Monroe County Library System NY
Monroe County Library System image

Holiday Closings
Library Applications


Central Library on Facebook

MCLS on Twitter

MCLS on Tumblr

MCLS on Instagram

MCLS on Google+


Subscribe to MCLS Newsletters

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 on the Court and Broad street bridges on weekends. Or, park in either the South Avenue or Court Street parking garages and bring your ticket to the Circulation desk to get your first two hours of parking validated. 


TGIS Spring  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
  Winter 2016  Spring 2016 



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 


1-2:30 pm    

 The History of Rochester's Latino Community  

Presented by Julio Sáenz   

The 2010 census shows that the Latino population in Rochester, as in the rest of the country, is growing. While often perceived to be recent immigrants to the United States, the Rochester Latino community traces its roots back to pioneers like Puerto Rican Domingo Delgado, a key Eastman Kodak executive of the 1890s. Like many immigrants before them, Latinos arrived in search of the opportunities Rochester offered and by the 1950s had an established community with churches and businesses. The 1960s and 1970s brought the development of the Latino identity and foreshadowed the growing political and economic power the community wields today. Join us for exploration of the history of Rochester’s own Latino community. 

Julio Sáenz was born in Rochester and grew up on Roth Street on the city’s northeast side. He is the author of the book Rochester’s Latino Community and as a longtime journalist has chronicled the Latino community for ConXion and the Democrat and Chronicle. He currently serves as the General Manager of Poder 97.1 WEPL Radio, Rochester’s first 24-hour Spanish-language radio station.   Saenz 


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