Jose Mier Details Southern California Genealogy Resources at the LAPL

LAPL genealogy page Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA

Jose Mier lives in Sun Valley, CA. That’s part of the city of Los Angeles so for his and those in this area it make perfect sense to take advantage of nearby resources for genealogical research, especially the Los Angeles Public Library.

The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is an integral part of the city’s educational and cultural framework, serving the vast and diverse population of Los Angeles. With its extensive collection of books, digital resources, educational programs, and community services, LAPL plays a pivotal role in promoting literacy, lifelong learning, and cultural enrichment. One of its notable areas of focus is genealogy, providing valuable resources for individuals looking to explore their family history. This comprehensive exploration will delve into the various aspects of the Los Angeles Public Library, with a special emphasis on its genealogy resources, the tools and collections available, and the importance of these resources for individuals and the broader community.

LAPL genealogy page Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA
LAPL genealogy page Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA

Overview of the Los Angeles Public Library

History and Mission

The Los Angeles Public Library was established in 1872, with a mission to provide free and easy access to information, ideas, books, and technology that enrich, educate, and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities. Over the years, the library has grown to encompass a central library, located in downtown Los Angeles, and 72 branch libraries spread across the city. This extensive network ensures that library services are accessible to residents in every corner of Los Angeles.

Central Library

The Central Library, located at 630 W. 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles, is the flagship of the LAPL system. This iconic building, known for its distinctive architecture and historic significance, houses an extensive collection of materials and serves as the hub for many of the library’s specialized services, including its genealogy resources. The Central Library also features the beautiful Tom Bradley Wing, which was added in the 1990s, significantly expanding its capacity and facilities.

Branch Libraries

The LAPL system includes 72 branch libraries located in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. These branches provide convenient access to library resources and services, including borrowing materials, attending programs and workshops, and accessing public computers and Wi-Fi. Each branch is tailored to meet the needs of its local community, offering collections and programs that reflect the interests and demographics of the area.

Genealogy Resources at the Los Angeles Public Library

Genealogy is a field that has seen significant growth in interest over recent years, with more individuals seeking to understand their family history and heritage. The Los Angeles Public Library offers a wealth of resources to support genealogical research, making it an invaluable asset for both amateur and professional genealogists.

Genealogy Department

The Genealogy Department at the Central Library is a dedicated space where patrons can access specialized materials and receive assistance with their genealogical research. The department houses a vast collection of resources, including books, periodicals, microfilm, and digital databases. Knowledgeable staff are available to guide researchers, provide recommendations, and help navigate the extensive collections.

Print and Microfilm Collections

The Genealogy Department boasts an extensive print and microfilm collection that covers a wide range of genealogical topics. Key components of this collection include:


The library’s collection includes a vast array of books on genealogy, covering topics such as how to conduct genealogical research, specific family histories, and regional histories. The collection features guidebooks for beginners, advanced research techniques for experienced genealogists, and specialized volumes on ethnic and international genealogy.


The library subscribes to numerous genealogy-related periodicals, offering current and back issues of journals and newsletters from genealogical societies across the United States and around the world. These periodicals provide valuable information on research techniques, historical contexts, and family histories.

Microfilm and Microfiche

The LAPL holds an extensive collection of microfilm and microfiche, including census records, city directories, newspapers, and vital records. These resources are crucial for genealogical research, providing access to historical documents that are often not available in digital format. The library’s microfilm readers allow patrons to view and print these documents for their research.

Digital Resources and Databases

In addition to its physical collections, the Los Angeles Public Library offers access to a wide range of digital resources and databases that are essential for genealogical research. These online tools provide convenient access to vast amounts of information and records, allowing researchers to conduct their work from the library or remotely.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is a powerful genealogy database available to LAPL patrons. This resource provides access to billions of historical records, including census data, military records, immigration records, vital records (birth, marriage, and death certificates), and more. It also includes user-generated family trees and genealogical content submitted by members.

HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online is another valuable database for genealogists, offering a rich collection of resources that include federal and state census records, family histories, local histories, city directories, and military records. HeritageQuest is particularly useful for its extensive collection of local and family histories, which can provide detailed insights into specific regions and families.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

The LAPL provides access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers, a database that includes digitized versions of major newspapers from across the United States. These newspapers are an excellent resource for genealogical research, providing contemporary accounts of events, obituaries, marriage announcements, and other valuable information.


Fold3 is a database that focuses on military records, offering access to a vast collection of documents from the Revolutionary War to more recent conflicts. This resource is particularly useful for researchers looking to trace the military history of their ancestors and uncover details about their service.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a digital repository that aggregates content from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Through the LAPL, patrons can access a wide range of digitized materials, including photographs, manuscripts, maps, and more. The DPLA is an excellent resource for finding unique and hard-to-access documents that can provide valuable context and information for genealogical research.

Specialized Collections

The Los Angeles Public Library also houses several specialized collections that are invaluable for genealogical research. These collections include materials that focus on specific regions, ethnic groups, and historical periods, providing targeted resources for researchers with specific interests.

California and Los Angeles History

The library’s California and Los Angeles history collections include a wealth of materials that are essential for researching family histories in the region. These collections feature books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, and other documents that provide insights into the history and development of California and Los Angeles. Researchers can find information on early settlers, migration patterns, local industries, and more.

African American Genealogy

The LAPL offers specialized resources for African American genealogy, including books, periodicals, and databases that focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of researching African American family history. These resources include slave narratives, records from historically black colleges and universities, and databases such as the Freedman’s Bank Records.

Hispanic Genealogy

For those researching Hispanic ancestry, the LAPL provides access to a range of resources, including books, periodicals, and databases that focus on Latin American countries and Hispanic communities in the United States. These resources include immigration records, church records, and local histories that can help researchers trace their Hispanic heritage.

Jewish Genealogy

The library’s Jewish genealogy resources include books, periodicals, and databases that focus on Jewish history and genealogy. These resources include records from Jewish communities around the world, Holocaust survivor testimonies, and specialized databases such as JewishGen, which provides access to millions of Jewish records.

Educational Programs and Workshops

The Los Angeles Public Library offers a variety of educational programs and workshops to support genealogical research. These programs are designed to help both beginners and experienced researchers improve their skills, learn new techniques, and connect with other genealogists.

Genealogy Classes

The library regularly offers classes on various aspects of genealogical research. These classes cover topics such as how to get started with genealogy, using specific databases and resources, and advanced research techniques. Classes are taught by experienced genealogists and library staff, providing valuable instruction and guidance.

Workshops and Lectures

In addition to classes, the LAPL hosts workshops and lectures on genealogy-related topics. These events feature guest speakers, including professional genealogists, historians, and authors, who share their expertise and insights. Workshops often include hands-on activities and opportunities for participants to work on their own research with the guidance of experts.

Genealogy Clubs and Groups

The library supports several genealogy clubs and groups that provide a forum for researchers to share their experiences, ask questions, and collaborate on their projects. These groups meet regularly and often include guest speakers, group discussions, and opportunities for members to present their research.

Online Resources and Virtual Services

In addition to its in-person services and resources, the Los Angeles Public Library offers a range of online resources and virtual services to support genealogical research. These resources provide convenient access to information and assistance, regardless of the researcher’s location.

Virtual Reference Services

LAPL’s virtual reference services allow patrons to connect with library staff and genealogy experts online. Researchers can ask questions, request assistance with their research, and receive guidance on using the library’s resources. These services are available through email, chat, and video conferencing, providing flexible support for genealogists.

Online Tutorials and Guides

The library’s website features a range of online tutorials and guides on genealogical research. These resources cover topics such as how to use specific databases, tips for organizing research, and strategies for overcoming common research challenges. The tutorials and guides are designed to help researchers at all levels improve their skills and make the most of the library’s resources.

Digital Collections and Exhibits

The LAPL offers access to a range of digital collections and exhibits that are valuable for genealogical research. These collections include digitized versions of historical documents, photographs, maps, and more. The library’s digital exhibits highlight specific topics and themes, providing context and insights that can enhance genealogical research.

Community Impact and Importance

The genealogy resources offered by the Los Angeles Public Library have a significant impact on the community, providing valuable services and support for individuals and families looking to explore their heritage. The benefits of these resources extend beyond individual researchers, contributing to the preservation of history, the promotion of cultural awareness, and the strengthening of community connections.

Preserving Family Histories

Genealogical research helps preserve family histories, ensuring that the stories and experiences of past generations are not lost. By providing access to resources and guidance, the LAPL enables individuals to document and share their family histories, creating a lasting legacy for future generations.

Promoting Cultural Awareness

Genealogy resources help promote cultural awareness and understanding by providing insights into the diverse backgrounds and histories of Los Angeles residents. By exploring their own heritage and learning about the histories of others, individuals can develop a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry that makes up the city.

Strengthening Community Connections

Genealogical research can strengthen community connections by bringing individuals together to share their findings, collaborate on research projects, and celebrate their heritage. The library’s programs and groups provide opportunities for researchers to connect with others who share their interests, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.


The Los Angeles Public Library is a vital resource for genealogists, offering an extensive array of materials, tools, and services to support the exploration of family history. From its specialized collections and digital databases to its educational programs and community groups, the LAPL provides invaluable support for individuals seeking to uncover their heritage and preserve their family stories. The library’s commitment to accessibility, education, and community engagement ensures that its genealogy resources will continue to benefit researchers for generations to come, making it an indispensable part of Los Angeles’s cultural and educational landscape.