Local History & Genealogy

Start your research online or at the library.

  • African American Heritage (remote access with your WCDPL library card): Essential 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.
  • FamilySearch (remote access by creating a free account): A large online library of genealogical resources. Patrons can search hundreds of thousands of materials, including books, family histories, directories, obituaries, yearbooks, census records, military records, church records, and more. WCDPL is also a FamilySearch affiliate library, which provides patrons with access to even more records when using the site within the library.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Newspapers - Historical
  • Wood County Historical Newspapers: Online collection of digitized historical newspapers (dating back to 1866) from several cities within Wood County, including Bowling Green, Bradner, North Baltimore, Pemberville, and Risingsun.
  • The Ohio Collection on Newspapers.com: Access to digital versions of the Sentinel-Tribune from 1890-2021 as well as other newspapers from around Ohio. 
  • 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.
Newspapers - Current
  • America’s News on NewsBank: Explore and stay informed on local and national topics, people, and events in areas such as business, health, education, jobs and careers, political and social issues, and more. Features a wide variety of credible, vetted news sources spanning the U.S.
  • Sentinel-Tribune Collection on NewsBank: Explore Bowling Green through local news, events, and people with this collection. Search current and archived articles (2008 – present). 
  • The New York Times: Access to everything The New York Times has to offer, including News, Games, Cooking, Wirecutter, and The Athletic.
  • USA Today on NewsBank: Stay current with national news, events, and people with this collection. Search current and archived issues with full-color newspaper pages, full-text articles and content only published online.
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
  • Ohio Counties Collection
  • Wood County Census Records
Additional Wood County and Northwest Ohio Resources: