|Western Reserve Historical Society
- Research Library in the History Center
- 10825 East Blvd
- Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Telephone: Library Research Services: 216-721-5722 x1509 (Thursday-Saturday)
Hours and holidays: Thursday – Saturday: Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Closed: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s
Map, directions, parking, and public transportation:
- Map: Google map: Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library
- from the northeast on OH-2/I-90: Merge onto OH-2 W or I-90 W toward Cleveland. Take EXIT 177 toward University Circle/Martin Luther King Jr Drive, 0.3 mi. Turn left onto Lake Shore Blvd, 0.2 mi. Lake Shore Blvd becomes Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 2.2 mi. Continue on Martin Luther King Jr Dr which becomes E Martin Luther King Blvd, 0.03 mi. Enter next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto East Blvd, 0.3 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the left.
- from the southeast on I-80: Merge onto I-80 W/Ohio Tpke W toward Cleveland (Portions toll). Merge onto I-480 W via EXIT 187 toward Cleveland, 14.4 mi. Keep right to take I-480 W via EXIT 26A-B toward Rockside Rd/Cleveland, 3.8 mi. Take the Lee Rd exit, EXIT 24, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto Lee Rd, 2.9 mi. Turn left onto Van Aken Blvd, 1.8 mi. Turn slight left onto Shaker Blvd/OH-87, 0.7 mi. Turn right onto E 116th St, 0.1 mi. E 116th St becomes Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 1.5 mi. Keep right at the fork to continue on Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 0.06 mi. Take the 1st right onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.08 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
- from the south on I-77: Merge onto I-77 N toward Cleveland. I-77 N becomes I-90 E, 0.2 mi. Take the Chester Ave exit, EXIT 173B, 0.2 mi. Turn right onto US-322 E/Chester Ave, 3.0 mi. Turn left onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.1 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
- from the west on I-90/Northwest Fwy: Merge onto I-90 E/Northwest Fwy E toward Cleveland. Keep right to take I-90 E toward Cleveland/I-77, 2.8 mi. Take the Chester Ave exit, EXIT 173B, 0.2 mi. Turn right onto US-322 E/Chester Ave, 3.0 mi. Turn left onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.1 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
- Parking: The fee to park in the museum lot is $5.
- Public transportation: Greater Cleveland RTA bus route 38 Hough stops next to the Research Library at East Blvd and E 108th Street.
Internet sites and databases:
The Connecticut Western Reserve was a part of northeast Ohio originally intended for settlement by Revolutionary War refugees from Connecticut. The former Connecticut Western Reserve lands were in the modern counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Trumbull fully, but also in parts of Ashland, Mahoning, Ottawa, Summit, and Wayne counties in Ohio.
- Western Reserve Historical Society about, explore and learn, research and collections, plan your visit, hours and admission, History Center, and Research Library.
- WRHS Library Collections Search STAR catalog online by keywords, titles, authors, subjects, formats, or publication date. Also available on WorldCat.
- WRHS Significant Collections African American, Asian Indian American, Civil War, immigration, Irish American, Italian American, Jewish American, military, religion, transportation, and women's history.
- Family History and Genealogical Research. WRHS Genealogy Committee events, census and related records, religious groups, immigration and ethnic sources, local histories, family history card catalogs, local records, and family histories.
- WRHS Genealogy Index 320,000 names in funeral home records, voter registrations, cemetery inscriptions, marriage and death notices, Bible records, biographical sketches, and photographs.
The Research Library at the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center is the premier repository for Cleveland, Ohio and the Connecticut Western Reserve history material. One of the principal strengths is its manuscript collections. The WRHS collection has original land records, genealogies of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, biographies, histories, and family Bibles. They have 235,000 books; 25,000 newspapers volumes; 30,500 rolls of microfilm; 1,000,000 photos; and more than 3,000 manuscript collections, and 6 million items overall.
Major collections: African American, arts and culture, Asian Indian American, business and labor, Civil War, immigration, Irish American, Italian American, Jewish American, LGBT, medicine and healthcare, military, philanthropy, politics, religion, sports, transportation, and women's history.
Major genealogical records: U.S. federal population censuses 1790-1930 and related records such as the 1890 veterans censuses, and computer census indexes; Quaker records in NC, OH, NY, VA, and IN; Shaker records; Dutch Reformed and Lutheran church records from eastern New York; passenger arrival lists of New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index; Cleveland newspapers published for ethnic groups; Cleveland city directories; Ohio country histories; Ohio marriages to 1865; published vital records of CT, MA, RI, MD, and other eastern states; most Ohio counties land-ownership atlases; Pennsylvania wills; genealogy magazines; the Henry Baldwin collection of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania; Charles R. Hale Collection (358 rolls) of CT vital record newspaper notices, and Barbour index; and 18,000 family histories.
- Geauga County OH 1800-1850 tax, deed, and probate records
- Cuyahoga County OH 1810-1941 marriages, and taxes 1819-1869
- Cleveland Necrology File I & II, and index to Cleveland newspaper death notices, 1850-1975
- Ohio Surname Index to biographies Ohio county histories
The WRHS Genealogy Committee also provides classes and seminars to help researchers.
- There are admission fees. One admission gives access to everything on the complex.
- Library tours are available upon request. Call 216-721-5722 x1509
The Research Center at Western Reserve Historical Society]
- Researching in the Library. For Reading Room, Microforms Room Procedures, and Copying Services.
- Library Research Services. This service is on a fee basis of $40.00 per hour with a half-hour minimum and includes up to ten photocopies.
- Digital Reproduction Services The Western Reserve Historical Society is pleased to offer photographic reproduction services. Fees include combined charges for the one-time right to use the reproduction and costs to produce the reproduction.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Western Reserve Historical Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees. Includes Northwest Territory (Ohio) papers.
- National Archives Great Lakes Region (Chicago) old federal court and agency records for Ohio, U.S. federal censuses 1790–1940; military service and pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3.
- Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, including Ohio genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, and passenger lists.
- Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, a large repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.
- Ohio History Connection, Columbus, serves as the state archives. Excellent manuscript collection for government, land, and military records. Also has biographies, genealogies, and vital records. 
- State Library of Ohio, Columbus, has good records of Ohio, and of states like Pennsylvania, New York, and the states of New England which all contributed early immigrants to Ohio.
- Cleveland Department of Public Health birth and deaths since 1908.
- Cuyahoga County Archives births 1849-1908, deaths 1840-1908, marriages 1810-1941, divorces, county atlases, naturalization 1818-1972, Civil War bounties, Cleveland city directories, coroner's cases, necrology files, probates 1813-1941, taxes, and ward maps.
- Cuyahoga County Clerk of the Courts civil, and criminal cases.
- Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner suspicious or unusual deaths.
- Cuyahoga County Recorder land records, DD-214 military discharges, veterans graves.
- Cuyahoga County Probate Court adoptions, birth, guardianships, mental commitments, name changes, probates and wills.
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland, recent civil and criminal cases.
- Greater Cleveland Genealogical Society, Fairview Park, public meetings.
- Jewish Genealogical Society of Cleveland research, news, and databases.
- African-American Genealogical Society, Cleveland meetings, clinics, lending library, and surnames.
- Cleveland Public Library
- Cuyahoga County Public Library Genealogy Site
- African-American Museum
- Maltz Museum of Jewish History
- Ukrainian Museum-Archives
- Berea Historical Society
- Cleveland Heights Historical Society
- Lakewood Historical Society
- North Olmsted Historical Society
- Shaker Heights Historical Society
- Slavic Village Historical Society
- South Euclid/Lyndhurst Historical Society
- Westlake Historical Society
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit.
- Ohio Genealogical Society, Bellville, has the best collection of family folders in Ohio. They also have county record guides, biographies, genealogies and unique indexes to various Ohio records.
- Bowling Green State University Jerome Library local government records, and newspapers.
- Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Room has one of Ohio's best genealogical collections including books, periodicals, indexes, genealogies, and biographies.
- Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, Cleveland, history of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, Erie Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railway, and related lines.
- Palatines to America German Genealogy Society Resource Center, Columbus, has an extensive collection of German immigrant ancestor files.
- Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, a good solid genealogy collection with oral histories, state and county histories, biographies, and genealogies. Youngstown was a portal for immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England entering Ohio.
- Ohio University Alden Library, Athens, their excellent manuscript collection includes church records, and business records. They also have county histories, biographies, and newspapers. It is like a second state archives.
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, is strong on Ohio history and genealogy, as well as Sandusky River and Great Lakes history, U.S. history and Black studies.
- University of Akron Libraries Polsky Building one of six regional centers of Ohio records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- University of Cincinnati Blegen Library one of six regional history centers of Ohio for records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Wright State University Dunbar Library, Dayton, one of six regional centers of Ohio records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor one of six regional history centers of Ohio for records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Repositories in surrounding states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia; and in Canada: Ontario.
- Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, millions of books, newspapers, periodicals, and photos about genealogy and family history, biographies, censuses, citizenship, immigration to and from Ohio and the USA, settlement, births, marriages, deaths, and divorces.