Third Floor—South Building
Manager: Patricia Van Skaik
About the Department
The Genealogy and Local History Department provides research level resources and services in the following areas: local history and culture, river history, genealogy, and African American history.
The Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room, adjacent to the Genealogy and Local History Department, displays local history artifacts and provides a climate controlled and secure environment for using the Library’s rare and fragile materials.
The Genealogy and Local History Department brings together resources previously divided among Main Library subject departments. All local history resources, including those on Rookwood Pottery, the Cincinnati Reds, early pioneers, and 19th century police reports, now reside in one department. Genealogy and Local History also oversees the Veterans History Project, a cooperative venture with the Library of Congress to conduct and preserve oral interviews with local veterans.
An extensive collection of African American history material that includes southern plantation records on microfilm, the history of African American Civil War regiments, and U.S. Civil Rights Commission reports is also housed here.
You will find one of the nation’s largest and oldest genealogy collections in the department. Highlights include: the complete U.S. federal census (1790–1930), passenger lists, city directories, military histories, maps, church and cemetery records, and slave and freedmen records. Resources from all 50 states and many foreign countries are available.
Genealogy and Local History Department staff offers specialized reference assistance to all customers, from children and beginning genealogists to professional researchers and scholars. The department presents monthly tours, co-sponsors programs with the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, and will develop programs tailored to the needs of any size class or group, including family reunions. To schedule a program, contact the department in person, by phone, or email.