Friday, September 18, 2009


Genealogy Room, St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Contact: 314-241-2288 or email us here.

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10 AM-9 PM; Fri-Sat: 10 AM-6 PM. Genealogy Room is closed on Sunday.

The library is located in downtown St. Louis at the corner of 13th and Olive Streets. On weekdays there is parking at meters and on pay-per-day lots. Meters are not checked on Saturdays. We also have limited free parking for customers on weekdays on a lot we own; call or email us to see if you can park for free on a weekday convenient for you.

Our Book, Periodical, and Microfilm Catalog is available on our website at:

Materials of interest to genealogists are housed on the 3rd Floor in the Genealogy Room; St. Louis Room; Special Collections Department; and History, Geography, & Travel Room.

The Genealogy Room’s collection consists of books, periodicals, city directories and telephone books, microfilm, maps, and vertical file materials (mostly newspaper clippings or family history items). We own all of the standard genealogical book sets (American Genealogical & Biographical Index, Dictionary of American Biography, Germans to America, Passenger & Immigration Lists Index, War of the Rebellion, etc.). Our book and periodical collection concentrates on Missouri and on states that furnished large numbers of emigrants to Missouri (meaning that these collections are excellent for most states east of the Mississippi River).

States for which book / periodical / census genealogical coverage is very good to extensive include: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The book collection also includes more than 5,000 family histories in book form.

We also have extensive map and heraldry collections. There are book and card indexes to our heraldry materials, and book and online indexes to our map collection. The map collection includes topographic maps, Sanborn fire insurance maps, highway maps, land ownership maps, county plat maps and atlases, Missouri and Illinois county highway maps, St. Louis ward maps, and city maps (domestic and foreign). There is also a large series of sheet maps of WWII-era Europe. There are also numerous atlases and gazetteers in our book collection.

Our book collection also includes a large number of military record compilations and regimental histories. Coverage is especially good for the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and the two World Wars; very good for the War of 1812 and the Spanish-American War.

The microfilm collection includes census, city directories, compiled military service records, newspapers, passenger records, telephone directories, and vital records. Concentration is on St. Louis / Missouri materials, although census and passenger record microfilm sets offer extensive coverage for other states and ports of arrival. Ports covered by indexes and/or lists include Baltimore (1820-1897); Boston (1821-1891); New Orleans (1813-1902); New York City (1820-1943); and Philadelphia (1800-1906). You can call or e-mail us to determine if we have actual passenger lists for the port and time period you need.

City directories coverage includes the following Missouri cities: St. Louis (1821-1980); Kansas City (1865-1960); Hannibal (1903-1959); Columbia (1940-1960); Jefferson City (1904-1935); and St. Charles (1906-1934). Coverage for cities in other states includes: Baltimore (1752-1901); Boston (1789-1902); Chicago (1839-1920); New Orleans (1805-1901); New York City (1665-1916); and Philadelphia (1785-1901).

Library cardholders can access from their home computers, and can use or on one of the computers reserved for that purpose in any room on the 3rd Floor.

The Library also has extensive collections on St. Louis history, including its neighborhoods, architecture, artists, and authors. A huge Local History Card File is located in the St. Louis Room. The Special Collections Department has a Photographs Collection, and a huge collection of World’s Fair (1904) materials (books, guidebooks, periodicals, photographs, and ephemera). This department also owns collections of cuneiforms, illuminated manuscripts, miniature books, and several old Bibles, including a King James Bible (1611).

Our website includes sections on the following areas of interest:

Family Histories:

Gateway Family Historian (magazine with genie research tips and tricks):

St. Louis Biography & History Indexes & Bibliographies:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch & St. Louis Argus Obituary Search:

Passenger Lists:

Staff can check books or microfilm sets that are indexed or arranged alphabetically for you; just send us an email or call 314-241-2288. We can also check newspapers for obituaries or other articles, but only if you have either the date the obit or article appeared or the exact date the event occurred. You can do an obit search at the URL above; we can search a newspaper clipping file index to see if a subject of interest is listed there.

Any questions / comments? Email us here or call 314-241-2288.

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