Special Collections

Welcome to Special Collections

Genealogy and Local History

We are now a Family Search Affiliate Library!
Located on the 2nd floor of the main library.  
Hours: Monday - Saturday 9AM - 5:30PM
9AM - 8PM on Thursdays

About the Collection | Local Authors | Pioneer Families

Classes and Events

Our next class is scheduled for Friday, July 12, from 10 until 11:45 a.m.
Click Here to reserve your spot!
Ancestry.com is one of the most powerful and user friendly genealogy tools available, and patrons can access it free with a WCPL card within the Library! This guided introduction will cover the basics of using Ancestry.com to search through census and other records to find your ancestors, as well as a few tips and tricks to help get more accurate results from your searches.

*Basic experience in using a computer and mouse is necessary. If using a computer is new to you, please contact the Reference Department for Introduction to Computer classes.

Digital Resources



Newspapers.com Search in the library, or at home with your library card, for obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements, social pages, local sports action, advertisements, news articles,  and more in this Southeastern archive of online newspapers. States included are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia

Image tombstone representng the genealogy database. Williamson County Genealogy and Local History Database Includes searchable Williamson County obituaries, local African-American Genealogy,   Local History news database, and information on Williamson County births, marriages, veterans, and family histories.

image of the Ancestry Library logoFamilySearch Affiliate Access provided in the library. Our patrons will have access to over 2 billion digitized records, including 400 million images that are currently not available to the public outside of an affiliate library or a FamilySearch family history center.

image of the Ancestry Library logoAncestry Library Access only provided while visiting the library. All the power of Ancestry.com for finding census data, family histories, vital records, and more - free with your WCPL card.

image logo fold3 genealogy databaseFold3: History and Genealogy Archives  Access with your library card from home or in the library. General military records, Civil War records, revolutionary War records, Native American genealogy, African American Genealogy, and more.

Image logo Heritagequest onlineHeritageQuest Online Access with your library card from home or in the library. Census records, family history books, Revolutionary War records, slave schedules, Freedman's bank records and more.

image logo Tennessean newspaper The Tennessean
Access historical and current newspapers, from 1812 to Present: Click Here

image TSLA genealogy recordsAncestry.com: Tennessee State Library and Archives Genealogy Records A collection of Tennessee vital records, court documents, land and tax records, and more, provided free to Tennessee residents.

image logo Williamson County ArchivesWILLIAMSON COUNTY ARCHIVES ONLINE Free access provided by the Williamson County Archives. Searchable Williamson County Court Cases, Deeds, Marriages, Wills, and more. 
                 Learn more about the Williamson County Archives and Museum.

About the Collection

Items in the Special Collections Department are not available for checkout. Patrons may only access materials during department hours. No food or drink allowed in the Special Collections Department.

The WILLIAMSON ROOM houses the local author collection, rare book collection, and map collection. This room can be used as a short term meeting space for small groups, when available. Rules and conditions apply. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian. Reservations are required. 615-595-1246.

BOOKS, MICROFILM, and MORE - The Special Collections Department has a large collection of books, microfilm, maps, and electronic resources available for research.

CIVIL WAR RESEARCH The department has the complete War of the Rebellion series, as well as a large amount of material related to the Battle of Franklin. In addition, the Williamson Room houses a large collection of historic books related to the Civil War.

THELMA BATTLE WILLIAMSON COUNTY AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLECTION Local grass-roots historian and genealogist Thelma Battle has spent years compiling information on local African-American families. This information is available for research in the Special Collections Department as well as through our database.

In addition, Ms. Battle has combed the communities of Williamson County and surrounding counties to gather thousands of photographs for an annual exhibit documenting local African American history. a partial index of which is available through our online database, while the photographs are available to view in the department.

Ms. Battle has also gathered over 2000 individual funeral programs of local African-Americans. Currently, these are available for viewing in the department.

RICHARD CARLTON FULCHER's AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORICAL COLLECTION contains excerpts gleaned from County Court Records and documents persons of African descent in Williamson County from its founding in 1799 until emancipation.

EDITH RUCKER WHITLEY MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION consists of over 2,300 notebooks of genealogical research compiled by Mrs. Whitley during her lifetime, organized by surname. An index can be found on our database. Please note the use of this manuscript material is limited to three boxes at a time.

The Molly Bateman Reigard Collection of Childress Research and Related Families was donated in 2004, as a gift of the Childers/Childress Family Association, and includes family histories and miscellaneous data.

BRACKEN GENEALOGY COLLECTION is comprised of 3 boxes genealogy materials related to the Bracken family of Nashville and related families.

The Blandford Series of YARBROUGH Genealogical Records was published by the  Yarbrough National Genealogical and Historical Association, Inc., and contains 135 volumes of family history of the Yarbrough and associated families covering a multi-state area.
Click HERE for the YARBROUGH Collection Master Index.
For more information on the Yarbrough family, link to their website here:
Yarbrough Family Publications.

PIONEER FAMILIES The library proudly offers a commemorative certificate for Pioneer Families of Williamson County, Tennessee, to eligible persons. Anyone directly descended from a pre-1850 pioneer of the county is welcome to apply for this permanent remembrance of his/her family history.

The collection consists of booklets with documents to support the certificate holder's lineage for each Pioneer Families ancestor. Call to learn more 615-595-1246 ext. 1.

LOCAL AUTHOR Williamson County Public Library maintains a Local Author Collection created by persons significantly identified with this area, either by residence or birth, in an effort to highlight emerging creative work in the local community and as a way to connect authors with the reading public.

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