United States Archives and Libraries

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
(State Archives and State Libraries)
Line 3: Line 3:
 
The following record repositories have major collections and services helpful for genealogical research. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact the organization and ask for information on the collection, hours, services, and fees.  
 
The following record repositories have major collections and services helpful for genealogical research. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact the organization and ask for information on the collection, hours, services, and fees.  
  
=== National Archives and Records Administration|National Archives  ===
+
=== National Archives and Records Administration ===
  
 
Pennsylvania Avenue at 8th Street, NW<br>Washington, D.C. 20408<br>Telephone: 202-501-5415<br>Fax: 301-713-6740<br>Internet address: [http://www.nara.gov/ www.nara.gov]  
 
Pennsylvania Avenue at 8th Street, NW<br>Washington, D.C. 20408<br>Telephone: 202-501-5415<br>Fax: 301-713-6740<br>Internet address: [http://www.nara.gov/ www.nara.gov]  
  
The [[National Archives and Records Administration|National Archives]] has a vast collection of documents created by the federal government. The records most often used by genealogists are census, military, land, and immigration records.  
+
The [[National Archives and Records Administration|National Archives]] (NARA) has a vast collection of documents created by the federal government. The records most often used by genealogists are census, military, land, and immigration records.  
  
Microfilm copies of many of the records at the [[National Archives and Records Administration|National Archives]] are available at the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]], other major archives and libraries, and at regional branches of the National Archives. You may purchase microfilms from the [[National Archives and Records Administration|National Archives]] or request photocopies of the records by using forms obtained from the Archives.  
+
Microfilm copies of many of the records at the National Archives are available at the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]], other major archives and libraries, and at regional branches of the National Archives. You may purchase microfilms from the National Archives or request photocopies of the records by using forms obtained from the Archives.
 +
:*Eales, Anne Bruner and Robert M. Kvasnicka, ed. ''Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States''. Third Edition. Washington, DC: Nathional Archives and Records Administration, 2000. ([http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AGuide+to+Genealogical+Research+in+the+National+Archives+of+the+United+States  Worldcat]) Explains records collections&nbsp;used most by&nbsp;genealogical researchers: Census, Passenger Arrivals and Border Crossings, Naturalizations, Military, Land, Native Americans, African Americans, and more.
 +
:*A National Archives (NARA) descriptive pamphlet (DP) provides helpful information about a microfilm set such as an explanation about the records on the film set, their origin, and a roll-by-roll descriptive list. Reviewing a DP prior to using a film set can increase a researcher's ability to use it successfully in a time-efficient manner.&nbsp; The Special Collections of the [http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/dps/dplist.htm St. Louis County Library ]has placed on their web site full-text or PDF versions of DPs for some of the NARA microfilm sets.
  
*Eales, Anne Bruner and Robert M. Kvasnicka, ed. ''Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States''. Third Edition. Washington, DC: Nathional Archives and Records Administration, 2000. Explains records collections&nbsp;used most by&nbsp;genealogical researchers: Census, Passenger Arrivals and Border Crossings, Naturalizations, Military, Land, Native Americans, African Americans, and more.
+
Digitized NARA Microfilm Publications and Original Records
*A National Archives (NARA) descriptive pamphlet (DP) provides helpful information about a microfilm set such as an explanation about the records on the film set, their origin, and a roll-by-roll descriptive list. Reviewing a DP prior to using a film set can increase a researcher's ability to use it successfully in a time-efficient manner.&nbsp; The Special Collections of the [http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/dps/dplist.htm St. Louis County Library ]has placed on their web site full-text or PDF versions of DPs for some of the NARA microfilm sets.
+
  
'''Digitized NARA Microfilm Publications and Original Records'''
+
The National Archives has a list of [http://www.archives.gov/digitization/digitized-by-partners.html digitized records] and links to access them through online databases. It includes pay sites such as Ancestry and Footnote.com that have partnered with the National Archives to digitize many of the archives' records. Read more about the [http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2007/nr07-41.html digitization program] at the National Archives.
  
The [http://www.archives.gov/digitization/digitized-by-partners.html National Archives] has a list of links on their website to databases of the digitized records. It includes pay sites such as Ancestry and Footnote.com.
+
'''National Archives - Regional Branches'''
 
+
=== National Archives—Regional Branches ===
+
  
 
Regional branches of the National Archives collect records of federal government offices and courts within the area they serve. These branches are located in or near [[National Archives Pacific Alaska Region (Anchorage)|Anchorage]], [[National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta)|Atlanta]], [[National Archives Northeast Region (Boston)|Boston]], [[National Archives Great Lakes Region (Chicago)|Chicago]], [[National Archives Rocky Mountain Region (Denver)|Denver]], [[National Archives Southwest Region (Ft. Worth)|Fort Worth]], [http://www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city/index.html Kansas City], [http://www.archives.gov/pacific/riverside/ Los Angeles], [http://www.archives.gov/northeast/nyc/index.html New York] (moving soon), [[National Archives Mid Atlantic Region (Philadelphia)|Philadelphia]], [http://www.archives.gov/pacific/san-francisco/index.html San Francisco], and [http://www.archives.gov/pacific-alaska/seattle/index.html Seattle].  
 
Regional branches of the National Archives collect records of federal government offices and courts within the area they serve. These branches are located in or near [[National Archives Pacific Alaska Region (Anchorage)|Anchorage]], [[National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta)|Atlanta]], [[National Archives Northeast Region (Boston)|Boston]], [[National Archives Great Lakes Region (Chicago)|Chicago]], [[National Archives Rocky Mountain Region (Denver)|Denver]], [[National Archives Southwest Region (Ft. Worth)|Fort Worth]], [http://www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city/index.html Kansas City], [http://www.archives.gov/pacific/riverside/ Los Angeles], [http://www.archives.gov/northeast/nyc/index.html New York] (moving soon), [[National Archives Mid Atlantic Region (Philadelphia)|Philadelphia]], [http://www.archives.gov/pacific/san-francisco/index.html San Francisco], and [http://www.archives.gov/pacific-alaska/seattle/index.html Seattle].  
Line 26: Line 25:
 
P.O. Box 2270<br>Fort Wayne, IN 48801<br>Telephone: 219-424-7241<br>Fax: 219-422-9688<br>Internet address: www.acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy/index.html  
 
P.O. Box 2270<br>Fort Wayne, IN 48801<br>Telephone: 219-424-7241<br>Fax: 219-422-9688<br>Internet address: www.acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy/index.html  
  
The [[Allen County Public Library]] has a very large collection of sources for all states, including U.S. census records, periodicals, and local histories.  
+
The [[Allen County Public Library]] has a very large collection of sources for all states, including U.S. census records, periodicals, and local histories.
 +
 
 +
=== Daughters of the American Revolution  ===
 +
 
 +
1776 “D” Street N.W.<br>Washington, D.C. 20006-5392<br>Telephone: 202-879-3229<br>Fax: 202-879-3227<br>Internet address: [http://www.dar.org www.dar.org].
 +
 
 +
Daughters of the American Revolution is a national society. Its library in Washington, D.C. has one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States.
 +
 
 +
{{See|Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library}}
  
 
=== Family History Library  ===
 
=== Family History Library  ===
Line 36: Line 43:
 
=== Library of Congress  ===
 
=== Library of Congress  ===
  
'''Genealogy and Local History Reading Room'''<br>101 Independence Ave. at First Street, S.E.<br>Washington, D.C. 20504<br>Telephone: 202-707-5000<br>Fax: 202-707-5844<br>Internet address: [http://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/ www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/]  
+
Genealogy and Local History Reading Room<br>101 Independence Ave. at First Street, S.E.<br>Washington, D.C. 20504<br>Telephone: 202-707-5000<br>Fax: 202-707-5844<br>Internet address: [http://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/ www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/]  
  
The [[Library of Congress|Genealogical and Local History Reading Room of the Library of Congress]] has a very large collection of published genealogies, manuscripts, histories, directories, maps, and newspapers.  
+
The [[Library of Congress|Genealogical and Local History Reading Room of the Library of Congress]] has a large collection of published genealogies, manuscripts, histories, directories, maps, and newspapers.  
  
 
The Library of Congress site has a wonderful [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html American Memory] page that links to more 60 collections, searchable by keyword or time period in a variety of media.  
 
The Library of Congress site has a wonderful [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html American Memory] page that links to more 60 collections, searchable by keyword or time period in a variety of media.  
 
=== National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution  ===
 
 
1776 “D” Street N.W.<br>Washington, D.C. 20006-5392<br>Telephone: 202-879-3229<br>Fax: 202-879-3227<br>Internet address: [http://www.dar.org www.dar.org]
 
 
{{See|Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library}}
 
  
 
=== New England Historic Genealogical Society  ===
 
=== New England Historic Genealogical Society  ===
Line 58: Line 59:
 
=== New York Public Library  ===
 
=== New York Public Library  ===
  
'''Local History and Genealogy Division'''<br>Fifth Avenue &amp; 42nd Street<br>New York, NY 10018<br>Telephone: 212-930-0828<br>Fax: 212-921-2546<br>Internet address: [http://www.nypl.org/ www.nypl.org]  
+
Local History and Genealogy Division<br>Fifth Avenue &amp; 42nd Street<br>New York, NY 10018<br>Telephone: 212-930-0828<br>Fax: 212-921-2546<br>Internet address: [http://www.nypl.org/ www.nypl.org]  
  
 
The [[New York Public Library]] has collected many published sources, such as local histories, city directories, maps, newspapers, and genealogies.  
 
The [[New York Public Library]] has collected many published sources, such as local histories, city directories, maps, newspapers, and genealogies.  
Line 83: Line 84:
 
Your local public library can help you locate these and other archives and libraries. Directories include:  
 
Your local public library can help you locate these and other archives and libraries. Directories include:  
  
*''American Library Directory''. 53rd Edition. New Providence, New Jersey: R. R. Bowker, 2000-2001. (Family History Library book {{FHL|985678|title-id|disp=973 J54a 2000}}, 2 vol.) Alphabetical by state and town. Lists addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and describes each library's holdings and special interests.  
+
:*''American Library Directory''. 53rd Edition. New Providence, New Jersey: R. R. Bowker, 2000-2001. (FHL {{FHL|985678|title-id|disp=973 J54a 2000}}, 2 vol.) Alphabetical by state and town. Lists addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and describes each library's holdings and special interests.  
*Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. ''The Genealogist's Address Book''.&nbsp;Fifth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005. (Family History Library book 973 {{FHL|1316554|title-id|disp=D24ben 2005.)}} Includes national, state, ethnic, religious, historical, adoption, computer interest group, and vendor addresses with telephone numbers, E-mail addresses, supervisors, and repository hours.  
+
:*Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. ''The Genealogist's Address Book''.&nbsp;Fifth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005. (FHL 973 {{FHL|1316554|title-id|disp=D24ben 2005.)}} Includes national, state, ethnic, religious, historical, adoption, computer interest group, and vendor addresses with telephone numbers, E-mail addresses, supervisors, and repository hours.  
*A directory of many repositories and manuscript collections is:  
+
:*A directory of many repositories and manuscript collections is:  
*The National Historical Publications and Records Commission. ''Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the United States''. Second Edition. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1988. (Family History Library book {{FHL|643768|title-id|disp=973 J54u}} 1988; 1978 Edition on fiche {{FHL|11301|title-id|disp=6010080-89}}.) <!--{12054106989060} -->
+
:*The National Historical Publications and Records Commission. ''Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the United States''. Second Edition. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1988. (FHL {{FHL|643768|title-id|disp=973 J54u}} 1988; 1978 Edition on fiche {{FHL|11301|title-id|disp=6010080-89}}.) <!--{12054106989060} -->
 +
 
 +
=== Federal Repository Libraries  ===
 +
 
 +
The federal government has designated at least one library in each state (generally a major university library) to receive a copy of published federal records. These include a wide variety of topics, such as pension lists, private land claims, veterans' burial lists, and individuals' petitions to Congress.
  
 
=== State Archives and State Libraries  ===
 
=== State Archives and State Libraries  ===
  
Each state has a state archive or a state library. Many states have both. These serve as the repositories for state and county government records. They often have some federal records as well, such as the U.S. census schedules for the state. See the "Archives and Libraries" Wiki articles for each state for addresses and contact information.
+
Each state has a state archive or a state library. Many states have both. These serve as the repositories for state and county government records. They often have some federal records as well, such as the U.S. census schedules for the state. A comprehensive list of [http://sos.georgia.gov/archives/what_do_we_have/other_state_archives state archives] and their websites is available from the Georgia Secretary of State's website for anyone wanting to find a specific state archive.
  
A [http://sos.georgia.gov/archives/what_do_we_have/other_state_archives comprehensive list of state archives] and their websites is available from the Georgia Secretary of State's website. This is a great resource for anyone wanting to find a specific state archive.
+
Also see the state Archives and Libraries wiki articles (links below) for more information on these and other archives in each state.
  
 
=== County and Town Courthouses  ===
 
=== County and Town Courthouses  ===
Line 98: Line 103:
 
Many of the key records essential for genealogical research were created by local county or town governments. These include court, land and property, naturalization and citizenship, probate, taxation, and vital records. The county and town courthouses are the primary repositories of these valuable records. (However, some courthouse records have been destroyed or transferred to state archives.) The Family History Library has copies of many of these important records on microfilm.  
 
Many of the key records essential for genealogical research were created by local county or town governments. These include court, land and property, naturalization and citizenship, probate, taxation, and vital records. The county and town courthouses are the primary repositories of these valuable records. (However, some courthouse records have been destroyed or transferred to state archives.) The Family History Library has copies of many of these important records on microfilm.  
  
The individual counties have organized their records and offices in many different ways. The state Wiki articles provide further information on how to obtain these records.  
+
The individual counties have organized their records and offices in many different ways. The county Wiki articles provide further information on how to obtain these records.  
  
 
Easy-to-use sources that list the various county offices in each state and the types of records at each office are:  
 
Easy-to-use sources that list the various county offices in each state and the types of records at each office are:  
  
*Bentley, Elizabeth Petty.''County Courthouse Book''. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995. (Family History Library&nbsp;book {{FHL|754831|title-id|disp=973 D24bena}}.)  
+
:*Bentley, Elizabeth Petty.''County Courthouse Book''. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995. (FHL {{FHL|754831|title-id|disp=973 D24bena}}) ([http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33396232 Worldcat])
*''The Handy Book for Genealogists: United States of America''. Tenth edition. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishing, 2006. (Family History Library book {{FHL|1362899|title-id|disp=973 D27e}}.) The Handy Book also lists the county seat and zip code.
+
:*''The Handy Book for Genealogists: United States of America''. Tenth edition. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishing, 2006. (FHL {{FHL|1362899|title-id|disp=973 D27e}}) ([http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/62744825 Worldcat]) The Handy Book also lists the county seat and zip code.
  
 
=== Historical and Genealogical Societies  ===
 
=== Historical and Genealogical Societies  ===
Line 109: Line 114:
 
Historical and genealogical societies have been organized in each state, most counties, and some towns. These societies collect many valuable records and offer various helpful services to researchers. Addresses of local societies are listed in:  
 
Historical and genealogical societies have been organized in each state, most counties, and some towns. These societies collect many valuable records and offer various helpful services to researchers. Addresses of local societies are listed in:  
  
*''Carson, Dina C., Directory of Genealogical and Historical Libraries, Archives and Collections in the US and Canada. Niwot, Colorado: Iron Gate Pub., 1002.''  
+
:*''Carson, Dina C., Directory of Genealogical and Historical Libraries, Archives and Collections in the US and Canada. Niwot, Colorado: Iron Gate Pub., 1002.'' ([http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3ADirectory+of+Genealogical+and+Historical+Libraries%2C+Archives+and+Collections+in+the+US+and+Canada Worldcat])
*''Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada''. 15th Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History, 2001. (Family History Library&nbsp;book {{FHL|1007248|title-id|disp=970 H24d}}.)
+
:*''Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada''. 15th Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History, 2001. (FHL {{FHL|1007248|title-id|disp=970 H24d}}) ([http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3ADirectory+of+Historical+Organizations+in+the+United+States+and+Canada Worldcat])
 
+
=== Federal Repository Libraries  ===
+
 
+
The federal government has designated at least one library in each state (generally a major university library) to receive a copy of published federal records. These include a wide variety of information, such as pension lists, private land claims, veterans' burial lists, and individuals' petitions to Congress.
+
  
 
=== Inventories, Registers, Catalogs  ===
 
=== Inventories, Registers, Catalogs  ===
Line 122: Line 123:
 
An example of a helpful guide is:  
 
An example of a helpful guide is:  
  
*Schaefer, Christina K. ''The Center: Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area''. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996. (Family History Library&nbsp;book {{FHL|770597|title-id|disp=975.3 A3sc}}.) This describes the records and services of the National Archives, Library of Congress, Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and other repositories in the Washington, DC area.
+
:*Schaefer, Christina K. ''The Center: Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area''. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996. (FHL {{FHL|770597|title-id|disp=975.3 A3sc}}) ([http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AThe+Center%3A+Guide+to+Genealogical+Research+in+the+National+Capital+Area Worldcat]) This describes the records and services of the National Archives, Library of Congress, Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and other repositories in the Washington, DC area.
  
=== Archives and Libraries in each State ===
+
=== Archives and Libraries in each State ===
  
 
{{Archives and Libraries States}}
 
{{Archives and Libraries States}}
 +
 +
  
 
{{Place|United States}}  
 
{{Place|United States}}  
  
 
[[Category:Record_Types_of_the_United_States]] [[Category:United_States_Repositories]] [[Category:National_Archives_and_Records_Administration]] [[Category:Family_History_Library]]
 
[[Category:Record_Types_of_the_United_States]] [[Category:United_States_Repositories]] [[Category:National_Archives_and_Records_Administration]] [[Category:Family_History_Library]]

Revision as of 10:17, 9 August 2011

United States Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries

The following record repositories have major collections and services helpful for genealogical research. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact the organization and ask for information on the collection, hours, services, and fees.

Contents

National Archives and Records Administration

Pennsylvania Avenue at 8th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20408
Telephone: 202-501-5415
Fax: 301-713-6740
Internet address: www.nara.gov

The National Archives (NARA) has a vast collection of documents created by the federal government. The records most often used by genealogists are census, military, land, and immigration records.

Microfilm copies of many of the records at the National Archives are available at the Family History Library, other major archives and libraries, and at regional branches of the National Archives. You may purchase microfilms from the National Archives or request photocopies of the records by using forms obtained from the Archives.

  • Eales, Anne Bruner and Robert M. Kvasnicka, ed. Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States. Third Edition. Washington, DC: Nathional Archives and Records Administration, 2000. (Worldcat) Explains records collections used most by genealogical researchers: Census, Passenger Arrivals and Border Crossings, Naturalizations, Military, Land, Native Americans, African Americans, and more.
  • A National Archives (NARA) descriptive pamphlet (DP) provides helpful information about a microfilm set such as an explanation about the records on the film set, their origin, and a roll-by-roll descriptive list. Reviewing a DP prior to using a film set can increase a researcher's ability to use it successfully in a time-efficient manner.  The Special Collections of the St. Louis County Library has placed on their web site full-text or PDF versions of DPs for some of the NARA microfilm sets.

Digitized NARA Microfilm Publications and Original Records

The National Archives has a list of digitized records and links to access them through online databases. It includes pay sites such as Ancestry and Footnote.com that have partnered with the National Archives to digitize many of the archives' records. Read more about the digitization program at the National Archives.

National Archives - Regional Branches

Regional branches of the National Archives collect records of federal government offices and courts within the area they serve. These branches are located in or near Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York (moving soon), Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Allen County Public Library

P.O. Box 2270
Fort Wayne, IN 48801
Telephone: 219-424-7241
Fax: 219-422-9688
Internet address: www.acpl.lib.in.us/genealogy/index.html

The Allen County Public Library has a very large collection of sources for all states, including U.S. census records, periodicals, and local histories.

Daughters of the American Revolution

1776 “D” Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-5392
Telephone: 202-879-3229
Fax: 202-879-3227
Internet address: www.dar.org.

Daughters of the American Revolution is a national society. Its library in Washington, D.C. has one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States.

Family History Library

35 N. West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400
Telephone: 801-240-2331
Fax: 801-240-1584
Internet address: www.familysearch.org

For more details see Family History Library.

Library of Congress

Genealogy and Local History Reading Room
101 Independence Ave. at First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20504
Telephone: 202-707-5000
Fax: 202-707-5844
Internet address: www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/

The Genealogical and Local History Reading Room of the Library of Congress has a large collection of published genealogies, manuscripts, histories, directories, maps, and newspapers.

The Library of Congress site has a wonderful American Memory page that links to more 60 collections, searchable by keyword or time period in a variety of media.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3087
Telephone: 617-536-5740
Fax: 617-536-7307
Internet address: www.americanancestors.org

The society's collections of New England family and local histories and manuscripts are especially helpful. Members can borrow printed resources from their lending library.

New York Public Library

Local History and Genealogy Division
Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018
Telephone: 212-930-0828
Fax: 212-921-2546
Internet address: www.nypl.org

The New York Public Library has collected many published sources, such as local histories, city directories, maps, newspapers, and genealogies.

Newberry Library

60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610-3394
(312) 943-9090
(312) 255-3513  fax

The Newberry Library was established in 1887 with a bequest from the estate of Walter Loomis Newberry.  A privately endowed independent research library, their collections are free and open to the public.  The library's Genealogy Collection includes more than 17,000 published family histories, and an extensive collection of local histories, military records, published indexes and abstracts, manuscripts and published sources.

Other United States Libraries

The following libraries also have exceptional genealogical collections. These libraries collect major national sources as well as records of the states they serve.

Your local public library can help you locate these and other archives and libraries. Directories include:

  • American Library Directory. 53rd Edition. New Providence, New Jersey: R. R. Bowker, 2000-2001. (FHL 973 J54a 2000, 2 vol.) Alphabetical by state and town. Lists addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and describes each library's holdings and special interests.
  • Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. The Genealogist's Address Book. Fifth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005. (FHL 973 D24ben 2005.) Includes national, state, ethnic, religious, historical, adoption, computer interest group, and vendor addresses with telephone numbers, E-mail addresses, supervisors, and repository hours.
  • A directory of many repositories and manuscript collections is:
  • The National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the United States. Second Edition. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1988. (FHL 973 J54u 1988; 1978 Edition on fiche 6010080-89.)

Federal Repository Libraries

The federal government has designated at least one library in each state (generally a major university library) to receive a copy of published federal records. These include a wide variety of topics, such as pension lists, private land claims, veterans' burial lists, and individuals' petitions to Congress.

State Archives and State Libraries

Each state has a state archive or a state library. Many states have both. These serve as the repositories for state and county government records. They often have some federal records as well, such as the U.S. census schedules for the state. A comprehensive list of state archives and their websites is available from the Georgia Secretary of State's website for anyone wanting to find a specific state archive.

Also see the state Archives and Libraries wiki articles (links below) for more information on these and other archives in each state.

County and Town Courthouses

Many of the key records essential for genealogical research were created by local county or town governments. These include court, land and property, naturalization and citizenship, probate, taxation, and vital records. The county and town courthouses are the primary repositories of these valuable records. (However, some courthouse records have been destroyed or transferred to state archives.) The Family History Library has copies of many of these important records on microfilm.

The individual counties have organized their records and offices in many different ways. The county Wiki articles provide further information on how to obtain these records.

Easy-to-use sources that list the various county offices in each state and the types of records at each office are:

  • Bentley, Elizabeth Petty.County Courthouse Book. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995. (FHL 973 D24bena) (Worldcat)
  • The Handy Book for Genealogists: United States of America. Tenth edition. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishing, 2006. (FHL 973 D27e) (Worldcat) The Handy Book also lists the county seat and zip code.

Historical and Genealogical Societies

Historical and genealogical societies have been organized in each state, most counties, and some towns. These societies collect many valuable records and offer various helpful services to researchers. Addresses of local societies are listed in:

  • Carson, Dina C., Directory of Genealogical and Historical Libraries, Archives and Collections in the US and Canada. Niwot, Colorado: Iron Gate Pub., 1002. (Worldcat)
  • Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada. 15th Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History, 2001. (FHL 970 H24d) (Worldcat)

Inventories, Registers, Catalogs

Most archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit an archive so that you can use your time more effectively. Many of these are available at the Family History Library, at your public or university library, or through interlibrary loan.

An example of a helpful guide is:

  • Schaefer, Christina K. The Center: Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996. (FHL 975.3 A3sc) (Worldcat) This describes the records and services of the National Archives, Library of Congress, Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and other repositories in the Washington, DC area.

Archives and Libraries in each State