16 March 2009

What's in Your Wallet? [Reference Shelf]

I had a great time at the monthly California Genealogical Society meeting last week, seeing and meeting quite a few of my Geneablogger and Facebook genealogist friends. The presentation and talk by Frances Dinkelspiel on her book Towers of Gold was an unparalleled trip back in time to the California of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

A great tip came from Ms. Dinkelspiel when she touched on her use of resources through the eight years she spent researching for the book. She mentioned the use she made of electronic resources available through local libraries like The San Francisco Public Library.

A lightbulb went off over my head... no longer living in San Francisco, I hadn't thought of checking the SF library website for what's available electronically. Having lived in the Bay Area for ten years now, and having moved alot, I have library cards and active accounts in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Contra Costa!

A quick drive through the library sites for those libraries yielded me some great treasures which I don't have access to otherwise: The San Francisco Chronicle from 1865-1922, Sanborn Maps California, HeritageQuest, and all sorts of other resources I've been laboring without for years!

So the tip is: Check out the electronic resources available from your local library; you may be pleasantly surprised!

And the question is: What library cards are in your wallet?


Kathryn Doyle said...


Brilliant! It's wonderful to see the Brain-ee-ack (thank you, Sheri) in action. I love that when the lightbulb goes off in your head, we, your readers, reap all the benefits.

This is also the perfect response to the "Why should I belong to a gen society?" question that periodically pops up. It's because of the lightbulbs.

Jennifer said...

Thanks Kathryn. I enjoyed the presentation enormously.