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Online Genealogy Research Services from your Library 

Ancestry - Library computers only

Discover your ancestors with the world's largest family history website. To use this service, you must be on a Rock Island Library computer. 
Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest - Use at home or in library

Discover your amazing family history. You can use this service from home with an Internet connection and a valid Rock Island Library card or from computers at Rock Island Libraries.

fold3 - Library computers only

Fold3 Library Edition provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served, as well as records of Civil War Widows’ Pensions, United States Colored Troops, Native Americans, FBI case files, and Holocaust archives. The name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans.

Library Genealogy and History Research 

Our Reference Department can help you find print and online materials, file interlibrary loan requests, and conduct genealogical research. Our holdings include: 
  • Article and newspaper indexes
  • Microfilmed records at our Downtown Library location 
    • City directories (1855-present) 
    • Rock Island Argus (1866-present) 
    • Selected magazines and newspapers 
  • Limited Obituary Index for the Rock Island Argus
  • Plat Maps
  • Biographical Files
  • Postcard Collection
  • Rock Island High School Yearbooks - Full Internet Archive Now Available!
  • Books by local authors

Reference help is available during regular hours at the Downtown Library, by phone at 309-732-7341 or by email.

Local History Research Room 

With the exception of microfilm, many of the resources you'll need are in the Rock Island Library Historical Room at our Downtown Library. The room is open Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. A Reference Department staff member is available at those times to help your locate the historical and genealogical research items you need. 

Staff research time is also available for a fee. Staff may help you with: 

  • Obituaries - $5.00 per obituary
  • Research - $15.00 per hour, 1 hour minimum

Checks or money orders should be made out to the Rock Island Public Library. Completing the following Research Request form(s) will help us better identify your needs: 
You may also open a research request by phone, email or mail to the Reference Department:
  • 309-732-7341
  • Email
  • Rock Island Library, Attn: Reference, 401 19th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201

Requests are handled in order as received.  Requests that require more time or access to resources we do not offer may be referred to the Rock Island County Historical Society.

Helpful Links for genealogy research



401 19th Street, Rock Island
(309) 732-7323
Curbside Pick-up available
By appointment only

Return items via book drops
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9010 Ridgewood Road, Rock Island
(309) 732-7338
Curbside Pick-up available
By appointment only

Return items via book drops