Local history

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Browse digital images from the Missouri Valley Special Collections

Visit the Digital Gallery.

Civil War on the Western Border

Civil War on the Western Border

Discover the Civil War's legacy in the Greater Kansas City region. Search our collection of primary source materials from our from partner organizations, read exclusive analysis from contributing scholars, and explore interactive features to see relationships between events and historic artifacts.

Explore Kansas City History on Historypin

KC Library on Historypin

An interactive Google map with images from the Missouri Valley Special Collections.

The 93 images from the over 16,000 in the MVSC collection have been pinned to the map with many of them overlaid in the present street view. Be sure to check out the “stories” for more information about the photograph.

Download an app for access “in the moment.”

Historypin street view

This Month in the Civil War on the Western Border

Each month in 2014, the library will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Missouri and Kansas with a post derived from the thousands of primary sources that are digitized and incorporated into its Civil War on the Western Border website. The library assembled this rich repository from the collections of 25 area archives and combined it with interpretive tools and original scholarship produced by nationally recognized historians.

This Week in Kansas City History

This Week in Kansas City History highlights local history people and events, with links to related special collections materials.

Digital Gallery

Photographs and More

Search the Digital Gallery for images of photographs, postcards, maps, documents, as well as the Local History Index that has over 38,0000 references or citations to information and resources about the history of the Missouri Valley area.

Biographies

The famous - and infamous - and not so famous but important deceased Kansas Citians are featured in these locally written biographies. Actors and actresses, artists and architects, politicians and philanthropists, sports figures and settlers, criminals and community leaders, and others all either lived or worked in Kansas City at one time. New biographies are added regularly, so check back frequently.

Kansas City FAQs

View frequently asked questions about the Kansas City area.

Kansas City Stories

There are a thousand stories in any city waiting to be told. These eight reminiscences written by Kansas Citians begin our quest for some of these stories. This sampling comes from participants in the Kansas City Stories project where they learned how to craft their memories into true stories by professional writer and writing coach Michael Humphrey in the Spring of 2008.

Local History on the Internet

Follow the annotated links to Kansas City area general, specialized, and county histories. Area archives, libraries, historical societies, etc. is a separate list.

For more current city links see the Library's Resources by Topic for Kansas City government related sites and area organizations, groups, and information for new residents.

Newspapers & Clips

Learn more about the extensive collection of newspapers & clips, one of the unique resources in the Missouri Valley Room selectively chosen from Kansas City's major metropolitan dailies of the twentieth century. These cover topics of local and regional interest. Arranged by subject, articles can be searched in the 43-volume index. These are not available online.