Genealogy/Local History


 The Genealogy/Local History collection, housed at the Ottawa Street Branch, includes:

  • Books about Joliet and/or Will County history.
  • Joliet newspapers on microfilm from 1846 to present.
  • Will County directories in print; 1859-60 and 1872-73.
  • Joliet city directories from 1875 to present, in print and/or on microfilm.
  • Joliet telephone directories, as far back as 1908.
  • Will County atlases, and plat books.
  • Joliet high school yearbooks.
  • Printed obituary indexes; 1915-18, and 1976-2012.
  • Funeral brochures for African-Americans of Joliet and Lockport Illinois, 1968-2012.

The library also offers access to the Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest databases, and an online index of
obituaries published in the Joliet Herald-News from 1976 – 2012.


Members of the public are welcome to come to the Joliet Public Library Ottawa Street Branch and search items in our Genealogy/Local History collection.  The library charges a fee of $0.25 per page for printing from our microfilm readers. Copies of pages from books can be made on our copier for a fee of $0.10 per page for black and white, and $0.50 per page for color.

The staff of the library will search microfilmed editions of Joliet newspapers for obituaries, marriage and birth announcements, or other articles of interest, for a fee of $5.00 per person searched. There is no charge if the requested item is not found. Due to the large number of pages published by Joliet newspapers, we will only do a search if you can give us at least the month and year that the event you wish searched occurred. Requests can be made by calling the Adult Services department of the Ottawa Street Branch at 815-740-2666, or by using our online Reference Request form.




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