The Idaho Genealogical Society has donated a collection of 2,000 books and films dating back to 1790 to the Idaho Historical Society.
The collection contains family ancestry information from all 50 states and extensive documents from Idaho, said Jane Golden, president of the society."This is a significant donation to the state," said Gary Bettis, an archivist for the Historical Society. "Combined with ours, it will make for a better collection."
For the past 25 years, the collection has been housed in the State Genealogy Library in Boise. It has shared shelf space with the Historical Society's collection of about 3,000 books and films and a larger collection maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
However, the church plans to move its collection of about 600 books and 5,200 films to new quarters later this year, East Stake President Cecil Olsen said.
The Genealogical Society had been paying the Historical Society $500 a year, but Bettis said that did not cover the cost of maintaining the collection. Donation seemed the best way to ensure continued state maintenance and public access.
The combined collections include census records from 1790 to 1910. They also feature state and county histories and data on ship passenger lists, births, marriages, deaths, cemetery and military records.
Golden said the Idaho Genealogical Society researches and answers about 200 queries annually from across the country and abroad. It publishes a quarterly that is displayed in the Library of Congress.