The Genealogy, History & Archives Unit of the Fort Worth Library is located in the lower level of the Central Library. It has a large collection of family history data including federal census, books, periodicals and online databases. The genealogy collection focuses on Texas and the South, but also includes a considerable amount of information on the Midwest and the original thirteen states. The unit also collects primary and secondary materials on the history of Fort Worth, its institutions, organizations, and peoples. Moreover, it is the official archives for the City of Fort Worth municipal government.
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The library is working on digitizing its archive collections in order to make them more accessible. Some of the collections already online include the Shires Photograph Collection, the Gruen and Bartholomew Plans, Texas County Tax Rolls, Texas Spring Palace, Fort Worth Labor News, Fox Photograph Collection, the Federal Writers’ Project, Lake Como Weekly, Hazel Harvey Peace Collection, Tarrant County Original Land Grants, Fort Worth Housing Authority, and the Historic Photograph Collection. New collections are continuously being added.
Searching for information in the archives just got easier! The library now has online, keyword searchable access to the finding aids for the collections in the archives. If you are unfamiliar with finding aids, think of them as highly detailed tables of contents to archival collections. Finding aids provide biographical or historical information about the person or organization that assembled the collection and the contents of the collection itself. Most of the collections in our archives are arranged in boxes containing folders of documents. The folder titles are included in the finding aids.
For a tutorial on searching for information in the archives, please click here.
For information about using archival resources in person at the Fort Worth Library, please click here
Genealogy Collection and Databases
The Genealogy Collection’s emphasis is on the southern and midwestern states and the thirteen original states, although most of the United States is represented. Limited materials on foreign countries, particularly Great Britain and Western European nations, are also available. The collection includes over 40,000 volumes, 9,500 rolls of microfilm (primarily U. S. Census and City Directories, 180,000 microfiche, 80,000 microcards and several hundred maps. Access to databases such as Ancestry Library Edition, HistoryGeo and America’s Genealogy Bank can be found in the Genealogy & History section of the library’s catalog.
Local Genealogical Resources
Local History Collection
The Fort Worth Library has over 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. For information about what materials can be requested through the mail or email, please visit this webpage.
- Biography Vertical Files
A list of persons in the Library’s Biography Vertical Files, along with a brief description of the file contents.
- Local History Photograph Collection
The Library has hundreds of photographs documenting Fort Worth’s history. Photos are available for reproduction through the Genealogy, History, and Archives Unit. This form will be filled out by library staff and signed by the customer. Please review the blank form and contact the Unit to request copies of the photos in the library’s collection.
Videos of some of the programs offered in the library about different topics in genealogy and local history are available to view on the library’s YouTube page and website. A complete listing of available videos can be found here.
Donating to the Genealogy, History, and Archives Collections
The Fort Worth Library encourages you to donate your papers and other materials relating to Fort Worth history. Learn more about the kinds of materials we’re looking for. This form will be filled out by library staff and signed by the donor. Please review the blank form and contact the Unit to donate materials to the library.
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Last updated: Oct. 31, 2017