Local History

  • High School Yearbooks

    East: 1911-1933, 1935, 1941, 1946, 1948-1950, 1956-1965, 1967, 1970-1972, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1988-2004, 2006, 2008-2011
    Hoover: 1968, 1970-1973, 1978, 1993-2008
    Lincoln: 1932, 1934, 1935-1936, 1940, 1942-1944, 1955, 1958-1962, 1963, 1966-1967, 1969, 1971-1983, 1985-1992, 1994, 1998, 2001-2009
    North: 1904-1920, 1922-1925, 1930, 1933-1935, 1937-1951, 1952-1961, 1963-1966, 1968-1969, 1972-1973, 1990-1993, 1996-2007.
    Roosevelt: 1924, 1926-1944, 1945-1957, 1958-1974, 1976-1980, 1990-2008.
    Technical High School: 1950-1953, 1965, 1968-1972, 1975, 1980-1984.
    West High School: 1896-1898, 1904-1928

  • City Directory icon

    Contains City Directories for 1866, 1869, 1871, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1881-1884, 1886, 1888, 1889, 1892-1895, 1898, 1899, 1900-1917, 1919-22.

  • news index icon

    Index of Des Moines, Polk County and Iowa news, editorials and opinion articles, movie, theater, music, and restaurant reviews, company news, about Iowa, people, Des Moines and Polk County ordinances, and obituaries.

    Publications

    Des Moines Register 1986 - date (obituaries 1960 - date)
    Des Moines Tribune 1907 - 1944 (obituaries 1960-1982)
    Des Moines Business Record 1982 - date
    Cityview 1992 - date
    Des Moines Skywalker 1986 -1992
    Iowa Bystander 1894 - 1921, 1927 - 1935, 1949 - 1951
    The Iowan (magazine) 2007 - date

  • Tracing Your Roots
    The Des Moines Public Library has a wide selection of free resources that can help you discover more about your roots! This page includes a listing of the many free resources you may find helpful.

Central Art Gallery History

old art gallery

In 1916, the Des Moines Public Library, working in partnership with the newly-formed Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, made a gallery space available in order to “purchase and hold title to paintings acquired for the benefit of the public, and to bring exhibitions to the city.” Several exhibitions were shown each year, and works of art were periodically purchased for the association’s permanent collection. After a period of inactivity in the 1930s due to the Depression, the DMAF in 1938 moved their collection to a building on Walnut Street, and, with funding from the Works Progress Administration in the 1940s, provided galleries and studio space. The Des Moines Association of Fine Arts voluntarily dissolved in 1945 and their assets were turned over to the [James] Edmundson Art Foundation. That entity funded construction of the new Des Moines Art Center, which opened at its present location on Grand Avenue in 1948.

art gallery logo

Checkout the new Art Gallery!

The Art Gallery at the Central Library, which opened in May, 2016, is located on the second floor and offers an accessible and welcoming environment for encouraging and celebrating Iowa artists. Exhibitions of original art work will engage, enrich, and be enjoyed by our patrons and enhance our community as a whole. These exhibitions expand the library’s role and bolster creative and expressive energy in the Des Moines community.

We are excited to continue the rich tradition of art at the Des Moines Public Library into a second century. Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at the gallery!