Tuesday’s Tip: Utilizing Library Websites

In the month of November I ventured back into the Chicago Pubic Library. It had been a quite a few years since I had been in the library and I felt it was time. I ventured to the closest library to my house, which has been moved next to the local public grammar school (which has its own hidden code – go to library way before school gets out).

I had some problems with my library card that took a few weeks to straighten out, but while I was at the library I was able to sit at their research computer and look at obituaries in the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive. I spent about two hours scouring this site. I found seven obituaries related to my family and emailed them to myself. This way I could print a copy for my records (read I like paper copies) and transcribe it as well for my blog.

A week later, I was back at a different branch of the library and took care of the problems with my card and then I happily checked out a few books. Later that evening, I went to yet another library and spent another hour and a half research obituaries of my Chicago ancestors. Again, my search was very fruitful and I went home to more emails to print and transcribe.

Well, sense I have everything figured out relating to my library card, I am finally able to access their website. Which made me happy. I can now research from home. Oh, until today when I really looked at the site and found out I did not need to log in. The site is open for everyone to use. I even passes the website on to facebook friend, Barbara Poole, and she immediately found information on one of her ancestors.

The one thing I learned is that we really need to look at our local resources. Do you know what is all open to you? Obviously, I did not. With this find, I am cracking open my paternal German lineage and enjoying all I am learning. With each obituary comes a trip to the local cemeteries so that I can document the stones asap. If I wait, the stone will go forgotten. As it is, I will start making my list of cemeteries/graves for the spring so that I do not forget.

Since this worked for out of state friends, I ventured over to the NY Public Library site, hoping I would have the same luck. Not so much, you must log in the with a NYPL card. Boo, I was hoping to have the same luck.



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  1. I’m a big fan of the library. A library card for our local library system gets me access to NCLive, which has a ton of stuff. One of my favorite genealogy tools it gives me access to is HeritageQuest, which has census records, PERSI and digitized local and family histories.

    1. Dee, I use to go onto Heritage Quest through one of our suburban libraries. I liked their census images better than Ancestry. Unfortunately, they ended their partnership with Heritage Quest, so I quit logging on and now I cannot find my log in information for that library. I need to get back and re-up that and get my log in info so I can have access to the rest of the information they have.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Happy researching to you!

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