Saturday, April 19, 2008

National Library Week Tribute #7: The Historical Society Library

I know all of you have been wondering which library I would choose for my 7th. The truth is that there are just too many libraries out there. I hated to name one historical society library without mentioning them all because they are such great depositories of regional information. I'm going to name a few examples here, but all historical society libraries are included in this seventh tribute.

First of all, I want to mention the Itawamba Historical Society's Library in Mantachie, Mississippi. They are located in the Poteet History Center. If you are researching ancestors in Itawamba County, their library is a "must visit." They have a tremendous collection of family histories from the area. You can purchase back issues of Itawamba Settlers to complete your collection. They also have an ongoing book sale there. You can browse and find a few titles of interest for your personal library.

Another society's library I want to mention is McLean County (Illinois) Historical Society. They have microfilms of many of the older courthouse records there which you can photocopy much more cheaply than you can at the nearby courthouse. I found city directories that were extremely helpful to me which covered even small towns like Carlock where my ancestors lived. I was only able to be there for a short time, but the staff was most helpful to me during my brief visit. (I'd spent too much time tromping about the cemetery earlier! You know how that goes with genealogists.)

Then there is the "ultimate" historical society--the New England Historic Genealogical Society. I'm looking forward to another visit there this summer. The photo below was made after FGS conference in 2006. They have all kinds of wonderful resources there! You can't ignore them if you have New England ancestry. The society is located in the Back Bay area on the very trendy Newbury Street. It's not far from the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common. You can even do lunch "where everybody knows your name" or at many other great restaurants in the area. This library is also within walking distance of another great library, the Boston Public Library. Well, I must go and prepare for my visit to the NEHGS Library!

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