• 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 January 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’s 175th Anniversary

ABJ 9 Dec 1840This year, the Akron Beacon Journal celebrates its 175th anniversary as the longest-running newspaper in Summit County. The Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Akron Beacon Journal have enjoyed a strong partnership over the years. Special Collections is pleased to maintain and make available all known microfilmed issues of the newspaper. Some of the earliest issues are not known to exist. This issue from December 9, 1840 (at left) is the first appearing in Special Collections’ microfilm.

Both the news industry and libraries face transforming challenges in the digital era, but they share common goals: A focus on the community and the preservation of its history. Much of a community’s history is contained within the pages of a newspaper. Look at any issue of the Akron Beacon Journal  and you will see that history. Safeguarding that heritage is one of Special Collections’ ongoing commitments.

Congratulations to the Akron Beacon Journal for its past accomplishments. We look forward to more collaboration in the future.


Researching Your Home

Landes HomeWhether 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 questions, including how to find the year your home was built, how to research who lived in your home and how to find out more about a particular resident. Several of these resources, such as Summit County Fiscal Office records and Akron City Directories, are available online, while others might require a visit to the Library or county recorder’s division. However far you take your research, you’re sure to learn new and interesting details about the place you call home.


New Issue of Past Pursuits Now Available

PP iconThe 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.



Digging for Gold in Probate Records

SCOGS logo colorOn Saturday, July 19, the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will present Chris Staats who will speak about the valuable information that may be found in probate court records. The program is FREE to members and non-members.  The meeting will take place at 1:30 pm in Meeting Room 2AB on the High Street level at Main Library, 60 South High Street.



New Images of Turkeyfoot Lake Now Online

turkeyfoot islandThe 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 Island, a popular summertime retreat dating back to the late 1800s.

Summit Memory is an online, collaborative scrapbook administered by ASCPL capturing the history of Summit County, Ohio. Collections include historic photographs, documents, newspapers, artifacts and audiovisual resources contributed by partner organizations throughout the county.



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 Division.  If you would like copies of articles, you may visit our division or review our Guidelines for Ordering .


Magazines for Genealogy Research

The Special Collections Division has a number of magazines and genealogical society newsletters for family historians.  Research tips; “how to” articles on records and resources; research case studies; genealogy news and other information fill the pages.  These periodicals are available to view in Special Collections. Some current popular magazines also have copies available to check-out from the Magazines & Newspapers Division or branch libraries.
blog ad


Glendale Cemetery’s 175th Anniversary

GlendaleThis 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 remarkable local landmark and resting place of many local luminaries with several events including a rededication of the cemetery and reenactment of a Civil War funeral procession on Friday, May 30. The procession will start at 10:45 am at Perkins Square and proceed to Glendale for a ceremony at the Civil War Memorial Chapel. More commemorative events are planned throughout the summer. For more information, visit Downtown Akron Partnership or contact the Glendale Cemetery office at 330-253-2317.



ajaxhelperJoin friends, business associates and staff members of the Seiberling family as they share details about life in 1920 on an American country estate. Portrayed by the Stan Hywet History First Hand troupe, this program encourages participants to interact with the characters to learn more about their lives at Stan Hywet Hall, as well as world events and Akron history during that time.  Northwest Akron Branch, Thursday, May 22 at 6:30.


Speaker Event Reminder!

Bindas-hr book coverAuthor 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 Virginia Kendall Reserve, which today is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in Northeast Ohio. Dr. Bindas will show historic and present-day photographs of the park and discuss how the Civilian Conservation Corps transformed our understanding of nature. For more information, contact Special Collections.