The St. Louis County Library’s History & Genealogy Department has recently launched a new digital archive providing convenient 24/7 access to genealogical and historical records and a library card is not needed to use the site.

The comprehensive online collection, made possible through support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and powered by the Recollect platform, provides global access to records of genealogical or historical value.

Through this initiative, scholars, genealogists, researchers, and the St. Louis community can access hundreds of digitized records, including city and county directories, newspapers, and yearbooks, alongside a variety of historical geographical data in the form of maps and atlases.

The digital archive facilitates research, discovery, and education by providing an easy-to-navigate interface where users are able to search for specific items and documents or explore the highlighted sub-collections at their leisure.

“Prior to creating this digital archive, these items in SLCL’s collection existed solely in a physical format – either bound as a book or as a microform. The physical nature of these materials means that they could only be used by one person at a time and that person must be able to travel to the History & Genealogy Department to use them. Digitizing and making these materials available on a searchable online platform will enable a much greater number of researchers to find and access the records, while also overcoming barriers that prevent people from accessing the physical materials.”

Manager of the History & Genealogy Department at the St. Louis County Library (MO)

The History & Genealogy Department is currently moving into their new state of the art facility at the Clark Family Branch, which opens to the public on July 9th, 2024. The Emerson History & Genealogy Center will have its entire collection accessible by the public. This collection includes over 120,000 titles dedicated to history & genealogy. Additionally, the center will contain a Memory Lab where visitors can record their family histories and a dedicated room for digitizing old photos or converting VHS tapes and other legacy media to digital files.

As the St. Louis County Library continues to digitize its vast repository of physical material, the digital archives will grow with further historical assets becoming available to the public. This effort underscores the library’s dedication to the preservation and dissemination of local history resources, benefitting both present and future generations.

Explore the St. Louis County Library digital archive here.