• 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.

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.


All Library locations will be closed Monday, May 26 – Memorial Day.


Main Library is closed on Sundays this summer through Labor Day. Please visit us Monday through Saturday. As always, online access and the library catalog are available 24/7 for your convenience. www.akronlibrary.org



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.


On Display: Fashionable Akron

On display April – July 2014, Fashionable Akron: 1900-1949 features everyday styles from the first half of the 20th century as documented in Akron-area photographs.

ZE Trease of Akron postcard featuring spring hats 1910

The first five decades of the 20th century demonstrated an unprecedented shift in American style. Resulting from changes in aesthetics as well as out of necessity, these fashions were influenced by popular culture and the political and social climate of the day.

Where locals purchased the latest fashions was also changing. Department stores offered a new shopping experience to a growing middle class. Cultural icons and movie stars helped set ever changing trends, while O’Neil’s, Polsky’s and other contemporaries made these styles accessible.

From the Gibson Girl and Edwardian man to postwar fashions for both men and women—visit  Special Collections to view Fashionable Akron, including examples of clothing and accessories courtesy of the Summit County Historical Society.


Genealogy apps for your smartphone

blog adEver wonder how to have quick and easy access to your genealogy information while you’re on the go? Wouldn’t it be nice to quickly answer that question about your family while out with a friend or visiting a family member? To provide you with some guidance, the latest issue of Family Tree Magazine has an in-depth article about the best genealogy apps for iphones. It explains about all the apps that will read and manage GEDCOM files, pedigree charts, and navigate you through many types of genealogy programs and software:                                   http://familytreemagazine.com/article/Toolkit-Genealogy-iPhone-Apps

If you don’t have an iphone, there are other useful articles to educate you about the many genealogy apps available for any smartphone. For example, Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter online also has a recent in-depth article that explores many different genealogy apps for you to evaluate: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2013/06/genealogy-programs-for-android.html 

Also check out this website for genealogists, CoraWeb, that gives more explanation of the many genealogy apps available, including links to reviews: http://www.coraweb.com.au/apps.htm


Get Published! A Workshop for Writers & Illustrators

Get PublishedAre you thinking of writing and publishing your family history? Many of our class attendees have requested sessions or programs on how to publish a book. Consider taking advantage of the Library’s FREE program, Get Published! A Workshop for Writers & Illustrators on Saturday, April 26, 12:30-4 pm. Topics geared toward first-time authors include working with publishers, self-publishing, and copyright law. This information can help family history writers take their publishing ideas to the next level. Please see the program flyer for more information, and contact the Science & Technology Division at 330-643-9075 to register.


New Genealogy Titles

Do-it-yourself genealogy made easier with new books available for check out from Special Collections.

Mastering Online Genealogy by W. Daniel Quillen

Mastering Online Genealogy 
by well-known genealogy author W. Daniel Quillen covers everything from genealogy databases to recommended computer software. Quillen reviews available free and subscription websites, message boards and blogs and family tree programs, while addressing the common “pitfalls and pratfalls” of genealogy research. Additional titles by this author available here.


The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: Trace your Roots, Share Your History, and Create Your Family Tree by Kimberly Powell

Author Kimberly Powell’s third edition of this popular genealogy title. For researchers overwhelmed by the number of genealogy resources online, Powell offers a roadmap for getting started with online research. From choosing the best websites to sharing your finds with family and fellow researchers, this book guides new genealogists through the ins and outs of online research.

Genealogy Online for Dummies by Matthew L. Helm and April Leigh Helm

Now in its seventh edition, Genealogy Online for Dummies is updated with tips for the latest online tools and resources. This book will guide researchers through using social media, mobile apps and websites to trace their family history. From getting started to sharing your findings, the authors offer information about developing a research plan, identifying appropriate resources and preserving electronic records.

This title also available in ebook format


Questing Adventures Start Soon

MustillNow that Spring has finally arrived, how about an adventure where you can enjoy the outdoors and learn something new about Summit County’s history?  The Ohio & Erie Canalway, in cooperation with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park challenges you to try Questing.  Part treasure hunt, part scavenger hunt, Questing starts with a map and rhymed clues which take you from one site to the next.  Along the way, you will learn interesting historical facts and pick up clues that lead you to a hidden box where you log your success and stamp your Quest sheet.  There are currently 25 Quests in Summit County and all you need is a pencil and Quest sheet for the adventure you select. The season runs April 15 through November 15.  For more information and to print the Quest sheets, visit the Ohio & Erie Canalway Questing page: