Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Phoenix Public Library - What's Available to Genealogists?

Geneabloggers.com is sponsoring "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy," and I decided to work on Challenge #6 - Online Databases.  The challenge for this week was to visit your library's website and see if your card grants you access to online databases.  My main library?  Phoenix Public Library.

First, do you have a library card?  Sign up!  After you sign up and log on, click on the Research tab to get to this page:

You can browse by subject or index.  You can look at all Databases, Websites, or just the Magazines & Newspaper Index.  I selected to browse by subject “Family & Home” and these options were available:
  • Adoption 
  • Birth, Death Certificates & Obituaries, which showed 3 sources:
    • Arizona Republic 1999-Present (database, that takes you to ProQuest)
    • Mesa Regional Family History Center (web site – can search AZ Obituaries, Arizona Births and Deaths, Arizona Cemeteries (entire state, or by counties)
    • Obituary Daily Times (part of Rootsweb.com and Ancestry.com)
  •  Find a Family Member – led me to several options, and a new website I was unaware:  Obituary Links Page (www.obitlinkspage.com).
  •  Research Your Genealogy – took you to more genealogy website links such as familysearch.org, etc.
I then returned to strictly database searches, and learned the City of Phoenix Library has 105 online resources available.  I found the following sites helpful to genealogists:

Heritage Quest (obviously!).  Heritage Quest has information covering America since the late 1700’s, including census images (1790-1930), 25,000 family and local history books, Revolutionary War records, Freedman’s Bank Records, and PERSI (Periodical Source Index) covering 6,500 genealogical periodicals since 1800.

ProQuest Obituaries Online.  Over 10.5 million obituaries and death notices of Atlanta Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Defender, Chicago Trubine, Los Angeles times, New York Times and Washington Post.  1851-1994, depending on newspaper.

Residential Phone Directory – Reference USA:  120 million+ listings, searchable by name, location or phone number.

EBSCOhostWeb:  Searches 25 EBSCO databses at once, including the Bibliography of Native North Americans (1600’s to present - and has more than 132,000 citations for books, journal articles, essays, and government documents of the US and Canada), Newspaper Source Plus (1,500+ full-text newspapers, and 684,000 television and radio news transcripts).

Ancestry Library:  This confirmed to me that the library still offers Ancestry.com, but only available when you visit the library.  (At least it is still free, if you can get on a computer at the library.)

Arizona Republic 1999-Present – Full text access, which is great for searching individuals, and especially obituaries.

Frankly, this exercise showed me several sites I should be including in my genealogy searches.  Hope you find this helpful as well.

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