|Wichita Public Library Genealogy Center
- 711 West Second Street
- Wichita, KS 67203
Telephone 316.261.8509 ; Fax 316-262-4540
- Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m
- Friday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
- Sunday 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Holidays: Use the events calendar to find holiday closings.
Directions, map, parking, and public transportation:
- Driving directions: From US 400 / US 54 / Kellogg Avenue take the Seneca Street exit. Turn north onto Seneca Street. Turn east on Second Street. WPL is located on the right at the corner of Second and McLean Boulevard.
- Google map: Wichita Public Library
- Parking: No parking fee for the library lot.
Internet sites and databases:
- Wichita Public Library books, events, services, research tools, kids, locations, and ask a librarian.
- Local History and Genealogy events, local history resources, and genealogy resources.
- WPL Online Catalog. Search by keyword, title, author, subject, or ISBN/ISSN. Also available in WorldCat.
- WPL Research Tools WPL genealogy databases.
- Wichita Photo Archives a selection of the Genealogy Center local photographs.
- The Wichita Genealogical Society is a support group of the WPL Genealogy Center.
The Genealogy / Special Collections Center contains over 42,000 genealogy books and magazines covering every state in the nation with heavy coverage on Kansas, the Great Plains, the Midwest, the South, and the American colonies. There is an emphasis on states that have had a heavy emigration to Kansas, especially New England and Midwestern states. The Edward & Elizabeth Burns Historical Research Pavilion also has a large Native American collection, mainly covering the Great Plains tribes, and a large military collection with over 1,600 volumes on the Civil War. Other major collections include: state and federal censuses, vital records indexes, probate records, immigration lists, land records, tax lists, cemetery records, church records, town histories, ethnic histories, Dawes Commission Enrollment Records, Draper Manuscript Collection, Germans to America, Italians to America, and the Barbour Collection. Over 20,000 rolls of microfilm cover the city's major newspapers, the Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Beacon and other local topics such as city directories, tax rolls, funeral home records and telephone books.
The Kansas and Local History collection has many history books and genealogies. In 1988, their emphasis was mostly books, periodicals, and special publications for southeast Kansas, and corners of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, but the collection has since grown to include over 18,000 volumes covering the entire Great Plains.
Search the collections on the Wichita Public Library Online Catalog before visiting.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Wichita Public Library Genealogy Center, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, bounty land, homesteads, ethnic sources, prisons, fed employees.
- National Archives at Kansas City federal censuses 1790–1930; military service indexes, pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, photos, vital records, land, and Indian records.
- American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln NE, AHSGR ancestor lists, cemeteries, homesteads, an AHSGR German hometowns list, passenger lists, obituaries, surname charts, and Russian village files.
- National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia, museum, history, rider registry, research, and events. 66 v. (20,000 records) of orphan train riders, photos, 9,700 name computer database.
- Derby Kansas Family History Center offers research suggestions, and may have copies of genealogical microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
- Iola Public Library, for all Kansas including family folders, special indexes, and published records for many counties of Kansas.</ref>
- Johnson County Library, Overland Park, both a Kansas and a genealogy collection, mostly books, and periodicals with family folders. Also covers Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.</ref>
- Kansas Genealogical Society, Dodge City, has the best set of family folders and genealogical periodicals in Kansas.</ref>. Also, clippings, obituaries, and an online catalog.
- Kansas Historical Society, Topeka, clearly the best place to start researching Kansas ancestors including newspapers, county records, biographies, genealogies, land records, and railroads. Statewide births and deaths prior to 1894; City of Topeka births and deaths 1885-1912.
- Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library offers Ancestry.com, America's Obituaries, HeritageQuest Online, and the Topeka Room with local interest materials.
- Wichita City Clerk city records.
- Sedgwick County Clerk, Wichita, minutes and licenses.
- Clerk of the District Court, Wichita, births 1884-1889, 1908-1911; deaths 1884-1887; and marriages, civil, criminal, domestic, and probate records since 1870. 
- Sedgwick County Register of Deeds, Wichita, land records from 1867, county school records, and military discharge papers. 
- Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society, Wichita, 3 floors of material. Emphasis on USA, Kansas, and Sedgwick County: Wichita Eagle and Wichita Beacon obituaries 1955-present, early marriage, divorce, death 1908-1911, and probate records, city directories, and the MHGS Register. 
- Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, Wichita, medical examiner records of suspicious deaths.
- U.S. District Court District of Kansas, Wichita, recent federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy cases.
- Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum community culture including documents, and print media, photographs, film and audio.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Butler, Cowley, Harvey, Kingman, Reno, and Sumner.
- Fort Hays State University Forsyth Library, Hays, western Kansas history, oral histories, genealogical and historical societies, Hutterites, Mennonites, Catholics, and Lutherans.</ref>
- Kansas Heritage Center, Dodge City, cowboys, oral history, Fort Dodge history, & the Old West.</ref>
- Riley County Genealogical Society Library, Manhattan, pre-Civil War records are excellent for Kansas. Early settlers are documented by obituaries, family folders, and some good indexes.</ref>
- Topeka Genealogical Society Library, 12,000 books, 700 periodicals strong on Shawnee County and northeast Kansas. Also includes almost every U.S. state, and many foreign nations.
- Kansas State Library, Topeka, largest book library in Kansas with county histories, ethnic sources, guides, inventories, and family genealogies.</ref> This is a main depository of historical documents about Kansas residents.
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, since 1911 births, stillbirths, deaths; since 1913 marriages; and since 1951 divorce records issued for a fee only to immediate family members or representatives.
- University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, manuscripts, photographs, maps, histories, newspapers, periodicals, film and videotapes that document the "Kansas Experience" of pioneers, railroads, and American Indians.</ref> A depository for publications of Kansas and Douglas County.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas Archives baptism, confirmations, marriages, deaths, parish records.
- Kansas United Methodist Archives, Baker University, Baldwin City, church records, newspapers, manuscripts, memoirs, obituaries, archives, reports.
- Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, Newton, Mennonite-related books, periodicals, and genealogical materials.
- Repositories in surrounding states: Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
- Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center, Independence MO, one of America's best genealogical centers: censuses and indexes, 80,000 family histories, 100,000 local histories, 565,000 microfilms, 7,000 maps, and newspapers. Surrounding states are well represented.</ref> 
- Kansas City Public Library Missouri Valley Special Collections, The Missouri Valley Room has a great genealogy collection for Missouri and Kansas with biographies, periodicals, genealogies, diaries, photos, scrapbooks, and newspapers of the Kansas City area. 
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Contact Us at Wichita Public Library (accessed 14 April 2014).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Central Library at Wichita Public Library (accessed 14 April 2014).
- ↑ Genealogy in Wichita Public Library (accessed 15 February 2016).
- ↑ William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 47. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
- ↑ Catalog in Wichita Public Library (accessed 14 April 2014).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 2.
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 67.
- ↑ Research Library in American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (accessed 3 February 2016).
- ↑ Amanda Wahlmeier, Orphan Train Research Center curator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 28 September 2012, e-mail to David Dilts, DiltsGD@familysearch.org.
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 47.
- ↑ Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Shawnee County (accessed 8 February 2016).
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Alice Eichholz, ed., Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 237. Ancestry digital copy ($); WorldCat 55947869; FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 9th ed. (Logan, Utah: Everton Pub., 1999), 149. WorldCat 812163213; FHL Book 973 D27e 1999.
- ↑ Library in Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society (accessed 15 February 2016).
- ↑ Topeka Genealogical Society Library in Topeka Genealogical Society (accessed 4 February 2016).
- ↑ KDHE Office of Vital Statistics in Kansas Department of Health and Environment (accessed 4 February 2016).
- ↑ Midwest Genealogy Center in Mid-Continent Public Library (accessed 7 March 2014).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 47 and 67.
- ↑ Special Collections in Kansas City Public Library (accessed 7 March 2014).