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Genealogy & Local History


Use these resources to discover the story of Lexington, the Bluegrass State, or your personal family tree.  See the past come to life in our Digital Archives.  Visit the Central Library's Kentucky Room for additional materials and expert assistance.


The Kentucky Room, located on the third floor of the Central Library, contains a wealth of information about Kentucky and Fayette County. The collection features books on all aspects of Kentucky, subject files on Kentucky and Lexington, local newspapers, city directories, maps, and state and local government documents, including select census and vital records.

You can contact the Kentucky Room at (859) 231-5500, ext. 1008, or by email with questions and specific information requests.

Digital Archives

The Lexington Public Library’s Digital Archives are intended to give open access to researchers and students to learn more about Fayette County and our rich history. This is not an exhaustive collection, though new material is continually being scanned and added.

Enter the Digital Archives


Ancestry Library Edition
Includes census images, vital records, family trees and other historic records.
Available only to customers inside our Library locations.

Central Kentucky Cemeteries Maps
Created by the Lexington Public Library's Kentucky Room staff and powered by Google Maps.  Maps are available for Fayette and several surrounding counties.

Find A Grave
Find A Grave is a resource for anyone in finding the final disposition of family, friends, and "famous" individuals.

America's Obituaries & Death Notices
Obituaries and death notices from newspapers around the country.

Branching Out: Genealogy Group
Are you just starting your family tree, or have you run into a brick wall tracing a distant ancestor? Join us to share tips and learn new research strategies. All levels of experience are welcome! The group meets one Saturday every other month at 2 pm.  Click here for the current schedule and registration details.

Local History

Kentucky News Sources
Content from over 80 Kentucky newspapers and news sources, including the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Lexington Herald-Leader
Full-text articles from April 25, 1983 to present.  The Kentucky Room owns copies of earlier editions of the Herald-Leader and its predecessors, the Lexington Herald and the Lexington Leader, on microfilm.

Lexington Herald-Leader Digital Issues
Digital issues from September 6, 2017, to present.  Read the Herald-Leader in its original printed format, including pictures.

Local History Index
The selective citations included in the Lexington Public Library’s Local History index appeared in various Lexington newspapers, beginning with the Kentucky Gazette in 1787 through the Lexington Herald-Leader of December 31, 2007.