Libraries are, of course, very important to genealogists because they provide organized and well-preserved information and data needed to complete a comprehensive family tree.
Because there is only so much information that can be obtained online, you may have to access records located in your local library or in one of the family history libraries located across the United States. Because many of the libraries in which you will want to retrieve information are large and quite overwhelming, you will need a good research plan when visiting them.
Your first order of business before visiting a library to retrieve your family genealogical information is to gather as much background information as possible. You will also want to clearly record the information you want to find once you arrive, so you won't lose focus or overlook any important searches you want to perform.
You may find the information you need on a variety of formats, from printed materials to microfiche. Familiarize yourself with how to use microfilm readers or ask one of the librarians to assist you with this task so you can more easily accomplish your searches. Some of the information you need may be stored as "vault films" and may take a number of days to access, so prepare by requesting these films in advance of your visit.
If possible, get a map or layout of the library you want to visit, so you won't spend the majority of your time familiarizing yourself with the library itself. A map or layout will allow you to pinpoint the areas you need to visit, thereby allowing you to immediately head to the proper area to carry out your family tree research.
You may certainly want to bring along your computer or a flash drive so you can download and save information. Finally, you will want to bring along change, as you may want to use a copy machine so you can bring the appropriate information home with you, as well as a snack and drink to refresh and energize yourself during your time there.
Don't just assume you must visit a library, however, to obtain the information you need, as there are a number of virtual genealogy libraries on the Internet. Some of the items you may be able to access from online libraries include: books, journals, diaries, manuscripts, memoirs, and letters, and most of this information is readily available for genealogists.
You may want to consider a number of family history centers that are related to various parts of the country or churches. These types of libraries are dedicated to a certain group of individuals, thereby making your search for family history information less laborious and time intensive.
WebRoots.org Genealogy Foundation - an online library of genealogy and history-related books
Archives.com - lists many of the Family History Centers, which are run by the LDS Church
Godfrey Memorial Library - features a genealogy collection focusing on New England and the thirteen original colonies
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