Saturday, February 25, 2012

52 Weeks - Genealogy Libraries

I am woefully behind on this year's 52 Weeks blogging challenge. Last year's 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy was a fun trip down memory lane when I was able to jump in. This year, the new prompts are more about sharing your favorite genealogy tips or resources. With a new job and RootsTech this year, I am just now getting back into my blogging groove. a Librarian, I cannot let this week's challenge go by without a comment or two about my favorite libraries. So, as I sneak in just under the wire for this week's challenge, I will begin by confessing that a couple of these are shameless plugs as I have been very affiliated with two out of the four Libraries I am going to post about. Also these small profiles are about Genealogy Libraries in the Central Kentucky area - PLUS, they are Libraries I am familiar with. If I leave out any special places in this area, this is not intentional, and one can only give an opinion of those places one is knowledgeable about - so feel free to comment if you have experience in other Central Kentucky Genealogy Libraries that I missed.

The Kentucky Historical Society, Martin F. Schmidt Research Library, Frankfort, KY:
This is one of my plugs as I am currently the Senior Librarian/Reference Specialist with this Library. But I must say, I fell in love with this Library the moment they built it, ten+ years ago. When I started my true genealogy journey, many years ago, I begin seeking out genealogy specific Libraries and I have to say this one was the number two spot on my hit list. Back then, they were housed in the Old State Capitol annex and even though it was cramped, it was the place I was first introduced to Ship Passenger Lists and Census records - before ANYTHING was online! When they decided to build the new Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, they hit a home run! This Center conducts amazing educational programs, houses a wonderful museum area and has the largest Genealogy Library in the state! Among the many features, as quoted from their site:

"Located on the second floor of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Kentucky Historical Society Martin F. Schmidt Research Library houses over 90,000 published works, dealing primarily with history and genealogy, as well as more than 16,000 reels of microfilm and over 30,000 vertical files of collected and contributed research."

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, KY:
Whenever I talk about genealogy research in Kentucky, I always include this Library as well. While the previous Library houses the most genealogy specific material (published genealogies, family history files, special collections, etc), this Library houses the most official records on the state/county level. They are THE official repository for the records of Kentucky and should NOT be missed when conducting research in the area or the State! They too have a wonderful facility just up the hill on the Connector in Frankfort - and might I add, both facilities have GREAT parking!

University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington, KY:
This is my second plug as I worked for this Library system for over 11 years. Now, I know this is not thought of as a genealogy specific Library, but it houses a collection that should be on EVERY Kentucky genealogist's list. They maintain, and reproduce for sale, the largest collection of Kentucky newspapers on microfilm. I detailed how to access their collection in this previous post about newspapers in Kentucky. Might I also add, that they do have a decent collection of genealogy material both in the form of published genealogies (many on the shelf in the main Library) and county compiled records (in their Special Collections Library). They also have wonderful map and photograph collections! I will be speaking on their collection as well as how to access it at the next 2nd Saturday Genealogy Workshop Program on March 10th at the Kentucky Historical Society. BTW, I always like to mention that UK loans these newspapers to Libraries all over the world via Interlibrary Loan, so even those out of state should look into this option!

The John Fox Jr. Genealogical Library, Paris KY:
This little gem is on my list for sentimental reasons. It was the FIRST genealogy Library I visited when I began my research trek. It is very small by comparison, but it is housed in the state headquarters for the Daughters of the American Revolution. The hours are very unpredictable since it is run solely by volunteers, but it is one of those old-school genealogy hubs that provides solid expertise and research help by the dedicated volunteers that are willing to assist. They were very kind and patient when I visited as a budding genealogist in my early 20s, which places them on my list of favorite genealogy Libraries in my area!

Get researching folks! These places will keep you busy!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates