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Georgina Cole Library is home to one of the largest genealogy collections in Southern California. The physical collection concentrates on resources covering the 17th through early 20th centuries in the United States and includes: 

  • Primary and secondary sources
  • Atlases and maps
  • Periodicals
  • County histories
  • Genealogies and family histories
  • How-to guides

Located on the second floor of Cole Library, the genealogy collection is available all the hours the Library is open and is staffed by helpful genealogists seven days a week. Detailed information on the Library’s holdings is available in the catalog. Tips for using genealogy resources are contained in user guides and Focus On class handouts. To contact us, call 760-434-2931 or send us an email at genealogy@carlsbadca.gov with questions.  


The Carlsbad City Library subscribes to seven genealogy databases:

  • America's GenealogyBank - Search records from 1690 to present, including obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, military and government documents, and more! Includes historical newspapers, books, documents, and is available at all Carlsbad City Library locations and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders.   
  • American Ancestors - Maintained by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the American Ancestors database contains over one billion records with specialized coverage of the northeastern states. It is available to users at all three Carlsbad City Library locations in the computer labs and on the Library Guest Wi-Fi network.
  • Ancestry Library Edition - Easy to use with an enormous collection of international resources, Ancestry Library Edition delivers the world’s most popular genealogy website to users. It is available at all Carlsbad City Library locations and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders for a limited time.      
  • Archives Unbound - Topically-focused digital collections with primary sources documenting World and US History, including records relevant to genealogy research. Archives Unbound is available at all Carlsbad City Library locations and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders.
  • Fold3 - Featuring records documenting military history, Fold 3 provides access to international resources related to armed forces, in addition to naturalization records and city directories, and is available at all Carlsbad City Library locations and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders.
  • Heritage Quest - Access to primary sources including census records, city directories, seven million pages of genealogy books and the Library of Congress Photo Collection. Available in the Library and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders.
  • Newspapers.com - Over 85 million digitized pages, dating from the early 1700s into the early 2000s, are available in the Library and remotely to Carlsbad City Library cardholders through Newspapers.com Library Edition.

Programs and Classes

The City of Carlsbad will postpone or cancel public events and programs to support the County of San Diego’s public health order issued Thursday, March 12. The order starts at midnight March 12 and is in effect through March 31. Read more

The Carlsbad City Library and North San Diego County Genealogical Society have enjoyed a partnership for fifty years. Together, we offer over 50 genealogy programs a year to help patrons just getting started and to assist seasoned genealogists break through brick walls. Genealogy programs are free of charge and open to everyone. Upcoming partnership programs are listed in the Events Calendar

Four times a month Genealogy staff offer hands on computer classes to Focus On an aspect of genealogical research. Focus On classes are listed in the Events Calendar and on an annual Focus On Calendar. You can sign up for Focus On classes online. Please check out handouts from previous classes! 

Helpful Resources

Get Started working on a family tree and finding relevant resources at the Library.

Focus On Class Handouts include instructions on using resources, including databases, in the collection.


User Guides for Microform Collections provide tips and tricks for accessing the thousands of genealogy titles available at Cole on microfilm and microfiche. 


Links to external websites to help with genealogical research.

  • Cyndi’sList: Aggregator of thousands of genealogical websites and resources. 
  • FamilySearch: Find records and contribute to the one world tree. 
  • FindAGrave: Locate information on deceased ancestors in this database of user-generated content. 
  • GoogleBooks: Great resource for digital books and published genealogical records. 
  • InternetArchive: Find digital books and archived websites. 
  • JewishGen: Access tens of millions of records related to Jewish genealogy. 
  • Digital Arkivet: Norway’s National Archival Services website for publishing digitized archival material.