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    Explore the historical documents & artifacts in the PA Room at Franklin Public Library & the Heritage Room at Oil City Library.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    Extensive collections of historical documents, including oil & gas field maps, city maps, topographical atlases, property line maps, & more.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
  • State Street Bridge
    State Street Bridge

    Efforts to build the first bridge across the Allegheny River at Oil City began in 1863 as more families settled on both sides of the river and commercial trade ranging from iron furnace materials to livestock quickly grew. In the…

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  • Oil City Trains
    Oil City Trains

    For decades, Oil City was a railroad hub for both freight trains and passenger trains. The rail service was essential to transport petroleum products, timber, coal, household goods, steel, iron, livestock, food and produce, and much more to and from…

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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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