In today’s age of the “World Wide Web,” researchers have begun to rely on being able to sit in the comfort of their homes, in the middle of the night, and find their ancestors, their home lands, their history, their ancestry. While this is an extremely valuable resource, if you are relying solely on this resource to point you to everything you need, you may be missing out on very valuable records, photos, historical documents and other material that can open new doors and enhance or inspire your research efforts. We invite you to visit our Research Center and discover these important historical documents.
Our Research Center is unique in that we are not a lending library, and we do not organize our materials in the same way a traditional “public” library does. We are committed to providing access to our material and currently are working on a very comprehensive inventory of the archive collection, which will eventually provide more access to staff and patrons.
Our collection primarily targets Olmsted County residents, however, we do collect items from SE Minnesota counties - mainly our bordering counties. We have records from the very beginning of Minnesota as a territory, up to current times.
Special resources include:
- Rochester newspapers 1859-present
- Olmsted County newspapers from surrounding communities.
- Rochester & Olmsted County City directories, 1873 to 1998
- Birth, death & marriage records for Olmsted County
- Birth, death, and marriage records for several SE MN Counties
- Olmsted County probate & guardianship records
- Olmsted County plat maps
- Rochester high school yearbooks
- SE Minnesota cemetery inscriptions
- Olmsted County Histories
- Federal census, 1857-1930, for the entire state
- State census, 1865-1905, entire state
- Funeral home records
- Military scrapbooks
- Wedding scrapbooks
- Obituary Scrapbooks
- Grantor/Grantee property record books, 1855-1901
- Know Rochester Official Guide Book, 1930-1979
Our Reading Room contains most of the records which are found in our indexes, both internally and online. We have almost 2 million records in our online databases and are continuing to update these resources. A patrons’ computer provides access to our online database, as well as our museum catalog. We have four microfilm viewers to allow researchers to view and print our microfilm records. We also have a copy machine for patrons to copy any documents they find in our reading room.