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We maintain an extensive collection of genealogy and local history resources, focusing on the Ravenna and Portage County area. These materials are located in our local history room on the library's second floor and can only be used inside the library.

We have staff and volunteers experienced in historical and genealogy research available to help you. If you have a historical or genealogical question, our librarians can help. If you need time to work one-on-one with a librarian, please schedule time in advance. Send your questions and inquiries to  Please make requests as specific as possible.


Some of these resources are available online and are linked to their sources. The rest can be referenced inside the library.

  • Cemetery Transcriptions
  • City Directories
  • Family Histories (Many are one-of-a-kind)
  • Local History Books
  • High School Yearbooks - We have many past yearbooks from Portage County Schools. We are looking for Ravenna High School yearbooks to add to our collection and need the following years: 1932, 1933, 1936.
  • Newspapers on Microfilm (Including all years of the Record Courier)
  • Record Courier Newspaper Archive (2012 to present)
  • Obituary Indexes
  • Ravenna Arsenal Information
  • Ravenna Postcard Collection
  • Ravenna School District Hall of Fame
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - Sanborn has been creating maps since 1866—longer than any other company in the United States and their archives contain over 1.2 million Sanborn maps containing the history of approximately 12,000 American cities and towns.
  • Kent State University Yearbooks  Covers all Chestnut Burr yearbooks published between 1914 and 1985
  • Portage County Records
  • Portage County Historical Society The Society exists "to collect, preserve and display things of historical value" relating to Portage County, and to "promote and disseminate historical information."



This well-known database with billions of records is available to you free inside the library. Use it at any computer workstation you choose but this database is available (free) only inside the library.


Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1704 – today. HeritageHub helps you easily identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes deep coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. Access is available 24/7 from this website.


Ohio Genealogical Society  The largest state genealogical society in the United States.

Ohio Death Records Index  Includes a searchable death index for persons who died in Ohio.

Ohio History Connection A readily accessible, online resource that documents Ohio's natural history, prehistory, and history through encyclopedic-style entries.

Western Reserve Historical Society The largest privately supported regional historical society in the nation.

Akron Beacon Journal Newspaper Obituary Index - covers 1937 to present

Cleveland Necrology File and News Index  Contains cemetery records and newspaper death notices gathered by the staff of the Cleveland Public Library.

Chronicling America U.S. Newpaper Index  This index will help you find out where microfilmed newspapers are located.

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database  Contains facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War.

Ellis Island Foundation  Provides a search on immigrants passing through Ellis Island, New York, between 1892 and 1954.

Family Search  Provides a fully searchable list of over 400 million names dating back to the 1500's.Free membership required.

Rootsweb Connects people to share genealogical research.

USGenWeb Project Volunteers working together to provide free access to genealogical research in every county of the United States.