Genealogy at the Wichita Public Library
The Wulfmeyer Genealogy Center in the WPL contains over 23,000 genealogy books and magazines covering Kansas, the Great Plains, the Midwest, the South, and the Colonial States. There is a large Native American collection, mainly covering the Great Plains tribes, and a large military collection with over 1,600 volumes on the Civil War. Other major collections include: Dawes Rolls Applications, Draper Manuscripts, Germans to America, Italians to America, and the Barbour Collection.
Over 15,000 rolls of microfilm cover the city's major newspapers, the Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Beacon, along with state and federal census.
Did you know you can search the Wichita Library catalog of library books from your home or office? Catalog Search
The genealogy center is located on the lower level at the central library; conveniently located in downtown Wichita, with plenty of parking, next to the Century II Convention Center. The address is:
As you enter the genealogy area there are library guides available to help you to become familiar with the holdings and where things are. The first set of books on your right are those devoted to "how-to", general indexes, and census indexes. This is a good place to start or to come back to for searching the indexes. In the main area you will find two wings filled with bookshelves of genealogy and local history books. These holdings comprise most of the collection, however there are many more in the "back room" which are kept there because of their condition. All of these books are listed in the catalog.
The WPL also has an extensive mircofilm collection. It consists of the U. S. census records, many state census records, Indian census records, Dawes Rolls, newspapers, and many other records.
The Federal census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, which states "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such manner as they shall by law direct." Even though the statistical summaries collected by enumerators are made public shortly after the census is taken, federal law restricts the release of information on individuals and families for 72 years for privacy reasons. WPL has a copy of the Census for many states for many years. Also it has copies of the Soundex by year when needed. Each roll lists the counties and/or Enumeration Districts for those states.
Search the Library Catalog from Home
You can search the Wichita Public Library catalog through the Internet. A simple search page
allows you to find topics you are interested in.