Pennsylvania Room Collection

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The Pennsylvania Room has a specialized collection of more than 3,000 volumes on state, local, and family history, as well as original Centre County records, newspapers, patron-provided manuscript genealogies, vital record indexes, and indexes to Centre County marriages and newspaper obituaries.

Some fees apply to research done by the staff: please visit our Research Services page for more information on services and costs.  Patrons on-site pay only for any photocopies that they make.  Laptops and scanning devices are permitted; WiFi is available in the building.

Items on the shelves, including county history, family history, and general genealogy and Pennsylvania reference books, in the Pa. Room are included in the Centre County Library's online catalog. In addition to the books in the catalog, the following research materials are included in the Pennsylvania Room collection:

Centre County Newspapers on Microfilm:

  • Bellefonte Patriot
  • Bellefonte Republican
  • Centre Daily Times
  • Centre Democrat
  • Centre Reporter
  • Democratic Watchman
  • Democratic Whig
  • Howard Hustler
  • Keystone Gazette
  • Millheim Journal
  • Philipsburg Journal (10 years)
  • Philipsburg Daily Journal

Indexes (Partial Listing):

  • Index to Centre County Death Notices and Obituaries, 1821-2013
  • Centre County, Pennsylvania Marriage Index, 1764-2005
  • Centre County Births, 1893-1905
  • Centre County Death Records, 1893-1905
  • Centre County, PA: Index to the CCGS Cemetery Series

Original Centre County Government Records:

  • Marriage license applications, 1885-1987
  • Tax assessment records, 1801-1965
  • Will and intestate files, 1800-1990
  • Orphans court dockets, 1802-1971
  • Civil and criminal court papers, 1800-1875
  • Road petitions, 1800-1956

Spangler Collection:

This collection of data on central Pennsylvania families was compiled over a period of many years by Adella Fink Spangler (1871-1964). It was largely assembled from primary documents, a few of which no longer exist. The Spangler Collection is fully indexed on about 250,000 cards. Among the contents of this collection are:

  • Tombstone inscriptions for 113 county cemeteries [updated in a set of modern books by the Centre County Genealogical Society]
  • Newspaper obituaries (1826-1854 and 1926-1942)
  • Marriage records [updated by a compact disc, indexing Centre County marriages 1764-2005]
  • Bible transcriptions
  • Church records
  • Family records
  • Tax lists

J. Marvin Lee Genealogical Collection:

A good adjunct to the Spangler Collection for the early to mid-twentieth century, this grouping contains approximately 20 notebooks compiled by a longtime Centre County genealogist/historian. Mr. Lee's work, which includes family group sheets with some documentation, is primarily from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Regarding Birth and Death Records

The Centre County Library and Historical Museum receives many requests for copies of both birth and death certificates from individuals who are researching their family history.  Neither the library nor the museum has original certificates on file, but we occasionally find copies through  We are often able to substantiate dates of death using obituaries.  Similarly, we can track approximate dates of birth through Census records.

Birth and death certificates from the years 1893 – 1905 are available through the Centre County Register of Wills office. Certificates from 1906 to present are available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health Division of Vital Records in New Castle, PA. Find more information here.  Formal documentation for births and deaths was not required in Pennsylvania prior to 1893.



Pennsylvania Room Main Page

Research Services

Historical Museum

Genealogy Links