New guide to libraries could prove useful to genealogy researchers

  • Kenneth H. Thomas Jr.
  • For the AJC
3:46 p.m Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 Living
AJC file photo

The Georgia Public Library Service has just published a welcomed guide that helps get the word out about the genealogy information and local history collections available at libraries throughout the state.

“Georgia’s Treasures: Exploring Your Genealogy, History and Culture at Public Libraries” is a 24-page publication give in-depth information on 10 library collections and references 38 others. A page is dedicated to each collection featured in-depth, while the information listed for the others include contact information, websites and a blurb about them. Georgia has wonderful genealogy and local history collections. Many are well-known, like those in Macon and Columbus; others not so much.

The guide is limited to public libraries and does not include archives, historical societies, or any private collections. To obtain the free publication, go to georgialibraries.org/genealogy and download a PDF version in its entirety. There is also a list of all libraries included. Clicking each one will bring you to the individual website to learn more about that location and the library’s collections, as well as links to materials digitized in the Digital Library of Georgia.

The libraries are arranged oddly — some by the first letter of the first name of the benefactor, some by their county. There’s no map, so you will need to review the entire booklet (or the lists) to get the full scope of the rich resources found in our state. Hard copies may be available at those libraries with genealogy collections.

Walker County newspapers online, and some Catholic resources

The Digital Library of Georgia and Georgia HomePLACE recently announced that Walker County, Georgia, newspapers have been digitized and put online. This includes 2,100 issues from 1880-1924. This is an important resource because, while the county was created in 1833, the courthouse suffered a major records loss in a fire in 1883. The newspapers could fill some of the gap in this loss of information. The DLG also has added a number of publications from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah covering 1920 to the 1960s. Go to Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive at gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu and search for Walker County to access the newspapers. To check out the Catholic publications, click “browse” and then “religious.”

Reddits and their use for genealogists

In “Family Tree Magazine’s” January/February 2018 issue, Andrew Koch explores the eight most famous website, reddit.com and locating gems for genealogists there. He cites them as r/genealogy, r/TheWayWeWere, r/ColorizedHistory, and then various country-wide subreddits, like r/Ireland. Try it out.