Cleveland Public Library Resource Guides
- Property Research Guide for Cleveland & Cuyahoga County
- African American Genealogy Resources at the Cleveland Public Library
- Browsing Guide to the Genealogy Book Collection
- Guide to City Directories, Criss Cross Directories & Telephone Directories available at CPL
- Guide to Genealogy Resources & Records at Cleveland Public Library (CPL) and in Cuyahoga County
- Old & New Street Numbers: A Guide to Cleveland’s 1905 Plan for New Street Names and Address Numbers
Death Notices & Death Certificates
- How to Obtain Cleveland Death Notices (1830s to date) and Ohio Death Certificates (1908-1953) from CPL
- Cleveland Necrology File & News Index
Genealogy and Family History Research Clinics at CPL Flyer in 2023 (PDF):
The Library’s Genealogy Clinics are informal sessions during which you can receive help from expert volunteers and Library staff.
For beginners: volunteers provide informal instruction in starting your family history/genealogy.
For more advanced researchers: volunteers draw on their extensive experience to help you answer your genealogy questions and to help you find strategies to move your research forward.
Unless specified, the following resources are available to all in Ohio or have a library card from any public library in Ohio.
ProQuest African American Heritage is a digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. This collection was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.
Akron Beacon Journal (CPL Cardholders)
Full text access to all content from 1997-2010, except for letters to the editor, death notices and advertising. Founded in 1839, the Akron Beacon Journal is a four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that serves readers in Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark and Wayne counties.
Ancestry Library Edition (Only Accessible inside CLEVNET libraries and CPL branch libraries)
Ancestry Library Edition provides easy access to more than 4,000 genealogy databases with a single search. Coverage focuses primarily on the United States and the United Kingdom, although other areas are covered. Databases include the complete U.S. Census & Index (1790-1930), vital, church, court, and immigration records. The Map Center contains more than 1,000 historical maps. Other notable collections includeDaughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books; Social Security Death Index (updated monthly); WWI Draft Registration Cards; Federal Slave Narratives; and a strong Civil War collection. Databases are updated continuously as new information becomes available.
Call and Post (CPL Cardholders)
Full-text searching of all issues of the Cleveland Call and Post published between 1934 and 1991. (An index to issues from 1992 to 2004 and full text for issues from 2005 to present is available in the Ethnic Newswatch database.) Cleveland’s longtime African American newspaper, the Call & Post was formed in 1927 by the merger of the Call and the Post. The paper’s rise to prominence began in 1932 with the arrival of William O. Walker (1896-1981), who became its publisher within a few years. A strong local voice for racial equality, the paper has long urged participation in politics and encouraged black solidarity and self-reliance.
Cleveland Necrology File and Cleveland News Index
The Cleveland Necrology File contains local cemetery records and newspaper death notices for the following years: 1833, 1847-1848, 1850-1975. A more complete description of the file’s contents can be found in the about section of the database. For necrology information after 1975, please use the Cleveland News Index.
The Cleveland News Index lists citation information for local news stories, feature articles and reviews from The Plain Dealer (1983-June 1999), Cleveland Magazine (1983-2014), Northern Ohio Live (Sept. 1990-June 2009), and Ohio Magazine (Oct.1990-2014). Obituaries from the Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Press are included from 1976 to the present. Please note that this index does not provide full text access to these sources.
FamilySearch (Only accessible at the CPL Main Library )
FamilySearch International is one of the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Users can search records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. FamilySearch offers access to records through affiliate libraries, including new digital access to many of the records that are currently restricted from viewing at home. The extension of this service to your library will add exclusive access to approximately 25 percent of the 1.5+ million rolls of microfilms already converted to digital images.
Fold3 provides access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served in the United States military from the Revolutionary War to the present.
Genealogy Connect (CPL Cardholders)
Genealogy Connect is a resource for genealogy instruction and research. It includes keyword-searchable content from more than 550 genealogical reference works and “how-to” guides published by Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company. The user interface enables instant translation into 38 languages, seamless cross-searching across collections, multi-page viewing (to recreate a book experience), and the ability to print, save, e-mail, and share articles.
HeritageQuest features the U. S. Census, 1790-1930 (1850-60 Slave Census Schedules not included), The Periodical Source Index (PERSI), A digitized collection of more than 25,000 family and local history books, Records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files and Freedman’s Bank Records (1865-1874).
New York Times Historical (1851-2017) (CPL Cardholders)
The New York Times (1851-2017) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.
Plain Dealer (1991- present) (CPL Cardholders)
Full text access to all content from 1991 to the present, except for letters to the editor, death notices and advertising.
Plain Dealer Historical (1845-1991) (CPL Cardholders)
Historical Plain Dealer offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue. Issues run from April 7, 1845 to May 31, 1991. Search by keyword, name, date, date ranges, article type and issue.
Plain Dealer (2019 – present) (CPL Cardholders)
Provides full text and color access to all content in the Plain Dealer from 2019 the present (except for the last 90 days).
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Ohio
A treasure trove of information, detailed maps at building level for more than 400 Ohio communities from 1868 to the 1960s. Negotiating the site may require some practice. Try the 1024 x 768 pixel size.Use a city and street name or city and building’s name where possible to search in keyword or limit your search by date.
Full text coverage from 02/01/2002 to present. Provides comprehensive coverage of news from all 50 states. Contains four sections on news, money, sports, and life. USA Today was founded in 1982 with the goal of providing a national newspaper in the U.S. market, where generally only a single local newspaper and/or a metropolitan daily’s state/regional edition was available.
Upcoming Genealogy Programs
Genealogy ClinicMain Library (Downtown), 6th Floor – Center for Local and Global History Saturday, June 17 | 10:30 am
Genealogy Clinics are informal sessions during which you can receive help from expert volunteers and Library staff. For beginners: volunteers provide informal instruction in starting your family history/genealogy. For more advanced researchers: volunteers draw on their extensive experience to help you answer your genealogy questions and to help you find strategies to move your research forward.
Beginners should plan to arrive by 10:45 to take advantage of the group instruction for beginners. All others can arrive at any time between 10:30am and 1:30pm.
Please contact the Center for Local and Global History at 216-623-2864 or email@example.com with any questions.