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Olean Public Library Serving the community since 1871

Genealogy Resources


Research Requests

Olean Newspapers

**As of October 31st, 2017, some of the earliest editions of the Olean Newspapers are temporarily unavailable. This includes the Olean Democrat, the Olean Daily Herald, and the Olean Herald. They are currently offsite being digitized**

  • Olean Journal

    September 1852–May 1856

  • Olean Times

    October 1860–July 1861
    January 1884–December 1931

  • Olean Herald

    September 1881–November 1925
    January 1929–December 1931

  • Olean Times Herald


Archive newspapers are available on microfilm for use in the library.

Olean City Directory

olean city directory image.
In House
  • 1882
  • 1884
  • 1887
  • 1890
  • 1904–1952 (biennial)
  • 1953–present (annual)

*This project was funded through a member project grant from the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) awarded to the Western New York Library Resources Council by the New York State Education Department.

Sandpumpings image.

Sandpumpings—part literary, part history magazine published by the students of Olean High School—featured interviews and articles of local historical interest and literary pieces. This digital collection features eleven issues dated 1976-1983.

The Sandpumpings series is a valuable local history resource that receives many requests for reprints. Digitizing and providing online access to Sandpumpings as part of New York Heritage Digital Collections allows patrons from all over the world to freely access this information.

Click here to view Sandpumpings at New York Heritage Digital Collections


Olean High School yearbook
olean high school yearbook image.
  • 1922
  • 1925
  • 1927
  • 1930
  • 1931
  • 1933–1940
  • 1942–1954
  • 1957–1960
  • 1962–1964
  • 1966
  • 1974
  • 1979
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1983
  • 1985–1987
  • 1989
  • 1999
  • 2003
  • 2007–present

You can help us complete our collection by donating unwanted Congress yearbooks to the library.

Local Census

  • 1810
    • Allegany
    • Clinton
    • Dutchess
    • Montgomery
    • Niagara
    • Orange
    • Sullivan
    • Washington
  • 1820
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
    • Chautauqua
    • Chenango
    • Clinton
    • Cortland
    • Franklin
    • Greene
    • Kings
    • Orange
  • 1830
    • Albany
    • Allegany
    • Broome
    • Cattaraugus
    • Clinton
  • 1840
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1850
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1860
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1870
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1880
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1890
    • No census available–special schedules
  • 1900
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1910
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1920
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus
  • 1930
    • Allegany
    • Cattaraugus

Obituary Database

Follow the link below for our searchable index of obituary listings in Olean newspapers. The index contains names from the Olean Times Herald for the 1980s and 1990s. Not all names have yet been recorded.

The index will help you find out if a listing exists and, if so, simplify a request for a copy of an obituary. Please read our Research Policy and submit payment along with your request.

This database contains only a small sampling of the thousands of obituaries listed in local newspapers. Submit a request for a listing not found in the database directly to the Reference Department.

Go to the Obituary Index

Local History Books

History of Cattaraugus Co., NY by Franklin Ellis (1879)

Historical Gazetteer and Biographical Memorial of Catt. Co., NY by William Adams (1893)

History of Allegany Co., NY by F.W. Beers (1879)

History of Chautauqua Co., NY by Andrew Young (1875)

Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western, NY by O. Turner (1850)

Western New York Land Transactions 1804 - 1824 by Karen E. Livsey (1991)

Historic Annals of Southwestern New York - 3 vols. by William J. Doty, Ed. (1940)

History of Northwestern New York - 3 vols. by Harton, Williams & Douglass (1947)

Civil War Veterans Cemetery Locator, vol. 1 - Catt. Co., NY by Craig Senfield (1996)

Pension List of 1820 by Martie Clark - Reprint with index

Genealogical & Family History of Western NY - 3 vols. by William Richard Cutter (1912)

Arcade, NY (1912):

The Sesquicentennial of Genesee Co. (1952)

History of Ischua, NY by Sally Squire Pittengill (1994)

A History of the Town of Portville 1805 - 1920 by Portville Historical & Preservation Society (1986)

Franklinville Centennials: A History of Franklinville

Olean Past & Present by Fourth Grade Social Studies (1987)

Enchanted Land 1776 - 1976 by Olean Bicentennial Book Committee

Olean's Heritage Homes 1845 - 1900 by Compiled by Lynn Scott (1989)

The Genesee Valley Canal 1836 - 1878 by Mildred H. Anderson (1978)

Town of Genesee Reprint (1980)

The Planos from Piedmont by George E. Bell (1995)

The Giermeks in America by George E. Bell (1992)

The Pancios from Galicia by George E. Bell (1993)

Atlas of Cattaraugus Co., NY (1869)

Ancestry Library Edition.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry® Library Edition, powered by, delivers billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.

Ancestry Library Edition brings the world’s most popular consumer online genealogy resource to your library. It’s an unprecedented online collection of individuals from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more.

Answers await everyone—whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the more than 7,000 available databases. 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.

Note: this service is available only on computers inside the library.


Inclusion of a link does not constitute any endorsement by the Olean Public Library. We are not responsible for information beyond our own site and cannot guarantee the accuracy of information on linked sites.

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