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


Get to know inventors & innovators of Topeka’s past

From telephones to hygiene, Adrianne uncovers some of Topeka’s most historically innovative people.

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Pennys at White Lakes Mall 1967

Rise & fall of White Lakes Mall

Explore the history of White Lakes Mall including what made it exciting when it was new.

Happy couple in 1950 with car

1950 Census available now

Discover the best ways to search the 1950 U.S. Census records to find your family.

Find your resilience at the library 

Examine what resilience really is and how to build it.