Genealogy and local history

Research family and local history with resources highlighting Minneapolis and Hennepin County, including digital collections, archival collections and web archives.

Minneapolis and Hennepin County Collection

One of the area's best local history resources, the collection covers all aspects of the history of Minneapolis and Hennepin County and includes books, photographs, school yearbooks, archival and manuscript collections, periodicals, maps, and thousands of files of newspaper clippings.

Resources are available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library and many have been digitized and are available online.

Digital collections

Thousands of items, including photographs, have been digitized and are available online to search, browse and download.

View digital collections

Archival collections

Archival collections include meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, photographs, digital files, video recordings, memorabilia, websites, and other unique historical materials. Detailed inventories, called finding aids, describe archival collections with historical information and context.

Search hundreds of finding aids

Web archives

View websites as they appeared in the past, including the library website and selected local websites from governments, non-profit organizations, restaurants, houses of worship, and more, beginning in 2020.

Search web archives on Archive-It

Researching homes, buildings and neighborhoods

Learn about the many resources available to research the history of your home, property, business or neighborhood.

Resources for researching the history of homes, buildings and neighborhoods

Hennepin County Yearbook Collection

The collection includes hundreds of yearbooks for public and private schools, colleges and academies in Hennepin County. Most are available digitally.

View yearbooks

Online resources

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Ancestry Library Edition

Available only in a library. Genealogy collections including census records, passenger lists, vital, court, church, and military records, newspapers, directories, stories, photos, and maps.


FamilySearch affiliate library access available only in a library. Explore one of the world's largest genealogy collections. Use the Hennepin County Library Affiliate access to gain access to restricted historical collections not available through home access. Set up of free FamilySearch personal account required to use.

Fold3 Library Edition by Ancestry

Military records including the stories, photos, and personal documents of those who served.

Gale Genealogy Connect

Features hundreds of fully searchable genealogy and history reference eBooks covering research guides, immigration, colonial and Native American ancestry and more.

HeritageQuest Online

Comprehensive collection of genealogical and local history resources dating back to the 1700s including unique primary sources, family and local histories, research guides, interactive census maps and more.

City Directory Collection

Digitized images of the Edina City Directory, 1941-1977; Hopkins City Directory, 1942-1977; Minneapolis City Directory, 1859-1950; St. Louis Park City Directory, 1933-1977. City directories list residents with their occupations, places of employment and spouses. Local businesses are listed by name and subject category, and directories are searchable by name or address.

Digital Sanborn Maps (Minnesota)

Fire insurance maps for Minnesota counties and cities from 1867-1970.

Minneapolis Tribune, Historical

Full-page images from original Minneapolis newspapers, available to search or browse via Minnesota Historical Society's Digital Newspaper Hub. Begins in 1867 with the Minneapolis Daily Tribune and ends in 1930 with the Minneapolis Morning Tribune.

Minnesota Digital Library

Images, maps and documents from historical societies, libraries, archives, and cultural organizations across Minnesota, including Hennepin County Library's Special Collections.

Star Tribune

Full-text articles from Minneapolis, Minnesota newspaper, including Minneapolis Star and Tribune and all three local editions: Minneapolis, Metro, and St. Paul.

1/1/2008 to 3 months ago
1/1/1986 to present

Star Tribune Archive by

Available only in a library. Full-page images of newspapers owned by Star Tribune, including City Pages, from 1867 to one month ago.

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Genealogy and history

Explore history and learn how to research your own family.

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Book lists

A selection of titles in the library collection.