Genealogy & Local History
The Racine Public Library patrons have access to Ancestry Library Edition. In order to use this service, you will need to come down to the library. You can bring in your own computer and connect via Wi-Fi or you may use one of our internet terminals. If you are trying to access the resource when the library is closed, the library’s Wi-Fi reaches down into the library parking lot.
Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Collection of genealogical and historical sources, unique primary sources, local, and family histories, U.S. Federal Censuses, books, cemetery records, city directories, military records and more.
Racine History Room
The history room is not currently available for browsing, but adult services staff are happy to help you locate materials on request. To see a database of what’s available in the room, check out our finding aid below. We can also help you navigate the room’s contents if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.
The History Room does accept donations of historical documents related to the city or county of Racine.
More Resources on Racine History
The Racine Public Library has many Racine City Directories that date back as far as 1858. These items are reference only and their call number is 917.75 R11. They are located on the second floor, on the center table, in non-fiction.
The Racine Public Library owns microfilm for the various Racine papers. The Library also owns some state census info on microfilm. Call the library for more information at (262) 636-9217.
The Racine Public Library has a collection of all the Golden Books that Western Publishing printed.
As part of a tradition that began with our 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, we’re spotlighting stories written by past and current English Language Learners from the Racine Literacy Council. Each year, the Racine Literacy Council publishes similar stories in its literary magazine “Life’s Voyages,” which is available for checkout in our Local Author collection. You can also see these stories shared aloud in our YouTube playlist below, or even share your own story. If you share your story here, you consent to the Racine Public Library using your story on our website and in other historical and marketing projects.