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Historical and Genealogical Library

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Please note that the map collection is in the process of being digitized and will be temporarily unavailable. We look forward to sharing with you when they are completed.


The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, located on the second floor of the Polk County History Center, is one of the largest facilities of its type in the area with more than 40,000 items in the collection. These include books, microfilm and periodicals containing information about the history and genealogy of the eastern United States.

A selection of materials related specifically to the history of Polk County include newspapers, aerial photographs, maps, city directories, property tax rolls, cemetery records and more.

Visitor Access

We are a non-circulatory Polk County library, meaning visitors can utilize the books on the shelves, but they cannot be checked out and they cannot leave the building. Items in our special collections and/or archives can be accessed with the help of a staff member.

Visitors will have free access to our microfilm room, as well as the library edition of Patrons may use their own laptops and free wireless internet access is available. We are Polk County’s first FamilySearch Affiliate Library, allowing registered users access to over five million additional records.


To take a closer look at our collection, check out our Digital Collection and our Library Catalog.

A partial list of available research materials in our special collection and can be found below;

Library Policy

Visitors are required to check in at the desk on the second floor; a library card is not required. The public access computers allow free access to while on-site. Patrons may use their own laptops and free wireless internet access is available.

Food and drinks are not allowed in the library and cell phones should be placed on silent or vibrate. Use of tobacco products and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the building.

We are a non-circulatory library so materials may not be loaned or removed from the building. Patrons may save information to a personal USB drive or print copies in the library at a cost of 15 cents per page. Due to the unique nature of this collection, some items may not be available to copy or scan and will be left to the discretion of the staff.

Genealogy Speaker Series

Our Genealogy Speaker Series is a free, monthly program that takes place on the last Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. The Series runs from January through October and each month features a different guest speaker who will present on a unique genealogy-related topic.

The programs are held virtually through Zoom, so you can participate from the comfort of your home. Registration is required, so if you are interested, contact the library or email us at