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Genealogy, History, Archives

The Genealogy, History & Archives Unit of the Fort Worth Public 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 unit collects primary and secondary materials on the history of Fort Worth, its institutions, organizations, and people. Moreover, it is the official municipal archives for the City of Fort Worth.

Contact us by phone at (817) 392-7740 or send us an email to genlhst@fortworthtexas.gov

Digital Archives

The library is 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 being added.

Archives Collection

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 Public Library, please click here

Into the Past

Throughout its history, Fort Worth has remained in a state of constant change and reinvention. Explore the past and present through an interactive collection of photos chronicling the events, people and places that have shaped this great city.

Donating to the Genealogy, History, and Archives Collections

The Fort Worth Public Library encourages you to donate your personal papers and other materials relating to Fort Worth history. Photographs and photo albums, postcards, ephemera such as posters, programs, pamphlets; records of clubs and organizations; journals, diaries, or scrapbooks; histories of churches, businesses, and organizations; family documents; personal papers; maps; and oral history recordings and/or transcripts. We are very interested in documenting all aspects of Fort Worth history, including the lives of African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic/cultural groups. If you have any materials that you are willing to donate or allow the Library to copy, please email us or call 817-392-7740.

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 the U. S. Census and City Directories, 180,000 microfiche. 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 History Collections

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.

The Fort Worth Public Library local history collection preserves the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and includes city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, and maps, as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. Popular materials for researchers are:

Program Videos

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.

Last updated: Aug. 28, 2019