Online Resources From Your Local Library

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Did you know that you can access a wide variety of electronic resources provided by your local public library from the comfort of your own home? Libraries across the country subscribe to a number of premium research databases that are not available to the general public, such as genealogy, national and local newspapers, history and geography, magazines and journals, almanacs, encyclopedias, consumer information, and more. These databases are available 24 hours a day for its patrons through the Internet.

For example, you can search several online databases provided by the Columbia County Library in Washington, including census records, Revolutionary War records, genealogy and local history articles, newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal, historical land ownership maps, as well as many modern maps including political, physical, thematic, and outline of over 200 world maps. You can gain remote access to all of these databases with your Columbia County Rural Library card number.

In California, the City of Oakland Public Library provides it patrons with online access to genealogy databases that includes census images, head of household indexes, family and local histories, military rosters, vital record transcripts and directories. You can also request detailed local genealogy research from the reference librarians via email or postal mail that can include lookups in Oakland city directories, California county histories, and Oakland birth and death certificates issued from 1870-1904, as well as other Oakland History Room indexes. Copies of Oakland birth and death certificates, death notices or obituaries from local newspapers may be requested by mail for a fee.

Sometimes you can also find a wealth of information from a library website without even being a patron. For example, the Washington County Library in Maryland provides an online collection of local history and genealogy databases such as obituaries, marriage records, cemetery and death records, school records, church records, city directories, and a historic newspaper index. You do not need a library card to access these online resources. Additionally, reference assistance is available that includes a basic search of local histories and family genealogies, as well as obituary searches. Washington County Free Library card holders will also have access to remote databases, including US Federal Census records, genealogy and local history periodicals, Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant application files, newspaper and magazine articles, consumer reports, current events and general reference materials.

Whether you are interested in investigating your family history, or in reading full-text articles in popular magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers, or just want access to the wealth of high quality information not available from a search engine, you just may want to check out what remote resources are available to you from your local public library. An easy way to find these resources is through the Free Public Records Search Directory, Vital Statistic Records category page. From there you will be able to access available historical and genealogical library resources from public libraries across the country. Additionally, you can also find library resources through the Free Public Records Search Directory’s main page, and search by state, county, or municipality. With so many online library databases available 24/7, libraries are never closed!

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