Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ann Montgomery's "Carlsbad Library Genealogy Collection" Program

At the Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting yesterday, Ann Montgomery made a presentation about the "Carlsbad Library Genealogy Collection." The program announcement and Ann's CV are here. This is a subject dear to my heart, and the hearts of many San Diego area researchers.

Ann stated that the Carlsbad library has the third largest genealogy collection in California (after Sutro Library in San Francisco and the Los Angeles Public Library, I think). It is certainly the largest collection in San Diego County. The library genealogy home page is here. The library catalog is here.

In her presentation, Ann described the genealogy library holdings - the family history and local history books, the periodicals and journals, the microfilm and microfiche, the census index books, the online databases, CDROMs, etc. She also discussed the online catalog, the genealogy user guides created by the library staff, and inter-library loan requests.

For me, the hidden gems in the Carlsbad genealogy collection are:

* the City Directories (before 1860 on microfiche, 1861 to 1880 on microfilm) for many US and some foreign cities.
* the State Census Records on microfilm. This lists only what is held by Carlsbad library.
* the User Guides for several states, specific collections, and specific repositories. For example, the Vosburgh NY Church Records transcriptions on microfilm can be viewed at the library.

During her talk, Ann showed screens for each of the online databases, which include:

* Ancestry Library Edition - in-library use only
* Access NewspaperARCHIVE - available at home with library card
* Heritage Quest Online - available at home with library card
* New England Ancestors (NEHGS web site) - in-library use only.
* - in-library use only.
* Biography and Genealogy Master Index - available at home with library card.

The Carlsbad Library genealogy room staff are Carlsbad city employees, but they work closely with the North San Diego County Genealogical Society. The society and its members contribute many books and periodicals to the library each year.

Ann's talk was very timely, because the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will have a research trip to Carlsbad Library on Saturday, September 6. We will carpool, leaving from the parking garage in downtown Chula Vista at about 8:30 a.m. and leaving Carlsbad at about 2 p.m. Now is the time for CVGS members to start planning their research at Carlsbad Library - check the catalog for resources about your surnames and localities, decide which online resources you want to search for elusive ancestors, etc.

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