• Welcome!

    The Special Collections Division houses the genealogy and local history materials of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Our goal is to collect, preserve, and provide access to the history of Summit County, and to continue to maintain one of the area’s most extensive genealogy collections.

  • Local History Database

    The database contains references to the Library's local history collections as well as the Summit County Historical Society's collections. Search the index to the collections.
  • Summit Memory

    Visit the online scrapbook of Summit County History at www.SummitMemory.org
  • Summit County World War II News Index

    This database indexes the names of Summit County servicemen and servicewomen who were named in the Akron Beacon Journal during World War II. Some non-military names are also included. This database is currently updated through June 30, 1943. World War II Database
  • Ohio Obituary Index

    Search for obituary citations from select Ohio newspapers, including the Akron Beacon Journal, using the Ohio Obituary Index.

Save the Date: OHC to Present Newspaper Programs on Monday, July 13

Jenni Salamon, Coordinator for the Ohio Digital Newspaper Program at the Ohio History Connection (OHC) and Reference Archivist in the OHC Archives/Library, will present two programs at Main Library on Monday, July 13. From 3:00-4:00 pm, she will present “Why, Who, What, When, Where & How: Digitizing Your Local Newspaper.” This program is geared toward staff and volunteers at libraries […]


Summit County’s 175th Anniversary

Summit County was created 175 years ago today on March 3, 1840. The new county was formed after local legislators spent over six years entreating the Ohio General Assembly, and after intense opposition from the neighboring counties of Medina, Portage, and Stark, which stood to lose several of their townships. During the next few days […]


Ohio History Day 2015

Each spring students throughout the country participate in National History Day, a round of scholarly competitions featuring papers, presentations, websites and other types of projects focused on a particular theme. Local contest winners are advanced to the state level, and state level winners compete in the national contest held in Washington, DC. Summit County is […]


New Summit Memory Collection

  In August, the Portage Lakes Branch Library in collaboration with the Portage Lakes Historical Society hosted a Community Photographs Day event. Community members were invited to bring photographs of the Portage Lakes area to the Library to be digitized and included in Summit Memory. The event resulted in more than 70 photographs from private collections that […]


Akron Beacon Journal’s 175th Anniversary

This year, the Akron Beacon Journal celebrates its 175th anniversary as the longest-running newspaper in Summit County. The Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Akron Beacon Journal have enjoyed a strong partnership over the years. Special Collections is pleased to maintain and make available all known microfilmed issues of the newspaper. Some of the earliest issues are not known […]


Researching Your Home

Whether you live in a historic Victorian or a post-war prefab, discovering the history of your home takes some research. In fact, the Special Collections Division receives questions about researching house histories so often, we offer a helpful guide: Your Old House: Researching and Renovating Your Home. This publication answers many of the most frequently asked […]


New Issue of Past Pursuits Now Available

The latest issue of Past Pursuits is now available, featuring articles about Akron during the World War I era, Summit Memory updates, and highlights of the Library’s genealogy databases. Also, be sure to see our complete list of new books cataloged within the past three months for resources that can help you in your genealogy research.  


New Images of Turkeyfoot Lake Now Online

The Turkeyfoot Island Collection is now available on Summit Memory. This collection includes images from the archives of the Turkeyfoot Island Club, based in the Portage Lakes region of Summit County. Featured in Summit Memory are photographs selected from the Club’s larger collection, which was donated to Special Collections in 2012. The photographs offer views of Turkeyfoot Lake and Turkeyfoot […]


World War II Index Updated

The Summit County World War II News Index is now updated through December 30, 1942. This online database indexes the names of Summit County military men and women who were mentioned in the Akron Beacon Journal starting with December 8, 1941. Currently, there are over 17,000 names indexed. Microfilm reels of the Akron Beacon Journal are located in the Special Collections […]


Glendale Cemetery’s 175th Anniversary

This year marks 175 years since Jedediah Commins lobbied to establish a cemetery for Akron that was suitable for the burial of his beloved son, Augustus. His efforts led to the creation of a charter in 1839 for the Akron Rural Cemetery which we now know as Glendale. 175 years later, Akron is celebrating this […]