Monday, October 8, 2012

Valparaiso, Your #3 Genealogy Library Stop in Indiana?

Larry Clark has done a lot at Valparaiso. He oversees the genealogy room there, part of the Porter County (Indiana) Public Library System. The most visible thing about the room is that it's ringed with marriage and court records from the county clerk's office, in the process of being indexed. Next most visible are the impressive array of periodicals, including four of the five best in the field: The American Genealogist, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. (And you can read the current issues!) Also visible are the extensive book collections for many states besides Indiana. Also visible, but expected, are good microfilm collections of local newspapers.

Less visible but highly valued are microfilmed records of the Gary Diocese, covering many years between 1850 and 1991, including births, deaths, confirmations, marriages, and christenings. Least visible but especially interesting to me is the large collection of city directories, with microfilms for 24 cities in Indiana, 14 in Illinois, 10 in Ohio, 4 in western New York 3 in western Pennsylvania, 3 in Michigan, and one in Wisconsin. These are not complete runs but they are way more than you'll find in most local genealogy collections. I have posted a list of the cities and dates at Midwest Roots -- part of my ongoing series there of "unfindables," undercatalogued collections in various libraries, including microfilms of old Indiana newspapers in Mishawaka and of small-city directories in Fort Wayne.

After Allen County and the Indiana State Library, this could well be the third best public library for genealogy in Indiana. Check it out!

Harold Henderson, "Valparaiso, Your #3 Genealogy Library Stop in Indiana?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 8 October 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

No comments: