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Local History Collection @ Central Library
The Local History Collection at Central Library contains more than 500 books on Waco and McLennan County history, city directories, and yearbooks from area schools. The collection also includes more than 230 vertical subject files and more than 25 archival boxes that contain information about specific topics, people, or locations.
Materials in the Local History Collection cannot be checked out, but can be accessed any time the library is open.
Archives and Vertical Files
Our Vertical File Collection
Looking for information about a topic not found in a book, or additional information about a topic? Vertical, or subject, files include newspaper articles, brochures, papers, and other documents.
Searching for a specific topic? Add your subject after the words "vertical files" in the search bar.
Vertical files contain information about:
- Notable Wacoans
Central Library's Local History room has a collection of Waco city directories, including a few as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s. City directories, like phone books, list people and their address by name. However, unlike phone books, you can also search a city directory by street address and/or phone number.
List of yearbooks
The Local History room at Central Library has a collection of area yearbooks. We welcome donations to fill in gaps in our collection or yearbooks from schools not in the collection.
To find a specific yearbook, click the "list of yearbooks" link. Type the name of the school you're looking for and then click "Availability" to see which years we have.
Our yearbook collection has:
- Baylor yearbooks from 1914+
- Jefferson-Moore HS from 1951+
- Midway HS from 1950+
- Reicher Cathloc HS from 1967+
- Waco HS from 1908+
...and many more!
Newspapers.com Library Edition
Newspapers.com provides access to scanned Waco newspapers. The database is not complete, but is a great resource in your search.
WMCL Local Newspaper Index
The Waco-McLennan County Library has an in-house index of local newspapers available through the online catalog. This index is continually being updated.
In addition to books, subject files, city directories, and newspapers, the Local History Collection saves magazines dedicated to Waco history or information – Waco Heritage & History, Wacoan, and Waco Today.
Information for researchers using the library
- Photos are permitted of pages from the items in the local history collection.
- Copies and scans of documents may be made for $.20 a page. The copier/scanner is located on the same floor as the local history collection.
- The microfilm reader in the Local History Room is available to the public. See reference desk staff to be signed on to the machine.
- Public computers are available to Waco-McLennan County library card holders. If you do not have a library card, see reference desk staff to learn if you are eligible for a guest pass.