Genealogy & Local History
Olean Public Library welcomes researchers of all skill levels to use its local history and genealogy collections. Most materials are readily accessible in the local history reference section (non-circulating); other items, including yearbooks and unique local publications, can be requested from the archives.
For patrons visiting in person, library staff are available to answer questions, instruct in microfilm machine use, and assist with Ancestry Library Edition, which is available free to all library visitors. Printing and photocopies are $.15 per page. For patrons unable to visit in person, we look forward to assisting you by phone at 372-0200 or by email at email@example.com. Browse through the categories below to learn more about our in-house collections and to find links to digitized collections.
CLICK A TITLE BELOW TO GO TO EACH SECTION:
CENSUS · YEARBOOKS · CITY DIRECTORIES · NEWSPAPERS · OLEAN HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS · LOCAL · ANCESTRY RESEARCH
LOCAL CENSUS ON MICROFILMCensus records provide information such as names of family members, ages, occupations and place of birth.
The Federal census is taken every 10 years since 1790. Censuses are only released every 72 years due to privacy issues. Most of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire.
The NY State Census was taken every 10 years from 1825 to 1875, one in 1892 and then every 10 years from 1905-1925.
Census records are also available on Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch.org. (link)
Olean High School Yearbooks
Note: Some years are missingYearbooks can provide pictures and give clues to a person’s personallity through clubs, activities, quotes and comments. Relatives and friends may also be found.
The library holds most Olean High School yearbooks from 1922-present
You can help us complete our collections by donating unwanted Congress yearbooks to the library
The Library is currently missing years: 1970, 1972, 1976, 1997, 2017, 2021, 2022
Note: Some years are missingCity Directories provide information such as names of family members living in a household, occupations, addresses and phone numbers
Searchable PDFs contain the full text to eighteen Jamestown, NY, city directories from 1875 to 1916 and eighteen Olean, NY, city directories from 1882 to 1916.
*This project was funded through a member project grant from the regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) awarded to the Western New York Library Resources Council by the New York State Education Department
Olean Newspapers (Available on Microfilm)
Newspapers are good sources of information for births, deaths, marriages, and historical articles
The Olean Newspapers currently available Digitally are:
Available on NYS Historic Newspapers:
The Democrat (Olean, Cattaraugus Co. NY) 18??-1883
Olean Daily Herald (Olean, NY) 1881-1882
The Olean Democrat (Olean, Cattaraugus Co. NY) 1883-1909
Olean Herald (Olean Cattaraugus Co. NY) 1883-1905
Sunday Morning Herald (Olean, NY) 1882-1883
Other Local Newspapers
Historical newspapers from New York State
Digital Archives of the Allegany Public Library
Allegany Citizen newspapers 1896-1976
Papers on Microfilm
|Olean Journal||September 1852-May 1856|
|Olean Herald||September 1881-November 1925|
January 1929-December 1931
|Olean Times||October 1860-July 1861|
January 1884-December 1931
|Olean Times Herald||1932-Present|
The NYS Historic Newspapers project provides free online access to a wide range of newspapers chosen to reflect New York’s unique history. The earliest newspapers in the library’s collection have been digitized and uploaded to the NYS Historic Newspaper website as a result of funding from the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) awarded to the Western New York Library Resources Council by the New York State Education Department. Digitizing and providing online access to these newspapers allows patrons from all over the world to freely access this information.