By Nancy Battick
Much is happening in the genealogical world as libraries begin to re-open. I’m writing in July so things may change again by the time you read this. Let’s take a brief look at what’s new.
The Maine Genealogical Society will hold an in-person half day annual meeting and workshop Sept. 11 at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. Cost $25 per member; $35 for non-members with lunch included. The spotlight will be on the Maine Archives with keynote speaker Kate Herbert, digital archivist, speaking on “History for the People: Examining the work at the Maine State Archives,” followed by Sam Howes, Archivist III, speaking on “Genealogical Research at the Maine State Archives” and finally Herbert returns with “Accessing Records from Home: Digital Records from the Maine State Archives.” If you haven’t researched the Archives or long for more online content this workshop is for you. Check the MGS website at www.maineroots.org. for registration
Also new from MGS is Volume 12 in the Maine Families in 1790 series. The latest in the series covers genealogical information on 200 Maine families. It’s $40 for members and $55 for non-members. Check the MGS website for ordering information. A $25 membership in MGS can save you a great deal of money on workshops and purchases of their published books. Consider joining.
The Maine State Library is now open in a temporary location at 242 State Street in Augusta while the library undergoes extensive repair. Appointments are necessary to use microfilm or the public computers. Curbside service is available but genealogical books are usually library use only. If you want to research again it’s a good idea to call and let the librarians know what books you’ll want to use. Much of the library’s collection is stored offsite and if you need a particular book or other item it may not otherwise be available. Open hours are M-F, 9-5. Call them at 207-287-5600 with requests. You can search their catalog for card numbers and other information at https://ursus.maine.edu/search. The library’s website is www1.maine.gov/msl. The use of masks will depend on CDC guidance.
The latest on the Brown Library at the Maine Historical Society in Portland indicates it’s open by appointment only to members. You can keep track of the status of that library at www.mainehistory.org. You can also find a link to “Ask A Librarian” form for assistance.
The Salt Lake Library of the Church of Latter Day Saints is reopening which means local History Centers may soon be, too, but I urge you to make contact before traveling to one. Remember they are staffed by volunteers and were closed throughout the pandemic so I suspect getting ready to open again will depend on several factors including volunteers.
Finally most local libraries have reopened and local genealogical societies are holding meetings in person or by Zoom. They usually have speakers on various topics for genealogists plus members will offer advice for genealogical newbies. Provided the COVID situation stays stable it’s time to rejoin the genealogical world.
Nancy Battick is a Dover-Foxcroft native who has researched genealogy for over 30 years. She is past president of the Maine Genealogical Society, author of several genealogical articles and co-transcribed the Vital Records of Dover-Foxcroft. Nancy holds an MA in history from UMaine and lives in Dover-Foxcroft with her husband, Jack, another avid genealogist. You can contact Nancy at email@example.com.