The Harold Weary Genealogy Room

The genealogy and local history collection of the Mount Prospect Public Library offers many resources for researching family and local history. Below is a brief description of the kinds of materials that are available.

Finding Aids

Most genealogy materials are listed in the Library’s catalog. Those items in the genealogy room have “GS” in front of the call number. On the lower shelf in the northeast corner of the room are several black binders that list what is available under different subjects. Also included here are detailed indexes of some census microfilm rolls, lists of microfilm and microfiche holdings, and a list of periodical holdings. Next to the binders is a beige plastic box that includes alphabetically arranged index cards with the periodical titles and pamphlet file subject headings.


Along the north and east walls at the north end of the room are the circulating books. Included are general and more specialized guides and resources. These materials may be checked out. At the end of the circulating books is a small, separate collection of circulating and reference books related to Illinois.  In the south end of the room along the east and south walls and in the southwest corner are the Reference books. These are marked “GS/R” and may only be used in the library.


A variety of genealogy periodicals are shelved in maroon boxes along part of the west wall and part of the north wall. They are arranged using a special numbering system. The index cards in the plastic beige box indicate which number is associated with each periodical title. A listing of all the genealogy periodicals is available in a binder on the same shelf as the beige box and at the Reference Desk.

Pamphlet File

In cabinets just below the book shelves along the north wall are miscellaneous brochures and handouts. These are filed under different subjects and geographic areas. The subject headings are listed in the beige index box. Each file folder has information donated by genealogists that they found helpful in their research. Also in these cabinets are charts, forms, and other free handouts.

Microfiche and Microfilm

Microform cabinets are located in the north half of the genealogy room. These house the genealogy microfiche and microfilm collection, as well as microfilm of these newspapers: Daily Herald, Chicago Tribune, Mount Prospect Journal, Mount Prospect Times, and Prospect Day. The microfiche collection includes the Family History catalog, Illinois Marriage Index, back issues of some periodicals and fiche on miscellaneous topics. The microfilm collection includes Chicago City directories and census records. There is a digital microfilm reader connected to the public computer in the southeast corner of the room.  To sign up to use this computer, please go to the Reference Desk.  Library staff will also guide you in the use of the microform reader.

Local History File

In the cabinets along the south wall under the reference shelves are files related to various aspects of the history of Mount Prospect and the surrounding area. In the southeast corner under the last reference shelving range are cabinets housing the Oral History collection. These cabinets are kept locked. Check with the Reference librarian to obtain access to these files.

Computer Access

The Library has subscriptions to many databases including Heritage Quest, Ancestry Library Edition, Find My Past and Fold 3 that are accessible at any public Internet computer in the Library. Genealogy patrons may sign up to use the computer in the southeast corner of the genealogy room at the Reference Desk.

Please ask at the Reference Desk for assistance with any of the resources in this room. Happy researching!