Great Reputation of Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) has one of the largest research collections available in its Genealogy Center. It is a unique and valuable resource for the Northeastern Indiana community and the entire genealogical community at large. The Genealogy Center incorporates records from around the world, and its staff specializes in genealogy. It is active in several initiatives to make significant public domain portions of its collection available online. The Center has 350,000 printed volumes and more than 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche.
The Genealogy Center has two new exciting additions. The first is the Life Stories Center, which aims to collect oral histories. The staff and volunteers, including former school teachers and TV personalities, will mentor people on how to conduct oral history interviews. Recording equipment also will be available for checkout. The goal is to catalog and archive the recordings so that they can be used for history classes or other groups studying a particular time period or event.
The second addition is the Discovery Center. It can seat up to 240 people theater-style and has tables and chairs to accommodate small groups or larger groups. It is also equipped with the latest technology, including computer projectors. The Genealogy Center plans to use the Discovery Center to offer pop-up programs for groups visiting the center and for special programs.
If you want to get started in researching your family history, these are the basic steps you should take:
Do your “home” work. Gather information that you already know about your family and talk to relatives to find more information. Look through resources in your home to find information about previous generations that you may not know.
Organize your facts on a standard genealogy chart. Pedigree and family group charts are the most common types of worksheets used by genealogists. You can download these charts on this website.
Continue your research. Create a research plan with specific ideas about information you would like to find during your visit. Visiting a library’s website can be helpful before making a physical visit. Library websites often have a collection description so that you can determine whether the records you seek are likely to be there.