Local History & Genealogy

Start your research online or at the library.

African American HeritageEssential historical records for African Americans, including Federal Census, Marriage and Cohabitation Records, Military Draft and Service Records, Registers of Slaves and Free(d) Persons of Color, Freedman's Bank, and more.
Ancestry Library Edition (in-library use only): U. S. Census records; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; petitions for naturalization; passenger lists and more. You must be in the library to access this database.
Fold3: (remote access with your WCDPL library card): From Ancestry Access, this database gives access to US military records from the Revolutionary War up to contemporary conflicts, including stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.
HeritageQuest Online (remote access with your WCDPL library card): U. S. Census records; court, land, and probate records; vital and church records; directories; petitions for naturalization; passenger lists and more.
  • Wood County Historical Newspapers: Online collection of several Wood County newspapers, including the weekly Wood County Sentinel-Tribune (from 1867-1926) and the Daily Sentinel-Tribune (from 1890-1926). This project funded in part through an Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio and the Mearl and Lolita Guthrie estate.​
  • Local Newspaper Index: This database provides a partial index to articles of local interest found in the Sentinel-Tribune from the 1960s to 1995 and comprehensive coverage from 1995 to the present. This database also provides ongoing indexing to the BG Independent News with scattered coverage beginning with 2022.
  • The Ohio Collection on Newspapers.com: Access to digital versions of the Sentinel-Tribune from 1880-2021 and other newspapers from around Ohio via Newspapers.com. 
  • The New York Times: Access to everything The New York Times has to offer, including News, Games, Cooking, Wiecutter, and The Athletic.
My War: Northwest Ohio Remembers WWIIA collection of oral histories provided by the member libraries of the Northwest Regional Library System (NORWELD).
Ohio Obituaries: Links to several resources for obtaining copies of obituaries from Ohio newspapers.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: Over 40,000 detailed maps of Ohio cities drawn between 1882 and 1962.
WCDPL Digital Collection: This collection is housed on OhioMemory.org. It contains historical images and documents illustrating the history and development of the northwestern region of Ohio formerly known as the Great Black Swamp, with a particular emphasis on people, places, and events in Wood County, Ohio.
Come to the library and let us help.
The Local History and Genealogy Collection at WCDPL has a wide variety of resources, including:
Bowling Green Phone Books and City Directories
Bowling Green High School Yearbooks
Family Histories and Wood County First Family List
Genealogical Research Guides 
Military Rosters
Newspapers on Microfilm (with an emphasis on the Sentinel-Tribune)
Ohio Counties Collection
Wood County Census Records
Additional Wood County and Northwest Ohio Resources: