Friday, November 24, 2017

Clay County Archives

and Historical Library

Liberty, Missouri

Preserving the Past for the Present


Historic Materials Policy

Statement of Policy

The Clay County Archives, like most archives, is not a lending library. Researchers are welcome to review and study on site documents, books and maps in the Archives collection, which have been made available to the public. Under no circumstances is any item in the Archives collection to be removed from the premises. Photocopies of all documents and books (within the limits of copyright laws) are available any time during regular hours of operation. Printouts from microfilm are available upon request at the cost stated below.

This is necessary to ensure the long-term preservation and availability of this collection. Volunteers are available to assist in making copies or scans of any items of interest at copy costs listed below.   

Original Records - per page $1
Other printed matter - per page  15¢
Out-sized copies - per page 50¢
Microfilm print-outs - per page 25¢


Affidavit-PageWe have many miscellaneous Affidavits.

Birth and Death Records

birth-certificate-0Birth and Death records, 1882-1884 and some from later.death-certificate-0

Black History Collection

0004-0006-aThe African-American collection includes many subjects such as:

  • Circuit and County Court records
  • Probates, Wills, Census records
  • Genealogy/Ancestry
  • Civil Rights, Civil War
  • Slavery
  • Marriages

...and more.

There are files on:

  • Historic Dates
  • Inventors, Newspapers
  • Roles and Experiences in Missouri
  • Legacy, Education, citizens, etc.

Cemetery / Obituary Collection

0001-0695-a-0We have recorded well over 300 cemeteries in Clay County.  From large cemeteries like White Chapel and Fairview to small family cemeteries and abandoned cemeteries, we try to maintain accurate records of the interred to preserve their memory so that family, friends and researchers can find the information they need.  

Also, developers, governmental agencies, road districts and others rely on our information to help them comply with state law regarding the desecration of cemeteries.

Obituaries are culled from various newspapers weekly to update our obituary file and cemetery index.

We also have records from some funeral homes.

Census Records

census-1880-0We have microfilm and printed census records from Clay County.  This includes census' from 1830 through 1900.

Circuit Court Records


The Archives collection includes Criminal, Civil, Probate court records from 1822.  They include names like Rev. Robert James (father of Jesse and Frank) who died in the gold fields of California, the earliest pioneers of the county, etc.

Coroner's Inquests

dead-body-sepiaWe have indexed hundreds of Coroner Inquest records from 1838 to 1939.  They include the names of the deceased, the coroner, the suspected murder as well as witnesses and jury members.  The records also have the cause of death, the location of the body and notes from the coroner.

County Court Records

0001-0440-a-0We have early minute books from the County Court (Commission) which has a lot of material about the early activity of the county with many names.


DeedsWe have many miscellaneous Deeds.

Early Tax Lists

tax-listWe have Early Tax Lists.

Family Histories

0001-0176-a-0We have collected many files on family history from sources such as newspapers, material donated by families, etc.

We also have many family Bibles which contain early family records of births, deaths and more.

In addition, we have Family Group Sheets.

Footprints in Clay

FIC-LOGOFootprints In Clay is a multi-media collection of the Clay County Archives meant to record history in other ways besides just on paper. We are recording historical recollections using audio, video, still pictures and any other relevant means.

The goals for our Footprints In Clay project is two-fold.  To record oral histories of our knowledgable local historians and to produce history documentaries about our history.  Those documentaries are to be provided to schools and made available for purchase by our patrons.

Read more: Footprints in Clay


american-gazeteer-0We have an extensive gazetteer with subjects such as roads, bridges, businesses, cities, towns, etc.


genealogy-0We house the considerable library of the former Genealogical Society of Liberty as well as that of the Alexander Doniphan Chapter, DAR and the William C. Corum Chapter, SAR.

Land Abstracts

We have Land Abstracts collected from various sources.

Land Grants

corum-land-grant-0Indexes to Original Clay County Land Grants are available.

Maps and Atlases

0116-108-aWe have maps from the early 19th century through now including atlases, plat books, etc.

From sources such as: Sanborn, USGS, Thomas Sullivan, Frederick Gwinner, George Ogle, Gallup, etc.

They cover Clay County and features found therein.

Marriage Returns

MarriageReturns-0022-0056-aWe have Early Marriage Returns and an index to marriages in the Clay County Recorder of Deeds Office.

Naturalization Records

statue of libertyEarly Naturalizations are available.


liberty-tribune-nbr-1We have early Clay County newspapers both in print and on microfilm from such sources as the Liberty Tribune, the Liberty Advance, etc.

We also have genealogy notes from the Tribune.


We have a large and growing photograph collection from dozens of sources.  There are over 10,000 scanned and indexed photos with more left to do.  In addition, we have thousands of photographs from Neil Ray's Studio (formerly located on the South side of the Courthouse Square in Liberty) which encompass class pictures from Liberty High School and William Jewell College as well as such events as weddings.

If you have a collection of photographs that would have significance to other Clay Countians, please consider donating them to the Archives so that they can be appreciated by all.

Published Volumes

mo-hist-rev-0We have published volumes about Clay County history such as the Missouri Historical Review.

School Records

0017-0012-B-0School records such as rosters, grades, pictures of original schools, etc. are available.

Scrapbook Collection

scrapbookingWe have scrapbooks created at various times by various people.

Wars and Veterans

CSA-momument-0062-0031-AWe have many files on Clay County veterans of various wars.