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Genealogy Resource Center

Two men standing side by side from different generationsGetting Started with Family History and Genealogy

General Resources | Historic Maps  |   Pennsylvania, Centre County, and Penn State Resources

General Resources

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Probably the largest collection of links relating to genealogy.  A good place to see what is available.  

Family Search

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints maintains the world's largest repository of genealogy records, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Materials can be borrowed from any of the LDS Family History Centers located throughout the United States. You do not need to be affiliated with the church to borrow family history resources.

National Archives and Records Administration: Genealogy Page

This site contains much useful information about federal records and how they can be used for genealogy.


A free site devoted to helping genealogists. Includes research guides, volunteer created lists and databases, discussion boards, and links to helpful sites. 

Social Security Death Index

This searchable index is available from many sites including (part of Family Finder), or Useful for verifying birth and death dates, and place of last known residence for those receiving Social Security benefits.

USGenWeb Project

A volunteer effort to make useful material available online for every county in the U.S.  Two major projects are inputting Census records, and transcribing tombstones. Materials are input by volunteers and offered free to the genealogical community.

New Database: Colonial America

Original documents exchanged between the governors of British colonies in North America and the Caribbean and the Colonial Office in Britain. Among the correspondence are diaries, maps, broadsides, laws, public notices, newspaper clippings, and more covering all aspects of seventeenth and eighteenth-century American history. Many of the documents are handwritten and are not keyword searchable. They can be searched by date, name, region and topics including; early settlements, Native Americans, Trade, Wars, Slavery and the slave trade. Penn State has access to Module 1: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries and Module 2: Towards Revolution

Historic Maps

Pennsylvania, Centre County, and Penn State Genealogical Resources

Centre County Historic Records Imaging Project

Among the resources are scanned images from the following files: Naturalization Records, 1802-1929; Revolutionary War Declarations, 1820-1835; Slave Records, 1803-1820.  

Centre Daily Times Obituaries Index

Index to the obituaries published from 1937-1980 in the "The Centre Daily Times," central Pennsylvania's primary newspaper. Freely available to Pennsylvania historical societies, genealogists, researchers and other Pennsylvania newspapers, the index allows a user to find the reference to the obituary by entering a last name, first name, maiden name or obituary date range. The CDT Obituary Index is part of the University Libraries Digital Collections.
NOTE: The obituaries can be viewed on microfilm available in the News and Microforms Library.

Genealogical Links at the Pennsylvania State University

There are various resources to use to find a Penn State connection, as alumni directories, La Vie yearbooks and student directories. We have files on many current and former members of the faculty and administration that contain biographical information.

Historic Pittsburgh

A digital history collection, including maps, county histories, and Census materials for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Historical Digital Collegian Archive (1887-1976)

Access to the complete Penn State student newspaper, including, text, photographs, and advertisements.

Pennsylvania County Histories Online

A listing by county of (mostly) 19th century publications.  Good for getting a “feel” for a region’s history, but should be used with caution as authors often fail to distinguish fact from folklore.

Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspapers (requires VPN for remote access)

Contains all the words, photographs, and advertisements from selected newspapers published during the pivotal years before, during, and after the U.S. Civil War. 

Pennsylvania German Broadsides and Fraktur Collection

Baptismal, marriage, and other official certificates that record life events of 18th and 19th century Pennsylvania Germanic settlers. From the holdings of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Penn State Special Collections Library.

Thinking of visiting the Library? As one of the nation’s leading academic research libraries Penn State’s library system is a major resource for those interested in Pennsylvania history and genealogy. Our online guide, will help you learn more about our collections. If you visit, be aware that library staff cannot do research for you. We are happy to help you use the library’s resources.