Genealogy & Local History
Central Library Genealogy & Local History Room
Conrad T. Logan, President of the Rockingham Public Library Board from 1928 to 1948, was instrumental in starting the genealogy and local history collection. Today, the collection contains over 5,000 books, atlases and pamphlets documenting the families and history of Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley. It is an excellent place to begin research into your Valley roots. Click to view a searchable PDF index of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County materials available in the MRL Genealogy and Local History Room.
In addition to print sources, the library maintains the following records on microfilm:
- Daily News-Record from July 1913
- Rockingham Register and miscellaneous local newspapers from October 1822
- Census record for Rockingham and surrounding counties from 1790
Photographs depicting early days in Harrisonburg are housed in the collection. Early scenes of Harrisonburg, Boys Band, Telephone Company and the Massanutten Regional Library (formerly Rockingham Public Library) are some of the subjects included in our extensive photograph collection. Please see our Photograph Use Policy and contact our reference librarians at 540.434.4475 ext. 123 or by using our Contact Form for more information.
MRL Local History Indexes
The Massanutten Regional Library seeks to preserve the past as well as the present. For more information on items located in our local history pamphlet file, map file and photograph collection use the links below to access searchable indexes, or contact our reference librarians at 540.434.4475 ext. 123 or by using our Contact Form.
Searchable PDF index of the Virginia Cavalcade. Bound volumes located in Genealogy at the Central Library.
MRL Local History Projects
You can help preserve local history by participating in one of our special projects: The Veterans History Project, Vanishing Farms Project, or the Valley Changes Series.
Veterans History Project
In conjunction with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, MRL is collecting interviews of local veterans and their military experiences. From WWI to the Persian Gulf, we want to hear how it really was! Documents, maps, pictures, medals and all related materials are also collected, copied and complied in books. Civilian Defense, Department of Defense, and Alternate Service Workers are also encouraged to share their stories. Visit the Library of Congress website to learn more about this project.
Vanishing Farms Project
Our area has a rich agricultural history and we’re determined to capture it before it’s gone. Through the Vanishing Farms Project we collect oral histories, photographs, deeds or land grants and other information from local farming families.
Valley Change Series
Are you about eighty years young? Did you grow up in the Valley? If so, we want to hear and record your story! Tell us about the good and the bad ol’ days and how the Valley has changed.
For more information or to participate in one of these projects, contact our reference librarians at 540.434.4475 ext. 123 or use our Contact Form.
Access select sets of Virginia-related genealogy records on the Ancestry website free of charge through the Find It Virginia database.
Central VA Genealogical Assoc.: Located in Charlottesville; good Virginia sources
1940s Census: The official 1940s census website
Augusta County Clerk of the Circuit Court
P.O. Box 689
Staunton, VA 24401
540.885.8931 ext. 264
Rockingham County Clerk of the Circuit Court
The Court House
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Local University Libraries
- Alexander Mack Memorial Library – Bridgewater College
- JMU Libraries – James Madison University
- Houff Library – Blue Ridge Community College
- Menno Simons Historical Library – Eastern Mennonite University
Additional Local History Resources
- African American Property Ownership in Antebellum Harrisonburg
- Dictionary of Virginia Biography
- Encyclopedia Virginia
- Genealogical Society of Page County
- Making of America: The War of the Rebellion
- Rockingham County VAGenWeb
- Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project
- Virtual Jamestown
- Virginia Department of Historic Resources
- Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission
Need some one-on-one help? We walk with you through the local genealogy and history resources that are available at Massanutten Regional Library including a walkthrough of our Genealogy room. We also provide training on how to use our microfilm readers and the online databases HeritageQuest and Newsbank (which provide access to the Daily News-Record and the Page News & Courier). Book a Librarian today!