Local History & Genealogy
Local History & Genealogy

The Monroe County Library System holds a wealth of local history information available for research. Libraries provide a connection to the history of people who lived in or passed through our towns and cities. Various collections include circulating and reference books, atlases, family histories, genealogies, periodicals, government imprints, and pamphlets. The MCLS also is your source for genealogy research, providing public access to regional and national indexes and databases.

From Your Librarians
Local History & Genealogy Programs

Local History Resources
Rochester Images

Rochester Images is a database that includes thousands of historical and contemporary images from Rochester and Monroe County

Digital Collections

Digitized collections of Newspapers, Directories, Serials, and other Local History Collections from the Central Library.

Rochester History

Rochester History publishes deeply researched and engaging articles that explore a wide variety of diverse and inclusive historical topics and perspectives pertaining to Rochester, Monroe County, and Western New York.

Rochester Voices

This interactive, mobile-friendly website is designed to engage a K-12 audience, as well as the general public, in the study of local, state, national, and even global history, by allowing users to explore the stories of Rochesterians who experienced the past first-hand.

Local History Rocs

The Local History & Genealogy Division’s bog site with monthly updates about all things unique about Rochester and the surrounding area.

Monroe County Municipal Historians

Contact town historians from around Monroe County

Genealogy Resources
Life Records

Life Records is a project of the Rochester Public Library. The database consists of birth, death, and marriage indexes from City of Rochester newspapers.

Heritage Quest

A partner of Ancestry that provides access to genealogical and historical resources for more than 60 countries, with coverage dating back to the 1700s. Access from home with your library card.

The New York State Vital Records Index is a comprehensive list of births, marriages, and deaths in New York State.

Local Directories

The collection consists of the original bound volumes beginning with the year 1827

Rochester Newspaper Index

The Rochester Newspaper Index is a project of the Rochester Public Library. The database consists of references to articles that appeared in the Rochester newspapers during the period 1818-1897.

NY Heritage

New York Heritage is a portal for learning more about the people, places, and events that contributed to the making of New York State