Allen County Public Library

Allen County Public Library
900 Library Plaza
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Phone: 260.421.1225
Fax: 260.421.1386

Beyond books : Allen County's public library history, 1895-1995
by Dawne Slater-Putt Includes bibliographical references and index on Internet Archive.


  • 1895 – Library opened in City Hall on January 28 with 3,606 volumes.
  • 1898 – Library Board purchased the Brackenridge Home at Wayne Street and Webster Street for $14,000.
  • 1904 – Carnegie-funded library building opened after he gave the city $90,000 to build it. It was designed by Alfred Grindle of Fort Wayne. From comments by Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian and author, on April 22, 2020 library discussion on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
  • 1923 – Service to county residents began. Fort Wayne Public Library became Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County.
  • 1944 – Main Library expansion began with purchase of Hollywood Building on Washington Boulevard to house administrative offices.
  • 1952 – Young Adult Department opened in basement of main library, the first such department in the country.
  • 1968 – 173,500-square-foot (16,120 m2) building at Wayne and Webster Streets was dedicated August 21, 1968.
  • 1977 – Construction of the new addition to the Main Library began.
  • 1980 – Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County officially became Allen County Public Library by act of the state legislature on January 1.
  • 1985 – Estimated 5,500 people ate 2,731 pizzas during system's 90th birthday celebration.
  • 1997 – Library Board and staff began system-wide space needs analysis for all library facilities.
  • 2001 – Allen County taxpayers approved bond financing of the $84 million library expansion project.
  • 2007 – Renovation and expansion of main library nears completion. Grand opening held on January 27, 2007, with Randall T. Shepard, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, among the speakers. Copied from Allen County Public Library on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Access Fort Wayne

Public television channels at the Allen County Public Library. They have Access One, Access Two and a YouTube website where they post some of their current and historical videos also shown on cable television public access channels. A discussion with Alan Bengs February 26, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook was the source for these videos. A few are listed below and others are on some of our other pages:

  1. ACPL Presents: Historical Footage Of Allen County -  Show 13719, The Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County presents A Series of Historical Episodes in Fort Wayne & Allen County has no sound.
    1. 0:05 Allen Tax Adjustment Board September 12, 1950 | shows 7 men in suits
    2. 0:35 Consecration of Bishop Pursley September 19, 1950
    3. 1:51 Dedication Fort Wayne Art School Museum October 8, 1950
    4. 2:28 Allen County War Memorial Coliseum October 16, 1950 Dedication September 28, 1952 | shows construction, outdoor and indoor crowds at the dedication
    5. 5:55 Vice-president Alben Barkley Visits City October 18, 1950 -| (1949-1953 served with President Harry S. Truman)
    6. 7:19 Abbett School Dedication November 5, 1950
    7. 9:10 Harry W. Baals December 7, 1950 | Fort Wayne mayor from 1934–1947 and from 1951 until his death in 1954
    8. 10:56 Harry W. Baals Mayor 1952-
    9. 11:26 Senator Karl Mundt February 25, 1952 | Republican from South Dakota
    10. 12:19 Westminster Presbterian Church Burns November 4, 1951
    11. 13:10 Henry Branning Jr. Mayor 1948-1951
    12. 14:02 Record Rainfall June 8, 1951
    13. 14:47 no title but is not about rainfall | several people making speeches and then shovels for a ground breaking?
    14. 16:27 Sigrist Furniture Store Fire August 23, 1951
    15. 16:56 Railroad Wreck New Haven July 16, 1951
    16. 17:53 Sol Wood Home Ground Broken on August 21, 1951
    17. 19:58 Baer Field Hangar Dedicated September 25, 1951
    18. 21:54 Fort Wayne Union Stock Yards Fire May 2, 1952
    19. 24:05 Kidder Hospital of the Irene Byron Hospital Dedicated May 4, 1952
    20. 25:01 Municipal Airport Terminal-Administration Building Dedication June 29, 1952
    21. 27:02 William C. Geake Mayor 1926-1929 July 12, 1952
    22. 28:07 Dwight Eisenhower September 15, 1952 | was giving a speech at the Baker Street Station while campaigning for 34th President of the United States
    23. 28:55 Hilker Lumber Company Fire August 3, 1952
  2. ACPL Presents: Lincoln Highway Across Indiana - Show 13700, 54 minute video - November 27, 2018 lecture recorded at the library
  3. Street Series 1970s videos of various streets up to an hour long, those videos and more can be found on our Streets of Fort Wayne page.

The Genealogy Center

Researching Family History: Using the Genealogy Center Website by Allen County Public Library on March 30, 2020.

One and half minute video Visit The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library aka Why Visit Us? with Curt Witcher, Manager of the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana published November 22, 2013 by VisitFortWayne.

29 minute video PrimeTime39 - ACPL Genealogy Center - Military Service Searches (9/22/17) from PBS39 videos.
Host - Bruce Haines; Guests - Manager Curt Witcher and librarian Sara Allen discuss veterans and DNA including Day with Cece Moore

28 minute Bicentennial video PrimeTime39 - May 13, 2016 from PBS39 videos on Vimeo.
Host - Bruce Haines; Guests - Manager Curt Witcher, Assistant Manager Melissa Tennant

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Discovery Center

Dedication of the Discovery Center published March 15, 2016 on YouTube by Access Fort Wayne.
The Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center Adds a new Discovery Center and Oral History Room by Dick Eastman published March 1, 2016 on his Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Other Videos

10 minute video Midwest Regional DigitizationCenter by Kay Gregg & Caitlin Crowley Publication date 2015-12-15
Discribes the  Internet Archive operation digitizing varous Allen County Public Library book collections.
Guess what we find in books? A look Inside our Midwest Regional Digitization Center
by Jeff Sharpe posted on March 11, 2016 by Wendy Hanamura on the Internet Archive Blog.

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The Genealogy Center has a Photocopy Exchange Program. If you have written a family history you can give them a manuscript and receive 1 bound copy for you and 1 bound copy for their collection. This is how many of the very rare family history volumes arrive in their collection. Copied from their April 9, 2015 Facebook post by The Genealogy Center.

10 minute video Making books is fun! (to watch) 1947 uploaded May 31, 2007 by Ziptrivia

30 minute video The Fort Report: Allen County Public Library
Kevin Leininger sits down with retiring public library director Jeffery Krull published August 3, 2014 by The News-Sentinel newspaper.

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Lincoln Collection

Four and half minute video Lincoln Financial Collection at the Allen County Public Library published on October 9, 2009.
This YouTubeshows the Internet Archive scanning operations.

The Internet Archive digital collection with over 90,000 ebooks from the Allen County Public Library and 15,000 ebooks in the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection makes them available to billions of people around the world. Volumes that in the past may have been opened only a few times a year are now often downloaded thousands of times each month! Links to those ebooks are still being organized on our pages by topics such as cemetery, church, or school.

More Videos About the Library

  1. The Genealogy Center Videos page.
  2. ACPL YouTube video page has several interesting videos here is one:
    Rescuing Photos from Dying Digital Platforms: How to Save by Allen County Public Library
    published on Apr 30, 2019 on YouTube
    Presented by the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. "Rescuing Photos from Dying Digital Platforms: How to Save" With the news that Google+ is shutting down, people are scrambling to make sure they have saved their content. Let's explore how to save digital platform content that you and family members have put online. We will be focusing on Facebook, with additional tips for Twitter, Instagram, and websites. Macs, PCs, IPhone, and Android will be used for this presentation.
  3. Access Fort Wayne has a searchable Video On Demand page and Access Fort Wayne channel of YouTubes
  4. 15 minute video Dedication of the Discovery Center at the The Genealogy Center YouTubepublished March 15, 2016 by AccessFortWayne.
  5. Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library 9 minute video with librarians John and Amy Beatty published August 14, 2007
  6. Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library II 7:30 minute video with librarian John Beatty published August 14, 2007
  7. Ancestors Are Interesting 7 minute video of school children published March 13, 2012
  8. Internet Archive Midwest Digitization Center 9:30 minute video published January 3, 2016
  9. Family History Month at the Genealogy Center one minute video published October 4, 2016
  10. The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library 4:30 minute video by Visit Fort Wayne published October 21, 2009 YouTube
  11. How to File a FOIA Request with the National Archives US National Archives published March 9, 2017 by the US National Archives
  12. Street Scenes--New Haven Public Library Published by Allen County Public Libraryon YouTube November 11, 2016. This clip is from the July 2nd, 1976 taping of New Haven from the Street Scenes Series created by Steven Fortriede. Produced by the Fort Wayne Public Library. Camera and Editing by Steve Fortriede.

More Information

  1. Allen County Public Library Website
  2. Allen County Public Library Community Album digital images
  3. Library transforms photos into history about the Community Album at the Allen County Public Library by Frank Gray published February 4, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  4. Allen County Public Library wiki at FamilySearch.
  5. Allen County Public Library at the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia article
  6. Allen County’s Amazing Library from Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – March 2011, No. 76. re-published November 24, 2015 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  7. Allen County Public Library Film local sports videos at the Internet Archive on Zollner Pistons
  8. Genealogy Center web site
  9. Allen County Resources at The Genealogy Center
  10. ebooks 30,000 titles on Allen County, Indiana at the Internet Archive
  11. ebooks of pamplets and stories on local people and places by Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County
  12. Friends of Allen County Free Databases at the Genealogy Center
  13. Over 36,000 rolls of Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center-microfilm at the Internet Archive from the The Genealogy Center Microtext by County list
  14. Over 90,000 eBooks digitized from the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Libraryby the The Genealogy Center
  15. Instagram Account:
  16. Carnegie Libraries, Indiana received more Carnegie grants than any other state from Indiana at 200: Carnegie libraries distinguish Indiana's intellectual landscape by Andrea Neal published March 1, 2016 in The Herald-Tribune.
  17. Family Bibles list - More Free Family Bibles published May 9, 2017 on The Genealogy Center blog.
  18. Finding historical sports items at ACPL can be fun adventure by Blake Sebring published December 26, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  19. The Genealogy Center Our Blog
  20. Genealogical reference materials available in the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County by Wilkens, Cleo Goff; Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County Publication date 1959
  21. History Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 on The Genealogy Center blog
  22. Harold Henderson's 26 page pdf on his Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog Finding Ancestors in Fort Wayne: The Genealogist's Unofficial One-Stop Guide to the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.
  23. Indiana State Library has millions of records in their 18 Indexes - see their List of Indexes.
  24. Genealogy Librarian finds distant relatives of Vietnam veteran honored by community December 29, 2015 Facebook post.
  25. Librarian able to find family of WWII flier January 3, 2016 Facebook post.
  26. Lincoln Financial Collection - over 15,000 digitized items - books, newspapers, pamphlets and other documents, as well as more than 3,000 photographs are online at the Internet Archive. Was discussed in Library’s rare treasures getting digital access by Dave Gong published October 6, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. The Rare Books Room has 106,183 books digitized by Internet Archive, 31,631,046 images, 62 terabytes of information since 2007 when the process started.
    Introduction to the Lincoln Collection published February 13, 2018 by the Allen County Public Library.
    This is one of 17 videos on The Lincoln Collectionchannel published by the Allen County Public Library on YouTube.
    This collection showcases clips from library-sponsored programs based around the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States. The Allen County Public Library has been documenting Lincoln events at the library since 2010. These video clips are available to authors, scholars, TV producers, educators, students, Lincoln enthusiasts, and the general public. Topics include little-known facts about the Lincoln family, descriptions of life during the American Civil War, details about Lincoln’s assassination and much more.
  27. Microtext Catalog at The Genealogy Center
  28. Online databases at The Genealogy Center
  29. PERSI - PERiodical Source Index at is a subject index to genealogy and local history periodical literature began in 1985. See Essential U.S. periodicals available now, Inside the digital revolution: The power behind PERSI, and Tips & tricks for searching PERSI like a pro by Frederick Wertz published May 2, 2016, Find your ancestors in Periodical Source Index at is adding online digital images linked to search results. PERSI scopes out genealogy journals - Index developed at ACPL gets to root of the issue a short history and future plans July 14, 2013 by Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette newspaper. You can search the Allen County Lines quarterly publication of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana that is also on the ACGSI Lines page. Pre-1923 off copyright publications indexed on PERSI can be found on the Find My Past PERSI Collection on Internet Archive.
  30. Records relating to War of 1812 over 450 rolls of microfilmed National Archive Indexes at the The Genealogy Center
  31. Think of Us Before You Move.... blog posted by The Genealogy Center May 28, 2015 ebooks

  1. Beyond books : Allen County's public library history, 1895-1995 - Slater-Putt, Dawne, Includes bibliographical references and index
  2. Finding list of the Public Library ... 1897 .. (Volume yr.1897) - Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County published a book of all the titles in the library in 1897!

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