Local History Resources

The Topeka Room, located on the second floor, houses the library’s local history collection. Books, pamphlets, clippings, and other written sources tell the story of Topeka’s unique history. To complement these, there are photographs, prints, posters, scrapbooks, and audio-visual materials which help bring this history to life.

Building & House Research

  • Shawnee County Appraisers Office
    A great resource to get more information about properties in Topeka and Shawnee County. Click on real estate property search and enter the address.
  • Shawnee County Register of Deeds
    Mortgage and deed records from 1988 to present are available on Public Access Computers located in our office during office hours (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).
  • City of Topeka Historic Preservation Office
    The Planning Department works to preserve Topeka’s history, and strengthen its recognition and value within a wide variety of applications.
  • Sanborn Maps
    Learn about the history, growth and development of American cities, towns and neighborhoods through digitized, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970.
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
    The Kansas Historic Resources Inventory (KHRI) is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) at the Kansas Historical Society (KSHS) and is a searchable inventory of the state’s surveyed historic properties.
  • Topeka Building Permits index
    The corresponding microfilm is available in the Topeka Room.
  • HeritageQuest Online
    Search the Topeka city directories online.
  • U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps
    1860-1918: Database that includes Topeka and Shawnee land ownership maps that portrays land purchased, granted, or inherited with the property owners name. (available in library only)

Topeka & Shawnee County History

Kansas History

History Day Students

  • American History
    American History resources for the scholar, student, teacher, and librarian in universities and secondary schools.
  • European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750
    Comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750.
  • History Reference Center
    Articles and information from reference and nonfiction books, encyclopedias, leading history periodicals, historical documents, biographies of historical figures, historical photos, maps, and videos.
  • Military & Government Collection
    Current news pertaining to all branches of the military and government.
  • Sanborn Maps
    Learn about the history, growth and development of American cities, towns and neighborhoods through digitized, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1970.
  • World History in Context
    An overview of world history that covers the most-studied events, periods, cultures, civilizations, religions, conflicts, wars, ideologies, cultural movements, and people.
  • U.S. History in Context
    Complete overview of our nation’s past that covers the most-studied events, decades, conflicts, wars, political and cultural movements, and people.