Local History Research Room: 

The Local History Research Room (LHRR) offers a quiet place to explore unique topics and offers several local historical materials. The LHRR houses a variety of resources such as newspaper files, special collections, pamphlets/guides, and other books pertaining to the local area. All the materials in the LHRR are geared towards history buffs, students, scholars, the casual reader, genealogists, and journalists.

Please note, the LHRR is currently closed to walk-in/public traffic. The Reference Staff is glad to pull any files or materials for patrons anytime the library is open. 

PWPL Local History Collections:
  • Bennett Collection
  • City Directories
  • Local Documents
  • Local history subject index
  • Local history people index
  • Local history historical highlights
  • Map Collection
  • Marquette Area Yearbooks
  • Marquette Maritime Collection
  • McClintock Darter-Dace Naval Collection
  • Michigan Nonfiction
  • Microfilm Collection which includes The Mining Journal from 1868 to the present
  • Plat Books
  • Polk City Directories
  • Shiras Collection
  • Weather Records
  • Wesley Perron Railroad Collection

*As of 8/9/22 the Marquette County Genealogy Society collection is no longer housed at the Peter White Public Library. For information on this collection, please contact MCGS https://lakesuperiorroots.org/ or by email: marquettecountymigeniesociety@gmail.com. For more information on why the MCGS collection is no longer housed at PWPL, please contact Andrea Ingmire, Library Director 906-226-4303. Information detailing the discussions between PWPL and MCGS can be found in the August 9th PWPL Board packet, beginning on page 49 – https://pwpl.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Board-Packet-August-9-2022.pdf


Genealogy Resources:

PWPL houses several forms of genealogy resources, including a circulating collection of genealogy books, the PWPL reference collection, a microfilm collection, and a Local History Research Room. All materials are available to the general public for onsite use.

For obituary requests, please see our research services page.


Library Databases:

Online tools provided to library patrons with a library bar code and PIN.

Ancestry Library Edition: has approximately 4,000 databases including key collections such as U.S. Federal Census Images and indexes from 1790 to 1940; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes);  Social Security Death Index (updated monthly); military records from WWI, WWII, and the Civil War.

**Please note, due to Ancestry Library Edition restrictions, access to this resource is only available at PWPL. It cannot be accessed from your home.**

Cloverland Archives: Digital access to the Cloverland Magazine, a publication that was used to promote the UP for tourism, development, and agriculture from 1916-1923.

FamilySearch Affiliate Library: PWPL recently became a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. As an Affiliate Library, we have access to over 2 billion digitized records, including 400 million images that are currently not available to the public outside of a FamilySearch Affiliate Library or history center. This database is provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Go to FamilySearch.org to create a free account.

Mining Journal Digital Collection: This collection consists of the Marquette Mining Journal from 1868 to 1939. New content is being added everyday. The Mining Journal was a weekly paper until June 1884, when the new Mining Journal was launched. Weekly issues continued in addition to the daily papers until the end of 1885. This digitization initiative was started with the generous donations of Russ Magnaghi and Diane Kordich. Those interested in expanding this collection are encouraged to donate to PWPL Digitization. For more information or to donate to the project, contact PWPL Development Director, Heather Steltenpohl at heather@pwpl.info or by phone 906-226-4305. Donations can also be made here.

My Heritage: New to the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) in 2018, this database contains the following:

  • The full USA Federal Census (1790-1940) with images
  • Census of England and Wales (1841-1901) with images​
  • More than 80 million historical photographs
  • Military records, immigration records, and passenger lists
  • Citizenship and naturalization records

Sanborn Maps:  Digital access to 1793 large-scale maps of 339 Michigan towns and cities, including Lansing, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and nine maps of the City of Marquette as it grew between 1884 and 1946.


Genealogy Websites:

RootsWeb.com:The oldest and largest FREE genealogy site.

The USGenWeb Project: Free genealogy and family history online.

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet: Online starting point for genealogy searches.

Index of Native American Resources on the Internet: Includes the history of tribes in each section of the country.

Directory of Genealogy Libraries in the U.S.: Comprehensive collection of genealogy resources by state.

Genealogy Archives: List of genealogy websites, research tips, and community forums.

America’s First Immigration Center: Castle Garden, part of the Battery Conservancy, offers immigration records from 1820 – 1892 before Ellis Island opened.

Michigan Memories: provides access to collections from cultural institutions throughout the state of Michigan. These collections are created and maintained by archivists, librarians, and curators who are dedicated to the preservation of Michigan’s history and heritage.

Seeking Michigan:  Includes family histories, Civil War Service Records, and Library of Michigan death records from 1897-1920.


Research Questions?

For specific inquires on materials and collections, please contact the Reference Staff at (906) 226-4312 or (906) 226-4311 or by email at refdesk@pwpl.info