Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Mailbox: Your Local Library

The Ancestry Insider's Monday MailboxDear Ancestry Insider,

Do take the time at least once in a while to go visit your local libraries that have genealogy collections. You no doubt will be astounded by the treasures you will find. Here is just a summary of what is available the Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library (main library downtown).

There are indexes to death notices from the late 18th century up through most the latter part of the 20th century that are on 3 X 5 index cards in numerous file cabinets. There are cabinets and cabinets of microfilms of local newspapers dating back to the early 19th century. The LDS came in the 1980s and microfilmed the entire historical collection of original successions from the New Orleans municipal court. Of course there are the microfilms of Louisiana censuses (some have printed indexes, some have soundex on microfilm). Print-outs of anything on microfilm can be made.

Other treasures include the photo collection (WPA, historical, 19th century prison mug shot cards, glass slides), blueprints (schools, buildings), and portfolios of actual property surveys made without the help of aerial and satellite photos.

So, plan on making that visit downtown or wherever your local genealogy collection may happen to be. One trip will never be enough! Good hunting!

Judith Martin

Dear Readers,

I heartily endorse Judith. I’ve made fabulous finds in local genealogy collections as I’ve had occasion to visit towns where my ancestors lived. In one Massachusetts town the genealogy collection included registration forms for historic houses. I learned that the Insider Manson built in the 1600s still existed. What was called a mansion in those days qualified today as a small, multi-room home! The current owner let me see an original beam and original hearth brickwork.

Librarians will be quick to point out that their collections often cover geographies throughout their state and beyond.

At a BYU conference, Barbara Renick suggested another reason to make those visits. Some libraries offer library cards for non-residents that might give you access to research databases not available where you live.

Thank you for your suggestion, Judith.

The Ancestry Insider

1 comment:

  1. I once applied to the Morro Bay , California Library for an inter library loan of a book for a fixed fee. They said they would check on it.

    Later the library called me back and asked me how much I was willing to pay to get the book on loan.
    I had already found an electronic version on-line so I told them to disregard my request.
    With all the electronic resources changing daily, some libraries are cutting their own throats.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.