MPL Genealogy

The genealogy department is open for use during regular library hours. Before using any materials in the department, patrons must first read the department rules and sign in. The materials can be accessed in the genealogy department any time the library is open. None of the materials are available for checkout.

Genealogy Research Help

Patrons may use the materials in the genealogy department anytime the library is open. For help with research, it is necessary to come during the hours the department is staffed at the hours below. Staff can assist patrons in locating information on Ottawa County and other related information.

Note: All microfilm look-ups will be performed by staff only.

Genealogy & Adult Librarian

Cyaira Harvey


The genealogy department is staffed during the following hours:

Mon., Tues., Wed., & Fri from 9:00am - 12:00pm & 2:00pm - 4:00pm

VHS Conversion Service

Have old VHS tapes laying around that you want to digitize? The library can convert them free of charge! All you have to do is provide us with an external storage device (USB Drive or hard drive), your tapes, and a signed VHS tape conversion agreement and we can begin converting your tapes for you!

At this time we can convert standard VHS tapes, compact tapes, and mini dv tapes!

Clip of former library director Joyce Wallen discussing how the library came to be on its 75th birthday! This VHS tape is from our collection and was converted using our equipment! If you'd like to see the full video locate the link to Preservica below which houses all the digital copies of our tapes and photos! 

Keys To The Past Workshop

Genealogy is an adventure into your family history.  We share our life stories for many reasons – to relive cherished memories and make sense of the past, to document relationships and values that have shaped our lives.

The “Keys to the Past” workshops are a beginner’s class into the world of genealogy. Barbara Becker leads the workshops which cover a variety of topics ranging from how to organize your family research to how to use census records to trace ancestors. To ask about classes contact Barbara Becker.

HeritageQuest Webpage

Search census records, city directories, military records, wills and probates, and much more using your library card! Don’t have a card but still want to search? That’s fine! The site is available for searching without a library card as long as you’re using a library computer!

Logging In:
Patron ID is “P” plus your six-digit library card number
Example: P123456
If your library card is fewer than six digits, add the appropriate number of zeros at the end to make it six digits.
Example: P123400


Preservica Link

Preservica is a server where all the library photos and videos are housed! Click the button below to begin exploring the library’s collection!

Know someone in one of the photos and want to identify them? Download the photo and send it in an email to with the name and description of that person!

MPL Genealogy Facebook Group

Like the MPL Genealogy Group on Facebook to stay up to date on the genealogy department's upcoming activities and events!

7 days ago

# ❤️**Happy Valentine's Day!**❤️** **# Here are some local articles and ads centered around this special day for you to reflect on! What are some events you remember attending for Valentine's Day?We remember school Valentine's Day dances! ❤️** ** ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Elizabeth Marie Tallchief, Osage, (24 Jan 1925 – 11 Apr 2013), she is known worldwide as the first American Prima Ballerina and the first Native American to hold this status. Born on the Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief, was the daughter of Alexander Joseph Tall Chief and Ruth Mary Porter Tall Chief (Scottish/Irish). In 1953, Tallchief was given the name of Wa-Xthe-Thomba, meaning "Woman of Two Worlds." She began studying ballet at the age of 12 under the great Madame Nijinska. Tallchief performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947 and the New York City Ballet from 1947 to 1965. Tallchief's 1949 performance of Balanchine's "The Firebird" in 1949 made her world famous and she was the first Sugarplum Fairy in Balanchine's Nutcracker. Tallchief retired in 1965 and started the Chicago City Ballet in 1981 with her sister Marjorie, also an acclaimed ballerina. Among many other awards and honors, Tallchief received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996. ... See MoreSee Less
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