Librarians Day launches family history gathering
Genealogy is among top topics for library visitors, sponsor says
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Libraries and genealogy go hand in hand.
is consistently one of the top two or three areas of content librarians
are asked about, says Paul Nauta, FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager,
whether they are at libraries big or small.
it has become a tradition at annual meetings of the National
Genealogical Society to kick things off with Librarians Day, says
William Forsyth, with ProQuest, sponsor of this year's event.
day's session is designed for public and academic librarians, for
genealogical and family history librarians, for archivists, for anyone
who might be asked to help patrons in this area, he says, whether or
not genealogy is their specialty.
\"It is also traditional to tour local depositories so librarians will know what resources are available and how to use them.\"
sessions for 2010 Librarians Day were held Monday at the Joseph Smith
Memorial Building; afternoon tours took conference attendees to the
Family History Library and the new Church History Library.
National Genealogical Society is meeting in Salt Lake City for only the
second time in the past 25 years. This year's gathering, which
officially starts today at the Salt Palace, is expected to be one of
the largest ever in the United States, with more than 2,000 attendees,
100 speakers, 180 lectures and workshops, and 123 exhibitors.
events throughout the week will include a multimedia tribute to family
history featuring historian David McCullough, the Mormon Tabernacle
Choir and Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
will also be a Family History Consultant Fireside with Elder Allan F.
Packer of the First Quorum of the Seventy, an open house and extended
research hours at the Church History Library, a kids camp, a virtual
tour of the world-famous Granite Mountain Records Vault, free
\"Ask-an-Expert\" family consultations by the Utah Genealogical
Association and more.
things off on Librarians Day was James Sweany, head of the Local
History & Genealogy Reading Room at the Library of Congress in
Even the Library of Congress is heavily involved in genealogical research.
\"It's always been a staple,\" he said. But in recent years, with all the automation, it has just expanded tremendously.\"
Local History & Genealogical Reading Room is one of 20 reading
rooms that are open to the public. Last year, he said, the library was
visited by 1.6 million patrons. It has, at latest count, 141,874,810
items in its collection; new items are added to the collection at an
average rate of just more than 10,000 per year.
is a superlative library,\" Sweany said. \"And talking about the
highlights of the collection is sort of like trying to take a drink of
water out of a fire hydrant.\"
library dates to 1815, when Thomas Jefferson sold his private library
to Congress, after the original collection was burned by the British in
the War of 1812.
collection had between 9,000 and 10,000 volumes, including some
European books such as the English Domsday Book and the Peerage of
Ireland. Up until then, \"the library was primarily a law library, for
use of Congress only,\" said Sweany, \"but Jefferson said he could not
conceive of a subject that should not be of interest to Congress.\"
Over the years, it has \"expanded to the breadth and depth we enjoy today.\"
way most people now access the extensive library collection is online,
he said, where it is possible to search by keyword as well as employ
advanced search methods. Materials are also available through
questions can be asked through the \"Ask a Librarian\" program. And some
9 million items that document U.S. history and culture have now been
digitized through the \"American Memory\" program, with more being added
all the time. American Memory collections include such things as a
survey of historic buildings, first-person narratives of the American
South, panoramic maps, diaries and letters from the trails to Utah and
the Pacific from 1846-1869, historic newspapers, Civil War photographs
\"We are not able to do any research,\" said Sweany, \"but we can offer suggestions on where to look.\"
in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to \"genealogy
education, high research standards and the preservation of genealogical
records.\" Throughout the week, a wide range of U.S. and international
topics will be covered, as researchers from all over look for new
technologies and methods of gathering age-old family histories.
Websites guide searchers in the Library of Congress
Search strategies for materials in the Library of Congress
Library of Congress website: www.loc.gov
of Congress Online Catalog, containing 12 million bibliographic records
for books, serials, manuscripts, music and more: catalog.loc.gov/
Alternative Interface for Online Catalog, which works well for text-only browsers: www.loc.gov/z3950/
and Photographs Online Catalog, bibliographic records and thumbnail
images for nearly half of the Library's pictorial collection: www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html
Archival Description (EAD) Finding Aids, a searchable set of archival
finding aids for collections in many of the Library's reading rooms: www.loc.gov/rr/ead/
Ask a Librarian: www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/
Interlibrary Loan: www.loc.gov/rr/loan/
American Memory, a gateway to the Library's more than 9 million digitized historical materials: memory.loc.gov/ammem
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