Today the library is open from: 9am-9pm

Genealogy & Local History

Local History Collection

The DeKalb Public Library’s local history collection is located on the main floor of the library in the Local History Room.

Resources include:

  • DeKalb city directories dating back to 1899
  • DeKalb High School yearbooks dating back to 1924
  • DeKalb County cemetery records
  • Family histories
  • DeKalb County census data
  • DeKalb County plat maps
  • The Daily Chronicle on microfilm dating back to 1871
  • Selected digitized resources are available as part of our Media Library
  • A copy machine

These reference resources are available only for in-library use, and can be accessed during hours that Local History Room is open:

The Local History Room is currently closed due to Covid-19.

2 p.m. – 8 p.m. Monday
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday
2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. First Saturday of the Month

Library Databases

DeKalb County History Center

After several years of conversations, focus groups, and meetings, March 1, 2018 marks the creation of the DeKalb County History Center in Sycamore, Illinois. This new organization is a result of a partnership between the Sycamore History Museum and the Joiner History Room, plus collaboration with 20-plus local history organizations throughout DeKalb County.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition provides in-depth genealogical research tools. Their databases are worldwide and cover censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, court and legal documents, military records from the colonial to the Vietnam era; directories, photos, maps, and more. Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed from within the library building. Search results can be sent to your home email.

Heritage Quest Online

Records for historical research including city directories from 1821-1989, U.S. censuses, Freedman Bank records (an important African American genealogy resource), Revolutionary War records, the U.S. Congressional Serial Set with all House and Senate reports and documents published since 1817, and PERSI, a comprehensive index of local history and genealogy periodicals articles. Search results can be sent to email. In-library use only, no library card needed.

Other Resources

Joiner History Room

A variety of digitized DeKalb County records maintained by the Joiner History Room. Physical copies of some of these records, as well as additional records, are located at the Joiner History Room in the Sycamore Public Library in Sycamore, Illinois.

The world’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records, and resources.

Illinois State Genealogical Society

The ISGS website has been created to enhance your passion for genealogy. It not only features links to ISGS projects but also links you to other records and resources throughout Illinois including those individual genealogical home pages that have an Illinois connection.

USGenWeb Project

The USGenWeb Project is a group of volunteers working together to provide free online genealogy help and information for every U.S. state and county. The national site provides links to state sites, which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties.

Find a Grave

Find a Grave is a free resource for finding the final resting places of famous folks, friends, and family members. With millions of names, it is an invaluable tool for genealogist and history buffs.


BillionGraves is the world′s largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data and is growing bigger every day.