Sunday, February 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Genealogy Libraries

Week #8 – Genealogy Libraries

Week 8 – Genealogy Libraries: Genealogy libraries (and dedicated departments in regular libraries) are true treasures in the family history community. Tell us about your favorite genealogy library. What or who makes it special?


In 1993 I started volunteering on the second Thursday in the genealogy section of the Spokane Public Library, and so I think it is the most special genealogical library in all of Eastern Washington. Since Eastern Washington Genealogical Society started in 1935 EWGS has had a long time to collect books, microfilm, microfiche and maps. Many of the early members traced their ancestors back to New England, so we have almost a complete set of the early New England record books, we have the a large collection of periodicals and thanks to PERSI they are easy to search. We have the Washington Death Index on microfilm and microfiche from 1907 to I think it is 2004. We have city directories from 1883 to the present, and probably the oddest collection of postal forwarding address books from about 1906 to 1939, but most of the 1930s they did not use them much so not a lot of forwarding addresses in those. These books are in real bad shape so I hope we can preserve them as the information in them can never be found anywhere else.
The other thing that makes it special is our wonderful relationship with the Spokane Public Library, even before EWGS was formed, the library was collecting books on the northwest, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and when the new library building was opened in 1994 the Northwest Room has its own climate control to preserve the books some over 100 years old. The library also has the Spokane newspapers from 1880 to the present and the WPA did a subject index of the newspaper from 1880 to 1920.

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