The Genealogy Center owns 592,000 pieces of microtext material, which consists of film and fiche. The information contained within the microtext items include census, passenger lists, military records, city directories, and locality specific records, such as local histories, land records, probates and wills, court records, and vital records. To locate what is available at the Genealogy Center you can search the microtext catalog. With state of the art film/ fiche readers, you can view, scan, print, and save your images on a jump drive.
Perusing my home copy of the USA Today one day last week, I noted this article on Internet Archive, and was pleased to see it garnering national attention. In my own insular way, I hadn’t realized the wonderful applications for researchers with various physical challenges who have trouble holding or reading a book. I only know it as a wonderful source for some rare genealogical and historical sources, and that many volumes that are part the Genealogy Center’s collection have been digitized and added to Internet Archive’s collection to be freely used by all. Although not shown with the online version, the print article included a photograph of IA’s employees and volunteers at the San Francisco facility, I was struck at how similar the area was to the space in the Allen County Public Library’s Lower Level 2 that Internet Archive occupies to scan the material from the Genealogy Center and the rest of the library’s collection. If you haven’t already explored this site, or haven’t checked it out in a while, take a fresh look!
The Genealogy Center, along with the Allen County Public Library, will be closed Saturday July 3, Sunday July 4, and Monday July 5, in observance of the holiday. Use your holiday weekend to talk to relatives to gather and share family stories and activities. We will be back to our regular summer schedule on July 6th.
The traveling exhibition “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” will be available for your viewing pleasure in the Genealogy Center June 18 to July 30, 2010. The Opening Reception will be at Saturday, June 19, at 7 PM in Meeting Room A of the Main Library, with speakers Jason Jividen, Sara Gabbard, and Katherine Tinsely. Other events highlighting the exhibition include:
- “Learn about the Library’s Lincoln Financial Collection,” elementary school age tour, Children’s Services, July 14, 2010, 2 PM.
- “Abraham Lincoln in Song,” presented by Chris Vallillo, Main Library Theater, Lower Level 2, July 16, 2010, 2 PM.
- Movie Night: “Glory,” Main Library Theater, Lower Level 2, July 20, 2010, 6:30 PPM.
- “Young Adults Visit the Library’s Lincoln Financial Collection,” middle and high school age tour, Young Adults’ Services, July 23, 2010, 2 PM.
Sometimes in the Genealogy Center, a useful book pertinent to a particular location is not found under a particular subject entry or title. Consider the book, On the Eve of Conquest: The Chevalier de Raymond’s Critique of New France in 1754, edited by Joseph L. Peyser and published by Michigan State University Press in 1997. The book is cataloged as 971 R214o, which is a general Canadian number. However, “New France” in the 1750s, before the conclusion of the French and Indian War, comprised a large portion of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes of what would become the United States. Charles de Raymond, the central figure of the work, was the commandant of Fort St. Joseph at what is now Fort Wayne in the 1750s. The book contains a useful, first-hand account of this and other areas occupied by the French, but not strictly about Canada. If you are researching the French period of Fort Wayne’s history, or indeed, those of other French-occupied settlements of the 1750s, this book deserves a closer look.
Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the library’s summer schedule. Hours Monday through Saturday are the same as the rest of the year (M-Th 9A – 9P and F&S 9A – 6P), but the entire library is closed on Sundays until after the Labor Day weekend. We love our visitors, and don’t want you waiting in vain on Sundays.
It is the book for which most everyone eagerly awaits in the spring (or fall), and the only one that you could write in without getting into trouble. It is the yearbook, filled with photos and description of students, teachers, and staff in various activities. School yearbooks started at the college level and many were collections of student essays, poetry and fiction, altering over the years to become memory books we know today, and descending through high school, then elementary schools. The Genealogy Center’s extensive collection of local school annuals is a popular draw for current and former residents of the city as they locate themselves, parents or friends. Older yearbooks can also bring a grandparent to life for a younger member of the family, adding information about interests and activities, or can verify the presence of the student in a given place at a specific time.
The Genealogy Center actively collects Allen County school yearbooks, and is happy to receive donations of yearbooks from any location, so when you know someone looking to dispose of their old annuals, or if you are thinning your own book shelves, please remember that we’d be happy to find space for these important resources in the collection.
A celebratory air was evident this past Saturday as the Allen County Public Library hosted the Indiana Genealogical Society’s annual conference. Dick Eastman was the featured speaker and presented four well-received lectures on technological topics. In addition, Ron Darrah of Indianapolis and Melissa Shimkus, reference librarian for the Genealogy Center, spoke on immigration topics; Curt Witcher, Genealogy Center manager, gave a presentation on ACPL’s digital initiatives; and Kay Spears, also of the Genealogy Center, gave a real-time demonstration of Adobe Photoshop.
Friday, the library was the site of a pre-conference seminar featuring four sessions on preservation topics, from the personal level to the archives level. Many genealogists in town for Friday’s seminar, or arriving Friday night in anticipation of Saturday’s conference, took advantage of the Genealogy Center’s extended hours from 6 p.m. to midnight. It was every genealogist’s dream – to be locked in the Genealogy Center after closing!
IGS’s Society of Civil War Families of Indiana held its induction ceremony mid-day on Saturday. Three ladies who successfully proved their ancestry back to a soldier who served in an Indiana Civil War unit were welcomed into the society, and two members who had proved supplemental lines to soldiers also were recognized. The SCWFI ceremony was followed by the IGS annual meeting, including President Curt Witcher’s “state of the society” address, awards and door prizes. One lucky soul won a year’s subscription to Ancestry.com!
Attendees summed up the experience in their evaluations: “Great day! The vendors exhibition was nice … a good variety. ACPL was a great location, too.” “Wonderful facility! Great programs!!” “Very informative sessions – Glad I came.”
As staff of the Genealogy Center, we echo their sentiments … it was a great day … the vendors had “good stuff” … the sessions were informative … and we are very glad everyone came!
(and other long records in the library catalog)
Here in the Genealogy Center, we own a number of very large and comprehensive compilations of significant research created by individuals who have committed decades to their respective projects. One such recently cataloged set is the Lewis Ellingham’s Family Papers. Its 363 volumes contain thousands of surnames, accompanied by pedigree charts and genealogical tables encompassing hundreds of years. However, there is no index to these volumes. So how does one find information about specific names of interest?
In the Allen County Public Library catalog, type the surname you seek followed by the word “family” (searching it as a subject and limiting your search to the Genealogy Center will help).
The results you get will look like this.
You’ll notice that the Ellingham family papers (#3 above), includes 158 volumes–volumes 206 through 363. When you click on the Details button, you see this.
Then click on the Catalog Record tab.
This very long screen of information is easily searched by using the Find command in your browser. In the most common browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox), hold the Ctrl key down and strike the F key. A box will appear on your screen. Enter the surname you are looking for in that box.
When you press enter, the browser will locate the text in the record, and in this instance you will know there is a significant reference to a Deetz family in vol. 276.
The Genealogy Center will be open normal hours, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Friday, April 2nd, but will be closed on Sunday, April 4th. We will observe normal hours on Saturday and Monday.