Sunday, November 9, 2008

Online Library Databases

Lots of local history and genealogy information is available with minimal cost without ever leaving home.  Libraries are the major source of this information.

Many libraries offer online access to key commercial databases of genealogy, biography, history, geography, periodicals, newspapers, and general research; plus, addition online resources in the library.   For my genealogy and local history research, I maintain library cards for six libraries: (1) The Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence MO, (2) The Houston Public Library in Houston TX, (3) The Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown CT, (4) The New York Public Library in NYC, (5) The Free Library of Philadelphia in PA, and (6) the Mercer County Library System in NJ for access to JerseyClicks.  Plus, we all have free access to many of the resources of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City UT through our local Family History Center and to the Family History Archives at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.  Click on each of the libraries above for information about library cards and access. 

ProQuest's HeritageQuestOnline, NewsBank's America's GenealogyBank, and NewspaperARCHIVE are three of the most important library databases. 

HeritageQuestOnline provides access to (a) U.S. Federal Census images (1790-1930) with indexes for many of the years, (b) 23,000 family and local history books, (c) PERSI - an index to over 2.1 million genealogy and local history articles, (d) Revolutionary War Era Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications, (e) Freedman's Bank records (1865-1874), and (f) the Lexis-Nexis U.S. Serial Set.   

America's GenealogyBank provides access (a) to issues from over 1300 historical newspapers from 1690 to 1977, (b) to over 11,700 historical books (1801-1900) including genealogies, biographies and local histories, (c) to historical documents (1789-1980) including all the American State Papers (1789-1838), genealogical content carefully selected from the U.S. Serial Set (1817-1980), Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests, and land grants, (d) America's Death Notices and Obituaries includes 31.5 million obituaries published since 1977, and (e) the Social Security Death Index (1937-Present).

NewspaperARCHIVE is the world's largest archive of online newspapers and contains tens of millions newspaper pages dating as far back as the 1700s. 

Many more databases are listed under Library Databases in the right sidebar; however, access is limited to those with the required library card.  Those databases with an asterisk (*) at the end are only available in the designated library, not online from home.

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