• 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.

Discovering Your Ancestors Online

The Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society presented Discovering Your Ancestors Online, a free program on Saturday, August 6, 2011 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the Main Library Auditorium at 60 South High Street.  You may download the handouts here.


Edward Loera has worked in the library world for more than 14 years, initially as an academic librarian helping university libraries harness their electronic resources.  He eventually left academia and moved to the private sector, working with startups developing federated searching software.  Currently, he is a trainer with ProQuest and covers an eight-state training territory.



 Judith K. Hartley Porter is a native of Summit County and has held various professional positions in the community over the years, including Office Manager, Doctor’s Assistant, and Emergency Dispatcher for the City of Akron.  Since joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1964, she has served in many capacities in the Church.  In 1975, she assumed the position of Librarian and Technical Director of the Akron Branch Library.  From 2003-2007, she served as a consultant for the Family History Center Library, now located in Tallmadge.  She assumed the position of Director of the Akron Family History Center in 2007.


Laura G. Prescott is a professional researcher, writer, and speaker.  Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, she has lived in New England for over thirty-five years and worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for seven years before starting her own research business.  She is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, genealogist for the Nickerson Family Association, and a consultant for Footnote.com.  She lectures and writes for national audiences on a variety of genealogical topics, and her articles have appeared in Ancestry, New England Ancestors, Genealogical Computing, NGS NewsMagazine, and Digital Genealogist.  Her specialties include the use of manuscripts in genealogical research, genealogy on the Internet, genealogy for Mac users, and merging history with genealogy.

Program Schedule:

9:30 – 9:45        Introductions

9:45 – 10:45      Genealogy Research Online: Sites and Strategies That May Surprise You (Laura Prescott)

10:45 – 11:00    Break

11:00 – 12:00    Find Your Family on Footnote.com (Laura Prescott)

12:00-1:15          Lunch on your own**

1:15 – 2:15          Ancestry Library Edition (Edward Loera)

2:15 – 2:30         Break

2:30 – 3:30        HeritageQuest Online (Edward Loera)

3:30 – 4:30        Family Search: The Largest Source of Free Genealogy (Judith Porter)

This daylong program was free and open to the public.


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