Genealogy Libraries

The St. Louis area has several noteworthy genealogical repositories.

Below you will find a list of libraries that can provide you additional information for your genealogy research.


St. Louis Public Library

St. Louis Public is located downtown. It is in close proximity to the Civil Courts Building and City Hall. The collection began in the early 1900’s. This renowned collection of genealogical and local history material includes materials covering Missouri, Illinois, and states east and south of Missouri whose population has the most influence on Missouri’s population.

St. Louis County Library

Within the Library’s Headquarters branch is the Special Collection Department. It has several noteworthy collections including the St. Louis Genealogical Society’s Collection, the Julius K. Hunter African American Research Collection, the circulating National Genealogical Collection, as well as the St. Louis Archdiocesan Catholic Church Parish Records.

Missouri Historical Museum, Library and Research Center

Since the founding in 1866, the library began collecting published and manuscript material regarding the history of St. Louis, Missouri, and the American West.

Mercantile Library of the UMStL

Founded in 1846, this library is the first library established west of the Mississippi. They have several unique collections namely the John W. Barriger III collection focuses on American railroad history and the Herman T. Pott collection focuses on U.S. Rivers and inland waterway history.

Western Historical Manuscript Collection

This collection began in 1943 and has expanded from the original location in Columbia to the three other campuses of the University of Missouri.

State Historical Society of Missouri

This collection has two distinct collections. The first is the reference library which holds a wide variety of books, indexes, and family histories. The other collection is the newspaper library which holds microfilmed copies of papers from across the state.

Missouri State Archives

This collection maintains records from various government levels. Among their holdings are documents relating to French and Spanish colonial rule, the New Madrid Earthquakes, Supreme Court case files, the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James, and Harry S. Truman.