The Topeka Room has the resources for local historians and genealogists, to discover their family connections as well as the stories of Topeka and Shawnee County’s people, places and events.

A few of the more popular items our researchers use are: yearbooks from Topeka high schools and Washburn University; Topeka city directories from 1870 to the present; and an extensive Local History file collection which covers topics like Topeka and Shawnee County people, schools, businesses, churches, and neighborhoods.

Our computer lab provides access to a host of electronic databases as well as a copier, scanner, and a microfilm scanner.  The best utilized resource is the specially trained staff to help you with your research needs.

The Local History Digital Collection consists of a wide array of digital reproductions of architectural drawings and blueprints, photographs, oral histories and select topics from our Vertical Files.

Recent Posts


Learning About Epidemics & Family History Gives Us Perspective

We all have family members who survived previous epidemics and disease, and we are here as a result.

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Examine a New Online Resource for Shawnee County History

The Bulletin of the Shawnee County Historical Society is now available online!

Monroe School and picture of 1949 second grade class

Personal Memories of Monroe School’s Excellent Teachers in the Mid 1900s

Library staffer Luella Minner discusses being a student at a segregated school in the late 1940s & early 1950s.

Using DNA to Bust Genealogy Brick Walls

Explore how you can use sex chromosome DNA to solve family mysteries.