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Genealogy and Family History

How to Begin

Finding Information

Research in Libraries

Given the popularity of genealogy today, most libraries have manuals and guides that provide basic information about research methods in genealogy; and many also hold more detailed or specialized works on particular aspects of genealogical research. Libraries often have extensive collections on local histories, biographies, and newspapers; and may have census records on microfilm pertaining to locality.

Libraries provide access to databases for many specialized resources such as newspapers, biographies, encyclopedias and periodicals. A library's collection of books, periodicals and electronic databases provide not just facts and figures, but give you context for your research.

If a library does not have the resources you need, the librarian can often obtain them through inter-institutional loan from other libraries for the cost of shipping.

If you cannot get to a library in person, look on its website to see if it has an "Ask a Question" service. Many libraries offer virtual reference services and will answer questions from clients based in remote or rural areas.