Attention - Beginning December 1st, Oakland Public Library will no longer mail hold pickup/cancellation notices. In order to receive information about your holds, please make sure we have your current email or phone number. This change is more environmentally friendly and will reduce mailing costs. Thank you for your cooperation.
Family History & Genealogy Resources
The Oakland Public Library's resources available to the genealogy researcher are focused specifically on events and subject matter occurring within the greater Oakland metroplitan area.
The reference librarians in the Oakland History Room can assist you by e-mail or by postal mail:
Magazine and Newspaper Room
Oakland Public Library
125 14th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
For the researcher seeking detailed local genealogical information, we can provide lookups in Oakland City Directories, California county histories, Oakland birth and death certificates (1870-1904) and other Oakland History Room indexes. We cannot provide research in the Alameda County censuses or voting registers. Each search is limited to about 1/2 hour of staff time. Extensive original research cannot be accommodated by mail.
Copies of Oakland birth and death certificates, death notices or obituaries from local newspapers may be requested by mail for $4.00. We can do up to two searches per patron per month. Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope and allow 2-4 weeks for us to respond to your queries.
In addition to what the Oakland Public Library has to offer, there are many web and local resources for genealogists.
Online Genealogy & Family History Research
Tips for Beginners
Resources available through OPL
- Ancestry Library: Public records and genealogy tools for the family historian. Emphasis on immigrant lists, passenger lists, and other public documents. This datbase is available at the Main and branch libraries, but not outside library facilities.
- HeritageQuest: Public records and genealogy tools for the family historian. Emphasis on records from newspapers, local history books and documents.
Other selected internet resources
To locate dates of death
Resources and Research Assistance in Oakland
African American Genealogical Society of Northern California
Visit their website here.
California Genealogical Society
The California Genealogical Society mantains a library at:
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612-3017
The library is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9am to 4pm. Free to members, $5 reader fee for non-members. First Saturday, free to all.
Family History Center (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Family History Centers provide the most comprehensive collections available for research in genealogy and family history. Though they are maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they are open to the public at no cost.
The Family History Center in Oakland is a large, regional facility located in the lower level of the Visitor's Center on the grounds of the Temple at:
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602
For Further Research