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NW Ohio Reference Resources

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Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives (Bowling Green State University)

Phone: 419.372.2307


The Music Library contains more than 60,000 books and scores related to all aspects of the study of music. The Music Library houses two large special collections: The Bill Schurk Sound Archives and the Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. Named for their founder and considered the nation’s premier collection of commercial popular music sound recordings, The Bill Schurk Sound Archives contains almost a million recordings that, collectively, represent all styles of popular music and all recorded formats. Discographies, books, and periodicals related to popular music and the recording industry are also included in this collection. The Archives of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music contain music both submitted to and performed at the College of Musical Arts’ New Music and Art Festival.


Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL)

Local History and Genealogy Department

Phone: 419.259.5233


TLCPL is able to assist with local history and genealogy research concerning Toledo and Lucas County. TLCPL has an index of the obituaries from the Toledo Blade which are available to be requested at no charge to Ohio residents online. Numerous resources have been digitized including photograph collections, Toledo Public Schools yearbooks, and more. These can be found in our legacy image collection, Images in Time, as well as our Digital Collections page. Architectural collections of NW Ohio are being continually added to our resources available online. TLCPL has extensive resources in our reading room related to labor history, area newspapers on microfilm, the Blade Rare Book Reading Room, manuscript collections on a diverse number of topics, Toledo city directories, and a wide variety of books on history and genealogy pertaining to NW Ohio and other areas.


Ward M. Canaday Center (University of Toledo)

Phone: 419.530.4480 


Canaday Center’s collections primarily focus on the history of UT as well as the corporate, municipal, and non-profit history of the Toledo area. Major collections include the records of businesses Owens-Illinois, Owens-Corning, the Andersons, and Dana and non-profits like the Toledo Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Ability Center. Also includes papers of City of Toledo: City Council, Office of the Mayor. 


Wood County District Public Library (Bowling Green, OH)

Local History Collection

Phone: 419-352-5050


WCDPL’s Local History Collection includes resources pertaining to all of Ohio, with a primary focus on Wood County. Highlights include a large Wood County photograph collection (emphasis on Bowling Green area), extensive Wood County genealogical research tools, Bowling Green school yearbooks, Sentinel Tribune microfilm and research tools, and a small archival collection with information on local businesses, schools, churches, social organizations, and events/festivals.


Hancock Historical Museum

Museum and Archives

Phone: 419-4234433


HHM’s collections include a focus on the history of Hancock County, Ohio. This includes residents, businesses, houses and the general history of the area. We have a large photograph and negative collection courtesy of the former photographers of The Courier newspaper, yearbooks, local history books, genealogies, city and county directories, and reference materials for specific topics pertaining to Findlay. 


Tiffin-Seneca Public Library

Phone -- 419-447-3751

Fax -- 419-447-3755

Email --.

Seneca County Digital Library

TSPL Digital Library

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library’s genealogy and local history department houses resources for research on Tiffin and Seneca County, such as family histories, newspapers on microfilm, city and county directories, yearbooks, Junior Order of United American Mechanics Home, as well as general Ohio information. In addition, there are two digital libraries, Seneca County Digital Library and the TSPL Digital Library (video histories). These primarily focus on Tiffin and Seneca County history and contain local business information, photographs, postcards, marriage licenses, naturalization records, newspaper articles, and city and county histories.


Center for Archival Collections (Bowling Green State University)

Phone: 419-372-2411


The Center for Archival Collections is an archive and manuscript repository within University Libraries at Bowling Green State University. Our collection strengths include our manuscript collections, the Historical Collection of the Great Lakes, our Rare Books & Special Collections, and the National Student Affairs Archive. We are also the home of the BGSU University Archives, and house local records from the nineteen counties of Northwest Ohio. Our collections can be used for scholarly, political, and family and genealogical research, and we welcome BGSU students and faculty, local residents, as well as international scholars.


Defiance College Archives, in Pilgrim Library

Phone: 419-783-2481 (main desk); 419-783-2487 (archivist)


The Defiance College Archives’ mission is to collect materials related to the history of Defiance College, and the now-closed Schauffler and Palmer Colleges, as well as the Christian Biblical Institute.  The Archives houses over 230 linear feet of manuscripts, documents, and photographs.  A selection of over 4,300 documents and images have been digitized and are available on our DC Memory site at:  Nearly all of the DC Oraculum yearbooks and academic catalogs (some have student rosters) are included in DC Memory, which will be of interest to genealogists.  The Pilgrim Library also displays the Hermann Wiebe historical Ohio courthouse paintings, which can be viewed in digital format here.


Lakeside Heritage Society Museum & Archives

Phone: 419-798-5519


324 W. Third St.

Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440

The Lakeside Heritage Society collections include materials related to the history of Lakeside Chautauqua, Danbury Township, the Village of Marblehead and the Historic Chautauqua Movement. 


Bluffton University Archives & Special Collections

Phone: 419-358-3275


Musselman Library

Bluffton University

1 University Drive

Bluffton, OH  45817

The Archives & Special Collections floor is located on the first floor of the 1965 addition to Bluffton University’s Musselman Library and houses all archival and special collections owned by the university.  These collections trace the institution’s Anabaptist heritage and include our Mennonite Historical Collections (including genealogy and family history collections), the Bluffton University Archives, the Archives of the Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA, the Edna Hanley Byers Robert Frost Collection, other manuscript collections of past faculty, staff, and other individuals with a connection to Bluffton University and/or the surrounding area, the Howard Raid Mutual Aid Archives, and books and other library materials of rare and special importance to the institution and to scholarship.  Hours are by appointment.


Sandusky Library / Follett House Museum

Phone:  419-625-3834


The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center collections contain genealogical resources and archival documents that chronicle the history of Sandusky and Erie County. Additionally, the library operates the Follett House Museum, which collects artifacts and interprets the history of Sandusky and the surrounding region.


Toledo History Museum



The Toledo History Museum is a nonprofit membership organization that cares for, showcases, and interprets authentic pieces of Toledo and U.S. history. Our rich offerings of programs and exhibitions are accessible to all.  Our goal is to help our community build a sense of excitement for local history and stewardship of our legacy for generations to come.
THM shares the Toledo story and the story of its people through exhibitions, programs, publications, and digital media. Our research volunteers serve people from throughout the U.S each year, from school children working on history projects to PhD students writing dissertations to filmmakers researching documentaries.
The Toledo History Museum is open Saturday and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm and by appointment.  Tours are available free of charge.


Kelleys Island Historical Assoc.

Museum and Archives

Phone: 419-746-2399



KIHA’s collections focus on the history of the Island. This includes its homes and businesses, genealogy, artifacts, etc. We have a large photograph and postcard collection. The history of the Island has been well documented in several history books, compiled from original Island newspapers, letters, court cases, marriage, birth and divorce records, etc.  The museum contains artifacts from the 1800’s and early 1900’s, documents from the 1700’s, fossils and Native American artifacts. The entire Island is on the National Register of Historic Places, based on research done on every building built before 1910. We are the home of the historic Inscription Rock and the archaeologically significant Glacial Grooves.

Harris-Elmore Public Library

Phone: 419-862-2482



The Local History Room at the Harris-Elmore Public Library has been in operation for over 40 years due to the painstaking research of local historian Grace Luebke. Housed here are numerous historical documents that are helpful to the expert genealogist or the curious patron. Obituaries, naturalization records, photographs, and news articles, etc. can be found for Ottawa, Sandusky, Wood, Lucas, and Erie Counties in a range of dates.This site holds a vast number of our collections in a searchable digital format. This is made possible by a grant in 2009, from the Ottawa County Community Foundation and a partnership with the Ohio History Connection's Ohio Memory Project. This project was also funded in part by an LSTA grant that partners with 11 other Ohio Libraries through NORWELD.  All of our digital collections can also be found at Ohio Memory.

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