Search Our Collections Online

Montgomery History uses the Past Perfect Online database to provide access to our collections. The collections are organized into four catalogs (described below) that allow you to search, and in some cases view, our extensive museum collections, library holdings, special collections, and photographs. Follow the instruction and links below to get started!


To search across all our collections (museum, library, special collections, photos) use keyword search or advanced search in the top menu bar.


Or use the catalog-specific searches to narrow your results:


Archives: The Sween Library has a rich variety of special collections, consisting of primary source archival documents as well as rare and unique published materials relating to Montgomery County and Maryland. These documents include wills, deeds, correspondence, diaries, family Bibles, photographs, scrapbooks, newspapers, yearbooks, maps and much more, representing the activity of Montgomery County families, schools, churches, clubs & organizations, communities, businesses, and individuals. Over 750 unique collections and items described.


Photos: Our extensive photograph collection depicts places and people in Montgomery County over the last 130 years, consisting of prints, snapshots and slides. Over 12,000 images are available to view. To request an image for personal use, contact the Librarian/Archivist or click the “Request This Image” button to fill out an order. (Requesting more than 5 photos? Please email instead of requesting individually.)


Objects: Our artifacts collection includes textiles, household goods, toys and recreational items, weapons, agricultural and industrial tools, furniture and decorative arts, and many other items, all of which help to tell the story of everyday life in Montgomery County. We also have a large collection of 19th and early 20th century medical tools and books related to the Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine. 


Library: Discover the books and other secondary sources available in the Jane C. Sween Library’s non-circulating collection, with a focus on local and regional history, genealogy, and biographies. Our Library Catalog is being updated weekly, but is not yet complete. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Search the Montgomery Public Library‘s online catalog for more titles held in our collection.