JULY 26 – JULY 31

Headstone Cleaning Workshop*

Location: King Hill Cemetery

Date: July 31, 2021

Time: 10 a.m.

Join our Genealogy Librarian, Marina, to learn about one of St. Joseph’s oldest cemeteries and its residents in this hands-on headstone cleaning workshop. Attendees will learn about headstone cleaning best practices and methods. Please wear appropriate work clothes, all other supplies will be provided.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

*This event may be rescheduled depending on Covid numbers in the area.

Traveling Exhibits

Stories in Stone: The Cemeteries of Buchanan County, MO

Stories in Stone is a traveling exhibit highlighting cemeteries around the entirety of Buchanan County.  From the first county seat in Sparta, MO, with the cemetery of the same name, to the beloved Mount Mora in the city proper…And the obscure Bowen cemetery out in a farm field, to the local legend of the Liliger Family Cemetery at Sunbridge Hills Conservation area.  This exhibit portrays 18 different cemeteries, the fascinating people interred there, and much more. From a Revolutionary War veteran to our city’s founding father to Pony Express riders.  Learn about the prosperous and the impoverished, to the infamous and those long since forgotten. This exhibit also has a companion Clio Tour. This exhibit is at the Visitor’s Center and City Hall.

Towers of St. Joseph: The Local Architecture of Harvey Ellis

The exhibit highlights Ellis’s designs of the German-American Bank Building, the Central Police Station, as well as the extravagant designs of the J.B. Moss, McNeely, McAlister, August, Nave, Smith, and Tootle homes.  In the brief amount of time Mr. Ellis was here in the late 1800s, working for the firm Eckel and Mann, he created some of the most impressive and notable architecture in all of St. Joseph.  This exhibit also has a companion Clio Tour. This exhibit is at City Hall.

Guided tours with Clio.

Clio is an app dedicated to putting history at your fingertips.  Clio allows you to be immersed in historic places and the events that occurred around them.

The app is free on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Edmond Eckel Tour

Eckel, a renowned architect and certainly St. Joseph’s most prolific, designed countless beautiful architectural works. Follow in his footprints with some of his most notable buildings in the downtown area.

Ghosts of Progress Tour

While St. Joseph has many beautiful buildings lining its streets, at one time it had many more. Experience the history of structures that tell this city’s history, but are now ghosts lost to time.

The City Worth While

The St. Joseph Public Library has created a new local history resource for the community. Taking its name from the past, The City Worth While features snippets of history, photos, and items from the archives. The page can be found on the Genealogy/Local History section of the website at

In 1913 the slogan “The City Worth While” was chosen to represent St. Joseph, as it had just achieved First Class City status three years prior. The slogan would go on to top the Corby building in 3,800 shining electric lights. Though the sign eventually came down, the slogan stuck with the city throughout time; a fond reminiscence of our past as it looked to the future. This is what you will find on “The City Worth While” page.  The library has created a space where the pieces of St. Joseph’s past can come together to form the picture of the city’s history.

Discover the St. Joseph Public Library’s Digital Archives

Explore St. Joseph’s history at home! The Digital Archives are a readily accessible collection of some of the library’s most fragile and unique items.

Oral History Project Kits

Learn about the St. Joseph Public Library’s Oral History Project, and how to record your own. Everything you need to preserve someone’s life history in a convenient on-the-go package. The kit contains a voice recorder, microphone, instructions, and starter questions. There is a $25 deposit which is refunded upon return of the kit.

Archival Kits

Do you have lots of family photos and other paper heirlooms, but you aren’t sure what to do with them? Check out one of our Archival Kits. The Archival Kits offers instructions, resources, and equipment to care for and preserve family photos and paper artifacts. This kit includes items for the safe housing of photographs and documents, as well as a scanner to digitally preserve those items. There is a $25 deposit which is refunded upon return of the kit.

Starting Genealogy for Kids and Adults

Looking for a fun activity for the whole family? Have you started your genealogy? Now is a great time because Ancestry is offering free access from home with your St. Joseph Public Library card!