The Captain Edward R. Rhodes Memorial Collection of Local History was established by the Three Village Historical Society in 1978 "to discover and collect material which may help to illustrate the history of the settlement of the Three Villages" and "to provide for the preservation of such materials and its accessibility insofar as may be feasible to all who wish to examine and study it”. The Collection was named to honor the founder of the Society.
The collection consists of the papers of members of the Melville family and are therefore arranged around these individuals. The papers span 1825 to 1979. The bulk of the collection dates from 1909 to 1942. The collection consists of correspondence, diaries, photographs, film, audio tapes, maps, architectural drawings, ephemera, artifacts and other papers of the Melville Family. Although the bulk of the collection deals with the papers of John Ward Melville (commonly referred to as "Ward") it also contains the papers of his grandfather Francis Melville, father Frank Melville, mother Jennie Macconnell, himself and his wife Dorothy Bigelow. There are limited records of the Melville Shoe Corporation.