Local History and Special Collections

The Radford Public Library’s Local History and Special Collections department is located in the Ann H. Fisher New River Room. The Collection contains materials related to the history of Radford and surrounding localities, Virginia and neighboring states, and the United States.

The Collection encompasses materials ranging from primary sources; published histories, genealogies and guides; microfilm of vital records and newspapers; and a broad range of online resources.

For more information contact:

Scott Gardner, Local History & Genealogy Specialist


Sheena Johnson

The Ann H. Fisher New River Room is open during normal library operating hours. Scott Gardner is available Mondays and Thursdays between 12:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and occasionally on weekends. For other times, please contact Scott Gardner to set up an appointment.

America’s Obituaries and Death Notices

America’s Obituaries and Death Notices searches records from thousands of newspapers nationwide into a single, fully searchable database.
America’s Obituaries and Death Notices can be accessed 2 ways:
Americas Obituaries and Death Notices News Bank Logo

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry® Library Edition, is only available in the library.
It’s an unprecedented online collection of individuals from North America, the U.K., Europe, Australia, and more. Here, you can unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.


This program provides online access to census records and a growing body of family history. For even more resources, come to the library and use Ancestry Library.
Heritage Quest Logo

Local Newspaper Archives

Radford News Journal and Southwest Times
This website is hosted by the Pulaski County Library system. You may search newspapers from the Radford News Journal and the Southwest Times. You must create a free account with Newspaperarchive.com to access articles.

Radford News Journal

Radford Family Letters

Radford Family Letters is a collaborative effort between Radford University and the Radford Public Library. McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections department digitized and made keyword searchable the original documents held in trust at the Radford Public Library.
Radford Family Letters Logo

Radford High School Yearbooks

Most yearbooks from 1922 to present are located in the local history room at the Radford Public Library. Thanks to the Library of Virginia for digitizing our collection of yearbooks. Radford High School yearbooks 

Radford Public Library History

Brief history of the Radford Public Library
Read a brief history of the Radford Public Library from 1941 to the present day.

Radford Record Album

Radford Record Album is a collection of photographs held in trust at the Radford Public Library.

Radford Then & Now

Radford Then & Now  was published in 1976 in conjunction with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Radford Virginia.

Sanborn Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are a "Visual Expression of History."  The Sanborn Maps are a valuable tool for genealogists, historians, and more.  The maps provide a detailed view of both business and residential sections of localities.  They indicate types of structures and materials used in construction.  The service through the Radford Public Library allows the viewing of all Virginia localities.

To access this service, you will need to sign in using:
username: radford
password: patron

Virginia Memory

Virginia Memory is part of the online presence of the Library of Virginia, the state archives and reference library. The Library maintains vast and varied collections of print materials, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, and fine art that tell the history of the commonwealth and its people.
Virginia Memory Library of Virginia