What You Can Find in the Local History Department
If you are planning a trip to Springfield, Missouri, or live in this area, this article will give you an outline of materials available at the Local History and Genealogy department at the Library Center.
- CENSUS: Microfilm of Missouri population schedules 1830-1930. Also available are census records on Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest with a valid library card.
- MISSOURI RESEARCH: Historical and current materials on religion, church histories, customs, laws, government, politics, folklore, conservation, geology, geography, fiction, regional authors, sports and biography.
- CITY and TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES: Springfield, Mo. City directories for 1878 and 1881 to 1900 reproductions; 1901-1969 in microfilm; 1970 to present in closed storage. Springfield telephone books 1916-1960 in microfilm, 1961 to present in closed storage. Cross-Reference Directories, 1950-1970 in microfilm, 1971- 2006 in our closed storage.
- CIVIL WAR: Scans of documents with transcriptions of Ozarks area Civil War and Reconstruction Era artifacts online at Community and Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks. Print copies of War of the Rebellion, Official Record of the Union and Confederate Armies; The 24th Missouri Volunteer Infantry "Lyon Legion"; Compendium of the Confederate Armies (various states); Compendium of the War of the Rebellion; Wilson's Creek: the Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It and other histories of local and nearby battles.
- GENEALOGY: Birth, death (online death certificates 1910-1958), funeral homes, marriage, land and probate indexes and transcriptions of cemeteries and tombstones for Missouri residents with an emphasis on Greene County and southwest Missouri. How-to and beginning genealogy books.
- INFORMATION FILES: Clipping/pamphlet file arranged by subject; includes people, places, events, nature and other topics of local interest. Search subject titles online. Note: Few of these files have family genealogies.
- NEWSPAPERS: Springfield newspapers on microfilm; Marsha Hoffman Rising has abstracts of the Springfield Express 1881-1889 newspaper online; microfilmed copies of Ash Grove newspapers, 1884-1970 and 2001-2006; Springfield Business Journal, 1981-present; New York Times, 1920-1994 on microfilm. A searchable partial index of newspaper and magazine articles is available on line in the Ozarks News and Historical Index.
- Dr. William K. Hall’s Index to Items of Genealogical Interest, a printed source, covers births, deaths, marriages, divorces, engagements, anniversaries, etc. that appeared in Springfield newspapers. This index covers 1900 to present. Before 1900, surviving newspapers were infrequent. Ozarks News and Historical Index (ONHI) is an online selected subject index to newspapers and periodicals.
- NATIVE AMERICANS: Index to Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes (Dawes Rolls), Guion Miller Roll Plus of Eastern Cherokee; Records Relating to Enrollment of Eastern Cherokee on microfilm and other materials on the Cherokee Nation and histories of Missouri tribes. Online guide to beginning your Native American research.
- MISSOURI HISTORY: Local and county histories with emphasis on Greene County and southwest Missouri. Often these histories will contain biographies of some residents. Several Greene County histories are online.
- MISSOURI MAPS: Street, highway, physical, political and historical maps. Atlases and gazetteers of historical interest. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Springfield, the 1933-1950 and 1957 print versions are available at the Library and 1884-1957 are available online [online database covers many cities in the United States and requires a valid library card]. Plat books for Greene County and some area counties. The 1930 plat books of Missouri are available online. USGS topographical quadrangle maps for most of Southwest Missouri.
- OZARKS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY: A portion of their book collection is housed at the Library Center, and the rest are located at their library, 534 West Catalpa, Springfield, Mo. The collection covers most states with a focus on Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee – states from which most early Missourians migrated during the westward expansion. Their book collection is searchable in our catalog. Under "location" choose Ozarks Genealogical Society.
- PERIODICALS: 53 active titles covering different aspects of Missouri and Ozarks history and culture such as Missouri Historical Review, Ozarks Mountaineer, Missouri Life and 417. An archive of magazines no longer published such as Springfield Magazine and 40 other titles. Older issues of White River Valley Historical Quarterly, Bittersweet and Ozarks Watch are available online or in print. Several genealogical magazines including Family Tree Magazine and Genealogical Computing. Some magazine articles have been indexed in our Ozarks News and Historical Index.
- ADDITIONAL ITEMS OF INTEREST: Local high school and college yearbooks (predominantly Springfield schools, print version only), R. Ritchie Robertson materials, Library archive which includes postcards and photographs, mainly of local landmarks, Land Clearance for Redevelopment records circa 1960's - 1970's which includes photographs of downtown area businesses and some houses.
- LEGAL MATERIALS: Print versions of the Missouri Revised Statutes and Code of State Regulations, General Assembly Legislation , Vernon’s Annotated Missouri Statutes, Springfield City Code and Ordinances and Daily Events a daily publication of court activity .
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