News from the Reference Desk Category: Genealogy

Preservation Week 2021

vintage and antique photos and docuomentsAn initiative of Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures which is a division of the American Library Association, Preservation Week (April 25-May 1, 2021) highlights what libraries and individuals can do to preserve our personal and shared collections. The American Library Association webpage for this event guidelines for how to preserve items in personal collections (photographs, audio recordings, films, textiles) and webinars which give additional information about preservation issues. The University of Illinois Library also has information and webinar links on its Preservation webpage.

The Mount Prospect Public Library has several books in its collection which can help individuals care for their own treasures. Two of these are An Ounce of Preservation by Craig A. Tuttle and Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating and Preserving Photographs by Diane V. Gagel.

If you would like to contact a professional conservator for advice about an item in your personal collection, check out the Find a Conservator Portal offered by the American Institute for the Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works.

New Web Resource: HeritageHub

I am happy to announce that Mount Prospect Public Library now offers to its patrons a new genealogy resource. HeritageHub provides access to hundreds of years of obituaries and death notices from thousands of newspapers across the United States. This one-of-a-kind collection helps patrons and family historians uncover new family members and understand family relationships on a deeper level than ever before. HeritageHub feature comprehensive coverage from all 50 U.S. states and territories, original obituary images from historical newspapers, hard-to-find digitized content from mid-to-late 1900s, and new records added daily.

Using Ancestry Library Edition from Home

family tree clip artGood news for genealogists and family historians!  ProQuest, the company which makes Ancestry Library Edition available to library patrons, is continuing to allow researchers to access ALE from home until June 30, 2021.  Ancestry Library Edition is the library version of the commercial Ancestry.com database. Mount Prospect card holders can access the Ancestry Library Edition database by going to the Library’s Web Resources page either in the Library or at home.  If you are at home you will first need to enter your library card number and PIN (usually the last four digits of your phone number) in order to get to the full list of resources.  Ancestry Library Edition is at the top of the alphabetical list.

Please know that you can contact the Library’s Research Services Desk by phone, chat or email if you have any questions as you use the database.  The genealogy librarian is also available to chat or to set up a Reference by Appointment session to discuss Ancestry Library Edition or another genealogical research issue you have.

Help for the Family Historian

family tree clip artWinter is a good time for working on compiling your family tree.  Since many of us are staying inside these days because of the pandemic and the colder weather, use this time to gather your family papers, delve into the many online resources available to genealogists, and reach out to family members during those holiday Zoom calls.  There are many ways to get help with this process if you are just beginning, have hit the inevitable “brick wall,” or just need some encouragement to continue the process.

The Mount Prospect Public Library offers an large collection of genealogy resources in print and online.  Click here to access the print genealogy collection.  Many of these books can be checked out.  Just put a book with the prefix GS in front of the call number on hold.  When you get an email message that the book is ready for you, you can then make a parking lot pickup appointment on line or by calling the library.  MPPL offers many online genealogy databases for use by Mount Prospect Public Library card holders.  You can see what is available here.  Click on the category “Genealogy” to narrow the list to those most helpful for family history research.  You will need to enter your library card number and PIN to access the resources from home.  Please note that Ancestry Library Edition is available for searching from home until March 31, 2021. The genealogy librarian Anne Shaughnessy is available to discuss your genealogy research with you.  You can call the library at 847-253-5675 to speak with her or set up a virtual Reference by Appointment.

Sometimes it is helpful to meet with others who are also compiling their family trees.  There are two organizations in our area which have meetings and host speakers on genealogical topics.  They are the Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society and the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois (CAGGNI).  Check the websites of NWSGS and CAGGNI for information about their upcoming meetings including their “members helping members (and non-members)” sessions.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City hosts a massive collection of genealogical information managed by an expert staff and skilled volunteers.  Now that staff is available to help you with your genealogical research during free 20 minute consultation sessions.  Please use the FamilySearch Research Wiki to schedule a consultation.  Sessions can be conducted in English or Spanish.  The scheduling app provides schedule information in the guest’s own local time to simplify making the connection across time zones.

Searching for one’s family history can be a challenging endeavor.  Getting help from others is part of that process.  May the resources mentioned here lead you to some intriguing stories!  Best wishes for success with your research.

Facial Recognition Activity

FamilySearch has a fun new feature as a part of their free family tree service. It uses facial recognition software to compare one face with another. Results vary depending upon quality of the picture, angle of the head, and age of the subjects, but it can help answer the question, “Do I actually resemble my mom or my dad?” How about grandparent? The results may amuse or confuse you, but it is fun way to kill some time and reflect on your family.

family search compare-a-face family search compare-a-face

For more information about this activity click here.