Omaha Public Library now offers the newly digitized Omaha World Herald, from 1878 up to 1983 (from 1983 you have access to the electronic version through our NewsBank database). Try it out and see what you think! If you are using it from home, you will be prompted to enter your library card number and PIN for access.
Omaha Public Library has been a federal depository library since 1880, so it has an extensive collection of government documents of all kinds at the main library. A list of some of the resources most useful to genealogists can be found on our website. Other documents not listed can be found in restricted areas on the second floor of the main library (request materials from staff), and include such things as USGS topographical maps and reports and records of different Nebraska institutions dating back to the 1800s.
The Genealogy Room houses over 8,000 genealogy reference books. While there is an emphasis on Nebraska and Iowa, the collection is of national scope, and includes some international references as well. New materials are constantly being added. The genealogy collection includes vital records indices, cemetery indices and transcriptions, census indices, family genealogies, county and town histories, and countless other useful sources. For library holdings, check the OPL online catalog.
The Omaha Public Library's microfilm room houses both dozens of historical local newspapers on microfilm and over 7,000 reels of census microfilm, as well as marriage records for Douglas County (1856-2005) and several other Nebraska counties, church and cemetery records, and some other historic records. The library plans eventually to acquire available marriage record microfilm for all Nebraska counties. Also available in the microfilm room are the entire federal census through 1860, all the state and federal censuses and Soundex for Nebraska through 1930, and the entire census through 1930 for 17 other states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as many Native American censuses. A variety of microfilm readers are at the researcher's disposal, including three which will scan microfilm images to a flashdrive, and two that will print ledger-sized (11.5 x 17 inches) images.
Omaha Public Library staff are ready to assist researchers at all times. For details about the reference assistance we provide for researchers unable to visit in person, see Local Research.
OPL has a collection of genealogy CDs donated by the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society and available for viewing at a a dedicated computer in the third-floor genealogy room at W. Dale Clark Library. The list of available CDs can be viewed here or requested at the third-floor reference desk.
The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, has been referred to as "the genealogist's bible," and for good reason. It offers detailed, comprehensive, and well-indexed information about almost every kind of record researchers of American genealogy might ever need to consult. Ancestry, its publisher, has digitized the most recent edition (2006) and made it available free online.