History & Genealogy Center

Our Local History Collection

The lower level of the library is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of local, state, and family history. Many historical items in the library’s collection were gathered under the guidance of longtime library director Marian Bollinger.

After the library’s 2007 expansion project, the library was able to provide comfortable reading areas, study tables, computers, and more room to display this collection. Additional items are continually being added to the collection, and advances in technology have helped make information easily accessible to everyone.

Family History Lab and Research Assistance

As the times, technology, and formats change, SWCPL will maintain artifacts and historical items to help preserve the past while continuing to adapt and grow in order to best serve the residents of Cleveland and Richland Townships and the towns of South Whitley and Larwill.

In 2012, the library started offering a Family History Lab. This program continues and is for anyone interested in gathering information to build their family tree.

Taira Simmons, a staff member who has worked on her own family history for many years, offers help and guidance in searching online for information during these lab sessions. Staff member Cara Kinney is also available to help anyone with their research.

Other programs are offered throughout the year to help teach specific skills for conducting family history searches. At these programs methods and strategies used to search for information found in public records, online, and in individual obituaries are discussed. Building a family history from this collection of resources is also covered.

Check the calendar of upcoming events to find out more about these fun and informative programs.


Searching this vast collection of records can help you discover your family’s story.


Fold3 by Ancestry

Fold3 provides convenient access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of men and women who have served in the United States military.


Family History Lab

​Are you ready to start discovering your roots? The Family History Marathon can help you with your research.

2024 Family History Marathon Dates:

Friday, Feb. 2                 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 3             9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Friday, April 5                 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, April 6             9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Friday, June 7                 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 8             9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Friday, August 2              12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, August 3          9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Friday, October 4             12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, October 5         9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Friday, December 6          12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday, December 7       9 a.m. – 1 p.m.