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Genealogical Research and Resources


Searching by the Reference Department of the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library for local history, family history, and genealogy will be provided free of charge for all patrons residing within the library’s service area of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. However, there will be charges for photocopies/microcopies at $.20 per print.

For anyone living outside of Montgomery County there will be a fee of $5 for a basic search and a fee of $10 for an extensive search with separate charges for photocopies/microcopies at a charge of $.20 per print.

A basic search is considered to be a quick lookup where the requester provides the exact title of the source along with the exact date and page number for the needed information.

An extensive search is both more labor-intensive and time-consuming because the requester provides fewer details and the librarian may need to check a number of resources or dates. An extensive search will have a time limit of a maximum of one hour of search time included in the fee.

Fees must be prepaid before searching will begin and are nonrefundable even if no information is found.

These charges have been approved by the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library’s Board of Directors.

Helpful considerations for submitting requests:

  • Submit requests by postal mail. Download the Genealogy and Local History Research Request Form. Fees must accompany the Request Form.
  • Provide as much detail as possible.
  • The full name, death date, and city are required for obituary listings because local newspapers are not indexed.
  • You may call the reference desk at 610-278-5100 x201 in advance of mailing the request to inquire about the general availability of resources. Click for a listing of some of the resources available at the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, or a general overview of Montgomery County Genealogical Resources.
  • Enclose a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope with your request. Please do not send cash.
  • Requests are answered according to date of receipt.
  • You can expect your request to be answered within three to four weeks.
  • Federal copyright laws may prevent us from filling your request because of photocopying restrictions.
  • Original birth, death, marriage, or property records are not available at our library.
  • If you require the assistance of a professional genealogist we can provide contact information for you.
  • Please do not send additional requests until prior ones have been completed.
  • Correspondence after the initial request concerning your research question is usually by e-mail since this provides the easiest method to communicate information about additional charges or questions about the research.
  • The library is not generally able to supply scanned copies of materials. Copies of materials will be supplied in paper format.
  • Other institutions and organizations may provide more extensive collections of materials. Click for a listing of some of our recommended genealogical and local history sites.