Local History

Council Bluffs Local History

The Council Bluffs Public Library is home to an extensive collection of materials about the unique history of Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa. The library is your one-stop source for genealogy, history, census records, cemetery records, newspapers, and obituaries. Come in to discover your past and unlock your family story.

Iowa Room

The Iowa Room is dedicated to materials about Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa. Located on the second floor, the room offers a quiet place for historic research. The Iowa Room houses microfilm readers, local history books and genealogy records.

Special Collections

The Council Bluffs Public Library Special Collections consist of unique historical documents which are not available in the general, circulating collection. With special emphasis on local histories, these collections include, but are not limited to: Local maps, church histories, historic photographs, diaries, and books about the early history of Council Bluffs. Special Collections houses: 

  • Council Bluffs City Directories dating back to 1866
  • Local Yearbooks dating back to 1897
  • Extensive photograph and Nonpareil negatives archive
  • Hundreds of subject-specific clippings files and folders

Viewing materials from Special Collections is by appointment only. Inquiries can be made at the Reference Desk on the second floor, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m or by calling 712-890-5431.


America's News (NewsBank)

America's News (NewsBank) logo

America's News provides access to information on people, issues and events in the local area and around the country.

View Resource More Details

Black Life in America

Black Life in America logo

The experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media.

View Resource More Details

Council Bluffs Digital Archive

Council Bluffs Digital Archive

The Library’s Digital Archive contains digital editions of materials from our Special Collections. Browse hundreds of local historic photographs, documents, yearbooks and more.

View Resource

Daily Nonpareil (Full Text 1857-Current)

Daily Nonpareil logo

Explore local history with full-text articles of the Daily Nonpareil from 1857-present. Read about community issues and events, business, education, government, sports and more.

View Resource