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Frequently Asked Questions

Never heard of the Genealogy Center or Fort Wayne, Indiana? Discover why the Genealogy Center is one of the best places to research your family history. Plus, make it a family affair and discover why your family will enjoy accompanying you on your next research trip. 

Two adults wearing masks looking at a computer in the Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1. What is the Genealogy Center?

The Genealogy Center is home to the second-largest collection in the nation. With one of the largest physical collections in the world, plus unrivaled access to world-class digital resources — and free, one-on-one help from professional genealogists — this is one of the best places in the country to research your family history.

2. Where is the Genealogy Center located?

The Genealogy Center is located in a $65 million state-of-the-art facility in the Allen County Public Library in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana conveniently located near many attractions and restaurants.

3. What materials do you have?

The Genealogy Center is world-renowned for its immense and accessible collection that totals more than 1 million physical items including:

  • Thousands of completed family histories
  • Census records
  • Military records from the Revolutionary War to present
  • Extensive passenger lists
  • US local records
  • Extensive international collections
  • City directories
  • Periodicals
  • Vital records
  • Native American and African American records
  • And, much more!

4. Why visit in person?

If you choose to make a visit to the Genealogy Center you’ll have more than 1 million physical items at your fingertips, access to the top seven licensed genealogical databases, and one-on-one assistance from trained genealogists who are there to help you with any of your research needs. Plus, the Genealogy Center is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Genealogists love Fort Wayne because of our collection and staff, but they also rave about our affordable, family-friendly city.

5. How did the Genealogy Center collect more than 1 million physical items?

It all started with a librarian who recognized the library system was not suitable for genealogists, and who made a commitment to building a collection and facility that would be valuable for genealogists. Plus, many many donations!

6. Do you offer virtual programming?

Yes! Every month the Genealogy Center plans programs for you to enjoy twice a week. Virtual sessions cover topics like the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), researching with Digital Primary Sources, and evaluating Ancestry’s public member trees.

7. Are you currently open?

Yes, the Genealogy Center is open to the public during regular library hours. Learn more about the library's additional precautions.

8. What should I bring on a visit?

  • Bring a USB drive to save images from computers, microtext, and books. 
  • Bring dollar bills for the copy machines. 
  • You may bring just about anything with you: files and notebooks, computers and tablets, scanner, camera, pens, pencils, etc. However, they do not allow food or drink in the Center. These may be stored in your bag, but not consumed in this area of the library. 
  • You might want to bring a sweater or light jacket. No matter the season, the rooms occasionally get a little cool. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The Genealogy Center covers about the same space as a football field.

Find these tips and more in our Genealogy Resource Packet.

Make your one-on-one appointment with a genealogist and start planning your research trip! 

Genealogy Information