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Suzanne G. Long Local History Room

History of the Hammond Public Library Archives

Originally named the Calumet Room, the Hammond Public Library archives were founded in 1967 when the Hammond Public Library and the Hammond Historical Society joined in cooperative effort to collect and preserve materials relating to Hammond and the Calumet Region.

Later renamed the Suzanne G. Long Local History Room after the passing of beloved Local History Librarian Suzanne Long, the local history room archives have evolved along with the library. The exponential growth of the collections eventually resulted in a narrowing of the local history room's collecting scope from the entire Calumet Region to a primarily Hammond based one.

More information on the local history room, its hours, and policies can be found further down this page.

The SGL Digital Database

One of the Hammond Public Library's long term access goals has been to create a digital database of its historical collections. It should be noted that the database is still in its early stages and we while we strive to include as many items and collections as possible, please keep in mind that new records are being added every week. Also, not everything that can be found in the archives may end up in the digital database. Physical visitations are highly recommended for any serious researcher.

Tips for Searching the Database

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hohman Avenue will return records associated with Hohman OR Avenue). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Minas Department Store"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Libraries / Objects)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.

About the Local History Room


As with most archives, the majority of the collections found in SGL are paper artifacts and photographs. However, small historical items of interest have also been accepted over the years in order to faithfully reflect the past eras that are represented in our archives.

An example of the types of collections you may find in the Suzanne G. Long Local History Room are:

Hours & Contact Information

The history room is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 1-5 pm and Wednesdays from 1-9 pm (hours may vary). However, appointments are available in the mornings or on Saturdays by request and availability. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Amanda Aguilera, Local History Librarian
(219)931-5100 Extension 307

Research Requests & Reproductions

The local history room librarian or HPL staff will fill research requests dependent on size of the request and availability. Large requests for patrons that live outside of the Calumet Region are filled solely at the discretion of the local history librarian. Generally it is expected that patrons come to the archives to conduct their own research with, if necessary, the assistance of the local history librarian.

SGL permits the use of digital and print reproductions of its collection materials according to federal rights and restrictions. We permit and encourage personal and educational use for unrestricted collection items. These can be made in the Local History Room for $.10 a page or scanned, if not already digitized, and emailed to the patron when possible. The Hammond Public Library reserves the right to refuse reproduction permission based upon the intended use of the item, existing condition issues with the item, or the reproduction method.

Higher quality or high-resolution photographic images and copies are available upon request at the local history librarian's discretion. For publication, commercial use, or distribution, patrons are required to fill out a Reproduction Request Form and submit it to the local history librarian for administrative approval prior to receiving or making the copies.

Please keep in mind that many of the photographs displayed in this digital collection have been digitally restored and can vary from the current state of the original.

NOTE: All reproductions obtained from the archives requires credit to be given when shared. The following is an acceptable example of a basic credit line: Courtesy of the Hammond Public Library


While the archives attempt to monitor collections for copyright restrictions, the archives' collections are obtained from many sources and are intended primarily for research and educational purposes. Certain works may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests not governed by the Hammond Public Library. While copyright attachments will be shared with patrons if known, the responsibility for ascertaining whether any additional rights exist, and for obtaining all necessary permissions, remains with the researcher.

For more information on copyright:

  • How to Investigate Copyright Status of a Work
  • Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
  • U.S. Copyright Office Public Database
  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

  • Donations

    The Suzanne G. Long Local History Room continues to collect items of historical significance relating to the Hammond area. Those with papers or photos of Hammond families, organizations, or businesses, are encouraged to bring these items in for a donation assessment.

    The library reserves the right to decline a donation for any reason; including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The archives already have the item or document in the collections
  • The item or document is not a good match for the SGL collections
  • The space and housing requirements exceed the capability of the archives
  • The item or document is hazardous to the health of staff or patrons (e.g. moldy, active pest infestations, contains toxic elements such as mercury or arsenic, etc.)
  • The item or document is too fragile to be properly preserved and cared for in the archives
  • For more information on what is accepted, please contact the Local History Room librarian.

    After an item or collection is accepted for collection, the donor will be expected to either come into the library during the archives' open hours to fill out a Deed of Gift donation form (for private use only) OR fill out and mail in a Deed of Gift form prior to sending the item in the mail.

    The library reserves the right to dispose of items left/abandoned at the library without proper documentation (i.e. Deed of Gift form).