Temporary Library Hours    

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 for 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 and Illinois college/university yearbooks
  • Printed obituary indexes for 1915-18 and 1976-2012
  • Funeral brochures for African-Americans of Joliet and Lockport, Illinois for 1968-2012.
  • Vertical files, consisting of archival materials concerning Joliet and Will County history and events

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

Computers for local history, genealogy and digitization purposes can also be found in the Local History section. 


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. Microfilm copies can be made at no charge. 

The staff of the library 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 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.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library 

The Joliet Public Library is now a FamilySearch Affiliate! That means you can login from the library's computers and search your ancestry...for FREE!
What is FamilySearch?
Family Search International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch! This resource allows you to sort through digital data that you may not have access to at home.
At a FamilySearch Affiliate library, millions of extended records can be found using your account, but you must be at the affiliate site (Joliet Public Library). FamilySearch is continually adding new records and information.
How do you get started?
  1. Visit either library location
  2. Go to www.familysearch.org on a library computer
  3. Log in or create an account
  4. Enjoy free access to ancestry searches and information previously only available on microfilm

 History of the Main Library (Ottawa Street Branch)




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