About the Library

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Originally housed in one of the rooms of the Schenectady History Museum, The Grems-Doolittle Library was expanded through a 3,000-square-foot addition in 1991. The library collects, preserves, and makes available materials that document the people, places, and history of Schenectady County and its environs.

Library holdings include books pertaining to local history, genealogies and family histories, periodicals, oral histories, diaries, newspapers, yearbooks, wills, naturalization records, maps, photographs, personal and family papers, and records of Schenectady County schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations. Guides to a number of our collections are available on our Collections & Catalog page. Our Grems-Doolittle Library Collections Blog also features highlights from some of our collections.

We invite you to visit us at 32 Washington Avenue in the Stockade Historic District in Schenectady. Visitors of all ages are welcome, and the library is staffed to help researchers find material on a variety of local history and genealogical research topics. Our Research Resources page provides some basic information about using our library. Can’t stop by? You can make a request for our staff and volunteers to conduct research on your behalf.

COVID-19 Policies

As of July 8, 2020, The Library is open to the public by appointment only. To make an appointment, researchers must contact the librarian by phone or email to set up an appointment. Please keep our COVID-19 guidelines in mind:

  • The librarian will limit the number of researchers allowed in reading room at one time to keep capacity below state guidelines (e.g. 25%).
  • Appointments made at least 24 hours in advance
  • Researchers must include which materials they plan to use when making the appointment. Materials will be pulled for researchers and then quarantined after use
  • Volunteers who return to SCHS must adhere to a set schedule
  • No more than 1 volunteer may work in an area at a time
  • Volunteers must clean and disinfect work stations between users.
  • The library will be closed for librarian’s lunch
  • No meetings will be allowed in the library
  • Everyone in library must wear a mask
  • SCHS will quarantine collections after use, including those used by volunteers
  • There is no timeframe for returning to normal operations

Donations of Materials

If you are interested in donating books, original documents, photographs, or other materials to the library, please contact 518-374-0263, option 3, or email our Librarian. The Library collects records of enduring value which document the people and history of the city and county of Schenectady, and to a lesser degree, materials related to the surrounding area in New York State.


If you have any questions about the collections or services of the Grems-Doolittle Library, please contact 518-374-0263, option 3, or email librarian@schenectadyhistorical.org