Monday, December 13, 2010

Inventory of Beginner Genealogy Books at Wake County Libraries that Circulate

I’ve been interning for several weeks at a fairly big Wake County library in Raleigh and I was pretty surprised to see that their genealogy collection was pretty non-existent.

No Raleigh Regional Library

I think the only genealogy-related book I was actually able to put my hands on was the Genealogy for Dummies book.

I wanted to do a book display at the library on genealogy to celebrate Family History Month back in October. However, in order to do so, I would have to request genealogy books from other libraries because as I mentioned above, my library just didn’t have any.

When I started searching for genealogy books I kept running into the same roadblock – all the good ones were locked up tight at the Olivia Rainey History Library. Well, not really, this just means that they do not circulate, which would not be a good fit for my book display as the point of it was to get people to take the books home with them and read them!

I did an inventory of some of the basic genealogy books held throughout the 20 or so libraries in the Wake County system.  I ended up with a random collection of 13 books that are available to check out from these libraries along with 13 books that are only available at the History Library (that do not circulate).

Organizing your family history search : efficient & effective ways to gather and protect your genealogical research / Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 1999

12 copies, 1 DNC at ORL

American genealogical research at the DAR, Washington, D.C. / by Eric G. Grundset and Steven B. Rhodes. 1997


Unpuzzling your past : a basic guide to genealogy / by Emily Anne Croom. 1995

5 copies, 1 DNC at ORL

Going to Salt Lake City to do family history research / J. Carlyle Parker. 1996


Uncovering your ancestry through family photographs / Maureen A. Taylor. 2000

2 copies, 1 DNC at ORL

Courthouse research for family historians : your guide to genealogical treasures / by Christine Rose. 2004


North Carolina research, genealogy and local history / edited by Helen F. M. Leary and Maurice R. Stirewalt. 1980 (older edition)

2 copies, 1 can circulate

Professional genealogy : a manual for researchers, writers, editors, lecturers, and librarians / editor, Elizabeth Shown Mills ; editorial board, Donn Devine, James L. Hansen, Helen F.M. Leary. 2001


Crafting your own heritage album / by Bev Braun. 2000

Several copies available

North Carolina Research : Genealogy and Local History / Helen F. M. Leary, C.G., F.A.S.G., editor. 1996

5 copies, none circulate

The researcher's guide to American genealogy / Val D. Greenwood. 2000

Several copies available

Land & property research in the United States / by E. Wade Hone.1997


Genealogy 101 : how to trace your family's history and heritage / Barbara Renick. 2003

Several copies available

Ancestry's guide to research : case studies in American genealogy / by Johni Cerny & Arlene Eakle.1985


Genealogy for the first time : research your family history / Laura Best. 2003

Several copies available

The Source : a guidebook of American genealogy / edited by Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny. 1984. 1997. 2006

DNC at ORL; DNC at other Libraries too

The family tree guide book : everything you need to know to trace your genealogy across North America / the editors of Family Tree Magazine. 2003

Several copies available

The handybook for genealogists : United States of America.2006


The everything family tree book : research and preserve your family history / Kimberly Powell. 2006

Several copies available

Red Book 2004


A genealogist's guide to discovering your female ancestors / Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 1998

2 copies, one at ORL, one that circs

Ancestors : a beginner's guide to family history and genealogy / by Jim and Terry Willard with Jane Wilson. 1997


The complete idiot's guide to genealogy / by Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls. 2005

Several copies available

A genealogist's guide to discovering your immigrant & ethnic ancestors : how to find and record your unique heritage / Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 2000


The weekend genealogist : timesaving techniques for effective research / Marcia Yannizze Melnyk.

Several copies available

Evidence explained : citing history sources from artifacts to cyberspace / Elizabeth Shown Mills. 2007


So from the look of this list, maybe we are not so bad off after all? I was thinking that because we had a dedicated History Library that the genealogy selection for the mainstream libraries which could circulate was reduced; However, it does seem like the beginner genealogist wouldn’t have to go very far to get their hands on some good quality books, albeit they might have to do some finagling to get them sent to their local library.

Transitioning from beginner to intermediate genealogist might present more of a problem, however.  Books like The Source, The Red Book,  and The Handybook are only available at the History Library. And any kind of specific type of research book covering records at the DAR library, cemetery research, immigrant research, land and property, court house, or North Carolina research is also only available at the History Library.

I was glad to see that Carmack’s Organizing your Family History Search, Greenwood’s The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, and Rising’s Family Tree Problem Solver were available for circulation through a couple of local libraries. Next time I will inventory the Durham Public Libraries’ genealogy collections. Durham County does not have a dedicated History Library, although they do have an “NC Collection Room” where they keep all of their non-circulating genealogy books.

How about your local library? Does it have any genealogy books that are available to be checked out? If not, are there other public libraries in your area from which you can request genealogy books be sent?