Saturday, January 28, 2012

Free Offline Genealogy Tools ~ Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

Week 4 – Free Offline Genealogy Tools: For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefited your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.

I am most grateful for Libraries and Archives ~ and most grateful to the librarians and archivists who devote themselves to assisting knowledge seekers.  Everyone should use their libraries and archives, cherish them, and support them!  The ones listed below are my "winners."

Art by Salvatore Vuono
at ~ Thanks

I am most grateful for Libraries
Bronze Medal – the Public Library in Longview, Washington with an amazing genealogy alcove that houses a wealth of materials provided by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society.
Silver Medal – the Minnesota Historical Society Library housed in an amazing building, and has wonderful Archivists and Volunteers, newspapers on microfilm, death certificates on microfilm, birth certificates (okay they are online but I looked at them on the computers at the Library), books galore, maps galore, county records and histories.  The Library holds an overwhelming amount of records, first timers can get a personal guided tour, the work areas are comfortable, the views from the windows are stunning, and the Library offers several programs.  If you can’t find it there, they help you figure out where you can find it!  Minnesotans – you have an amazing facility – cherish it, use it, tell others about it! 
Gold Medal – our National Library of Congress which never ceases to inspire awe and pride in anyone who walks through the doors to this facility (really three facilities, the Adams, Jefferson, and Madison buildings).  The Geography & Map Reading Room is a definite must use as is the Local History & Genealogy Reading Room.

I am also most grateful for Archives
Bronze Medal - the Wright County Historical Society’s Archive in Buffalo, Minnesota is a treasure.  Special mention must be made of the employees and volunteers who enthusiastically assist all researchers.  This Archive has an amazing amount of material for Wright County researchers and lucky me I found all kinds of records relating to my Swedish American relations here!
Silver Medal - the Provisional Archives of Newfoundland & Labrador in St. John's is in one word STUNNING!  I would happily be locked in this facility for a month to do my research and make a return trip.  The purpose built facility has beautiful work areas with lovely artwork, comfortable reading areas, wonderful materials, helpful staff, surprising finds, and a lovely city waiting just outside to be explored when you finish your research for the day.  This is one of my favorite places.
Gold Medal –our National Archives in Washington, D.C. (as well as the regional facilities) is another facility that inspires awe.  This is one of those places where there is so much material that you will want to make many return visits.  Be sure to check out Leaflet 71 (online) to help plan your visit.  The history contained in the many documents housed at the National Archives combined with our national government housed nearby in the White House, Capitol, and Supreme Court all make for an amazing visit.


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