I want to thank everyone who used the genealogy databases during our free trial and gave us feedback. Out of the four sites we tried, two were clear winners, and I am happy to announce that we will provide access to these great resources for the next year! So without further ado, let me tell you a little bit about our new research gems and how you can use them.
#1: Fold3 is a military database created by Ancestry.com. A subscription to Ancestry alone will give you access to some military records, but compared to Fold3, it’s a drop in the bucket. Fold3 has 60,000 pages of unique resources that contain 440 million records dating from the American Revolution to present conflicts. Here are just a few record collection examples that are unique to Fold3 : WWII diaries (2 million + records), Revolutionary War Service Records (2 million +), and War of 1812 Pension Files (1 million +). If you want to browse a list of all titles that are unique to Fold3 that the library can now provide access to, you can find it here. The site also has awesome personalizing and collaborative properties. You can create a personal user account (FOR FREE) to build memorial pages to your own veteran ancestors or living relatives, you can annotate images found in the database and leave comments on others’ memorial pages, and you can share it all via Facebook, Twitter, email, and even link to your Ancestry tree if you have one. So of course, we always have to add the caveat, if anyone can add anything to the pages, be careful about trusting the information if it stands alone. It’s about as reliable as Wikipedia (which can be a good source of information – it just depends). ALWAYS corroborate results with other sources whenever possible. There are many ways to search and browse, and Fold3 offers really helpful tips if you find yourself overwhelmed by the information. I plan to spend some time searching for my relatives here, so be on the lookout for a Fold3 intro class before our next genealogy lock-in this summer!
#2: NewspaperARCHIVE is my favorite new database. I spend quite a bit of time fielding obituary requests, and NewspaperARCHIVE has made my life so much easier! My success does depend on the number of issues digitized; not every day of every year for the Dover Daily Reporter can be found here. I can see at a glance if the date I am looking for will appear by using the “browse by location” feature. I can tell you within a few clicks that the database has only 2 issues for 1917: March 21, and April 6. The intuitiveness and efficiency of the filters is really what makes this database great. You can narrow at the front end of your search, or do a very general name search and narrow afterwards. Both options are quick and easy; I can usually find out whether or not I will have to go to the microfilm (a much slower searching experience, as some of you know!) within 30 seconds. And when I find what I’m looking for, I can easily create a PDF of the whole page, or zoom in on the article I want and clip the section to print.
Want to try it for yourself? Here is how you can access the databases:
There are two places you can find the databases on our website. First, if you click on “Research” from the menu bar across the top of our homepage, you will be sent to a list of all research databases provided by the library. You can also hover over “Local History & Genealogy” (it’s just to the right of “Research” in the menu bar) and select “Collections & Resources”, then scroll down to “Research Databases”. If you are here at the library, all you need to do is click on the image and you will be redirected to the site. If you are at home (oh yeah, you can browse these databases in your jammies!) you will be promted to sign in with your library barcode and pin. If you don’t know your pin, call the library at (330)343-6123 and we can help you.
Need more help?
I can meet with you one-on-one if you would like to set up an appointment, or you can stop in the Roots Cellar on Thursdays from 9-5 and explore the resources on our brand new research computer, courtesy of The Reeves Foundation!
-Claire Kandle, Local History & Genealogy Librarian