The library has an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, histories, rare county plat books, census and biographical information, cemetery records, city directories, school yearbooks, newspapers, journals, photographs, maps, and other materials to assist you in your genealogical research.
Use of Materials
Researchers are welcome to use the genealogical materials during library hours. Given the special nature of these materials, visitors and researchers are asked to conform to security and handling precautions to protect the library’s holdings. Some materials are available on open shelving, all others must be retrieved from the archives by staff. You will be asked to provide current photo identification and a current address and phone number before receiving materials. All materials are to be used only in the library. Before making a special trip, please call the library at 309-343-6118.
Reproduction and Use of Materials
Publication of reproduced material or use of quotations or images from original archival material requires separate written permission and use of an approved credit line.
All images used in printed, electronic or digital publications, on film or video, on web sites and in exhibitions must be credited with the following: “Courtesy: Archives of the Galesburg Public Library, Galesburg, Illinois.” In those cases where images are being used on an internet page, or the equivalent thereof, the citation should be made into a link to the Galesburg Public Library’s homepage at “www.galesburglibrary.org.” Please consult with the archivist at 309-343-6118 during library hours or via email for additional information.
Not all materials may be photocopied. Photocopies and reproductions may be obtained for a fee if the physical condition of the material permits reproduction. A photo reproduction and use form is available online. Additional information may be obtained from the archivist.
Responsibilities of User
Patrons are expected to use all materials with care and respect. Pencils only may be used for writing when working with these materials.
Researchers and users assume full responsibility for conforming with the laws of privacy, copyright and literary property rights which may be involved in the use of these materials.
Research Requests and Fees
The library archivist will perform genealogy research such as obituary, cemetery record and city directory searches as well as local history research. The library charges a standard fee of $10 an hour, not to exceed two hours for this service. Please contact the archivist to discuss your request at 309-343-6118 or by email.
After communicating with the Archivist, you may need to send your request along with this completed form and an initial payment of $10. Click here to make a secure online payment, or mail a check or money order to the Galesburg Public Library at 40 E Simmons St, Galesburg, IL 61401. (If you are paying online, choose Gifts and Memorial Donations. Fill in Research Fees as the Name of the Honoree.)
Requests library staff are unable to handle may be referred to the Knox County Genealogical Society.
A member of the Knox County Genealogical Society is available at the library to aid and assist individuals doing genealogical research every Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The service is free and no appointment is necessary. The Archivist and reference staff will be happy to help you any time during regular library hours.
When using the Internet for genealogy, it is important to consider the source. There is often no way to tell if the information has been properly researched and accurately documented. You may want to view this information as simply a starting place for your own research adventure.
Here are a few good starting places for genealogy research on the Web:
Discover your ancestors with the world’s largest family history website. Start a family tree, browse census records and more online at Ancestry.com. (Only available from within the library.)
Cemetery Database for Linwood and East Linwood
A fairly new database with all of the people buried in the two cemeteries. Additionally, there are listings for the state cemetery for unclaimed people from the mental hospital as well as prisoners and homeless persons.
Christine’s Genealogical Website
Resources and information for African American genealogy research. See also the library’s downloadable bookmark listing online and organizational resources for tracing African American family history.
Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites
Compiled by Cyndi Howells, Cyndi’s list is one of the most comprehensive genealogy sites. See the Illinois section for links to online vital records, newspapers, immigration records, and more.
Ellis Island Records
Free access to the Ellis Island records; genealogy research tips and free downloadable charts and forms to organize your family history research.
The Church of Latter Day Saints maintains this useful genealogy site. Among other things, it provides research tips and free access to the 1880 U.S. Census data.
Illinois Department of Vital Records
Search by county the Illinois Deparment of Health Database records for birth, adoption, marriage, divorce and death records. Years of coverage vary.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Formerly known as the Illinois State Historical Library, this is a repository for materials relating to the history and people of Illinois.
National Park Service Database of Civil War Soldier Records
Names and other basic information from the 6.3 million records of the National Archives about Civil War soldiers and sailors from both sides.
Part of the US GenWeb project, this site provides links to many resources for genealogy research.