Local History & Genealogy

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
  • You can also begin your family history search at home using our downloadable Family Tree workbook.

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

Sign up for the Local History quarterly newsletter.

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  • Historical documents and photos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
Learn More

Physical Collections

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

Learn More
The Blade Rare Book Room Guidelines

The Blade Rare Book Room

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

  • 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
  • Original oil painting by well-known artist Edmund Osthaus (one of three the Library owns)
  • Ship model of the Horace S. Wilkinson

The Blade Rare Book Room Guidelines
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