Skip Navigation

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.).
  • Sherwood Smith Collection
    The Sherwood Smith blueprint and document collection contains approximately 500 items that represent the growth of Topeka from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th.
  • 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

Back to Top