There are historical societies in many communities and in areas of any size. There also are historical societies for various ethnic groups and for special interest groups. These societies exist for the purpose of preserving and recording the history of its particular interest group. Historical societies are sometimes run in conjunction with a museum or historical site, and the larger societies sometimes have their own library.
One of the things that a historical society does is track the genealogical history of an area. The society keeps records pertaining to people who lived in a certain area or those of various groups. If your paper deals with a local historical person, whether or not he or she is well known, your local historical society may be a good place to look for information. For example, the Chicago Historical Society has a collection of information about Al Capone.
If you have a lot of questions, ask the staff after the tour. There are likely to be others on the tour who won't want their time taken up by extensive questioning that may go beyond their interest level. If staff members cannot answer your questions, they can refer you to someone else at the site who can.
Because historical societies deal with a specific place or time in the past, they could be a good source of local historical information. Their mandate may be to record information that otherwise has not been recorded elsewhere. Their members often have valuable knowledge that could help in your research. They may even have a museum-like collection of local historical information, or they may put out publications about local history.