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About the Local History & Genealogy Division

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


DID YOU KNOW that volunteers from the Rochester Genealogical Society are available most 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 volunteer scheduled 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. 


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Think Genealogy It's Saturday: Join us for our monthly genealogy series on the fourth Saturday of every month from September through June. Taught by Staff Genealogist Barb Koehler, each session features tips, tools, discussions, and demonstrations on different topic each month!

10:15-11 am in the Local History & Genealogy Division, 2nd floor, Rundel Memorial Building


2015-16 Schedule

Rochester's Rich History: Join us for our monthly local history series on the third Saturday of every month from October through June. Each month will feature an interesting topic!

1-2:30 pm in the Rundel Auditorium, 3rd floor, Rundel Memorial Building


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.

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

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