Major Changes to the Genealogy Dept. at Columbus Metropolitan Library

If you’re planning on doing any genealogy or local history research at the Columbus Metropolitan Library after February 1, take notice. The Genealogy and Local History department is going to be closed starting February 1 until sometime in April when they will reopen in a temporary facility in Whitehall (about 15-20 minutes east of downtown). Materials in the temporary facility will be limited. (See details below.)

UPDATE (30 March): The Local History and Genealogy Department will reopen at the former Whitehall branch, 4371 E. Broad St., on April 20. The materials are packed and will NOT be available during the OGS conference.

This is from an email I just received from the Columbus Metropolitan Library (emphasis added):

From Columbus Metropolitan Library:

We’re transforming Main Library to create a 21st century library for you. The renovation begins Feb. 1, 2015 and you’ll see significant changes to our Local History & Genealogy services.

The Local History & Genealogy division at Main Library will close on February 1. Staff will be available for phone and email reference (

Local History & Genealogy services will reopen in April at a temporary location in the former Whitehall Branch at 4371 E. Broad St., once the new Whitehall Branch at 4445 E. Broad St. opens to the public.

Full Local History & Genealogy services will be back and better than ever once the transformation of Main Library is complete in August 2016.

What you need to know:

The Collection

We’re digitizing portions of our collection so they will be available online.

The entire map collection will be available online. No physical maps will be available at the temporary location.

Columbus local history and Ohio genealogy books will be available and the collection of physical books will be smaller at the temporary location. Call or check the catalog before you visit.

The rest of the collection will be stored and returned to the shelves when services move back to Main Library after the renovation.


Microfilm will be unavailable until Local History & Genealogy services reopen at the temporary Whitehall location in April.

Only microfilm of Columbus genealogy records, the Columbus Dispatch and other Columbus newspapers will be available at the temporary location.

The rest will be available through a request process:

  • Requests for microfilm must be made at the temporary Local History & Genealogy Whitehall location.
  • The requested microfilm will be pulled from storage at Main Library and sent to the Whitehall location.
  • You will be called when the requested microfilm is available to be viewed at the Whitehall location.

Main Library’s Local History & Genealogy staff will be at the temporary Whitehall location, ready to help you with all of your research needs.

Visit our website for up-to-date information.

"An enhanced front plaza will greet customers along Grant Ave." Image courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

“An enhanced front plaza will greet customers along Grant Ave.” Image courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

9 thoughts on “Major Changes to the Genealogy Dept. at Columbus Metropolitan Library

  1. pen4hire

    Boy does that make me nostalgic. When I was about 9 years old, I would take the bus from my home on Franklin Avenue near Ohio Avenue to go downtown to the library. It was there that I realized to my dismay that I would never be able to read all the books in the world. :-)

  2. Pingback: Major Changes to the Genealogy Dept. at Columbu...

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      It’s in the Genealogy and Local History department, so it will not be available between February 1 and when they reopen in the temporary location. You’d have to contact them to see if it will be part of the collection that will be readily available or if people will need to request it in advance.

    2. SMLISS

      Its too bad the OGS Conference is being held in Columbus this year. With no access to the Library and the Ohio History Connection not open till Wednesday; when conference begins; lessens the appeal to the Columbus Location. So disappointing.

      1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

        OGS had no way of knowing these things would happen right now. Conferences are set up 2-3 years in advance. That certainly doesn’t lessen the disappointment, though.

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      As the notice said, after the reopen in the temporary location in Whitehall, there will be some materials that will need to be requested in advance. They won’t have the space for everything at the Whitehall location.


Leave a Reply