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Local History


The Edwardsville Public Library provides a variety of genealogy-related materials and services to support your research. The Madison County Genealogical Society houses their collection of more than 5,000 volumes of genealogical and historical material in our library. The primary focus of the collection is on Madison County, but information from surrounding counties, the state of Illinois, and assorted other states is also available. The collection includes census records, plat maps, cemetery inventories, city directories, county and local histories, family histories, indexes to marriage records, naturalizations, and more. Numerous items in the collection have been digitized and are available at the Illinois Digital Archives. We have microfilm of our local newspaper going back to the Edwardsville Spectator, May 29, 1819. There are gaps in the early years until about 1869.

The genealogy collection is open for use during regular library hours. All materials in the collection have been cataloged and appear in our online catalog with call numbers beginning with MCGS. The collection is library-use only; materials may not be checked out and are not available on interlibrary loan but copy machines are available for your convenience.

Library staff are happy to help you use the genealogy collection, and our Reference Department will do their best to respond to basic requests for information sent via e-mail or regular mail to the Library. If you need more in-depth or long-term assistance, please contact the Madison County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 631, Edwardsville, IL 62025. You can also visit their website for more information about their research policy.

Edwardsville Speaks

An oral history project co-sponsored by the Library and the Madison County Historical Museum & Archival Library. We are honored to present the stories and recollections of long-time Edwardsville residents. Click here to listen to interviews...

Library Databases

  • Ancestry Library Edition (can only be accessed in the Library) – access to more than 1 billion names and more than 3,000 databases with births, deaths, marriages, census, immigration, military records, etc. from all over the world
  • Heritage Quest (can be accessed from home with an Edwardsville library card) – search census images, books, PERSI, Revolutionary War records and more
  • Newspaper Archives (can only be accessed in the Library) – includes the Edwardsville Intelligencer until about 1977(some gaps in coverage)
  • America’s News (can be accessed from home with an Edwardsville library card) – search many Illinois newspapers, in addition to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, from the mid-1980’s to the present; includes obituaries

Illinois Research

Other Useful Websites