A guide to resources that are helpful in conducting genealogical research. Several of these resources are specific to Brooklyn and New York, but some are broader in scope. For additional resources and information, please consult the Center for Brooklyn History's Guide to Family History & Genealogy Research.

A searchable collection of billions of historical records from the USA and other countries. Get access to census and military records, birth, marriage and death records, and immigration records. Available at public computers at all Brooklyn Public Library locations.

For remote access to U.S. Federal Census records, genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries, Census data, slave schedules, maps, local history books and articles, and more, please visit our HeritageQuest resource.

Only in library branches

Brooklyn Newsstand

Brooklyn Newsstand is a collection of digitized Brooklyn newspapers made possible through a partnership between Brooklyn Public Library and  

Brooklyn Newsstand (2,402,000 digitized pages) contains 44 newspaper titles-including the full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper (1841-1963) and Brooklyn Life (1890-1931), a Brooklyn Society Magazine. Learn more about the history of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

View the full list of newspapers and their date ranges.

This site is best viewed using Chrome or Safari. 

Free & accessible anywhere

Brooklyn Public Library Digital Collections

Discover Brooklyn history: Explore our collection of digitized Brooklyn content.

Free & accessible anywhere

EPOCH - Electronically Preserving Obituaries as Cultural Heritage

A website that allows anyone to create and publish a free obituary online and in the process involve the community in building their own collection of local history.

Free & accessible anywhere

Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMO)

New York State high-definition, full-color fire insurance maps from Sanborn and other publishers, real estate atlases, plat books, and other historical maps showing building structures, building construction details, property ownership, property uses, and other useful information. The site has an Interactive map search, and Geo-referenced or search by place name and drop-down menus.

Library card required

Gale Biography and Genealogy Master Index

Comprehensive index to biographical sketches in available in standard reference books.

Library card required

Gale OneFile: News

Gale OneFile News (Formerly InfoTrac Newsstand) is a full-text database that provides access to more than 2,300 major U.S. regional, national, and local newspapers including the New York Times, as well as leading titles from around the world. It also includes thousands of images, radio, and TV broadcasts and transcripts.

Free & accessible anywhere in NY state


Genealogical tool that includes U.S. Federal Census records, genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries, Census data, slave schedules, maps, local history books and articles, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant application files, and the Freedman's Bank Records 1865-1874.

Library card required

New York Times (1851-2007) with Index (1851-1993)

PDFs of articles include original layout, images, and advertisements. Limit searches by topic, article title, date, and more.   

Library card required

Where to Write for Vital Records

Find information on vital records like birth records, death records and marriage records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Offers direct links to state and other agencies that assist in locating information on vital records.

Free & accessible anywhere