Showing posts with label New York Public Library. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Public Library. Show all posts

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Family History Month: Using My Library Card for Genealogy


Whether I visit in person or log in at midnight from home, my library card has been an "open sesame" for family history research. I can't count how many times a library database or librarian has come to the rescue to help solve a genealogical mystery during my Genealogy Go-Over.

For everyday research, I love the convenience of accessing Heritage Quest from home with my local library's card, and I know many libraries also offer local or national newspaper databases for remote access. But I also have to look beyond my local library, because my research stretches across the country and across national borders.

Above, the Connecticut State Library allows in-state residents who have a state library card (separate from a local library card) to access the New York Times historical database stretching back to the 1800s, among other newspaper databases available for free, from home. This is handy because local libraries don't always have access to these databases. Thanks to this New York Times database, I've found birth, marriage, and death notices for ancestors, as well as mentions of ancestors' business dealings.

Looking for more info to understand my Ellis Island immigrant ancestors, I've browsed the New York Public Library's Digital Collections for old photos and old maps. Non-residents can apply for a NYPL card (for a fee) and access databases in their jammies, whether they're in Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon. The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne also offers non-resident library cards.

So see what your local and state libraries have to offer, and think about other library cards to expand your research access.

For more "free or fee" genealogy tips, see my posts here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ellis Island Photos

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The NY Public Library has digital collections of photos of old New York and much more for people like me, who are climbing their family tree.

About 10 years ago my sister and I went with several cousins to Ellis Island and looked for the names of our ancestors who had come to America through its gates. What a moving visit! And what a great opportunity to tell family stories. Afterward, Cousin Ron guided us to his favorite Chinatown restaurant. It was a day to remember, even as the research continues.