Preparing To Do Research in a Major Genealogy Library

Presented 17 April 2004 for the Tulsa Genealogical Society

By Barbara Becker Meehan, CGRSSM, FTGS and Janice Meridith, FTGS


Where Are Major Libraries?  

·      Ask Around

Tulsa Genealogical Society

Genealogy Community

TGS County Connection (coming soon!)

§    Internet resources

§    Print resources


Internet Sources

§    Cyndi’s List of Libraries & Archives

§    Libdex

§    FamilyTree Magazine’s Libraries List

§    Linkpendium

§    FamilySearch™ Research Outlines

§    Google (popular search engine)


Printed Sources

§    American Library Directory (annually)

§    Handybook for Genealogists (2002)

§    Genealogist’s Address Book (1999)

§    Printed Sources (1998)

§    Ancestry’s Red Book (1992)


Additional Reading

§    FamilyTree Magazine’s website articles

   “Your Virtual Library Card” by Rick Crume

   “Five Places to Find a Published Genealogy”  and

   “More Places to Look for Published Genealogies” by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack



logistics, noun.

§    1a. the art of planning and carrying out military movement, evacuation, and supply.

§    b. the planning and carrying out of any complex or large-scale operation or activity.


From World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, 2003 Ed., Version 7.1.1, 2002 World Book, Inc. and its licensors.


Learning About the Facility

§    Potential sources:


   Research guides

   Magazine articles

   Online articles


   Mail / Phone / Fax

   National conferences

§    Consider which you will trust most


Information Gathering

Research Repository Checklist


A Library’s Web Site

§    About Us

§    Directions/Map

§    Hours/Closings

§    Upcoming events/classes

§    Research policies

§    Rules/permissions


Getting There

§    Facility-furnished information

   Nearby accommodations

   Nearby restaurants

§    Community marketing information

   Interested in entertainment?

   Nearby distractions?

§    MapQuest


Local Transportation

§    Will you need a rental car?

§    Where will you park?

§    How late would a free shuttle run?

§    Would you feel safe walking?

§    Will you need cash? tokens? pass?

§    What about rush hour traffic?

§    What about access to food?


Complying With the Rules

§    Briefcases?

§    Pens?

§    Laptops?

§    Cell phones?

§    Food & drink?

§    Digital cameras?

§    Books re-shelved?


Being Prepared

§    Researcher identification required?

§    Where could you get a copy card?

§    When should you make photocopies? or use readers?

§    When can you call for materials?

§    Might some services be unavailable?

§    Computer time limit? sign-up?

§    Readers by assignment? time limit?


Should They Be Expecting You?

§    E-mail, call or write with questions, only if needed.

§    Request special materials early.

§    Plan your visit for when key librarians will be in and available.


Planning the Research

§    About the collections

§    Research guides

§    Online catalog

Browser Tips & Tricks

§    Back - Forward - Stop - Refresh - Home

§    Address

§    Toolbar


Favorites - Tips & Tricks


USING Your Browser

§    Do you want to save your place?

§    Minimize/Maximize

§    Note where a link will take you

§    Links of a different color


Guest Computing

§    E-mail

§    Downloads


Some Key Online Catalogs

§    Family History Library Catalog

   Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ FamilySearch™ site

§    WorldCat

§    National Genealogical Society

   Lending library of over 20,000 items, housed at the St. Louis County Library

§    Library of Congress

   Over 50,000 family histories alone

§    Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri

   Lending Library of 5,000 volumes

   Online catalogs of microform materials (these do not loan)


Cyndi’s List

§    Cyndi’s List of Libraries and Archives




§    Search on place, name or keyword

§    Library Links

§    Search past articles


§    Search by state

§    Search by county




§    Family History Library Catalog

§    Many privately-published genealogy books have been donated to the Family History Library




·      Use Tulsa City-County Library card

o     Access in the library

o     Access from home

o     Find out whether a book exists

o     Find out which libraries own the book you want


Janice Recommends

§    Links to select major genealogy libraries


NARA Facilities     

Family History Library                              


American Antiquarian Society                  


Allen County Public Library (Genealogy)   


The Library of Congress         


Daughters of American Revolution Library         


Bancroft Library, Berkeley         


Newberry Library, Chicago          


Samford University Library, Birmingham 

New England Historic Genealogical Society       


Cyndi’s List for State Libraries/Archives

Clayton Library, Houston  



Allen County Public Library, Genealogy Department.  PERiodical Source Index.  [also known as PERSI] Fort Wayne, Ind.: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1986-1997 [g] A CD-ROM version has been published for later editions, by Ancestry 2000 [t]. The database is currently available by paid subscription through, as well as online as part of the TCCL’s HeritageQuest Online subscription at the Genealogy Center.

American Library Directory. New Providence, N.J.: R. R. Bowker, annual. [r]

Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. The Genealogist’s Address Book. 4th Ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. [g]

Eichholz, Alice, ed. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources, Rev. ed.  Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992. [c, g, t]

Family History Library, Research Outlines: [one for each state or for the United States]. Salt Lake City: Family History Library. [g] Available for use or purchase at Family History Centers, or online at

Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives.  Washington, DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, 1983 [c, g, t]; 2000 [g].

The Handybook For Genealogists. 10th ed. Draper, UT: The Everton Publishers, 2002. [*, g, t (9th Ed)]

Kaminkow, Marion J.  Genealogies in the Library of Congress: A Bibliography.  Baltimore: Magna Carta Book Co., 1972. [g, t]

_____.  A Complement to Genealogies in the Library of Congress.  Baltimore: Magna Carta Book Co., 1981.[g]

Kovacs, Diane K.. Genealogical Research on the Web. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2002. [c]

McClure, Rhonda R. Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Alpha, c2002. [c]

Meyerink, Kory L., ed. Appendix B, “Major U.S. Genealogical Libraries,” Printed Sources. A Guide to Published Genealogical Records. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998, pp 789-794.[g]

National Archives and Records Administration. Military Service Records. A Select Catalog of NARA Publications. Washington, DC: National Archives Trust Fund Borad, 1985. [g, t]

National Union Catalog. 754 vols. London: Mansell, 1968-81. Pre-1956 imprints, with supplementary series for 1956-67, 1968-72, and 1973-77. [r]

Porter, Pamela Boyer and Amy Johnson Crow. Online Roots. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 2003. [c]

Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1988 [c, g, t (on CD-ROM)].

Thackery, David T., “Bibliographies and Catalogs,” In Printed Sources. A Guide to Published Genealogical Records. edited by Kory L. Meyerink, pp 176-191. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998. [g]

Warren, Paula Stuart and James W. Your Guide to the Family History Library. How to Access the Worldís Largest Genealogy Resource. Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2001. [g, t]

Notes regarding availability of various editions of these materials:

  c          In the circulating collection of the Tulsa City-County Library System.

  g          In the non-circulating genealogy collection of the Tulsa City-County Library System, at the Genealogy Center.

  r           Part of the reference collection of the Tulsa City-County Library System; non-circulating, but available at various  branches.

  t           Part of the collection at the Tulsa Genealogical Society Library.

  *          Now available in a later edition

Copyright 2004 Barbara Becker Meehan, CGRS, FTGS. Please do not use without permission.