genealogy and local history


All resources are available for use within the Library. Resources marked with require a Resident* Library Card.

*Resident areas include Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County.



Collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices from around the United States published since 1980 (exact dates covered vary by newspaper).

In-Library Use Only

Search the US Federal Census from 1790 to 1940 as well as immigration, vital, military, court, church, and ethnic records. Explore city directories, the Social Security Death Index, and more. Please note that the content in the Library Edition of this resource may differ from the personal subscription edition.


NEW! Biographical information on 650,000+ people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines.


News coverage for Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and 24 counties in Eastern Iowa from 1992 to present.

NEW! - Search the archives of the Gazette newspapers from 1857-2010.


A source for U.S. census records, books, periodicals, Revolutionary War service records, and Freedman's Bank deposit or records.

1878 to 2012 by the U.S. Federal Government. The Statistical Abstract is a 1-volume overview (or abstract) of information about the U.S.


Iowa City's local newspaper with coverage from January 13, 2002 until present.

NEW! Full-text access to Irving Weber's 850 Iowa City Press Citizen articles on Iowa City and Johnson County history.


Index to information in newspapers and magazines. It currently goes back to 1962 and continues retrospectively.



Search the National Archives for genealogy resources by topic or type of record.

Search full image of articles published in the New York Times from its first issue in 1851. It is searchable by keyword, author, article title, and first paragraph (abstract).

News content from local, regional and national news sources.

Historical newspaper database online, contains tens of millions of newspaper pages from 1607 to present.


Indexing and full-text access to newspapers from across the nation including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times as well as Iowa newspaper the Iowa City Press Citizen and the Des Moines Register.


Digital Sanborn Maps provide digital access to 1450 large - scale maps of 329 Iowa towns and cities. Sanborn Fire Maps were initially created to estimate fire insurance risks. The company's maps are frequently used for historical research, and for preservation and restoration efforts. Iowa City fire maps in this collection are for the following dates: September 1883, July 1888, April 1892, June 1899, April 1906, January 1912, July 1920, February 1926, and February 1933 through April 1946.

In-Library Use Only

Index to anyone who has been reported dead to the Social Security Administration from 1962 onwards or who had died prior to 1962 but still had active Social Security accounts in 1962.


Where to find birth, death, marriage and divorce records from all 50 states and territories.