Searching for Your Ancestors?

The Erie County Public Library has a large amount of material that would assist your in your search for ancestors that lived in the Erie/ NW Pennsylvania area.

Heritage Room (virtual tour)

  • Collections – The Heritage Room is located on the second floor of the Blasco Library. Collections include family histories, standard reference works, county histories, local history information and other resources. An obituary index is available for Erie newspapers that covers 1822 to the present. City directories are available for Erie beginning with 1853 and suburban (or Millcreek) directories beginning with 1957. Yearbooks are available for many Erie City High Schools, dating back to the early 1900s. The general focus of the collection is Northwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding tri-state area. Note that the materials in this room must be kept at a constant temperature of 70 degrees. Please dress accordingly; a sweater or light jacket will help.
  • Computer Databases – The Library subscribes to, which is available for public use on two computers located in the Heritage Room. In addition to, the Library staff maintains links to a number of other useful Internet sites with genealogical information. The Library also subscribes to HeritageQuest Online which has remote access.
  • Microfilm – Genealogical information located at the Blasco Library Heritage Room includes microfilms of the Erie newspapers, going back to 1822, Erie County censuses from 1800 to 1930, selected censuses for other Pennsylvania counties and selected states, The area has seven microfilm reader/printers available for use. Use of the microfilm machines is on a first come first serve basis. Photocopies can be made for 10 cents per page. If you have an Erie County Public Library borrower’s card, you can request census microfilms through the Library’s Interlibrary Loan program. The National Archives charges $3.25 per roll and a $3.00 shipping and handling fee. The rental period is normally four weeks and the microfilms must be used within the Library.You may also request books and photocopies through the Interlibrary Loan Department. Availability of these materials may be restricted by the owning libraries.

Microfilm Machines

Information by Mail and email

The Information Services staff will do limited genealogical research or requests for obituaries by the mail. The fee for this service is $10 for the first ½ hour of search time, $5 for each additional ½ hour, plus a $1 per page fee for photocopying. Information on more than one person can be included in each request. In most cases, you will be billed for the research when the information is sent to you. Normal requests may take up to 4 weeks for your request to be processed.

To use this service, please fill out the contact form below or print the request form and mail it to the library. Include as much information as possible about the person(s) for whom you are searching. The more information you can provide, the better the chance we can provide you with the information you need. Please remember to include your own mailing address in your request.

Print request form

As obits cannot be emailed, please include your regular mail address so that we may send it to you via U.S. mail.

You may contact the Library by mail at:

Information Services
Erie County Public Library
160 East Front Street
Erie, PA 16507

Or fax us at (814) 451-6907