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Genealogy & Local History

Use these resources to discover the story of Lexington, the Bluegrass State, or your personal family tree.  Visit the Central Library's Kentucky Room for additional materials and expert assistance.

Kentucky Room

The Kentucky Room, located on the third floor of the Central Library, contains a wealth of information about Kentucky and Fayette County. The collection features books on all aspects of Kentucky, subject files on Kentucky and Lexington, local newspapers, city directories, maps, and state and local government documents, including select census and vital records.

You can contact the Kentucky Room at (859) 231-5500, ext. 1008, or by email with questions and specific information requests.


Ancestry Library Edition
Includes census images, vital records, family trees and other historic records.
Available only to customers inside our Library locations.

Central Kentucky Cemeteries Maps
Created by the Lexington Public Library's Kentucky Room staff and powered by Google Maps.  Maps are available for Fayette and several surrounding counties.

Find A Grave
Find A Grave is a resource for anyone in finding the final disposition of family, friends, and "famous" individuals.

Funeral Notices Collection
A digital collection of 676 funeral notices printed in Lexington between 1806-1887.

HeritageQuest Online
Research your family's history using census records and rare published family and local histories. Includes PERSI, Periodicals Source Index, for genealogical and local history research magazines.

America's Obituaries & Death Notices
Searchable collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices from around the United States.

Local History

Elmer L. Foote Lantern Slide Collection
A digital collection of early 20th century lantern slide images created by Elmer L. Foote, a Cincinnati photographer whose pictures appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.

Kentucky Gazette
Digital images of issues from the first newspaper published in Kentucky.

Kentucky News Sources
Search over 50 sources from across Kentucky, including the Lexington Herald Leader.

Lexington Herald-Leader
Full-text articles from April 25, 1983 to present.  The Kentucky Room owns copies of earlier editions of the Herald-Leader and its predecessors, the Lexington Herald and the Lexington Leader, on microfilm.

Local History Index
The selective citations included in the Lexington Public Library’s Local History index appeared in various Lexington newspapers, beginning with the Kentucky Gazette in 1787 through the Lexington Herald-Leader of December 31, 2007.

Local Music Archive
A permanent collection housed in the Kentucky Room to capture and preserve the rich and diverse musical influences which inform the history and the present-day culture of Lexington, the Bluegrass Region and Kentucky.