, 1965
Newspaper Clippings, 1966
Newspaper Clippings, 1967

Box 2
Newspaper Clippings, 1968-1969
Newspaper Clippings, 1970-1971
Newspaper Clippings, 1972-1974
Newspaper Clippings, 1975-1977
Newspaper Clippings, 1977-1978, 1980-1983
Westchester County
Westchester Forum
Westchester Forum Development
Westchester Newspaper Clippings, 1962-1970, 1974, 1977
White Plains City Reports, 1969-1970, 1971-1972
White Plains Urban Renewal Agency, Resolutions and Correspondence (4 folders)
White Plains Urban Renewal Department

Published materials, documents, and reports: Urban Renewal: NY – White Plains

Our Hours:

Mon-Thu: 10am-9pm
Fri: 10am-6pm
Sat: 10am-5pm
Sun: 1pm-5pm
Closed on City Holidays

Our Full Contact Information
Contact Us:

Call us: 914-422-1400
Text us: WPPL to 66746
100 Martine Ave.
White Plains, NY 10601