Written by M. Doane
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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.
The Library is housed in the Chemung Valley History Museum
The building opened in 1834 as the home to the newly-formed Chemung Canal Bank. Amman Beardsley designed and built the two and a half story brick structure, combining elements of Greek Revival and Federal styles. The brick construction was unusual because most buildings in Elmira were made of wood at that time.
In 1920, the bank moved out of this building to new headquarters at the corner of State and Water Streets. For many years after that this building housed law offices and apartments. The Chemung County Historical Society purchased the building in 1982 and made it into a museum.