Local history & genealogy

Digital Gallery

Search the Digital Gallery

The Digital Gallery features images of material from the Missouri Valley Special Collections.

HeritageQuest Online

Search census data, books, periodicals, Freedman's Bank records, and more.

Civil War on the Western Border

Civil War on the Western Border

Discover the Civil War's legacy in the Greater Kansas City region.

Ancestry Library Edition

Research the history of your family with online access to historical records provided by Ancestry.com. NOTE: you must access Ancestry from within a Kansas City Public Library location.

This Week in Kansas City History

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Hotel Horror

Hyatt  Regency Hotel

July 17, 1981: One hundred fourteen people die as two skywalks collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during a tea dance.

Missouri Valley Sundays

From Cowtown to Paris of the Plains: Kansas City Composers - Thomas Aber, Greg Briggs, Mark Cohick, Pat Alonzo Conway
Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 2:00 p.m.
Central Library
RSVP now!

From its early days as a cowtown – a jumping-off point to the West and shipping center for meat and wheat – Kansas City not only grew into a Midwest manufacturing and commercial hub. It also blossomed into a cultural center. During a time of rapid change in popular music, the sounds of military marches gave way in the city to syncopated ragtime and lively jazz.

Kansas City Public Library Beta