The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library has a strong commitment to the preservation of local history. When the library was built in the 1970's, space was provided for Lowndes County history and genealogy materials. The collection and space has greatly increased since then.
The local history area of the Columbus-Lowndes Library is divided into two major sections. The Buckley Genealogy Room and The Billups-Garth Archives. In 1981 the library received a generous gift from Dr. George Buckley in memory of his wife, Margaret Latimer Buckley which greatly enhanced genealogy holdings and space. The Buckley Room houses the library's printed historical and genealogical materials. This room has over 5000 books, many periodicals and approximately 500 reels of microfilmed census records and Columbus newspapers.
Since the major focus is local history, many of the materials are on Lowndes County. Other counties in Mississippi and Alabama are very well represented. The library has Mississippi censuses on microfilm through 1910 with indexes through 1870. There is some microfilm for nearby Alabama counties and a few reels for other states. In addition to Mississippi and Alabama, the researcher will also find many genealogical books and periodicals on North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Some areas of Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana as well as some of the northeastern states can be researched here.
The Buckley Room has an impressive group of bound family histories, books on the Civil war and on Indian and African American Genealogy and Columbus city directories. For novice genealogists, the collection contains a number of books which will answer many of the questions they might have as they begin their search. Some issues of local nineteenth and twentieth century newspapers are available on microfilm. The Columbus Commercial Dispatch from 1990 with an index can be used by researchers.