Western Reserve Historical Society

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Western Reserve Historical Society

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

E-mail:[1]  reference@wrhs.org


Research Library in the History Center
10825 East Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Telephone:[1]  Library Research Services: 216-721-5722 x1509 (Thursday-Saturday)

Hours and holidays:[2] Thursday – Saturday: Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Closed: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s

Map, directions, parking, and public transportation:

  • Map:  Google map: Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library
  • Directions:[3]
    • from the northeast on OH-2/I-90: Merge onto OH-2 W or I-90 W toward Cleveland. Take EXIT 177 toward University Circle/Martin Luther King Jr Drive, 0.3 mi. Turn left onto Lake Shore Blvd, 0.2 mi. Lake Shore Blvd becomes Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 2.2 mi. Continue on Martin Luther King Jr Dr which becomes E Martin Luther King Blvd, 0.03 mi. Enter next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto East Blvd, 0.3 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the left.
    • from the southeast on I-80: Merge onto I-80 W/Ohio Tpke W toward Cleveland (Portions toll). Merge onto I-480 W via EXIT 187 toward Cleveland, 14.4 mi. Keep right to take I-480 W via EXIT 26A-B toward Rockside Rd/Cleveland, 3.8 mi. Take the Lee Rd exit, EXIT 24, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto Lee Rd, 2.9 mi. Turn left onto Van Aken Blvd, 1.8 mi. Turn slight left onto Shaker Blvd/OH-87, 0.7 mi. Turn right onto E 116th St, 0.1 mi. E 116th St becomes Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 1.5 mi. Keep right at the fork to continue on Martin Luther King Jr Dr, 0.06 mi. Take the 1st right onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.08 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
    • from the south on I-77: Merge onto I-77 N toward Cleveland. I-77 N becomes I-90 E, 0.2 mi. Take the Chester Ave exit, EXIT 173B, 0.2 mi. Turn right onto US-322 E/Chester Ave, 3.0 mi. Turn left onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.1 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
    • from the west on I-90/Northwest Fwy: Merge onto I-90 E/Northwest Fwy E toward Cleveland. Keep right to take I-90 E toward Cleveland/I-77, 2.8 mi. Take the Chester Ave exit, EXIT 173B, 0.2 mi. Turn right onto US-322 E/Chester Ave, 3.0 mi. Turn left onto Euclid Ave/US-20 E/US-322 E, 0.1 mi. Turn left onto East Blvd, 0.6 mi. WRHS at 10825 EAST BLVD is on the right.
  • Parking:  The fee to park in the museum lot is $5.
  • Public transportation: Greater Cleveland RTA bus route 38 Hough stops next to the Research Library at East Blvd and E 108th Street.

Internet sites and databases:

  • Western Reserve Historical Society about, explore and learn, research and collections, plan your visit, hours and admission, History Center, and Research Library.
  • Logo wcmasthead en.png
    WRHS Library Collections Search STAR catalog online by keywords, titles, authors, subjects, formats, or publication date. Also available on WorldCat.
  • WRHS Significant Collections African American, Asian Indian American, Civil War, immigration, Irish American, Italian American, Jewish American, military, religion, transportation, and women's history.
  • Family History and Genealogical Research. WRHS Genealogy Committee events, census and related records, religious groups, immigration and ethnic sources, local histories, family history card catalogs, local records, and family histories.
  • WRHS Genealogy Index 320,000 names in funeral home records, voter registrations, cemetery inscriptions, marriage and death notices, Bible records, biographical sketches, and photographs.

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

Connecticut Western Reserve in northeast Ohio.png
The Connecticut Western Reserve Genealogy  was a part of northeast Ohio originally intended for settlement by Revolutionary War refugees from Connecticut.[4] The former Connecticut Western Reserve  lands were in the modern counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Trumbull fully, but also in parts of Ashland, Mahoning, Ottawa, Summit, and Wayne counties in Ohio.

The Research Library at the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center  is the premier repository for Cleveland, Ohio and the Connecticut Western Reserve  history material. One of the principal strengths is its manuscript collections.[5] The WRHS collection has original land records, genealogies of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, biographies, histories, and family Bibles.[4] They have 235,000 books; 25,000 newspapers volumes; 30,500 rolls of microfilm; 1,000,000 photos; and more than 3,000 manuscript collections, and 6 million items overall.[6]

Major collections: African American, arts and culture, Asian Indian American, business and labor, Civil War, immigration, Irish American, Italian American, Jewish American, LGBT, medicine and healthcare, military, philanthropy, politics, religion, sports, transportation, and women's history.[7]

Major genealogical records: U.S. federal population censuses 1790-1930 and related records such as the 1890 veterans censuses, and computer census indexes; Quaker records in NC, OH, NY, VA, and IN; Shaker records; Dutch Reformed and Lutheran church records from eastern New York; passenger arrival lists of New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index; Cleveland newspapers published for ethnic groups; Cleveland city directories; Ohio country histories; Ohio marriages to 1865; published vital records of CT, MA, RI, MD, and other eastern states; most Ohio counties land-ownership atlases; Pennsylvania wills; genealogy magazines; the Henry Baldwin collection of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania; Charles R. Hale Collection (358 rolls) of CT vital record newspaper notices, and Barbour index; and 18,000 family histories.[5]

  • Geauga County OH 1800-1850 tax, deed, and probate records
  • Cuyahoga County OH 1810-1941 marriages, and taxes 1819-1869
  • Cleveland Necrology File I & II, and index to Cleveland newspaper death notices, 1850-1975
  • Ohio Surname Index to biographies Ohio county histories

The WRHS Genealogy Committee also provides classes and seminars to help researchers.[5]

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • There are admission fees. One admission gives access to everything on the complex.
  • Library tours are available upon request. Call 216-721-5722 x1509
    The Research Center at Western Reserve Historical Society]
  • Researching in the Library. For Reading Room, Microforms Room Procedures, and Copying Services.
  • Library Research Services. This service is on a fee basis of $40.00 per hour with a half-hour minimum and includes up to ten photocopies.
  • Digital Reproduction Services The Western Reserve Historical Society is pleased to offer photographic reproduction services. Fees include combined charges for the one-time right to use the reproduction and costs to produce the reproduction.

Guide[edit | edit source]

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the Western Reserve Historical Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.[8] Includes Northwest Territory (Ohio) papers.
  • National Archives at Chicago old federal court and agency records for Ohio, U.S. federal censuses 1790–1940; military service and pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3.[9]
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, including Ohio genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, and passenger lists.[10]
  • Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, a large repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.[11]
  • Ohio History Connection, Columbus, serves as the state archives. Excellent manuscript collection for government, land, and military records. Also has biographies, genealogies, and vital records.[4] [12]
  • State Library of Ohio, Columbus, has good records of Ohio, and of states like Pennsylvania, New York, and the states of New England which all contributed early immigrants to Ohio.[4]

Similar Collections

Neighboring Collections

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Contact Us in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 10 March 2015).
  2. Visiting the Library in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 10 March 2015).
  3. Based on MapQuest directions.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 89. At various repositories (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 J54d.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Family History and Genealogical Research in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 11 March 2015).
  6. Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Tourism Ohio, Western Reserve Historical Society Research Center (accessed 12 March 2015).
  7. Significant Collections in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 11 March 2015).
  8. Information for Researchers at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC in National Archives (accessed 31 December 2013).
  9. Genealogy in National Archives at Chicago (accessed 27 February 2014).
  10. Genealogy Center Collections in Genealogy Center (accessed 27 February 2015).
  11. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Ohio Network of American History Research Centers in Ohio History Connection (accessed 28 February 2014).
  13. Records of Interest in Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works (accessed 12 March 2015).
  14. Discover the Collection at Library and Archves Canada (accessed 6 August 2013).