Over the many years I have been researching, there have been several times where Iâ€™ve been advised against researching in valuable collections. A librarian, historian, or archivist might tell you that a certain set of files, index cards, or an electronic database or image doesnâ€™t have anything to do with genealogy. Some have even said it would be a waste of time to check the record or index. A recent experience demonstrates how much we might miss if we heed that kind of advice.
Browsing around a library is great way to become acquainted with it and possibly find some things you did not expect to find. I was searching through an extensive old card catalog and was told that there was â€œnothing in there for genealogy.â€ I smiled and politely said I was just going to browse a bit. What did I find in this catalog? County histories, biographies, autobiographies, town and community histories, excerpts from diaries and journals, war history, maps, historical directories, histories of hereditary and occupational organizations (some with list of members), Daughters of the American Revolution publications, fur trade history, regional histories, Historical Records Surveys (WPA), and even some personal papers.