Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Can your public library help you with your genealogy?
It may not occur to you but your local public library may be an excellent source of information for genealogical research. For example, the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin has a long list of databases available both for use in the library and online with a library card. Some local public libraries, such as the Allen County Public Library headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana has one of the most extensive genealogical collections in the United States.

Here is a screenshot of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center website.

Your local library may be sponsored by your town, city, or county or all three. In Mesa, Arizona where I lived for many years, we had an excellent local Mesa Public Library. We also had an excellent county library system, the Maricopa County Public Library System, and a State Library in Phoenix. We also had an extensive system of Family History Centers around the Salt River Valley including the one where I was a volunteer, the Mesa FamilySearch Library.

It was interesting to me that many of the people I met in the Phoenix area who professed to be interested in genealogical research had never visited the Mesa FamilySearch Library and some had not even heard of its existence. There are over 5000 Family History Centers around the world and it is likely that there is one near you. See the Get Help menu for a location near you.

Sometimes we tend to judge a library by whether or not it has a particular book or other items we are searching for. But libraries can be surprising in the resources they have in their collections. If you are going to travel to an area where your family lived to do research, take the time to contact a local library in the area and ask about their resources.

1 comment:

  1. In addition to local resources, some libraries may also have the library versions of or available to patrons. One cannot upload a personal family tree but the records can be searched and images viewed. Ancestry is, as far as I know, only available at the library but MyHeritage may be used at home with a library card number and account.