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I Love Libraries

Genealogists enjoy sharing stories about their research in libraries. They tend to flaunt the number of large genealogy libraries they have used or the latest they have visited.


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Resource: Tracing Lines
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Genealogists enjoy sharing stories about their research in libraries. They tend to flaunt the number of large genealogy libraries they have used or the latest they have visited. Is it the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, or maybe the Library of Congress in Washington, DC? All are magnificent libraries with outstanding genealogy collections.

Sometimes genealogists find it impossible to visit those libraries. Have you visited your local library? Do they have genealogy books? How many have you visited recently online?

Many libraries, large and small, have web pages. These often contain information regarding their genealogy collections. Some even have online databases, downloadable guides and digital image collections. You don't have to travel any further than your computer and desk chair. Just a click of a mouse and you are transported to the library.

The Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, MD, has an interesting web page at Click on Databases and you will link into several, including the Western Maryland's Historical Library. A very interesting collection there is the Antietam Cemetery Payroll. There are also Sheriff's Records from Washington Co., MD 1804-1806. Back to the home page of Washington County Free Library, click on Genealogy and you will view a listing of searchable databases and published materials in the library. They also offer three databases for use with a Maryland Library Card.

If you have ancestry in Mississippi, you might want to check out the John Marshall Stone Research Library at Iuka, MS. It's easier to go to their web page, There you will find links to cemeteries, surnames and more. This library serves as the archival depository for the Tishomingo County Archives and History Museum. In addition to books, they have personal papers, photographs, maps, oral histories, microfilm and periodicals. They also have research services.

The State Library of Pennsylvania located at Harrisburg, PA has an excellent digital collection that you can access from: Click on "Digital Projects of the State Library." The Pennsylvania Genealogy Collection contains digitals from newspapers and other sources and is a large collection. The Pennsylvania Necrology Scrap Book is from microfilmed scrapbooks of obituaries 1891-1904. The Harrisburg Newspaper Index contains names of Harrisburg, PA newspaper death and marriages, 1799 to 1827.

The Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, MO is home to an extensive genealogy collection. Start your experience at Mid-Continent Public Library. You should search their interlibrary loan collection, Genealogy from the Heartland Collection, online, starting at While many libraries offer online databases to in-state or local card holders, Mid-Continent is different. Check out their research databases by clicking under "Online Resources." You can obtain an out-of-district library card for an annual fee of $20. Information about this procedure can be found on the home page under "Get a library card."

Browsing through lists of genealogy libraries, you never know exactly what they have in collections until you click and explore. Such is with the North Suburban library System in Wheeling, IL. Their Digital Past web page at contains a search book for their photographs, postcards, diaries, documents, oral histories and more. You will also find a scroll down menu for checking out other Illinois library systems and districts.

The University of Indiana Library (IUPUI University Library) collection can be searched and viewed at

Their featured collection is the Indianapolis City Directory, 1858-1980. I enjoy the Electronic Atlas of Central Indiana. Be sure to check out their Historic Indiana Maps. You might also be interested in their War of 1812 Collection.

To locate more libraries and archives such as those, I've mentioned, check out 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives at

There are probably more than we even realize, just waiting for a genealogist to locate them. Settle back with your genealogy records, computer and mouse and click away!

Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2008.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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