Best FREE Genealogy Websites of 2017: Genealogy Library Websites

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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An offshoot of 101 Best Websites fave WorldCat, ArchiveGrid searches more than 4 million descriptions of archival records from 1,000 different institutions. Learn about historical documents, personal papers, family histories and other materials that may mention your ancestors. A clickable map makes it easy to find archives near you.

Digital Library on American Slavery

This University of North Carolina at Greensboro project compiles sources including extracts from court and legislative petitions, slave “deeds,” insurance registries and “wanted” ads for escaped slaves. The focus is North Carolina, but data relate to all slave states.

Digital Public Library of America 

One click searches more than 16 million digitized items from libraries, archives and museums, or you can navigate via interactive timelines and maps. Your searches now include FamilySearch’s growing free digital historical book collection, thanks to a new agreement.

Genealogy Gophers 

Smart, intuitive searching is the hallmark of the partnership with Family­Search here, which quickly combs 80,000 digitized books.

Harvard Open Collections Program 

With more than 2.3 million digitized pages, including more than 225,000 manuscript pages, this online collection focuses on materials not available elsewhere. Themes include the history of working women, US immigration, and epidemics and disease.


Log in with credentials from a participating institution such as a university to get the most out of this digital library’s almost 14 million total volumes and 5 billion pages. But there’s plenty here accessible to the general public, too.

Midwest Genealogy Center 

This site from the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Mo., taps one of the nation’s largest genealogy collections. Online extras include an index to 1.5 million US Railroad Retirement Board pension records.

New York Public Library Digital Collections 

The cool factor is off the charts at this handsome home to more than 700,000 digitized prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, videos and other items. The site’s maps and atlases alone are worth a visit.


Find your family history in 2 billion items at 10,000 of the world’s libraries, then click to see holdings nearest you.

See the rest of our 101 Best Websites for Genealogy in 2017: