The Topeka Room has the resources for local historians and genealogists, to discover their family connections as well as the stories of Topeka and Shawnee County’s people, places and events.

A few of the more popular items our researchers use are: yearbooks from Topeka high schools and Washburn University; Topeka city directories from 1870 to the present; and an extensive Local History file collection which covers topics like Topeka and Shawnee County people, schools, businesses, churches, and neighborhoods.

Our computer lab provides access to a host of electronic databases as well as a copier, scanner, and a microfilm scanner.  The best utilized resource is the specially trained staff to help you with your research needs.

Call for Submissions

We are creating a community driven exhibit showcasing the ordinary and extraordinary stories of African-Americans in Topeka and Shawnee County.

Your stories and objects will help highlight past and present individuals and groups who have built and continue to build our community.

Deadline for submissions is Friday October 27, 2017.

African American Builders Topeka Form

Recent Posts


African American Builders of Topeka: Major John M. Brown

Major John M. Brown is one of the extraordinary people who shaped Topeka’s early development, but you may not know about him.

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Discover your Swedish roots

If you have Swedish roots, you may not need to dig very deep to find details about your ancestors. 

Charles M. Sheldon: a life of service to Topeka

Learn about the man who started the What Would Jesus Do movement, spent time doing others’ jobs and advocated for world peace.