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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's

 informative monthly programs!

Parking is FREE for library patrons on Saturdays in the Washington Square Garage.  



T. G. I. S. 

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. 


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!     

 RRH logo

View the  2015-2016 schedule

  Coming up next... 

September 19, 2015  

1:00-2:30 pm  


The Rochester Royals and the Legacy of   

 Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman   

Patrick Farabaugh, St. Francis University

twyman stokes  

Formed in 1945, the Rochester Royals spent 12 years in the Flower City and claimed the 1951 National Basketball Association championship before moving to California to become the Sacramento Kings. Join us as Pat Farabaugh talks about the formation of the franchise by the Harrison brothers, the team’s NBA years, and the two seasons that Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman played for the Royals (1955-57). The relationship between the two men that developed after Stokes was severely injured showed just how strong the bond of friendship can be. You’ll hear how their legacy lives on today in the NBA, at Saint Francis University, and at the University of Cincinnati.   



Pat Farabaugh, PhD, is a faculty member in the Department of Communications at St. Francis University. Author of An Unbreakable Bond: The Brotherhood of Maurice /uploadedImages/MCLS/Local_History_New/Pat Farabaugh headshot.jpgStokes and Jack Twyman, Pat served as sports information director at St. Francis from 1999-2005 and was in attendance when Stokes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is currently working on his third book, which will explore the legacy of the 1977 flood that ravaged Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  






  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 historyThe 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