Local history & genealogy

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

The Missouri Valley Special Collections (MVSC) consist of the non-circulating local history and genealogy resources of the Kansas City Public Library as well as the Library’s archives. More...

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 Month in the Civil War on the Western Border

This Month in the Civil War on the Western Border
May 1865
The Confederate government collapses, people in Kansas and Missouri try to rebuild, and some Missouri bushwhackers continue fighting.


This Week in Kansas City History

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Tripping the Light Fantastic, and Then Some

Postcard view of the second Electric  Park

May 19, 1907: More than 53,000 people attend the opening day of the newly relocated Electric Park at 46th and The Paseo, which features a bowling alley, Living Statuary, bandstand, alligator farm, swimming pool, dance pavilion, and a roller coaster.

Missouri Valley Sundays

Legacy of Order No. 11: Missouri's Burnt District, 1865-1870 - Tom Rafiner
Sunday, May 17, 2015 - 2:00 p.m.
Central Library
RSVP now!

Parkville, Missouri, author Tom Rafiner discusses the long, dark, post-Civil War shadow cast by the 1863 edict known as "Order No. 11," which forced the evacuation of thousands of residents from three devastated western Missouri counties. Healing in its aftermath took decades.