My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Massachusetts State Library, Boston, Massachusetts

A state library visit sounded like the perfect thing to see on one of my trips to Boston. There was little information about the State Library of Massachusetts online, so I didn't know what to expect, but was ready for an adventure, which began the second I walked in the main door. Security was waiting for all visitors, and after I and my items were scanned, I was pulled aside and asked to open my pocketbook. Yikes, I had forgotten I had a Swiss army knife, what was going to happen to me? Not to worry, I signed a paper, and would get it back when I left.

I found my way to the 3rd floor library, went in, and not a person was to be seen. I couldn't wait to check out the "historical information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its cities and towns." Before I had a conversation with the seasoned librarian, I took these photos.

WIFE    "Husband has no right to beat"
 As you can see, there wasn't a person in the library, no genealogy books and I didn't see the librarian until I was ready to leave. Since I had questions, I fired away. Were there any genealogy books? Yes, but since they had closed stacks, she showed me a little booklet listing their major holdings, (I could request and she would go get). Anything more specific would have to be found through their card catalog (photo above). Shocked, I asked if everything was also listed online. "No, not yet, it is a money issue, however they are working on it." I got the impression it was something really in the works. They did however, have four computers, lots of room, and several aisles of books, this is mainly a law library.

The stacked books are on four floors, located behind the librarian (see first photo). According to her, there is a Special Collection on a lower level, however their webpage, with all their links just took me to 403 Forbidden quite a few times. Some links do work, and might be of use to you, see below. The next time I go, I'll check out the Special Collection Department in Room 55.

Items in our Special Collections:


Michelle Goodrum said...

Beautiful impressive photos. Sounds like you had a productive "reconnaissance mission". We try to plan ahead, sometimes you just have to "go do."

Glad you took the time to talk to a libriarian and share the results of your visit to a beautiful facility with us.

Barbara Poole said...

Thanks Michelle. For sure, I had to ask about a online catalog, and when she said there wasn't one, well... I knew that would be my story. State capitol built in 1798, now I've got to book a free tour soon, to learn abt. the history.

Heather Rojo said...

My goodness, the New Hampshire State library is a gold mine of information for genealogy. We had the head come talk to our Mayflower Society once. There is even a genealogy room. It is interesting how different states have different collections in their state libraries. The best thing about the New Hampshire state library is that it is located next door to the NH Historical Society library, so it is easy to go from one to the other. One has great compiled genealogy books and manuscripts for genealogy, the other is heavier on newspapers and local historical archives.

Carol said...

The economy disasters sure have taken a toll on our state libraries, such a shame. Beautiful building.

Peter said...

Beautiful building! The library breathes silence.

imagespast said...

It's a very impressive building, but a pity it's not getting used as much as it should be. Look forward to hearing about your tour when you go. Jo :-)