Don’t Overlook Local Libraries

The small-town library where your family used to live may have resources larger libraries in the area do not have or are not aware of. The local librarian may be able to put you in contact with others who have extensive research experience with families in that area. In one of my families, the local library had digitized that town’s newspapers and put them online at no charge.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Overlook Local Libraries

  1. Patricia Regan

    I have found that many of these small Town Libraries have Listings of Burials for their abandoned Cemeteries. Also proving to be valuable are Membership listings for the local Churches, organizations and schools. Usually one does not find these items listed or shown on the Internet. There could be Folders of the early Settlers and Families who have lived in the area (some even contain Photo’s). Be sure to inquire about all these items when visiting a small Archive.

  2. Cynthia Steinhoff

    Thanks for promoting libraries! When looking for libraries in a geographic area, don’t overlook those that are part of colleges and universities. Many of these libraries support local and state history courses and their collections are rich in materials for genealogists. Their web sites may include research guides to genealogy, local history, or other relevant topics.

    Academic libraries may be a little more difficult to access for someone not affiliated with the parent institution, but it is always worth a try. Librarians generally try to accommodate researchers within the guidelines set by parent institutions. Some academic libraries allow local residents to borrow materials; some may charge a small fee for a community user borrower’s card, but others assess no fees at all. Using materials in the library generally involves no fee at all, other than those for making photocopies or printouts.

    Two research guides that I used often for a project that involves genealogical research in Delaware are based at the University of Delaware. This one: covers all things Delaware, and this one: aids in finding genealogical resources about the state.

    Cynthia, a librarian at a community college in Maryland


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