Local Resources – Library, Archives, Family History Center (LDS)


Libraries and other research centers, by Tom Hirsch, updated 19 Nov 2013

Most have websites that allow you to search at least some of the collections; and provide details on locations, hours of operation, and other details helpful for you to plan your research before going there.

Your local library. Resources are books and magazines on genealogy, history, etc.; microfilmed newspapers; local history; online searches of many databases, including www.ancestry.com and other genealogy subscription services. Most libraries have wireless internet (wi-fi), allowing you to use your laptop computer or other device to do online work at the library. However, some libraries require you to enter your library card number before you can connect to the web.

Many libraries allow you to access some of their services via your home internet connection, or in the library using its wi-fi on your laptop computer or tablet. In most research, you can have your findings emailed to you, or you can save the files onto your laptop computer; or if you use a library computer, you may be allowed to save the files on your flash drive.

The JGSGO has donated its extensive Jewish genealogy collection to the Orange County Library System’s downtown Orlando Public Library. The collection was largely the work of the late JGSGO member and newsletter editor Dr. Jay Schleichkorn, and the books in this collection have labels noting his contribution and the JGSGO donation. A list of books in that collection may be found at Orange County Library Holdings for JGSGO.

Many of the donated books are classics in terms of Jewish genealogy research.  All of the donated books contain a bookplate designating that the books were “donated by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando in honor of and in memory of Dr. Jacob “Jay“ Schleichkorn”, a long time member of the JGSGO. The collection had been in storage for several months at the Hebrew Academy of Orlando, which also received two boxes of books appropriate for their library collection. Several volumes were similarly donated to the Holocaust Research and Education Center in Maitland.

1. Brevard County Libraries
Branches are located in these locations:

2. Lake County Library
http://www.mylakelibrary.org/libraries/ locations and phone numbers of libraries

3. Orange County Library Systm
http://www.ocls.info/Locations/default.asp This website lists library locations
Genealogy Center Guide Orange County Library provides a complete list of general resources available.
Orange County Library Holdings for JGSGO

Call 407.835.7323 to contact a specific branch, or visit our Contact Us page if you have any other questions.

Genealogy resources

The Jay Schleichkorn collection is now housed at the West Oaks Branch Library and Genealogy Center in Ocoee, a branch of the Orange County Library System. The West Oaks Branch Library has an extensive collection of genealogic resources, very helpful staff and periodic educational programs for genealogists. The JGSGO donated its library in 2012 to the Orange County Library System and to the Holocaust Museum at the Roth JCC in Maitland.

Orlando Public Library
101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday thru Thursday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
4. Other libraries in Orange County
A. Winter Park Public Library
460 E. New England Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 623-3300

B. Maitland Public Library
501 South Maitland Avenue
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 647-7700

5. Osceola County Library System
6. Seminole County Library system
7. Sumter County Library
8. Volusia County Library System
http://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/library-services.stml is list of library locations and phone numbers


(information updated 18 Jan 2016, by Tom Hirsch)

9. Family History Centers. These are located in Mormon churches, but you will find information on ancestry of all faiths, and the FHCs have significant resources for Jewish ancestry. The records are not limited to members of the LDS church. These centers have computers you can use to do research; microfilm readers/printers or digital imagers to view microfilmed records; and staff to answer questions. The LDS Salt Lake City genealogy center headquarters has millions of rolls of microfilmed records from all over the world. Use the Family Search website to find the film number for the records you need, and have the film sent to your local FHC, where you can study it. There are eight Family History Centers in Brevard, Lake, Orange, and Volusia Counties (see list below).

There is no charge to use these facilities, but there is a charge to order microfilm records from the headquarters in Salt Lake City to be shipped to your local FHC. Also expect to pay a per-page fee for paper copies. If you are viewing microfilms of records in a foreign language, take a digital camera and use the macro setting to shoot close-ups of the microfilm image to get enlarged images that are readable and translatable.
https://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator Use this website to find a FHC in your area. Important to note that some locations in the database may be obsolete, always phone to check status and hours of the FHCs. They are open limited hours.

The denomination’s Family History Library in Salt Lake City has millions of microfilms and microfiche, which are listed on the www.familysearch.org website.  Genealogists can pay a fee and the local FHC will order the films or fiche to be shipped to the center.  You will be notified when the items you order arrive at the FHC.  You can use the mcrofilm viewers to examine the films and search for the data you are seeking.   There is a time limit for the loan of these films to the local FHC, and the films are returned to Salt Lake City at the end of the loan period, which is a few weeks.

Here are some Family History Centers in our area

45 East Par Street

The Family History Center at the Par Street LDS church has been closed since summer for renovation. Please check with LDS church for information regarding when this center will be opened or the availability of other nearby centers. 

This center is located in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon church), 45 East Par Street, on the northwest corner of  Par Street and Formosa Avenue in North Central Orlando.  The FHC is in the southeast corner of the building.   The entrance is near a semicircle driveway on Par Street on the south side of the building. There is a sign on the exterior brick wall with an arrow pointing to the FHC.  The sign is easily visible from the driveway.

There is ample free parking on the north and west sides of the building, and limited parking for several vehicles in the semicircle driveway on the south side of the building for people with limited mobility.   People who have difficulty walking should park in the semicircle, because it’s the closest parking to the FHC entrance. 

This facility has 3,000 microfilms and a number of microfiche in its permanent collection, including a few microfilms of Jewish records.   See spreadsheet for the list of the films in the center’s collection (as of this date).

The FHC has a newer microfilm reader that is connected to a digital imager.  It will print images from the microfilm, and will capture digital images that you save as a computer file.  There are also older-style readers that project the image onto a screen, and have no computer connection.

The FHC has hundreds of books and other items in its library to aid you in your research.  The volunteers who work there are pleasant and helpful (like most other genealogists), and will assist you.

Each FHC has its own collection of materials, and each FHC’s collection is different.  Each center has different operating hours.  Some of the centers have closed over the years, so it’s important to check the Family Search website for the current locations and hours of operation, and to call to confirm the schedule.

It’s important to note that the LDS church on Par Street is being renovated this year, and that will limit the hours the facility is available, and will limit the resources available.  The renovation is scheduled to be completed in the summer or fall of 2016, and when it’s done, the operating hours and resources available will return to normal.

The FHC’s are excellent places to do research, because they also have subscriptions to databases that are crucial to genealogy.   The FHC on Par Street has the following online databases:

19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archive

Alexander Street Press

The American Civil War:

Research Database– Letters and Diaries, Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera

Social and Cultural History

Women and Social Movements in the United States

Ancestry.com – Institution Version

Findmypast – Institution Version


Historic Map Works – Library Edition

Kinpoint – Premium

MyHeritage – Library Edition

Access Newspaper Archive

Paper Trail

ProQuest Obituary Listings

Puzzilla.org – Premium Services

World Vital Records – All content has been added to MyHeritage.com (who purchased WVR).

Accessed Separately:   ArkivDigital Online

And finally, this church is the meeting place of the Central Florida Genealogical Society for its 2nd Thursday evening of the month meetings.   Some JGSGO members are also members of the CFGS.   The CFGS has been courteous to us, allowing us to mention our meetings during the announcement portion of its meetings; and has posted our meetings on its website.  This FHC has allowed us to leave a stack of our meeting announcements each month, and has posted our announcements on its bulletin boards in the center.

Family History Centers are branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt lake City.   Centers provide access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors.  Everyone is welcome to come to the centers and use Family History Center resources.

Additional locations can be found at :    www.familysearch.org

FHC in Brevard County

Cocoa Florida Family History Center

1801 South Fiske Boulevard Rockledge, FL 32955


T, TH, F 9am-1pm, W 6:30pm-9pm, Sat 10am-2pm

FHCs in Lake County

Leesburg Florida Family History Center

1875 South Mt. Vernon Road Leesburg, FL 34748


T 10am-1pm, W 10am-8pm, TH l0am-2pm

Clermont Florida Family History Center 

14600 Green Valley Boulevard Clermont, FL 34711


T & W 6pm-9pm, Sat 9am-1pm

FHCs in Orange County

Orlando Florida Family History Center

45 E Par Street Orlando, FL 32804

For Appointment Call 407-895-4832 and leave a message

TH, Sat 9:30am-1:30pm, W 6pm-9pm

Orlando Florida South Family History Center 

3000 Howick Street Orlando, FL 32835 Across from the Temple on Apopka-Vineland Road


M, T, W, TH 9:00am-1:00pm, T, W 6pm-9pm

Orlando Florida Hunters Creek Family History Center 

701 Wetherbee Road Orlando, FL 32824


T,W 6-8pm; TH 5pm-8:30 pm

FHCs in  Volusia County

Daytona Beach Florida Family History Center

1125 Sixth Street Daytona Beach, FL 32117


T 9am-5pm, W, TH, Sat 10am-2pm

Deland Florida Family History Center 

1345 South Aquarius Avenue Deland, FL 32724


T, W, TH, Sat 10am-2pm, T, W 6pm-9pm


State and local historical societies

These can also be “gold mines” of precious information that you won’t find elsewhere. You may find high school and college yearbooks; business records; old newspaper microfilms not available in libraries; and many other items that will enhance your family history.


10. Florida Historical Society
research library
435 Brevard Ave., Cocoa FL 32922
Archive Center of Florida and Local History
Indian River County Main Library
1600 21st Street
Vero Beach, Florida 32960
Phone: 772-770-5060 x5
Email: genealogy@irclibrary.org
12. The Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society
6215 Sauterne Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32210-7728
13. The Florida History & Genealogy Library
John F. Germany Public Library
900 N. Ashley Dr.
Tampa, FL 33602-3788
14. State Archives of Florida
500 South Bronough Street/MS#9
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
Order by phone:
850-245-6719 (Archives Reference Unit)
850-245-6718 (Archives Photographic and Film Unit)
Order by Email:
http://www.flheritage.com/ FL Dept of State Historical Resources
15. Orange County Regional History Center
65 East Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 836-8500
(800) 965-2030
collections@ocfl.net email for research library
16. Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU
Florida International University
301 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Phone: 305-672-5044
Fax: 305-672-5933
17. Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida (searchable online)
on West University Blvd, in the Library West building

contact person:
Rebecca Jefferson
Special Collections – Judaica Library
(352) 273-2650
539 Library West
Jewish Studies
16. University of Florida Center for Jewish Studies
201 Walker Hall
PO Box 118020
Gainesville, FL 32611-8020
(352) 392-9247.
19. Jewish Virtual Library
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/florida.html Florida
20. Judaica Libraries and Archives on the Web, worldwide
21. Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, New York 10011
22. Family Tree magazine’s list of top 10 genealogy libraries in the USA, Oct. 2002, p. 26-34
NOTE: the websites are generally for the library home page. Genealogy resources are listed in other areas of the websites of these libraries. You can search some databases on these library websites.

A. Allen County, Indiana Public Library, Ft. Wayne
This is the 2nd largest genealogy library in USA, topped only by the Mormon Church’s massive collection
See article about this library in Family Tree magazine, Oct. 2002, p 36-39

B. Clayton Library, part of Houston, TX Public Library

C. Birmingham, AL, Public Library

D. Dallas, TX Public Library

E. Denver, CO Public Library

F. Detroit, MI Public Library

G. Los Angeles Public Library

H. Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO. One of largest genealogy libraries in USA

I. New York City Public Library

J. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
23. If you have any ancestry in St. Louis, as I have, you have fantastic resources there. The city and county libraries have extensive genealogy and history collections and helpful staff with expertise who help you find what you need. I have done a lot of research in every one of these centers.

A. St. Louis City Library, downtown St. Louis; with branches around the city.

B. St. Louis County Library. Genealogy collection is in library HQ, at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131
Helpful genealogy forms and tips are here:

C. Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. Extensive collections, newspapers earlier than the city & county libraries have.
225 South Skinker Blvd
(314) 746-4599

D. St. Louis Genealogical Society. The largest local genealogical society in the USA, with about 2,000 members. It has an office that includes library, bookstore, and extensive collection of birth, death, marriage, burial, immigration, and other records, and much of the data are indexed and searchable using computers in the research room. The St. Louis Jewish Genealogical Society merged into the SLGS, and operates as a SIG of the SLGS.
#4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140
St. Louis, MO 63143

E. Many of the older local records are in MO Secretary of State Archives in St. Louis
Missouri State Archives-St. Louis
Carnahan Courthouse
1114 Market Street
Room 245
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone: 314-588-1746
E-mail: archrefstl@sos.mo.gov