Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Logo
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Image of Men by Train Engine

WPGS Library Collection

Content and Scope
The WPGS Library is a non-circulating collection of materials made available to its members and the general public to aid in the research of general genealogy, but particularly Western Pennsylvania ancestors.  WPGS has standard reference volumes and indexes on immigration and emigration records, military history, and genealogy research methods. Several hundred volumes of published family histories are cataloged by the primary surname(s) covered. A few resources such as vertical family files are not in the card catalog. Many family genealogies not found elsewhere, research materials, microforms, vertical files of family research, church histories, cemetery histories, and locality research, as well as the First Families of Western Pennsylvania ancestors. A few resources, such as vertical family files, are not in the card catalog but are available upon request.
The WPGS Library is housed in the Pennsylvania Department on the Third Floor of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), Main Branch, in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our thousands of volumes focus on Western Pennsylvania records, yet extend to nearby areas in Ohio, West Virginia, and beyond. 
Pennsylvania Department, Third Floor, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4007
Enter the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh using the Portal Entrance from the parking lot/garage area or the main entrance from Schenley Drive Extension and come to the Third Floor.  WPGS library location, hours, and assistance information can be found on the About page of this website.
Online Research at the Carnegie Library
WPGS sponsors a subscription to NewspaperArchive.com that is accessible on all of the computers in the CLP Pennsylvania Department on the third floor.
  • Free Wi-Fi can be used within any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location from any device.
  • PCs are available at all CLP locations with general Internet access. All you need is a Library Card. If you don’t have a Library Card, get one for free. Time limits for public computers may apply if others are waiting to use the computers.
  • Guests can use Library printers for a small fee. Print from a Library computer or connect to wireless printing from your laptop.
Databases available only at CLP computers Include: 
  • Ancestry.com Library Edition: This resource is only available from inside a CLP or Allegheny County library location. A comprehensive source of information for conducting genealogical and local history research.
  • Sanborn Digital Fire Insurance Maps 1867 - 1970 – Pennsylvania:  This resource is only available from within the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh at present.  Sanborn fire insurance maps are the most frequently consulted maps in both public and academic libraries. The maps provide a wealth of information, such as building outlines, size and shape, windows and doors, street and sidewalk widths, boundaries, and property numbers. Plans often include details on construction materials and building use; and also depict pipelines, railroads, wells, water mains, dumps, and other features likely to affect the property's vulnerability to earthquake, fire, and flood.  Combined with other sources such as city directories, photographs, small-scale maps, census records, genealogies, and statistical data, the Sanborn maps provide an unparalleled picture of life in American towns and cities.
  • HeritageQuest: This resource is available to CLP cardholders only. A comprehensive source of information for conducting genealogical and local history research.
  • Genealogy Connect: This resource is available to CLP cardholders only. Multiple volume searching of 1,500 reference works from Genealogical Publishing & Clearfield Companies. Sources include essential "how-to" works that help to build a good family tree; colonial period works identifying early American settlers and chronicling American immigration; royal and noble ancestry; histories and source records of Native American tribes.
  • FOLD3:  U.S. military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served, as well as access to naturalization records/indexes, city directories, historical newspapers, and more.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Library:  CLP is now a Family History Center affiliate.  The special access that family history centers have granted to their databases only works when the online services are accessed through a computer in a Family History Center. Please note that entering the CLP website will not provide access to the full versions that have been authorized for family history center use.  Access is only available within a CLP location.