The majority of genealogical materials do not circulate. If a family surname appears in the title and/or the word “genealogy” is present in the title, subject or publisher of the material, it’s a good bet that material is non-circulating.
But avid genealogists know there is no reason to throw in the towel on a search. Some print materials can now be found online:
- Internet Archive – millions of digitized books freely available
- Making of America – digitized articles and books
- Chronicling of America – digitized historic newspapers from 1789-1949
- Library of Congress Digital Collections – digitized material on a variety of subjects
- Periodical Source Index – includes information on genealogical publications
- Google Books
A photocopy may also be requested for the Index or Table of Contents of a non-circulating book. Copies of specific pages can then be requested.
Microfilm, especially newspaper microfilm, is also an excellent source of information. Many locations, including the Wisconsin Historical Society will lend microfilm.
Tips on creating microfilm requests:
- In WISCAT, please use a blank request form.
- OCLC libraries class microfilm as “book”. Be sure to choose “book” as the Material Bibliographic Level and “microform” as the Material Format Option.
- Include the OCLC number in the correct field.
- For Wisconsin titles search the UW-Madison catalog
- Confirm that the title matches the publication dates needed. Newspapers change titles over time.
- Include the city and state in which the newspaper was published in parentheses after the title. For example, “The times” (Madison, Wis.)
- If possible, copy and paste the reel number in the borrower’s notes field.
- The Wisconsin Historical Society will loan a maximum of 6 reels per patron, per title.
Written by: Christine Barth, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning