Research Request

Individuals with an inquiry pertaining to an artifact, a specific subject, or person can either visit the research center located at 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York in person or may submit a Research Request or a Genealogy Request by mail or email.  Admission to the Fenton History Center includes a day’s access to its museum and the research center.

Individuals who wish to visit the research center who need assistance with their research should call ahead to schedule an appointment to ensure  availability at (716) 664-6256 Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Researchers who require minimal assistance can readily access research materials without assistance.

The price to submit a Research Request or a Genealogy Request by mail or email is $30. Once a completed form (or a detailed letter) and a payment is secured, a designated research volunteer, guided by the information provided, will conduct a thorough search the Fenton History Center’s extensive library of historical and genealogical publications, family files and archival materials for additional information.

Select the following highlighted link to access a downloadable form:  Research Request

Submissions by Mail: Please mail the completed form or a detailed letter (and a summary of your previous research if available)  and a personal check or certified money order to the Fenton History Research Center, 67 Washington St., Jamestown, NY  14701.

Submissions by Email: After making a payment via our online gift shop or by phone , please email the completed form or a detailed letter (and a summary of your previous research) to   Select the following highlighted link to purchase a Research Request for $30 via the Fenton History Center Gift Shop:  Required $30 Research Request Fee or call (716) 664-6256 to pay by phone during the Fenton History Center’s hours of operation (Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM). 


Fenton History Center Research Center 

The Fenton History Center’s research center, located at 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York, supports local historical and genealogical research. The 5000 volume reference library concentrates on Jamestown and southern Chautauqua County, but also includes a number of texts that pertain to the northeastern United States. Some of these materials focus on Cattaraugus County, New York and Warren County, Pennsylvania  and include New England migration records  and other passage records of  Swedish and Italian immigrants.

The library collection is arranged by the Dewey Decimal System and is considered to be “an open stack library”.  Its dictionary catalog allows the public and our members to search the texts unassisted. The collection also includes various printed family genealogies, many of the standard reference sources for genealogy and many local history books.

The library collection is a non-circulating collection. Our research volunteers regularly assist its visitors. We suggest calling ahead to determine the availability of  our volunteers for assistance with detailed studies.  Scheduling a visit to the research center will ensure your study will be a top priority.  Please call the Fenton History Center and request its research center to schedule a visit.

Admission vs. Fenton History Center Membership

Admission (Adult: $10) to the Fenton History Center includes one day’s access to the Fenton History Center research center and museum.

Individuals who plan to make multiple visits to the research center are encouraged to purchase a Fenton History Center membership, as members enjoy unlimited access to the research center and museum.   Members also receive a weekly newsletter, invitations to member-only events, the option to join the Fenton Genealogy Support Group, and discounted ticket rates to events held by the Fenton History Center.  Please call ahead to confirm Saturday’s hours (716) 664-6256.

Highlights of the Collection

A complete collection of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register is available, microfilm of the federal censuses for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties, NY, and Warren County, PA, New York State censuses for Chautauqua County, cemetery inscriptions for most Chautauqua County cemeteries, a card file of marriages and deaths extracted from 19th century newspapers and Jamestown City Directories from 1888 to the present.

Family Files: Filed by surname, include items sent to the library, letters of inquiry, and other information that has been collected. A card index to surnames included in each file is available.

Special Collections

Archives: This collection includes original documents, scrapbooks, account books, diaries, letters, school records and similar items pertaining to Jamestown, NY and the surrounding area, to local families, local businesses and local events. Appointments for using these items are recommended but researchers may be assisted if staff is available at the time of the visit.

Photographs: The photograph collection includes local scenes-businesses, residences, transportation, etc.- and local people. Appointments are recommended so that the staff can search for specific subjects before the researcher’s arrival.  Please contact the Fenton History Center in regard to the availability of specific subjects.  Non-watermarked copies are available for sale for a fee of $10.

Postal Cards: This collection includes postal cards of local scenes from Jamestown and Chautauqua County covering the past 100 years. Appointments or inquiries are recommended so research can be done before the researcher’s arrival to determine if a specific subject is available.

Gift Shop: Discover various texts that can be utilized as references available for sale in-house and through our online gift shop.

Digitized Catalog

Research Center Hours
Monday through Friday
10 am to 4 pm
Saturday by appointment only
Phone (716) 664-6256
With the support of a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Fenton History Center Library is making its 7000+ volume card catalog available to the world via the Internet. The digitized catalog is being expanded every week. IMLS logo
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