• 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 currently includes records up through December 30, 1942. World War II Database
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  • Summit County Myths Wiki

    Find out if that rumor, myth or legend about Akron or Summit County Ohio is true - visit the Summit County Myths Wiki.

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 […]

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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.  

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Speaker Event Reminder!

Author Ken Bindas at Main Library on Wednesday May 7, 6:30 pm Dr. Kenneth J. Bindas, Professor & Chairperson of History at Kent State University is the editor of the recently published book, The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Construction of the Virginia Kendall Reserve, 1933-1939. This book tells the story of the CCC’s construction of the […]

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Save the Date

Author Ken Bindas at Main Library on Wednesday May 7, 6:30 pm Dr. Kenneth J. Bindas, Professor & Chairperson of History at Kent State University is the editor of the recently published book, The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Construction of the Virginia Kendall Reserve, 1933-1939. This book tells the story of the CCC’s construction of […]

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More on City Directories

Last week, we posted an article about digitized city directory collections.  This post provides a link to an in-depth article on using city directories in local history and genealogy research.  The article, “Effective Use of City Directories” by Kory L. Meyerink of ProGenealogists, includes information on the history and publishing of this important resource.

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City Directory Collections

Some of the most used resources of local history and genealogy researchers are the Akron city directories in the Special Collections Division.  Directories from 1859 to 1968/69 have been digitized and are accessible via our website.  Directories after 1969 may be viewed in Special Collections. Digitized city directories for some major U.S. cities are also included […]

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Database Spotlight: Historic MapWorks

Understanding historic geography is essential to genealogy and local history research. With over 1,000,000 digital maps and atlases covering areas all over the world, Historic MapWorks is a significant and useful database. Among its important features is a strong collection of 19th century U.S. county atlases, many showing property ownership and local institutions such as schools and churches. Another feature […]

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