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


Old brick house with wooden exterior toilet in countryside

Ghost towns of Shawnee County

Uncover the rise and fall of towns in Shawnee County in the mid to late 1800s.

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1954 members of Naked and Unashamed Club in Topeka

Digging into the past of Topeka clubs

Learn about Topekans’ social & charitable activities in the 1800s & 1900s.

woman working on laptop

Finding adopted relatives in genealogy research

Top tips to help you move past road blocks with adoption records in family history research.

Learning politics from the Kansas Oral History Project

Read about a project to preserve and provide access to the voices of Kansans in all walks of life including those in public policymaking.