At-Home Library Resources to Start (or Re-Start) Genealogical Research
Midland Beach, Staten Island, N.Y. House with family gathered on front porch. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 104509
Recently, an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled "Now Could Be the Time to Get To Those Genealogy Projects" raised the idea that “if you are not homeschooling or working, it could be an excellent time to get organized” in your genealogy research. In Psychology Today, author Libby Copeland made the point that “genealogy provides context to our suffering” and that “that there is something reassuring about knowing we have been here before, even if we’ve never experienced precisely this.” Partner these thoughts with the fact that phone calls have increased dramatically during the pandemic response—and that people are talking more with friends and family members—so now may be a good time to conduct interviews for genealogy facts. And, if you are well along in your genealogy research, now may be the time to finally write your family history.
How can the Library help with genealogy research while the buildings are closed?
Remote access to research databases
During the Library's closure users can log in from home to important genealogy collections that were formerly only available by visting the Library. These include Ancestry, Newspapers.com, America’s Historical Newspapers, The New York Times Historical Database, and the African American Historical Serials Collection.
Bryant Park view of the New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 1558521
Librarians are assisting researchers remotely
The librarians of the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy are answering questions by email (send a message to email@example.com or use our web form). So far, the librarians have been able to respond with the information needed for most of the questions, with only a few that will require follow-up once the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building reopens.
NYPL has developed Digital Research Books,
This is an early beta test of a new project that collects digital versions of research books from many different sources—including Open Access publications—into one convenient place to search. In addition, staff members can often locate digitized versions of books that researchers need.
Digital Collections, Archives & Manuscripts, Serials & Newspapers
The Library’s Digital Collections portal and Archives & Manuscripts portal provides access to some popular genealogy resources such as the NYPL’s collection of New York City Directories or Yizkor books and the Archives and Manuscript’s Division’s digitized holdings. Digital access to several serials and newspapers such as The Villager and B'nai B'rith Messenger are available, as is the Library’s digitized collection of Maps & Atlases.
Online research guides
The Library’s online research guides for genealogy cover a range of topics. Some of the most popular and useful guides include:
When it comes to genealogy research, a little reading can save you a lot of time. Here are some genealogy guides available through the Library in e-book formats:
- Genealogy Online
- Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques
- The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors
- The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy
- How to Archive Family Keepsakes
- How to Organize Inherited Items
- AARP Genealogy Online
- Tracing Your Jewish Ancestors
- Trace Your German Roots Online
- A Tommy in the Family: First World War Family History and Research
- Discover Your Family History Online
- Researching Your Family History Online For Dummies
- Family History: Digging Deeper
- The Genealogist's Internet
- Mastering Ancestry.com Search
- Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing: Adventures in Discovering News-Making Connections, Unexpected Ancestors, and Long-Hidden Secrets, and Solving Historical Puzzles
So...what will you find?