• 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 May 31, 1943. World War II Database
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  • Ohio Obituary Index

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

Classes & Events

 

LATE NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2015

6:30-10:30 PM

late night logo

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

 

 

OHIO CIVIL WAR FLAG COMES TO AKRON

Saturday November 14, 2015

Main Library – Meeting Room 2AB

11 am – 4 pm    (special program at 1 pm)

flag OVI 29th

 

Thanks to a successful fundraising effort, Local Civil War reenactor group, 29th  Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, raised funds to have the original regimental flag of the 29th Ohio Infantry preserved and restored by a flag conservation specialist. Recently returned from the conservator, the flag will be on display for one day only at Main Library. The 29th Ohio was a regiment formed of men from mostly Summit and Ashtabula Counties in Ohio.  Are you a 29th Ohio descendant?  Click HERE to view a roster of men who served with this regiment.  For more information, visit the 29th OVI website:   www.29thovicompanyg.org

                                               

GENEALOGY CLASSES

Registration is required for all classes held at Main Library. To register for classes held at Main Library, contact Special Collections at 330-643-9030 or speccollections@akronlibrary.org. Walk-ins may attend if the class is not full.

Registration policies at branch libraries vary. If you are interested in attending a class held at a branch, please call that branch and ask if registration is required. Phone numbers can be accessed by clicking on the branch name.

All classes are free of charge and open to the general public.

Class Schedule through June 2016

 Getting Started in Family History
Join the Special Collections Division for an introduction to genealogy for new family historians. This class includes an overview of genealogical sources available at the Library, suggestions for getting started and tips for organizing your research. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 2AB
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 2 – 3:30 pm, Goodyear Branch Library
Saturday, January 9, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 1
Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 1

Getting Started in African American Genealogy
Do you want to trace your African American family tree? Not sure how or where to begin? The Special Collections Division presents a two-hour class for genealogy beginners who have a specific interest in African American ancestral research. You’ll learn genealogy research methods, tips and tools for getting organized, common sources used by genealogists, resources specific to African Americans, and challenges in researching African American ancestors. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, October 31, 2015 , 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 2AB
Saturday, June 18, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 1

marriage recordBranching Out: U.S. Vital Records and Obituaries
This class focuses on the types of genealogical information and sources researchers encounter, what to expect when working with United States vital (birth, marriage and death) records and obituaries and basic search strategies for finding these records. Because this class will use electronic resources, basic computer skills are recommended. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 2 – 3:30 pm, Goodyear Branch Library
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

Using Ancestry in Your Genealogy Research
With more than 9,000 databases and billions of images, Ancestry is the premier online genealogy resource–and it’s available to you for free within any ASCPL location. This class will introduce you to the many features of Ancestry Library Edition and show you how to do efficient and effective searches. When possible, time for practice searching is also provided. Because this class will use electronic resources, basic computer skills are recommended. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

1910UnitedStatesFederalCensusFinding Your Family in the U.S. Census
United States census records are rich sources of genealogical information. Join us to learn more about using these valuable records for your family research and how to effectively search the census using library databases. Because this class will use electronic resources, basic computer skills are recommended. Click here to view the workbookRegistration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 2 – 3:30 pm, Goodyear Branch Library
Saturday, February 20, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

MC900441337[1]Internet Genealogy
There are an overwhelming number of websites for genealogy research. This class will provide tips for locating online resources for family history research and allow participants some class time to explore websites. The focus will be finding free online genealogy resources and brief introductions to the library’s genealogy databases. This class does not cover Ancestry Library Edition as there is a separate class for this resource. Because this class will use electronic resources, basic computer skills are recommended. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
Saturday, March 5, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

Identifying Your Family Photographs
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but unlocking the stories of unidentified photographs requires some sleuthing. This class includes tips and techniques for identifying historic photographs. Learn to read clues, such as the type of photograph, clothing and hairstyles, and even whether or not subjects are smiling, to reveal the stories behind every photograph. The class will also take a look at how genealogy databases and local history resources can be used to identify your family photographs. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 2AB
Saturday, June 4, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 1

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Researching Your Immigrant Ancestors Before 1820
Tracing ancestors before 1820 can be extremely difficult due to a lack of documentation and limited accessibility of surviving records. Focusing on European immigrants to the eastern seaboard, this class is an overview of strategies and sources commonly used in researching early immigrants. Please note: This class is geared toward genealogists with intermediate research skills. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Meeting Room 2AB

New Classes in 2016

eastern steamshipResearching Your Immigrant Ancestors 1820-1892
Immigration to the U.S. increased dramatically in the decades between the 1820 federal law mandating passenger lists and the opening of Ellis Island in 1892. This class focuses on researching European arrivals to eastern and southern U.S. ports during this era, including historical background, clues in a variety of genealogical records, and sources for naturalization records and passenger lists. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Saturday, January 23, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

Heritage Quest screenshotDig into Databases
Go beyond Ancestry and discover other genealogy databases the Library has to offer. Join us to learn more about these great resources, including what they contain, how to access them, and how to do effective searches. Sessions will include an hour of demonstration and another hour of practice time with staff on hand to help. Registration is required for classes held at Main Library.
Access NewspaperArchive: Digitized newspapers from the U.S. and abroad
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
HeritageQuest: Revolutionary War pension files, Freedman’s Bank records, books and more
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
Fold3: Military records, city directories, naturalization records and more
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2
My Heritage – World Vital Records: A variety of indexes and digitized records from the U.S. and overseas
Saturday, May 21, 2016, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Main Library, Computer Lab 2

 

Learning Opportunities from other Organizations

Meetings of the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society feature speakers on a variety of genealogical topics. Meetings are free and open to the public. You do not have to be a member to attend. See their events calendar for upcoming topics.

 

Family Search offers a variety of free online classes.

 

Past Events

German Genealogy with Nancy Ottman May 2, 2015

Discovering Your English and Irish Ancestors October 4, 2014

Discovering Your Immigrant Ancestors August 3, 2013

Discovering Your Civil War Ancestors August 11, 2012

Photography for the Family Historian March 31, 2012

Discovering Your Ancestors Online August 6, 2011

Do You Have a Revolutionary War Ancestor? March 12, 2011

Preparing for an Adoption Search Spring, 2006

 

 

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