History Department at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

History, Genealogy, Travel and Social Sciences Department

Materials in this department include books, microform publications, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and DVDs, all of which are located on the fourth floor of the Central Library at 3030 Poplar Avenue.

History, comprising archaeology, biography, daily living, politics, warfare, is divided into ancient, medieval, and modern periods and arranged as Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Pacific regions. The world history materials include large sections on Great Britain, Africa, and World War II. 

For April 21, 2020, Holocaust Memorial Day, the History Department would like to refer to you to The Shoah, a resource guide webliography intended for High School and College students, although there is a special section for juveniles. Included in this research guide are videos, books, pictures, encyclopedia, and novels written by leading historians, researchers and organizations. Be aware that the subject matter and pictures are disturbing.  Click here for more information.

American History
American History features colonization, the revolution and early republic, along with an extensive collection on the Civil war era. Twentieth Century American history includes material on immigrants, civil rights, and an outstanding selection of presidential biographies. A large area within the American history collection covers state and local history.

Memphis & Shelby County Room
Memphis & Shelby County Room holds a wide variety of material providing information about the development of the city and county. The local history collection includes books, photographs, maps, newspaper clippings and pamphlets, Memphis periodicals, manuscript collections, and oral history tapes. Some of the most frequently requested materials are old city directories, telephone directories, high school yearbooks, and photographs.  Click here for more information on the Memphis and Shelby County Room.

Genealogy materials in microform and print enable one to research family history, tracing the movements of relatives, especially in the southeastern United States. The collection includes more than 20,000 genealogy books, as well as magazines and other kinds of material. The History Department staff along with the assistance from local volunteers has collected and indexed Shelby county marriage, death, probate, church, cemetery, and funeral home records.  Click here for more information on Genealogy.

Travel Collection
Travel Collection includes books, and videocassettes on all areas of the world. In addition to materials on planning trips both in the United States and abroad, the collection provides helpful information for those relocating in the country or abroad. Especially useful are the hotel guides covering most cities and resorts of the world.

African-American Popular Collection
African-American Popular Collection contains a wide selection of the most frequently requested titles on all aspects of African-American life.

Social Sciences
Social Sciences materials include such subjects as sociology, political science, military, women’s issues, education, holidays, customs, etiquette, social problems and issues, and cultural anthropology.