• 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 March 31, 1943. World War II Database
  • 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.

Akron Beacon Journal Indexes

These indexes cover 1841-1939 (for information on later years, see the bottom of this page).  They are in PDF, and viewing them requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download it at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. For easier reading of these indexes, be sure to use the magnification options and scroll bars in Adobe Reader.

Due to the condition of the original indexes, these files have not been subjected to optical character recognition (OCR) and therefore are not keyword searchable. Bookmarks have been provided to assist researchers in finding entries of genealogical interest. Please note that the list under the “deaths” subject heading does not include suicides, murders, accidents or other deaths by violence. Articles regarding such deaths are instead indexed under the person’s name. Likewise, divorces are usually found under the names of the parties involved.

Copies of some early newspapers were no longer available at the time of indexing, so there are no indexes for the years 1846-1848 and only partial indexes for some years prior to 1890.

Note: In order to create a single, fully searchable index to obituaries published in the Akron Beacon Journal and its predecessors, the Library joined the Hayes Research Library’s Ohio Obituary Index in 2013.  Staff members and volunteers are currently inputting death notices from the Akron Beacon Journal indexes below as well as from the Obituary Only indexes from 1937-2012.  At present, the database includes entries from the following 53 years: 1841-1889, 1891-1892, 1982 and 2013.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer indexer, contact us and ask for Cheri Goldner.

May 1-Dec 31 only
1861 1881 1901 1921
1842 1862 1882
Jan 4-24 and
July 1-18 only
1902 1922
1843 1863 1883
Jan 2-15 and
July 1-30 only
1903 1923
1844 1864 1884
Jan 2-11 and
July 1-24 only
1904 1924
May 1-Dec 31 only
1865 1885
Jan 2-Apr 28 only
1905 1925
No Index
1866 1886
Jan 2-July 21 only
1906 1926
No Index
1867 1887
Jan 3-Mar 28 and July 3-Sep 28 only
1907 1927
No Index
1868 1888
Jan 3-Apr 4 and
July 2-Nov 6 only
1908 1928
Mar 1-Dec 31 only
Dec 17-31 only
Jan 2-June 27 only
1909 1929
1850 1870 1890 1910 1930
1851 1871
Jan 1-Dec 5 only
1891 1911 1931
1852 1872
Jun 8-Dec 31 only
1892 1912 1932
1853 1873
Nov 20-Dec 11 only
1893 1913 1933
1854 1874 1894 1914 1934
1855 1875
Dec 7-21 only
1895 1915 1935
1856 1876
Jun 1-21 and
Dec 6-27 only
1896 1916 1936
1857 1877
Jun 15-26 only
1897 1917 1937
1858 1878
Jan 2-9 and
July 1-11 only
1898 1918 1938
1859 1879
Jan 2-14 and
July 1-14 only
1899 1919 1939
1860 1880
Jan 2-15 and
July 1-16 only
1900 1920

At this time, there is still no general index to the Akron Beacon Journal for the years 1940-1983.  NewsBank’s America’s Newspapers database provides text-only access to the Akron Beacon Journal from 1984 to the present.  This database can be accessed from any library in the ASCPL system, as well as from other libraries that subscribe to America’s Newspapers, and is available remotely using your library card.

Some Summit County newspapers have been digitized.  GenealogyBank.com includes the Summit County Beacon from 1877-1889.  While you need a personal subscription to read the complete articles online, you may search the database to identify articles that can then be found using our microfilm.  In addition, the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America project provides free access to many issues of the the Akron Daily Democrat from May 1, 1899-December 31, 1902.

Researchers who cannot visit the Library to access the Akron Beacon Journal may contact us to order copies.  Please limit each order to five items and submit only two orders per month.  For those needing a large number of copies or more extensive newspaper research, Special Collections maintains a list of genealogists for hire that we can mail or email upon request.


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