What JPL has to Offer...
- Joliet and/or Will County history books
- Newspapers on microfilm from 1846-present
- Will County directories 1859-60 and 1872-73
- Joliet city directories 1875-present
- Joliet telephone directories from 1908
- Will County atlases/plat books.
- Joliet high school and IL university yearbooks
- Funeral brochures for African-Americans of Joliet and Lockport, Illinois 1968-2012.
- Archival materials concerning Joliet and Will County history
- Computers for local history, genealogy and digitization
- Printed obituary indexes for 1915-18 and 1976-2012
Researching Your Family History
Visit the Ottawa Street Branch and search items in our Genealogy/Local History collection. Microfilm copies can be made at no charge.
Library staff will search microfilmed editions of Joliet newspapers for obituaries, marriage and birth announcements, or other articles of interest. Due to the large number of pages published by Joliet newspapers, we can only do a search if you can give us the month and year that the event 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.
Free Genealogy Resources
These free resources can help you build your family tree:
- Archives.gov-African American Heritage – Research documents, photos and records.
- Archives.gov -Research documents, photos and records.
- Chronicling America – Search digitized U.S. newspapers (1777-1963) and the U.S. Newspaper Directory (1690-present).
- Google News Archive -Search newspapers from the 1700s onwards in 23 different languages.<
- FindAGrave.com – Find information about cemeteries and the people buried there; create and edit memorials with a free account.
- Fulton History – Search more than 47 million digitized newspaper pages on FultonSearch.org and postcards, yearbooks, videos, and more on FultonHistory.com.
- Illinois Digital Archives -The Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) was created in 2000, as a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois.
- Midwest Genealogy Center – Browse the online archives and oral history collection.
- Will County Historical Society – Discover Will County history.
Joliet History: Historic Summary of the Mexican Population in Joliet
Joliet History-Ottawa Street Branch Blue Prints
This collection of photographs from the Burnham side of the building, or the original 1903 building, showcases the original blue print plans.
Joliet History: Grand Masquerade
Photocopies of the invitation for the Joliet Library Associations “Grand Masquerade” on February 7, 1877. The event was a fundraiser to buy books for the library.
Joliet History: Postcard Collection
This collection of post cards features many historic Joliet elements including the I&M Canal, Old Jefferson Street Bridge and of course the Joliet Public Library.
Joliet History: Tour Brochures
This collection features information brochures and literature from different organizations in Joliet collected over the years.
master obituary list
This list was compiled by former JPL librarian Jack Tegal in 2016 and includes obituary indexes and where to find them. Obits listed from 1973-2012.
- Master Obituary List
Catholic Diocese of Joliet
16555 Weber Rd, Crest Hill, IL
St. Cyril and Methodius Cemetery
St. John’s Cemetery
St. Joseph’s Cemetery
St. Patrick’s Cemetery
Mount Olivet Cemetery Family Service Center
1320 E. Cass St.
1212 E. Washington St.
Mount Mariah Cemetery
Joliet Jewish Congregation
18750 Cherry Hill Rd.
Joliet Cemeteries continued...
1137 E. Cass St.
Zarley Cemetery (DesPlaines Cemetery)
Contact Joliet Township
175 W. Jefferson St.
St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery
1024 E. Cass Street
St. Peter Lutheran Church
310-350 N. Broadway St.
Woodlawn Memorial Park I
2306 W. Jefferson Street
Woodlawn Memorial Park II (Hills of Rest Cemetery)
2250 W. Jefferson Street
Free Access to Digital Collections
Biblioboard Library of Illinois: Browse 150+ books from Arcadia Publishing and the History Press about Chicago and Illinois History. 30+ Illinois community collections and many more free books, video and audio.
Digital Public Library of America: Search 44 million images, text, video, and audio from cultural institutions across the United States.
Europeana: Search millions of books, music, artwork, and more from cultural institutions across Europe.
Google Books: Search 40 million books and magazines; download books in the public domain and search others.
Hathi Trust Digital Library: Search 17 million books, periodicals, and more; 39% of the collection is available for download.
ILGenWeb History Project: The compilation is a special project devoted solely to the history of the state.
Internet Archive: Search millions of books, videos, audio, and more; pre-1926 books are available for download.
Lewis University Digital Archives: Includes local artwork, I&M Canal research papers, and historic Joliet photographs.
World Digital Library: Search more than 19,000 historically significant books, maps, manuscripts, and more.
Sanborn Maps: Detailed maps of U.S. towns and cities from the 19th and 20th centuries.