Local History

Local History and Genealogy Collections

The Local History and Genealogy collections are located on the second floor of the library and offer many unique resources such as books on the history of the Town of Gates including Town of Gates County Cornerstone Bicentennial and Town of Gates Sesquicentennial. In addition, Gates-Chili Yearbooks and a newspaper clippings file are available for in-library use.

Other materials encompass the history of Rochester, Monroe County, as well as various regions of New York State. Examples include:

  • History of Seneca Park
  • Horses on Parade
  • The Rochester Public Market: At the Heart of It All
  • Books by iconic writers Arch Merrill and Henry Clune
  • World War I Service Records for Rochester and Monroe County

We also offer in-library access to Ancestry.com.

Gates-Chili Newspapers

The Library received a grant through Rochester Regional Library Council to digitize 50+ years of local newspapers, which are available at the links below from the free NYS Historic Newspapers database. 

Gates-Chili Press (1947-1958)
Gates-Chili Shopping Dollar News (1962-1963)
Gates-Chili News (1963-1992; 1993-2000 coming soon)

Many other Monroe County and New York State newspapers are also available.

Town of Gates Historian: William Gillette

The Town Historian is a unique position responsible for the gathering and preservation of historic town information for reference purposes and for preservation of this information for future generations. Information pertaining to buildings, land use, commercial development, and population growth is preserved as a community resource.

Contact Gates Historian Bill Gillette at bgillette@townfogates.org or (585) 247-6100 Ext 124.


Town of Gates – A Short History
Historic Multimedia

Gates Town Historian

Gates Historical Society

Founded in 1999, the Gates Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization with the intention to collect and preserve Gates history, and to showcase the Hinchey Homestead as a model historic site. For more information or to volunteer, please contact:

Gates Historical Society & Hinchey Homestead
634 Hinchey Road
Rochester, NY 14624
(585) 464-9740

Rochester Public Library

The Rochester Public Library has an abundance of resources and records on site at their Local History and Genealogy Division, which is located on the 2nd floor of the Rundel Library Building. Staff are available to help you by telephone, email, or in person for quick reference questions. Request an appointment with this form.

115 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604
TDD: 585-428-8023

New York Heritage Digital Collections

New York Heritage is a project of the NY 3Rs Association, Inc. New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York State. The site provides free access to more than 170 distinct digital collections, totaling hundreds of thousands of items.

The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, newspapers, books, and more.