Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Department

All the resources you need to explore your past!

Toledo Time Travels  |  By Tedd Long  |  09/23/2019 9:00 am

Unlike most of the sites we review here, you won’t need a tour guide to find your way around the rich local history resources available in the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library's Local History and Genealogy Department but the expert staff will go out of their way to help you find what you need. This local history gem, located on the third floor at Main Library, has an incredible collection that includes local newspapers on microfilm (dating to 1837), genealogy collections, local government records, and a one-of-a-kind manuscripts collection that covers letters, diaries, receipts, and other extraordinary documents you won't find anywhere else. Visitors can also browse decades worth of local high school yearbooks or explore a rare book room featuring a treasure trove of art and culture. While the rest of the department is available anytime during regular library hours, the Rare Book Room requires an appointment to view its collections, which include an Ancient Babylonian clay tablet believed to be 4,000 years old (purchased by the Library in the 1900’s), an early Armenian manuscript of the gospels of Luke and John, an 1800 Thomas Jefferson letter, the personal library of Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones (Toledo's Progressive Movement mayor from 1897 to 1904), and a complete set of Nancy Drew first editions written by Toledoan Mildred Benson, to name just a few items. Are you looking for some help digitizing your family memories? The Local History and Genealogy team can help you with their digitization services and introduce you to the Library's new community photo album.

The Local History and Genealogy Department is a great place to start any research when it comes to area history or family ancestry. It is warm and inviting with plenty of workspace designed for the serious researcher.

More information for planning your visit is available at

Plan Your Visit

What: Local History and Genealogy Department - Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Where: 325 Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604; 419-259-5200

Hours: Open 9 AM until 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday; 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays; 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sundays

For the Kids: The kids will enjoy a trip to Main Library but except for special programs, the Local History and Genealogy Department is not setup to offer kids activities.  With that said, the sooner you can introduce children to this important local resource, the better they will understand and appreciate it for future research and the more comfortable they will be to interact with the knowledgeable staff.  

Cost: Free.

Parking: Self-pay parking is located under the library and can be accessed off of Adams Street.

For more local history, check out my history blog at