Today, I want to highlight the importance of libraries in genealogical research. Often, local and university libraries hold historical collections that may prove valuable in your search.
The value of libraries is not limited to historical collections. The librarians are equally if not more valuable. More often than not they know local history and can point you in directions previously unknown to you.
I urge you to get acquainted with your local library.
Libraries may have indexes online of obituaries along with many other records.
Recently while researching for a friend, I came across the Lexington Public Library. What an amazing library.
I emailed them with an inquiry about an obituary. Within two hours they responded with a digital copy of the obituary and the front page of the newspaper.
If you have research to be done in and around Lexington check out the library’s website. I was highly impressed and want to say thank you to all the workers there.
Here is a few library do’s and don’ts for beginners:
- Do be polite. A little politeness goes a long way.
- Do be specific. Librarians are busy people.
- Do look at their online resources before you make a personal trip to the library.
- Do ask questions if you are not sure.
- Do remember to thank the librarian.
- Don’t expect a librarian to help you with your entire tree or even a whole family. Choose one or maybe two (max) individuals to research.
- Don’t get impatient. Again librarians are busy people.
- Don’t treat librarians as your researcher. That is not in their job description.
Libraries are a tremendous genealogical resource. Are you utilizing your local library?
Thank you for reading.
J. R. Findsen