Research

WPL cardholders may access the online databases from home using their library barcode number and PIN. Please contact a Reference Librarian if you would like help searching a database or need other research help.

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Now called HeritageHub!  Explore your family history with U.S. obituaries and death notices from 1704 – today. HeritageHub helps you identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. 

The New England Historic Genealogical Society provides vital records, church records, town records, cemeteries and more from most of the New England states, England and Ireland.  Not available from home.

Federal and state census records, military and immigration records, birth, death and marriage records, and other reference sources.  Look for your high school yearbook!  Available from home temporarily through December 31.

Descriptions of archival collections (historical documents, personal papers and family histories) owned by libraries, museums, historical societies and archives worldwide.

Articles in the Chicago Tribune from 1849-1998

WPL is a FamilySearch affiliate library.  Affiliate libraries have privileges through an agreement with FamilySearch to offer limited-access FamilySearch databases. When searching from outside the library, some databases show an icon with a key above a camera lens, indicating they are locked to the user. Affiliate status allows us to offer access to many of these extensive, locked records.  Limited-access FamilySearch databases not available from home.

Census records, family histories, genealogical serials, local histories and primary sources in full image; resources on towns and families from all 50 states, Canada and the British Isles

Explore your family history with U.S. obituaries and death notices from 1704 – today. HeritageHub helps you identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. (Formerly America's Obituaries and Death Notices.)

Tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, including Illinois newspapers, published between 1607 - present. Enter search terms or browse newspapers by country, city, state and year.

Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970, chart the growth and development of towns and cities. They are large scale plans of a city or town drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch.