Genealogy and Local History

1940 U.S. Census 

Accessible anywhere. This website allows you full access to the 1940 census images, in addition to 1940 census maps and descriptions.

Ancestry Library Edition 

This database of genealogical resources includes the complete U.S. Census, a multitude of city directories, Find-A-Grave records, military records such as draft registration cards and muster rolls, immigration records such as passenger lists and naturalization records, the Social Security Death Index, and birth, marriage, and death records (coverage varies by state).

Only available at Lawrence Public Library

Burroughs Creek Trail Hike Through History 

This series of National Park Service-quality panels are the first of their kind on the Lawrence Loop trail and serve as an outdoor museum. They feature original historic narratives written and researched by academics and local historians. Vintage photographs, maps and other images from local, state and national archives enhance the exhibits. Installed along the paved 1.7-mile Burroughs Creek Trail and Linear Park path running from 11th Street to 23rd Street, the panels provide insight to Lawrence’s unique history and cultural identity.

Chronicling America 

The Chronicling America project offers a searchable U.S. Newspaper Directory which can be narrowed by geographic coverage, date, language, ethnicity, and labor press (i.e., published for readers of a particular occupation or political philosophy, such as coal miners, dairy farmers, and/or socialists). Chronicling America also offers free access to a handful of digitized Kansas newspapers (such as the Kansas Herald of Freedom).

Digital Douglas County History 

Accessible at home or at the library. The local history portal for Douglas County history, featuring a growing collection of photographs, genealogy resources, and oral history projects. A partnership of the Lawrence Public Library, Watkins Community Museum, and the Douglas County Genealogical Society.

Fold3 Library Card Required. 

Fold3 Library Edition provides convenient access to U.S. military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. Accessible at home or at the library.

Gale Genealogy Connect 

Accessible at home or at the library. Gale Genealogy Connect offers access to a wide range of fully searchable genealogical reference publications.

Heritage Quest 

Accessible at home or at the library. HeritageQuest offers access to federal census records and city directories, U.S. Indian Census Rolls, slave schedules and Freedman’s Bank records, mortality schedules, agricultural and industrial schedules, and a variety of published family and local histories.

Kansas Digital Newspapers (KDN) Program 

Accessible anywhere. The Kansas Digital Newspapers program, managed by the Kansas State Historical Society, makes over 3 million Kansas newspapers freely available online.

Kansas Memory 

Accessible anywhere. This database offers a broad, statewide selection of digitized Kansas maps, photographs, and other primary documents from the collections of the Kansas State Historical Society.

Kansas State Government Publications 

Kansas state government agency/institution publications can be helpful resources in locating missing ancestors/relatives in your genealogical research. You'll find state employee telephone directories, professional/retail directories, Soldiers Home residents, state school information, G.A.R. organizational reports, and reports of two African American colleges.

Lawrence Journal-World 

Unlimited free access to the Lawrence Journal-World online is available at the Lawrence Public Library.

The Kansas State Historical Society provides Kansas residents with free access to historical Kansas newspapers through A valid Kansas driver's license or ID is required to access this resource.

Sanborn Maps (1867 – 1970)

This database is a vital resource for anyone researching the history of a home or building. Accessible at home or at the library. 

Soldiers and Sailors Database 

Accessible anywhere. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.


Search for books, movies, genealogy resources, and other materials in libraries worldwide. If you are interested in borrowing an item that Lawrence Public Library does not have and need assistance placing an interlibrary loan request, please contact us. 

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