About Library


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Since its founding, the primary focus of the Library has been the documentation of the many facets of the history of Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio. This portrayal includes religion, politics, immigration, gender, ethnicity, transportation, business, labor, war, philanthropy, medicine, leisure, and countless other dimensions of life in the region.


Housed within the Cleveland History Center in University Circle, the WRHS Library collections include published resources (250,000 books, 25,000 newspapers, and numerous maps, sheet music, broadsides, and other printed ephemera) and unpublished manuscripts collections (over 10,000 linear feet of processed personal papers and records, more than 340,000 images, and numerous audio and video recordings).

The Library has also developed into a premier genealogical center with extensive collections of unique family history research materials and is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. The holdings of family histories and genealogical resources such as church records, funeral home records, family bibles, and other such materials are invaluable and cannot be found elsewhere.

Additionally, the Library holds several collections that are national in scope, including: extensive materials covering religion in America during the 19th century, featuring a world-renowned collection of Shaker materials; the William P. Palmer Civil War collection, covering slavery, Abraham Lincoln, and the American Civil War; and the Crawford library of automotive and aviation history, featuring Automotive Marque Files, a collection of owner’s manuals, brochures, photographs, and other automotive ephemera organized by vehicle make, model, and year.


The Library is located within the Cleveland History Center, which also houses the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, the Hay-McKinney Mansion, the Bingham-Hanna Mansion, the Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, Community History Galleries, and the Museum Store.

The Cleveland History Center is located at:

10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

The Library welcomes individual researchers and groups. Discount rates available for groups of 12 or more, contact sales@wrhs.org to make your reservation. Please contact the Reference Division staff in advance of any group visit.

Library tours are available upon request. Call 216-721-5722 x1509.

Research Library Regulations and Procedures

Library Hours: 10:00am to 3:00pm Thursday -Saturday

MembersFREE with valid membership card
StudentsSee admissions desk for a 3-month pass, $20.00

Covid Procedures PDF

Hours & Admission

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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm