Researching Your Home in Shelby County

WHERE TO LOOK IN Researching Your HOUSE:

The History Department and the Memphis/Shelby County Room of the library contain a variety of materials that can be used in researching the history of your home. These sources include:

  • Maps: street and plat maps; Sanborn Fire Insurance maps
  • City Directories: 1849-1994; suburban directories 1964 to 1994
  • Memphis Room Information Files: See subject headings for real estate, historic houses, architects, and biography
  • Books: Neighborhood studies such as Cooper- Young, Annesdale-Snowden, Vollentine-Evergreen, Central Gardens and general works including Memphis: An Architectural Guide and Good Abode: 19th Century Architecture in Memphis and Shelby County
  • Manuscript Collections: Some collections such as the George Mahan (architect) Papers and the Page-Lenox Collections may be of assistance.
  • Photographs: See the contact print file for subject headings such as street names, historic houses, buildings, etc.
  • Historical Register listing for Memphis and Shelby County properties
  • Census records for Shelby County, particularly for 1900, 1910, and 1920
  • Newspapers on microfilm for photographs of new homes, new developments, real estate sales, etc. g

Other important sources which are not at the library include:

  • History of the property obtained from title companies
  • Tax records located at the Tax Assessors Office Early land deeds located at the County Register's Office