Lesson 3: Libraries and Archives


Lesson Overview

Libraries and archives are central to genealogical research. Every one of us has been to a public library or an academic library at a college or university. We should all know how to browse and search the online catalog, check out books, and generally explore the facility. And don’t forget the online resources that most libraries provide. Have you ever visited an archive though? If not, let’s learn a little more.

Most people have never received any formal training on how to use a library. You typically would go to the library, approach a reference librarian, and ask for help in locating books, magazines, and other resources. In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed a lot in libraries in the last couple of decades. Librarians are no longer just stamping due dates and shelving books; they are now focused on being information professionals, helping people locate materials in the library special collections, in electronic databases, and on the Internet. They are working with a wide variety of patrons/customers and participating in outreach programs into their communities.

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