Fort Worth History Center

exterior of Fort Worth History Center

Research guidance, educational experiences and more!

The staff of the Fort Worth History Center maintain the municipal and local history archives for the City of Fort Worth and offer a variety of services to assist with local history and genealogy research.  Our librarians include a genealogy specialist and archivists, the center also offers unique programs for historical enthusiasts. 

Donate materials

 

 

Local History

image of 1929 City Annual Report There are many ways you can experience our local history collection.  Researchers are welcome to browse our collection of local yearbooks,  books on Fort Worth history,  newspapers, maps,  and much more when they visit the Fort Worth History Center.  Our friendly, professional staff are available to assist you if needed. 

Please note: All archival collections and some other materials are stored offsite. Please check the catalog before you visit for a specific item. 


Ready to research online?

Our databases can be accessed with a Fort Worth Public Library card, and cover a variety of topics for researchers and life-long learners. The Fort Worth Public Library's catalog and information about our collections are available online for anyone to search.  

Please note:  Ancestry.com Library Edition may only be used at the Fort Worth History Center or any of the Fort Worth Public Library locations. 

Early Fort Worth News

1873-1882

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

1897-present

 Photograph Collection

Historical News Bank

Fort Worth Labor News

Como Monitor

 History Geo Research

 American West
Portal to TX History

Texas Reference Center

 

Watch and Learn

YouTube logo

Previously recorded programs from the Fort Worth Public Library or the Fort Worth History Center are available on demand on YouTube. 

This Day in History  Local Landmarks

Community History Workshops      Oral Histories

 

 

Archives

Access online

The library has online, keyword searchable access to the finding aids for the collections in the archives. Finding aids are highly detailed tables of contents to archival collections. Finding aids provide biographical or historical information about the person or organization that assembled the collection and an overview of the contents of the collection itself. 

Use Finding Aids    Search Digital Archives

 

Access in-person

All archives collections are stored offsite and require three (3) business days notice for retrieval. 

The archives collections are open to any researcher wanting to make use of the materials in the collections. Our process for in-person researchers is:

  • All researchers should call or email to schedule their appointment with staff.
  • Archival materials may not leave the building.
  • The materials must be handled with care. Researchers may not make any marks on the materials and must leave the documents in their existing arrangement. The archivist will supply researchers with gloves to use while handling photographs.

  • Most materials may be photocopied, unless they are fragile, oversized, or subject to copyright restrictions. Copying of an entire collection is not permitted, and we ask that copies of materials belonging to the Fort Worth History Center not be deposited at another archives or library.
  • Reproduction of photographs must be arranged by the archivist/librarian.
  • The Library claims only physical ownership of much of the materials in its collections. It is the researcher’s responsibility to respect literary property rights and conform to all copyright laws affecting the materials.
  • Before leaving, researchers must return the collection items to staff when they are finished with the materials.

 

Genealogy

We're here to assist you on your family history journey.   

snippet of Seminole tribe census roster

The genealogy collection's emphasis is on the southern and midwestern states and the thirteen original states, although most of the United States is represented.  Limited materials on foreign countries, particularly Great Britain and Western European nations are also available. 

Fort Worth History Center offers free access to tools such as Ancestry.com Library Edition* as well as other resources that can help with research of indigenous or enslaved people. A genealogy specialist on staff can also help guide your research. 

 

Online Databases

America's Genealogy Bank

Ancestry.com Library Edition*

Bibliography of Indigenous Peoples

Heritage Quest Online

Texas Reference Center

*requires use at one of our locations

Events

Upcoming Programs

We host programs in our center and at libraries across the city. Please check the location for the program you're attending.

More

Citizen Archivists

copy of handwritten journal from 1800s There are decades of handwritten history in the Fort Worth History Center.  You can help make that history more accessible and searchable for our community while safeguarding it for the future by volunteering as a citizen archivist.

Through the FromThePage platform, citizen archivists create, review and edit transcriptions of digital scans of historical Fort Worth documents right from home. Work on one page or dozens! What documents you transcribe and how many are completely up to you.

Joining the transcription effort is simple.

  1. Visit FromThePage.com and click “Sign Up To Transcribe” to create a free account.

  2. Click “Find A Project” and navigate to the Fort Worth Public Library Archives collection.

  3. Select a document and start transcribing! If you need assistance, watch a video tutorial here or email our staff.