• 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.

Obituary Only Indexes to the Akron Beacon Journal

The obituary indexes below were prepared by staff of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.  Additional years will be added as completed.  These indexes are in PDF and viewing them requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you may download it at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. To browse the index for a particular year, click on that year below. You may search it after it opens by selecting “Find” from the Edit menu of Adobe Reader and typing the last name.

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 Obituary Only indexes below as well as from the Akron Beacon Journal Indexes from 1841-1939.  At present, the database includes entries from the following years: 1841-1889, 1891-1893, 1896, 1898-1902, 1940-1961, 1980-1984 and 2013-present.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer indexer, contact us and ask for Cheri Goldner.

1937-39 1980 1997 2010
1940-45 1981 1998  2011
1946-50 1982 1999  2012
1951-56 1983 2000
1957-61 1984 2001
1962-79 A-C 1985-89 2002
1962-1979 D-H 1990 2003
1962-1979 I-L 1991 2004
1962-1979 M-N 1992 2005
1962-1979 O-R 1993 2006
1962-1979 S 1994 2007
1962-1979 T-W 1995 2008
1962-1979 X-Z 1996 2009

To request a copy of an obituary or to have additional years researched, contact us. The Akron Beacon Journal Series housed in Special Collections dates from December 1840 to the present.  It is available on microfilm for most of that time and is available electronically from 1984 to the present through a subscription to NewsBank’s America’s Newspapers database. This database can be accessed from any library in the ASCPL system (or from any other library that subscribes to America’s Newspapers). Special Collections has an obituary index to the Akron Beacon Journal from 1937-present, as well as a subject index for the years 1841-1939 (also available in microfilm and print) and 1985-present (online database). 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. The Barberton Public Library has obituary indexes to Barberton newspapers, please see the Local History Page of the Barberton Public Library for more information.


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