St. Joseph County Public Library

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St. Joseph County
St. Joseph County Public Library
St. Joseph County Public Library

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

Website: Local & Family History Page
Facebook: SJCPL LFH Facebook Page
Twitter: @MichianaMemory
Address: (temporary - through 2021)

Keller Park Branch
737 Beale St.
South Bend, Indiana 46616

Telephone: 574-282-4621
Hours of Operation:

  • Monday: 10am-6pm
  • Tuesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Wednesday: 10am-6pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 10am-6pm
  • Saturday 10am-6pm
  • Sun: Closed

Directions/Parking Map:

  • SJCPL's Locations and Maps
  • Local & Family History Services is temporarily housed at the Keller Park Branch
  • Plenty of free parking is available at the Keller Park Branch

Please note that SJCPL's Main library will be closed from Fall 2019 to Fall 2021 while undergoing renovations. Reduced Local & Family History Services will be available at the Keller Park Branch. Materials currently available at the Keller Park Branch include: "how-to" genealogy books, St. Joseph County history books, city directories, high school yearbooks, clipping files, microfilm. Archival materials, maps, and all other books are in storage until renovations are complete. If you have questions about how the closure will impact your plans to visit the library, please call or email in advance.

Description of Collections[edit | edit source]

The Local & Family History collection aims to provide a vast group of resources for local historical and genealogical research. In addition to specializing in St. Joseph County, the collecting focus is on Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan, and areas that fed migration to the region. Books, city directories, maps, periodicals and more can all be found in the Local & Family History room. Other highlights of the collection include:

The crown jewel of the library's microfilm collection is the South Bend Tribune newspaper collection. The library holds the entire run of the paper from 1873 to present on microfilm. Over 100 other local newspaper titles are also represented on microfilm. Also available at the library are a number of records including a large collection of church records, deeds, wills, marriage license applications, and city directories. Browse the complete list in the microfilm inventory.

Clipping Files
Beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1960s, librarians clipped articles from the newspaper and collected them on cards in subject files. Since the South Bend Tribune is not keyword searchable, this is the only subject access available for the paper. The clipping files are indexed in a card catalog and can be accessed with assistance from a staff member. The bulk of the collection is from 1920-1970 with a few earlier and later articles ranging about 1900-2005.

Archival Materials
SJCPL has a growing collection of archival materials on local topics. Each collection is described in an online Finding Aid and can be accessed with assistance from a staff member. Topics include Biography, Business & Industry, Clubs Societies & Organizations, Education, Fine & Performing Arts, Non-Profits, Places, Religion, Special Events, and Sports.

Digital Collections
Michiana Memory houses the library's digitized collections of fully searchable books, newspapers, yearbooks, postcards, pamphlets, programs, and photographs. Most of the materials are sourced from the library's own collection, but some are made available from private collectors or from partnerships.

Services[edit | edit source]

Reference Services
Local & Family History Services staff are available to assist with reference questions, getting started searching genealogy databases, retrieving restricted materials, and using the microfilm readers.

For researchers who are unable to visit the library, staff are able to assist with lookups of specific items from printed indexes, clipping files, and microfilm, such as obituaries or marriage records, for a small fee. To use this service please visit the website.

Local & Family History Services offers regular educational opportunities to patrons. The library's events calendar will list upcoming programs. An informal monthly Genealogy Discussion Group is held in the Local & Family History room on the first Thursday of the month from 12-1pm. All are welcome to join to discuss the latest genealogy news, pose questions, and share successes and no registration is required.

Tips for Your Visit[edit | edit source]

  • Prepare for your visit by searching the library's online indexes, inventories, and digital collections.
  • Public computers are available in the Local & Family History room with access to library databases.
  • A photocopier and printer are available for $0.15 per page.
  • A scanner is available for public use at no charge.
  • Digital microfilm readers offer prints at the standard rate or digital images at no charge.
  • Bring a flash drive or login credentials for your web email or cloud storage service to take home digital images and scans.

Guides[edit | edit source]