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Links & Literature


Historic Northampton Museum
This Museum located in Northampton, MA offers a wealth of local history resources. Join Historic Northampton to access an extensive online database, publications, other interactive exhibits, and more.

Erie Canal Website
This Website includes general information about the history of the Erie Canal that includes prints, paintings, and postcards, along with recent photographs of the canal remains and an interactive map of the path. Site also includes other helpful links.

Erie Canal Museum
“The world’s leading interpreter of Erie Canal history,” the museum highlights the “profound influence” of the canal through “the world’s most important and comprehensive collection of Erie Canal related documents, photographs, prints and rare books.” Website under construction.

Library of Congress Website
The Library of Congress Collections include the Historic American Engineering Record, which documents achievements in engineering throughout the United States and its territories.
Features hundreds of photographs and other documentation of the locks and canal system of the Erie Canal. Use the “Search” key to discover the wealth of information on the Erie Canal in the holdings of this important government library.

Museum of Springfield History
Materials digitized for this online exhibit are held in the archives of the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. Contact the Springfield History Library and Archives to make an appointment to visit the collections.

American System Now
This blog examines the history and promotes the application of this concept to today's world. 



Pioneer Valley: A Pictorial History. Guy McLain. The Donning Company Publishers. (1991)

  • Presents an overview of the history of the Pioneer Valley and places local events in a wider historical narrative. Chapter Five provided much of the inspiration for our story of the Steamboat Barnet.


Canals for a Nation: The Canal Era in the United States, 1790-1860. Ronald E. Shaw. University Press of Kentucky. (1990).

  • Explores the construction of canals from the Erie Canal to the Blackstone Canal that linked Providence, R.I to Worcester, MA and made that landlocked city a port.


Going for Broken: The Glorious Ruins of the Erie Canal. Slideshow. Dana Spiotta. The New York Times Magazine. (June 12, 2011).

  • Explores the remains of the canal through text and vivid photos.


Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century. Walter Licht. The Johns Hopkins University Press. (1995).

  • Asks and answers the biggest background questions about how the United States came to be industrialized.


Life on a Canal Boat: The Journals of Theodore D. Bartley, 1861-1889. Russell Bellico. Purple Mountain Press, Ltd. and The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. (2004).

  • Twenty-nine years of entries provide a window into the day-to-day life on canal boats in the Northeast, particularly on Lake Champlain, Vermont.


Steam: The Untold Story of America’s First Great Invention. Andrea Sutcliffe. Palgrave MacMillan. (2004).

  • The dramatic story of the competition to build a steamboat and the hostility of the stagecoach and barge companies to steam rivals.


Towpath to Tugboats: A History of American Canal Engineering. W.H. Shank. American Canal & Transportation Center. (1995).

  • Comprehensive look at the building of canals from the Erie Canal to the canals in Panama and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. 130 drawings, maps, and photos.

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