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Local History & Genealogy Division
Check out our blog for the latest news, updates,  
and more!    


 Local History ROCs!   


DID YOU KNOW that volunteers are available on Saturdays to assist with your family history research? No appointments are necessary, but please call our Reference Desk at (585)428-8370 to be sure we have a docent for the day and time you plan to visit. 

Join us for Local History & Genealogy’sinformative monthly programs!  

Parking is FREE for library patrons on Saturdays in the  

Washington Square Garage. 

/uploadedImages/MCLS/Local_History_New/TGIS_Fall_Top_S1.jpg  Think Genealogy It’s Saturday (the all NEW Family Detectives Club)

Monthly Genealogy Programs, the fourth Saturday, September through June 

10:15-11:00 a.m. in the Local History & Genealogy Division 

Featuring demonstrations using our new 55-inch Collaboration Station from the Walter F. Becker Digital History Center.

Schedule: Fall 2015

Rochester's Rich History

2015-2016 Season     

Third Saturdays    

Rundel Memorial Building, 3rd floor   

Join us in the Rundel Auditorium for a brand-new season of monthly Saturday afternoon lectures!     

 View the 2015-2016 schedule 
RRH logo  
Coming up next...


December 19, 2015 

1-2:30 pm 

Stories for the Longhouse 

Presented by Perry Ground 

Courtesy of the Fenimore Art Museum 

 Photo courtesy of the Fenimore Art Museum.


Traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) stories have been told for hundreds of years. These narratives served to impart the beliefs, customs, and history of the Haudenosaunee people from one generation to the next. Storyteller Perry Ground will bring these stories to life using vivid descriptions, his rhythmic voice, and an active stage presence. Discussion about Haudenosaunee culture and the importance of storytelling will be included in the program. Both the young and young at heart will find this presentation captivating, highly entertaining, and educational. 


gary s. howell
Photo by Gary S. Howell.  
Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. For over 15 years, he has told the stories shared with him by the elders of various Native American communities as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs, and history of the Haudenosaunee. Currently, Perry is the project director of the Native American Resource Center in Rochester.   





The map below gives an overview of the Local History & Genealogy web site; click on it for a full-size view   


image map thumbnail - local history
The Local History and Genealogy Division offers expert in-person reference service, as well as telephone and email service for quick reference questions. All materials in the Local History and Genealogy Division are restricted to use within the department, but a significant and growing portion of the collection is available online. Also, as many materials are old and fragile, photocopying is restricted, but patrons may bring in equipment to photograph items. 


The Local History and Genealogy Division and its partners have digitized photographs, books, manuscripts, maps, directories, postcards, and other items for easy access and for the preservation of original print material held within selected local collections in Monroe County. The thousands of items found here represent the rich history of the Rochester region. They are of interest to anyone researching local history and genealogy. Collections throughout the county can now be searched at one online location, thanks to the cooperation of many partner institutions.

The Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County boasts one of the premier collections of local historical and genealogical materials in western New York, while smaller municipal libraries have built collections of materials relevant to their particular towns.

The sections listed below are links to extensive materials held by the Central Library's Local History and Retrieval Divisions and by various town libraries.

The information provided by these various resources will help researchers find answers to questions about the history of Rochester and Monroe County, and will aid genealogy researchers looking for family information. What is provided online, however, is only a very small part of all the collections held at the libraries in Rochester and Monroe County. The information here will help you get started, but visiting our libraries will speed you on your way.

Genealogy Resources - a variety of helpful tools and guides for researching family history and finding information on past residents of Rochester and Monroe County

Local History Resources - various resources covering the history of Rochester and western New York

Rochester Images - historic and contemporary photographs, maps, postcards and other memorabilia from Rochester and Monroe County

Digitized Collections  - historic books, newspapers and magazines of local interest that can be viewed online or downloaded and printed

Pathfinders - guides to special topics

News - includes information on new items available online

  Monroe County WebsiteCity of Rochester Website