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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Resources at a University Library

                      Homicides in Chicago, 1870-1930 at Northwestern University School of Law

We shared a few resources at university libraries that can fuel your genealogy research in Resources to Look for at a University Library. Hopefully, you will scout out matching resources in the university libraries that carry collections that will help you discover more about your ancestor. You can add these resource types to your log of items to search out:

Local history
The library is the best places to start researching about the area where your ancestor lived. Many libraries have genealogical resources that highlight families who are tied to local histories. Sometimes surnames and genealogies of early pioneers link to your ancestor and the places they migrated to or frequented.

Virginia Tech has built a great online guide to aid in the local history and genealogy. It includes a list of public local and county histories. The collections are in different types of formats including microfiche, and advanced notice is required to access some of the resources. Resources document the local area as far back as the late 1700's.

Online catalog
Online catalogs are a great place to start your research for materials that document local families. University libraries are known for collecting published family histories and local history. Much of what a university library has to offer is included in the online catalog, but it is possible a card catalog also still exists. This often depends on budgets and time constraints.

The preliminary searches that you conduct using the online catalog should include searching for your family surname and searching for county and parish histories. From there, you need to be creative (churches, schools, military, local organizations, etc.) "Warren County, Kentucky Families," available through the University of Kentucky Library Catalog, is an example of a book found by searching "Warren County families."

Resources at university libraries are key to learning about local military history and documentation that mentions people who served in the armed forces in a particular locality. The University of Delaware Library (Morris Library) has built a stellar online guide for military research onsite and in the National Archives.

A number of guides from the National Archives are linked there. Two special ones include:
Unlike many other university library websites, the University of Delaware Library provides the contact information for a special subject guide (Rebecca Knight, Associate Librarian) charged with assisting with genealogical research. They have a very extensive genealogy collection, and public access to their digital collection.

Heritage collections
Several scholarly libraries categorize what they call "Heritage" collections which you should definitely search out. Heritage collections often include manuscript collections in the library, digital collections online, and sources available through outside sources.

Parkland Community Library has an online genealogy guide that provides linked resources by state. Several university resources are mentioned. One very unusual resource provided by Northwestern University School of Law, Homicide in Chicago, 1870-1930, is a public database that documents over 11,000 homicides in the City of Chicago.


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