Local History & Genealogy

Email Local History

Your History. Your Library.

Books and artifacts inside the Local History & Genealogy Department lay a foundation of who we are today in Toledo and Lucas County. Whether you’re a new arrival or lifelong resident, (re)discover what makes our region great.

  • Explore history as it happened with extensive newspaper archives, yearbooks and other artifacts
  • Join one of the country’s most popular hobbies and trace your genealogy
  • Read accounts of the labor movement, locally and nationally, as it pushed for worker rights

Email our Local History & Genealogy Department below or call 419.259.5200 to start learning and researching today!

Email Local History
Look up Obituaries


The Library indexes obituaries as a service to the community.

If you find the name of the individual that you are searching for, we can email a scan of the obituary to you.

Out-of-state residents are charged $3 per obituary scan.

Look up Obituaries
Explore Collections

Digital Collections and Exhibits

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is pleased to partner with Ohio Memory to present our growing digital archive of collections and exhibits on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Architecture and buildings
  • Genealogical records
  • Historical documents and photos
  • Toledo historical records

Explore Collections
Submit photos

Community Photo Album

We're creating a photo collection to preserve the history of Toledo and Lucas County and we need your help!

We are looking for pictures depicting scenes from Toledo and Lucas County or of residents out in the wider world. We would love to include your vacation photos in the Smoky Mountains from the 80s, snapshots from your 4th of July picnic, Instagram selfies from Jeepfest, or your hundred year old historical photographs; absolutely anything so long as it is about Toledo/Lucas County or its residents.

Submit photos digitally using the link below, or download and complete our form if you wish to mail us your photographs (all mailed photographs will be returned).

View the Community Photo Album.

Submit photos

Physical Collections

Our Local History Department houses a growing list of physical collections, including:

The Blade Rare Book Room

The Blade Rare Book Room:
A diverse collection of rare and valuable items. Highlights include:

  • Ancient Babylonian clay tablet (purchased by the Library in the 1900’s)
  • Early Armenian manuscript of the gospels of Luke and John
  • Thomas Jefferson letter dated 1800
  • First edition history of the Indian Tribes of North America by Thomas L. McKenny and Jones Hall
  • Complete set of Nancy Drew first editions written by Toledoan Mildred Benson

Request this room

Rogowski-Kaptur Labor History Room

The award-winning Rogowski-Kaptur Labor History Room is named for Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur's mother. It contains books, DVDs and memorabilia related to local, national and international labor issues and history. Some of the memorabilia located in the room includes:

  • Photos of the Electric Auto-lite strike
  • The stamps of several unions, including the Toledo, Ohio, area, AFL-CIO
  • A union card from the Toledo Typographical Union, No. 63
  • A Pre-Election dinner program from 1962, with an authenticated signature of Jimmy Hoffa

This room may be reserved by card holders. One hour maximum per day.

Request this room
Ask about Digitization Services

Digitization Services

We will digitize up to ten items* for you every three months at no charge!

Our state-of-the-art digitization equipment and expert staff are dedicated to identifying, digitizing, preserving and providing open access to unique and rare materials that document the history and cultural heritage of Toledo and Lucas County.

Interested in digitizing materials or have questions? Email us or call 419.259.5200 and set up an appointment today. Please note that the minimum turnaround time for digitization services is approximately two weeks.

Scanning: We will scan text, books, slides and negatives, glass plate negatives or other oversized items for you.

Editing: Looking for assistance cropping, rotating or editing your images or documents? We offer a variety of editing services starting at $30 per hour.

File Storage: Need somewhere to store your items? If materials fall within our collection scope, we will host them for free. Otherwise, we can provide materials on a CD, DVD or Flash Drive.

* Does not include 3D object or full book scanning

Ask about Digitization Services

Upcoming Events

Genealogy for Beginners

Wednesday Jan. 29
at 2:00 p.m.

Location: Waterville

Join our Local History and Genealogy librarian to discuss beginning your family tree and using library resources to assist you on your journey to discovering your family’s history.

Event Details for Genealogy for Beginners

African American Police League

Monday Feb. 3
at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Mott

Informational meeting about oral history project interviews.

Event Details for African American Police League

Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Thursday Feb. 6
at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Maumee

Join us at the Maumee Library for the Wolcott House Museum Guild's annual lecture series. Featuring local authors and topics relevant to local history.

Event Details for Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Thursday Feb. 13
at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Maumee

Join us at the Maumee Library for the Wolcott House Museum Guild's annual lecture series. Featuring local authors and topics relevant to local history.

Event Details for Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Metroparks Toledo Presents: Surviving the Great Black Swamp

Tuesday Feb. 18
at 7:00 p.m.

Location: Waterville

Discover the ways settlers adapted the Great Black Swamp to create the communities we live in today. You will be amazed to find out what our ancestors went through to tame Northwest Ohio.

Event Details for Metroparks Toledo Presents: Surviving the Great Black Swamp

Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Thursday Feb. 20
at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Maumee

Join us at the Maumee Library for the Wolcott House Museum Guild's annual lecture series. Featuring local authors and topics relevant to local history.

Event Details for Wolcott House Historical Lecture Series

Special Collections for Lucas County

The Blade Obituary Index, 1837-present
Microfilmed newspapers, English & foreign language
Microfilmed records from local governmental offices
Toledo City Directories, 1858-present
Toledo Suburban Directories, 1957-present
Yearbooks for schools, colleges and universities
Newspaper clippings arranged by subject
Manuscript collections from individuals and organizations
Photograph collections
Map collections
Oral histories
Architectural files
Ohio Historic Inventory forms & National Register applications
Toledo Police Department Jail Registers, 1872-1921
Church records
Council ordinances, resolutions, journals, 1837-1917
Cemetery records and tombstone transcriptions

Genealogy Collections

County histories and published genealogical works for the United States
Indexes for Federal censuses
Federal census microfilm for several states
Family histories
Name Index with 100,000+ names
Ohio Historical Society, Surname Index on microfilm
Daughters of the American Revolution, Lineage Book
Domesday Book
Genealogical and historical periodicals
Barbour Collection, Connecticut Vital Records
U.S. Revolutionary War bounty land warrants, Military District of Ohio
American State Papers, Public lands and claims
Ohio military rosters: War of 1812 through World War I
Ohio regimental histories for the Civil War
Published ship passenger lists & indexes
Online subscriptions: Ancestry Library Edition; Heritage
Quest Online; New England Ancestors

Newspapers on Microfilm

American Legion Councillor 1921-1945
American Legion Press 1946-1998
Ameryka-Echo (Polish) 1889-1971
Amulet (Maumee) Nov. 29, 1856
Anthony Wayne Herald 1938-1991
Anthony Wayne Mirror 1993-2009
Business Advantage 2002-2007
Catholic Chronicle 1934-1993
Christian Reporter 2005-2007
Commercial Advantage 1984-2002
Community Mirror (Maumee) 1980-1992
Daybreak Dispatch 1977-1978
Development News 2006-2011
dot! 2006-2011
Enquirer (Oregon) 1981
Gwiazda (Polish) 1888-1889
Holland-Springfield Mirror 1994-2009
Manhattan Advertiser Aug. 16, 1837; 1838-1841
Maumee Advance-Era 1910-1945
Maumee Express 1837-1840
Maumee Valley Herald 1925-1993
Metro Press 1986-1999
Midwest Urban 2008-2009
Mirror (Maumee) 1993-2009
National Citizen and Ballot Box 1876-1881
Niedziela (Polish) 1912-1913
Ohio American Legion News 1940-1947
Ohio Legion News 1947-1985
Ohio Staats-Zeitung (German) 1854-1856
Oregon News 1959-1980
The Paper 1995
Point & Shoreland Journal 1978-2005
Point Place Herald 1954-1966; 1969-1981
Point Place News 1956-1960
La Prensa (Hispanic) 1989-2014
Press (Metro ed.) 2000-2010
Saturday World 1904-1907
Shopper-Herald 1978-1982
Sojourner’s Truth (African American) 2003-2014
South Toledo Ad-News 1959-1962
Southwest Express (Toledo) 1975-1977
Suburban Herald 1968-1975
Suburban Press 1974-2011
Sun (Eastside Sun) 1921-1984
Sylvania Advantage 1995-2011
Sylvania Herald 1910-2011
Tiempo, El 1999-2010
Toledo (Hungarian) 1930-1966
Toledo Bee 1884-1903
Toledo Blade Dec. 19, 1835; May 16, 1837-
Toledo Bronze Raven (African American) 1951-1976
Toledo Business Journal 1988-2011
Toledo Business News 1945-1988
Toledo City Paper 1997-2014
Toledo Commercial 1853-1900
Toledo Countryside 1974-1975
Toledo Daily Herald & Times 1857-1861
Toledo Democrat & Herald 1874
Toledo Express (German) 1856-1913
Toledo Free Press 2005-2009
Toledo Freie Presse (German) 1888-1889
Toledo Herald 1843-1844
Toledo Herold (German) 1907
Toledo Heights Tidbits 1938-1945
Toledo Israelite Mar. 4, 1938
Toledo Jewish News 1951-1996
Toledo Jewish Times 1938-1948
Toledo Journal (African American) 1980-2016
Toledo Municipal News 1946-1968
Toledo News 1890-1903
Toledo News-Bee 1903-1938
Toledo Non-Partisan & Saturday Night 1899
Toledo Register 1841-1843
Toledo Script (African American) 1947-1949
Toledo Sepia City Press (African American) 1948-1950
Toledo Sunday Journal 1876-1907
Toledo Sunday Times 1930-1948
Toledo Times 1900-1975
Toledo Tribune 1899-1900; 1932; 1964
Toledo Union Journal 1942-1970; 1984-2010
Toledo Union Leader 1907-1954
Toledo Volksblatt (German) 1907-1910
Toledo Weekly Bee 1897-1900
Toledo Weekly Blade 1870-1924
Toledo Weekly Republican Apr. 11, 1853
West Toledo Herald 1949-2008
Wochenliche Express (German) 1867-1873
Workingman's Paper 1900-1910

Local Government Records on Microfilm

Clerk of Courts, Common Please Court
Appearance Docket, 1848-1853
Chancery Record, 1836-1853
Journal, Civil Division, 1835-1940
Naturalization records (book indexes)

Clerk of Courts, Supreme/District Court

Chancery Record, 1838-1855
Complete Record, 1837-1854
Journal, 1837-1852

Probate Court
Birth Record and Index, 1867-1908
Death Record and Index, 1867-1908
Estate Index, 1891-1988 (microfiche)
Guardianship Index, 1891-1988 (microfiche)
Journal, 1852-1887
Marriage Record, 1835-July 1951; Index, 1835-1998
Miscellaneous Index, 1959-1988 (microfiche)
Naturalization records (book indexes)
Nurses’ Record, 1916-1955
Physicians & Surgeons Record, 1896-1953
Record of Ministers’ License, 1902-1966
Supplemental Will Record, n.d. (microfiche)
Will Record, 1835-1903

Toledo Health Department

Birth Record Indexes, 1868-1933
Death Record Indexes, 1858-1990
Marriage Record, 1876-1892

Manuscript Collection Inventories

American Institute of Banking, Toledo Chapter Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 257 View>>
Americanization Board Collection, 1919-1925 - Sm. Coll. 38 View>>
Ames, Edward Carder, Collection - Mss. Coll. 142 View>>
Anderson, Elaine, Collection - Mss. Coll. 153 View>>
Association of Historical & Ancestral Societies - Mss. Coll. 70 View>>
Athena Art Society Collection - Mss. Coll. 28 View>>
Autograph Collection - BRBR Coll. 2 View>>
Backus, Elise McDowell, Collection - BRBR Coll. 5 View>>
Banks of Greater Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 39 View>>
Battle of Fallen Timbers Commemorative Stamp Collection - Mss. Coll. 132 View>>
Bentley, Ethel, Collection - Mss. Coll. 37 View>>
Binkley, Diana Elizabeth Long, Scrapbook - Sm. Coll. 86 View>>
Black American History Papers - Mss. Coll. 27 View>>
Black Swamp Blues Society Collection - Mss. Coll. 313 View>>
Boats and Boating Collection - Sm. Coll. 13 View>>
Boyd, Rev. Robert D., Collection - Mss. Coll. 135 View>>
Brand Whitlock Homes Cornerstone Collection - Mss. Coll. 312 View>>
Brand, Constance Woolson, Collection - MVHS Coll. 11 View>>
Brophy, Thomas, Collection - Sm. Coll. 2 View>>
Brown, Joe E., Day Scrapbook - Mss. Coll. 277 View>>
Businesses and Industries of Greater Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 36 View>>
Callahan, John J., Papers - Mss. Coll. 274 View>>
Canal Memorabilia - Sm. Coll. 28 View>>
Centennials & Celebrations Collection - Mss. Coll. 121 View>>
Churches of Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 20 View>>
City of Toledo Charter Review Commission Collection - Mss. Coll. 265 View>>
City of Toledo Official Correspondence - MVHS Coll. 9 View>>
Civil War Papers - Mss. Coll. 8 View>>
Clubs & Organizations of Greater Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 41 View>>
Cochran, Negley, Collection - Mss. Coll. 34 View>>
Collins, Whitney and Heston Papers - Mss. Coll. 13 View>>
Colton, Olive A., Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 12 View>>
Community Traction Company, Coffin Award Presentation, 1930 - BRBR Coll. 6 View>>
Cook & Kirtland Account Book - MVHS Coll. 2 View>>
Cook, Louisa, Letters - Sm. Coll. 19 View>>
Corey Woods Garden Club Collection - Mss. Coll. 219 View>>
Crane, Emily Lois Boice, Scrapbook - Mss. Coll. 223 View>>
Cullen, Gerald, Collection - Mss. Coll. 105 View>>
Cummins, Calvin Clark, Genealogical Research Collection - Mss. Coll. 298 View>>
Dahn, Adelaide, Collection - Mss. Coll. 11 View>>
DeVilbiss High School Social Scrapbooks, 1931-1941 - Mss. Coll. 165 View>>
Early NW Ohio Documents (Pre 1850) Collection - BRBR Coll. 4 View>>
Elgutter, Ruth, Scrapbooks, 1947-1966 - Mss. Coll. 304 View>>
Eliot, Harry, Prints - BRBR Coll. 3 View>>
Ethnic Collection - Sm. Coll. 77 View>>
Fathers & Mothers for Equal Rights Collection - Mss. Coll. 279 View>>
Foley, Eileen, Newspaper Columns - Mss. Coll. 263 View>>
Friends of the Library, TLCPL - Mss. Coll. 259 View>>
Genealogical Organizations Collection - Mss. Coll. 24 View>>
Genealogies Collection - Mss. Coll. 231 View>>
Gillette/Stackhouse Collection - Mss. Coll. 139 View>>
Glass Collectors Club of Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 311 View>>
Grand Army of the Republic Collection - Sm. Coll. 6 View>>
Grant, Ulysses S., Autograph - Sm. Coll. 10 View>>
Grigsby, Margaret Ann Hartman, Family Papers - Mss. Coll. 300 View>>
Haller, Hazel Ernst, Memoirs - Mss. Coll. 256 View>>
Harbaugh, B. Jack, Bridge Notes - Mss. Coll. 200 View>>
Harrison, Kay Glenn, Collection - Mss. Coll. 131 View>>
Hauland, Alvin N., Collection - Mss. Coll. 242 View>>
Hiett, Lawrence, Collection - Mss. Coll. 85 View>>
Hopkins-Bond Collection - Mss. Coll. 25 View>>
Hospitals & Medical Organizations Collection - Mss. Coll. 108 View>>
Howard, Dresden W. H., Collection - MVHS Coll. 5 View>>
Hubbard, Thomas H., Papers - Sm. Coll. 79 View>>
Hunt, John Elliott, Memoirs, 1755-1818 - MVHS Coll. 1 View>>
In Old Toledo Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 147 View>>
International Brotherhood of Stationary Firemen Local #2 Collection - Mss. Coll. 152 View>>
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 313 (Local 18) Collection - Mss. Coll. 177 View>>
Isenberg, Sandy, Collection - Mss. Coll. 216 View>>
Jewish Congregations & Organizations Collection - Mss. Coll. 29 View>>
Johnstone, Joseph R., Collection - Mss. Coll. 33 View>>
Jones, Samuel Milton, Collection - MVHS Coll. 7 View>>
Jones, Samuel Milton, Guide to Microfilm - Mss. Coll. 2 View>>
Jones, Samuel Milton, Papers - Mss. Coll. 2 View>>
Jones, Samuel Milton, Personal Library Bibliography View>>
Keller, Theodore G., Collection - Mss. Coll. 262 View>>
Labor & Labor Unions Collection - Mss. Coll. 86 View>>
LaCava, Joseph W., Labor History Collection - Mss. Coll. 240 View>>
Land Ownership Records - Sm. Coll. 29 View>>
Land Records Collection - MVHS Coll. 3 View>>
Lathrop House Underground Railroad Collection - Mss. Coll. 275 View>>
Letters Collection - Sm. Coll. 45 View>>
Levin, Ken, Postcard Collection - BRBR Coll. 7 View>>
Libbey High School Collection - Mss. Coll. 134 View>>
Libbey, Edward D., Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 106 View>>
Linnard, Lawrence G., Collection - Mss. Coll. 183 View>>
Locke, Rose Mary Betts, Collection - Mss. Coll. 272 View>>
Lucas County Politics Collection - Mss. Coll. 40 View>>
MacKenzie, Howard, Collection - Mss. Coll. 246 View>>
McPherson, James Birdseye, Family Papers - Mss. Coll. 1 View>>
Miller, Henry J., Diaries - Mss. Coll. 260 View>>
Mills, Bradford, Collection - Mss. Coll. 193 View>>
Miniature Book Collection - Sm. Coll. 80 View>>
Miscellaneous Collection - Mss. Coll. 32 View>>
Monroe, Rusty, Jazz Collection - Mss. Coll. 225 View>>
Morrison, Carol Baur, Genealogical Research Collection - Mss. Coll. 306 View>>
Murphy Mortuary Collection Index - Mss. Coll. 125 View>>
Myers, Park L., Collection - Sm. Coll. 18 View>>
Navarre, Nellie, Letters - Sm. Coll. 84 View>>
Neighborhoods of Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 30 View>>
Northwestern Ohio Genealogical Soc. Cemetery Project - Mss Coll. 6 View>>
Norton, Elijah Harper, Family Papers - Mss. Coll. 76 View>>
Norton, Elijah Harper, Family Papers Index - Mss. Coll. 76 View>>
Oblinger, Flavius J., Scrapbook Index - MVHS Coll. 20 View>>
Ohio Nurses' Association, Toledo District - Mss. Coll. 133 View>>
Ohio-Michigan Boundary Dispute Collection - BRBR Coll. 1 View>>
Old Adams Street Mission Collection - Mss. Coll. 55 View>>
Owen, Charles W., Washington Bicentennial Scrapbook - Mss. Coll. 318 View>>
Palicki, Walter Z., Personal Police Log Books, 1915-1933 - Mss. Coll. 297 View>>
Pearson, George W., Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 15 View>>
Pearson, George W., Scrapbooks Index - Mss. Coll. 15 View>>
Pheatt, Gideon K. and Zebulon C., Collection - Sm. Coll. 48 View>>
Red Cross Collection - Mss. Coll.120 View>>
Reed, Jerry A., Jr., Tap Dance Collection - Mss. Coll. 148 View>>
Rice-Moore Collection - Sm. Coll. 51 View>>
Riddle, Charlotte, Genealogical Papers - Mss. Coll. 261 View>>
Ronda, Stanley, Jr., Calligraphy Collection - Mss. Coll. 276 View>>
Rosinski, Hattie Klosinski, Letters - Sm. Coll. 78 View>>
Sabin, Darrel Burton, Genealogical Collection - Mss. Coll. 319 View>>
Schools of Toledo & Lucas County Collection - Mss. Coll. 14 View>>
Scott, Jesup W. & Frank J., Papers - Sm. Coll. 37 View>>
Secor/Stranahan Collection - Mss. Coll. 138 View>>
Segur Family Papers - Mss. Coll. 19 View>>
Shields, Alfred W., Collection - Sm. Coll. 5 View>>
Smith/Becker Family Collection - Mss. Coll. 129 View>>
Smith/Becker Family Collection Slides - Mss. Coll. 129 View>>
Soney, William, Collection - MVHS Coll. 8 View>>
Spencer Township Historic Project 2013 - Mss. Coll. 321 View>>
Spencer, Smith, Denison Genealogical Collection - Sm. Coll. 81 View>>
Sports of Greater Toledo Collection - Mss. Coll. 285 View>>
St. Patrick's Historic Church Collection - Mss. Coll. 45 View>>
St. Paul United Methodist Church Collection - Mss. Coll. 114 View>>
Stine, David & Sidney, Collection - Mss. Coll. 80 View>>
Strayer, Lawrence M., Collection - Sm. Coll. 1 View>>
Surface Combustion, Inc. Collection - Mss. Coll. 273 View>>
Toledo & Lake Erie Boating & Fishing Association Records - Mss. Coll. 69 View>>
Toledo Area Metropolitan Park District Collection - Mss. Coll. 38 View>>
Toledo Artists' Club Collection - Mss. Coll. 62 View>>
Toledo Civic Hall of Fame Commission Collection - Mss. Coll. 295 View>>
Toledo Edison/Yaryan Heating System Collection - Mss. Coll. 269 View>>
Toledo Federation of Art Societies Collection - Mss. Coll. 43 View>>
Toledo Fire Department Collection - Mss. Coll. 44 View>>
Toledo History & Promotion Collection - Mss. Coll. 94 View>>
Toledo Industrial Peace Board Scrapbooks - Mss. Coll. 88 View>>
Toledo Jazz Collection - Mss. Coll. 243 View>>
Toledo Labor Exchange Collection - Sm. Coll. 69 View>>
Toledo Museum of Art Collection - Mss. Coll. 59 View>>
Toledo Public Health Association Collection - Mss. Coll. 87 View>>
Toledo Sesquicentennial Commission Collection - Mss. Coll. 136 View>>
Toledo Soldiers Memorial Association Collection - Mss. Coll. 9 View>>
Toledo Spiders:A Joint Archive...Murchison Community Center...UT Africana Studies Program - Mss. Coll. 234 View>>
Toledo Symphony Orchestra Collection - Mss. Coll. 68 View>>
Toledo Zoo Collection - Mss. Coll. 63 View>>
Towns & Cities of Ohio Collection - Mss. Coll. 17 View>>
Twining, Naomi, Labor History Collection - Mss. Coll. 230 View>>
VanHagen, Margaret, Collection - Mss. Coll. 280 View>>
Vinson, Hazel, Genealogical Research Collection - Mss. Coll. 288 View>>
W. W. Jones Collection - Sm. Coll. 12 View>>
Waggoner, Clark, Collection - Mss. Coll. 35 View>>
Waite Family Collection, 1889-1938 - Mss. Coll. 294 View>>
War of 1812 Papers - Sm. Coll. 14 View>>
Washington Township Civics Scrapbook, 1935 - Mss. Coll. 258 View>>
West, Aaron B., Diaries - Mss. Coll. 42 View>>
Whitlock, Brand, Collection - MVHS Coll. 6 View>>
Wolcott Family Papers - MVHS Coll. 4 View>>
Woman's Movement Papers - Mss. Coll. 18 View>>
Women of the Old West End Collection - Mss. Coll. 241 View>>
Women of the Old West End Collection Address Index - Mss. Coll. 241 View>>
Women of the Old West End Collection Periodicals - Mss. Coll. 241 View>>