Historical Research

Our libraries are pleased to offer an extensive collection of historical, local records & resources. For information from a specific location, contact your library or fill out a research request for more help.

Local History Collections

  • Microfilm

    Local newspapers on microfilm dating back to the late 19th century, including the Venango Spectator, the Pithole Record, the Blizzard, the Franklin News Herald, the Derrick, & more.

  • Cemetery Records

    Maps & records of surrounding local cemeteries.

  • Photos & Yearbooks

    Extensive collections of photos & postcards from local areas, as well as over a century of yearbooks from area schools.

  • Census Records

    U.S. Census records dating back to the late 18th century.

  • City Directories

    Listings of residents, streets & businesses from local areas dating back to the late 19th century.

  • History Rooms

    Explore the historical documents & artifacts in the PA Room at Franklin Public Library & the Heritage Room at Oil City Library. Available by appointment only.

  • Maps & Atlases

    Extensive collections of historical documents, including oil & gas field maps, city maps, topographical atlases, property line maps, & more.

  • Family Histories

    Bound & unbound histories of local families, some including ancestral pedigree charts.

  • Local Titles

    Enjoy a variety of specifically curated title collections, such as the Pennsylvania shelves or Oil Books.

Latest on the Hidden Heritage Blog
  • Believe It or Not
    Believe It or Not

    Tucked into the heritage of Oil City are little nuggets of quirky history. Here’s a sampling of those ‘Did You Know?‘ entries: Did You Know? Oil City has at least two entries in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” series. Main…

    Read More »
  • An Eventful Year
    An Eventful Year

    The City of Oil City celebrated its sesquicentennial with much fanfare in 2021. The 150th anniversary revelry, chaired by Mayor Bill Moon and his wife Robin, included parades, time capsule installation, concerts, speeches, BridgeFest, souvenirs and much more. Snapshots of…

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Newspaper Archive is a great resource for historical & genealogical information. A compilation of newspapers from Pennsylvania include access to articles from as early as the 1600’s up to modern times. Local historic newspapers include “The Blizzard”, “The Derrick” & “Oil City Register”.

Access Now

Need some assistance with your research? All ORLA locations offer Research Request services at a charge of $5.00 per request. Research Requests typically take 1-2 weeks or less & payment is required before the research can be completed. Research findings will be provided to the requester upon discovery. Fill out a request below to get started. 

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