Historical societies began to spread beyond the eastern seaboard in the mid to late 19th century, driven primarily by a desire to preserve the culture of a local city or town. The founders of these organizations, who were often educated men from the professional classes, sought to preserve important documents and manuscripts that offered insight into the communities’ roles in important events and relationships with famous people. This is the story of how that early, culturally narrow, view has evolved into a broad and inclusive approach to local and national history. It is also the story of how a historical society can evolve into a critical cultural institution in the digital age. With Dr. Talbott as our guide, what unfolds are three interwoven stories. The first is a person who has discovered a powerful link with her familial past. Next, a high school student uses the library for research on a class project. The third story is centered around the staff of the library and the tools they are developing to make the collection available in the digital age.