Services Library


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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(250,000 books, 25,000 newspapers, and numerous maps, sheet music, broadsides, and other printed ephemera) and unpublished manuscripts collections (over 10,000 linear feet of processed personal papers and records, more than 340,000 images, and numerous audio and video recordings).

Library Services

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.

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.

Individual researchers and groups are welcome by appointment. Please contact the Reference staff in advance for information concerning services, policies, and procedures: Call 216-721-5722 x1509 or email

Digital Reproduction Service

The Western Reserve Historical Society is pleased to offer digital services. Fees include a combined digital reproduction fee and a one-time fee covering rights to use the digital files. Most digital projects require 20 days for processing after receipt of payment and signed paperwork. Please note; some collections are restricted to reference use only and cannot be ordered for personal or commercial use.

Rights and Permissions

Reproductions of materials from the collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society are provided under usage agreement for purposes as indicated in writing by the user and agreed upon by WRHS. Conditions governing their use are specified on a contractual agreement generated by the WRHS that is to be signed by both the user and a representative of the WRHS. Copying and image licensing are available from the WRHS, Library Research Center Reference Division. Fees vary according to the kind of original material copied, the type of copy requested, and the intended use of the copy. Research Services are available upon request.

Research Service

The Research Library is pleased to offer this service to researchers who are unable to perform this function for themselves. We will evaluate your information and formulate a research strategy and will develop a contract listing the library sources to be searched and the cost. This service is on a fee basis of $40.00 per hour with a half-hour minimum and includes up to ten photocopies.To utilize this service, please refer to the Library Research Service Information Sheet. This form is designed to help our staff evaluate and answer your request effectively. Please print a hard copy version of this form, complete the questions to the best of your ability, and return via U.S. Mail to:

Western Reserve Historical Society
ATTN: Reference Division
10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106

You may also email your request; however, all email research requests will be answered through United States mail. Your request will be processed in the order it was received. Contact us: 216-721-5722 x1509 or

Note to Genealogical Researchers
Please return the Five Generation Pedigree Chart with your Library Research Service Information Sheet. Refer to the Profile of the Genealogy Collections, available by clicking here, or at the WRHS Archives/Library, for information about holdings.



Learn How to Best Preserve Your Manuscripts and Photographs with our Preservation Primer.

Collecting Recommendations: Individuals and Families
Collecting Recommendations: Organizations and Institutions

You can also review the following recommendations to learn what types of materials WRHS is interested in collecting.

Heritage Management

The Heritage Management Team of the Corporate and Philanthropic History Archives Program partners with businesses, philanthropies, and non-profits to help organizations take an active approach to maintaining and managing their unique stories. The projects, relationships, and collections cultivated through this program are the foundation for WRHS’ position as the leading resource for the history of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurs, companies, and philanthropic organizations.

Learn More

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