Genealogy & Local History

Old photographs

The library offers a wide variety of genealogy research tools to assist you in discovering your family history. Physical reference collection materials, excluding microform, located at the Headquarters Library can be sent to other library branch locations upon request. All reference collection materials are for in-library use only and cannot be checked out. To request an item be sent to your preferred library, please speak to staff at that location.

Print Resources available at the Headquarters Library
  • Family Histories
  • Alachua County Records
  • Records for other Florida Counties
  • City Directories
  • Passenger Lists
  • Military Records
Microform Resources available at the Headquarters Library

Machines that can read the following formats:

  • Microfilm - 35mm and 16mm reels
  • Microfiche

Materials available to view:

  • Census Records
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines - Newsweek, Time, U.S. News, World Report
  • City Directories
  • Alachua County Records
Digitization Tools at the Library
  • Scanners are available at our libraries that can be used to digitize your personal family history records and materials, such as photos and family papers


The Alachua County Library District has access to obituaries and death notices printed in the Gainesville Sun. The Gainesville Sun can be access online or via the microfilm collection.

Gainesville Sun Obituaries (1865-1995)
Gainesville Sun Obituaries (1911-Current)

Available through Gainesville Sun Collection

  • 1911-present - Full-Color Images
  • 1995-2018 - text only, no images*
  • Searchable
  • Printable

*The text-only version may contain content not found in the Full-Color version

Local History Resources

The Library's Local History collection includes many print, digital, and microform resources housed at the Headquarters Library in our Genealogy and Florida Reference Collections. These materials are restricted to in-library use only. Some materials are also available as microform and will indicate as such.

Gainesville & Alachua County History
  • Alachua County schools and how they got their names
  • Chronicle of the gay rights struggle in Gainesville
  • Economic survey of the community of Gainesville, FL: 1950
  • Gainesville: alive with opportunity by Ray Carson
  • Guide to the University of Florida and Gainesville
  • Historic Gainesville: a tour guide to the past
  • The historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation
  • Historic Photos of Gainesville by Steve Rajtar
  • Histories of women's organizations in Alachua County
  • History of Alachua County by Fritz W. Buchholz
  • History of Alachua County by Jess Davis
  • History of Gainesville by Jess Davis 
  • History of Gainesville, Florida, 1854-1979 by Charles H. Hildreth
  • History walk around downtown Gainesville by Helen Ellerbe
  • Lady Gators - simply the best by Ruth Alexander
  • The Making of a Serial Killer by Danny Rolling
  • The Matheson house of Gainesville, Florida: sheltering the past by Murray Laurie
  • Retrospections: November 1967, Gainesville, FL by A. Quinn Jones
  • The Thomas Center: an illustrated history and guide by Rie Burton
City Directories
  • Coy City Directory and Guide; Gainesville, Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Micanopy, Newberry, and Waldo, 1934-1935 [print and/or microfilm]
  • Gainesville City Directory (Polk City), 1938-current, some years missing [print and/or microfilm]
  • Gainesville City Directory of Streets and Numbers, 1950
  • Gainesville Telephone Directory, 1907-2011, some years missing [print and/or microfilm]
  • Hill-Donnelly Cross Reference Directory, Gainesville and Surrounding Vicinity, 1969-current, some years missing [print and/or microfilm]
  • Miller's Gainesville, Florida City Directory, 1938-1954
Newspapers on Microfilm
  • Gainesville Sun, 1865-2018, some dates missing
  • High Springs Herald, 1952-1996

The Library, in cooperation with the Matheson History Museum, is pleased to offer digital access to a number of local historical documents. This collection affords a glance at various aspects of life in Alachua County, Florida throughout the 20th century.

Digital Access to Local Historical Documents

You can view the entire collection or select from the following documents.

Questions? We can help!

Headquarters Library Reference Desk

Genealogy Librarian:
Caroline Huguet

Call: 352-334-3940

Text (SMS): 352-578-1184


Genealogy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Need general assistance outside of library hours?

Ask-A-Librarian service provides Florida residents with virtual reference services through live chat and text messaging from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


Please keep in mind that Ask-A-Librarian is a state-wide service and the librarians may not work for the Alachua County Library District.